A2O (Against All Odds)
Jamaican music has now adopted fresh sounds of the four-man vocal group, A2O (Against All Odds) with their unique 'Alternative' blend of Reggae, R&B and Dancehall.
The quartet's roots were planted in Western Jamaica but they have been reaped from the streets of Southern Kingston. Although the group has only been performing professionally for a few years, the talented singers, songwriters, musicians and composers have been together for about 10 years. And, throughout this time, they have been honing their skills through constant rehearsals and performing every opportunity that they can seize.
A2O's genesis began at the Sav-la-mar senior school (Godfrey Stewart High) with three members: Rayon 'O.B.' Obie, Angel Smith and Dennis 'Wess' Rose and, in 1999, was expanded to include Kenneth 'J.R.' Lorney. In their early years, the group performed in the JCDC's Performing arts festivals and were successful gold, silver and bronze medalists, giving them the opportunity to showcase their talent at various cultural events held in the parish of Westmoreland. They also made several appearances at Negril hotels including Swept Away Beach Resort, Sandals, Beaches, Grand Lido and Time Square, just to name a few and were also a hit at weddings, school events and various concerts including Livity Splash in St. Elizabeth.
Their move to Kingston in 2001 saw the group extending their performance list to include events held at various high schools and colleges with other appearances at several night clubs and cafes. Their most memorable performance is their 45-minute set on stage right before Michael Bolton at the Air Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival, 2007.
The group has also recorded songs with some of Jamaica's leading producers including Donovan Germaine, Mikey Bennett, Steven Ventura, Stephen Stewart and 'Computer' Paul. As finalists in the 2006 staging of the Jamaica Popular Song Competition, A2O seized the opportunity to increase their fan base, when they participated in the islandwide tour of Jamaica which included performances at schools, clubs and road shows.
With influences such as Garnet Silk, Boys 2 Men, Bob Marley, Beres Hammond, R. Kelly and Capleton, A2O continues to write and perform songs of love and social issues. And, like their idols, the group hopes to take their act from the local scene to the international stage.
Photo & text courtesy of Triple Shots.