Music

Singer Jah Hammed sounds off

Friday, September 13, 2019

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Roots singer Jah Hammed released his third album, Champion Sound, on September 1. It contains the song Rasta Man featuring Norris Man, Have Some Mercy, Finding My Way and Dance Nice which he did with Chronicle, father of Chronixx.

The album was produced by Jah Hammed's son Leon Smillie, and released by Total Satisfaction Records. Musicians who worked on Champion Sound include Sly and Robbie, keyboardist Robbie Lyn, guitarist Earl “Chinna” Smith, drummer Kirk Bennett, and bass player Errol “Flabba Holt” Carter.

Scoring a hit is not a priority for Jah Hammed. He is optimistic that good music will reach the ears of listeners and inspire a new generation. “I do music for the people and for people to be inspired. Being on the charts is not important to me right now,” he said.

It has been 40 years since Jah Hammed (real name Cleveland Smillie) relocated from St Thomas to Brooklyn, New York. He was a member of a group, The Outer-Limits, which comprised Cleon Douglas, Mikey Ranglin, Noel Alphonso, David Malcolm, Roland Alphonso, Oneil Nanco, Chilla Clarke, and Leroy Hussen.

After 10 years with The Outer- Limits, Jah Hammed went solo and got a hit song in 1977 with Ordinary Natty. In the 1990s, he recorded for the Don Ruben label, and recently resumed recording with Total Satisfaction Records.

— Kevin Jackson


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