Duane Stephenson is the former lead singer of the group To-Isis. He was born to parents Patricia Rutherford and Norman Stephenson in Kingston, Jamaica on April 22, 1976. His early years were spent in a little town in eastern St. Andrew known as August Town. The latter has an air rich in culture and music and has produced many talented artists such as The Rastafarians, Colin Roach and more currently Sizzla Kalonji.
Duane's exposure to music was inevitable as music was a big part of his family. His uncle Michael Rutherford was the lead singer of a popular band known as Sonny Bradshaw and the Big Band and Rhythms Kings band. During this time he was exposed to music from artists such as Kenny Rogers, BB King, Al Greene, the Temptations, Chi Lites and the Manhattans to name a few.
Duane attended New Providence All-Age and Tivoli Gardens High School where he was a member of the choir. In 1993, Duane was encouraged by a friend to join the Cathy Levy's Little People & Team Players Club, a performing arts school based in Kingston Jamaica. This helped to groom and shape Duane into the performer he is today. Being a member of this club allowed Duane to travel extensively throughout Jamaica, the Caribbean as well as the United States where he performed for former US president Bill Clinton.
Duane then became the lead singer of a six member singing group known as To-Isis, which was formed with other members of the Cathy Levy Club in 1997. The group went on to be one of the most recognised vocal groups in Jamaica, with their class, style and professionalism.
Duane is a remarkable song writer and has penned for artists such as Luciano, Morgan Heritage and most notable Jah Cure with the mega hit "Reflections", a song which became an athem. Duane has also been trying a hand at producing and has done work on the "Reflections" album and on Taurus Riley's "Parable" and "Mystic Routes Journey".
In August 2006, Duane decided to leave To-Isis and take center stage and shine on his very own as a solo act. Duane has signed a two album deal with VP records and has completed the first of the two, which is entitled "From August Town", under the watchful eye of Dean "Sax" Frasier. The album features tracks such as "From August Town", "Dream Weaver" and "Ghetto Pain". There are also coloborations with Anthony B, Mystic Routes, Rochelle Bradshaw and label brother Taurus Riley.
Photo & text courtesy of VP Records.