Harrell’s Jamaican connection


Harrell’s Jamaican connection

Observer writer

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Print this page Email A Friend!

UPTOWN Records, the company founded by American impresario Andre Harrell, helped build the careers of several rhythm & blues and rap artistes including Mary J Blige, Guy, Jodeci, Al B Sure, Soul For Real, Christopher Williams, the Notorious BIG and Father MC. Jamaican-born rapper Heavy D and his group The Boyz were among the label's earliest signees.

Uptown Records released five studio albums by them and two solo albums by Heavy D.

Harrell, who died on May 7 at the age of 59, is best known for giving hip-hop mogul Sean Combs aka Puff Daddy/P Diddy his break.

Robert Livingston of Big Yard Music remembered Harrell in an interview with the Jamaica Observer.

“Andre was a visionary person who understood us and our culture. He was also easy to deal with, not at all difficult. He was more than just an executive who owned a company. He gets down with the business and understands the grass-roots level,” Livingston recalled.

Livingston was managing Super Cat when he signed with Columbia Records in the early 1990s. Super Cat and Heavy D collaborated on two hit songs, Dem Nuh Worry We and Big and Broad (featuring Frankie Paul).

“Heavy D did the songs with Super Cat but I made sure to take care of the corporate side of the business,” said Livingston.

Dem Nuh Worry We was featured on Don Dada, Super Cat's major label debut album.

The Manchester-born Heavy D was promoted to president and CEO of Uptown Records after Harrell left the label in 1995 to take up the CEO position at Motown Records.

Heavy D and The Boyz's 1987 debut album, Living Large, sold gold. His solo album, Waterbed Hev, was also certified gold.

Through his association with Uptown Records (which was distributed by MCA Records), Heavy D collaborated with Janet Jackson on Alright, Michael Jackson (Jam) and Soul For Real (Candy Rain).

All major hits on the pop charts. He died in 2011 at the age of 44 of a pulmonary embolism.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon