'Prezidential' push for Excess Amount


'Prezidential' push for Excess Amount

Monday, May 04, 2020

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WHEN he migrated to the United States just over 20 years ago, Carl Prezident had every intention of carrying on the music career he started in Kingston in 1987.

Even he admits the odds of him fronting a reggae-rock band in New England, were long. Yet, that's what he has done since 2000 with Makka with whom he has recorded a number of songs, the latest being Excess Amount.

Released one year ago, Excess Amount features Makka, a five-piece unit from his adopted hometown of Hartford, Connecticut.

“As far as serious promotion, that started this year. We did some promotion last year but not on this scale,” said Prezident.

Much of that promotion has been on college radio stations in Connecticut and clubs throughout that state. Excess Amount is co-produced by Carl Prezident and his brother, Vance Powell, for their CSI/1924 Productions label.

Excess Amount is the lead single from Ride, the third album from Carl Prezident and Makka. It was also released in April 2019.

Most of the band's dates are in Connecticut, neighbouring Massachusetts and central Florida, where they play to mainly white audiences.

That scene is totally different from the hardcore dancehall setting of Waltham Park Road in Kingston where Carl Prezident grew up. Born George Swaby in Nain, St Elizabeth, he moved to 'town' as a boy and had a front-row seat to the musical drama that played out at Myrie Lane in that community.

“Da likkle cut deh wasn't a easy cut. A lotta strong man come outa deh suh,” he said.

The strongest of those men was music producer Henry “Junjo” Lawes who operated his Volcano label and sound system from that location. Carl Prezident remembers seeing top artistes such as Yellowman, John Holt and Barrington Levy passing through.

His own recording career began with the song Whole A Me, for producer Horace Tapper. Consciousness and Licky Licky Sharon are two other songs he recorded before migrating to the US.

Makka played mainly rock music at the time Carl Prezident joined them. Shortly after, their set evolved into covers of Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, Peter Tosh and Dennis Brown.

In addition to Excess Amount, the 10-track Rise includes a “partial cover” of singer Michael Prophet's Here Comes The Bride.

— Howard Campbell

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