Duane Stephenson’s sophomore release, BLACK GOLD, hit stores Sept. 28 and shows the celebrated singer/songwriter working with legendary reggae sax player Dean Fraser, who also produced the most of the album.
The VP Records artist is the former lead singer and songwriter in To-Isis, one of the most recognized vocal groups in Jamaica. But in 2007, Stephenson debuted a successful solo CD AUGUST TOWN, marking a new direction in his career.
As a songwriter, Stephenson wrote Jah Cure’s reggae anthem “True Reflections” and other hits for other major reggae artists such as Luciano and Morgan Heritage.
Known for his conscious lyrics and for depicting the plight of the world around him, BLACK GOLD encompasses Stephenson’s growth mentally, emotionally and musically. The first track, “Nah Play,” is set to an upbeat, one-drop “riddim” describing the unrest in his hometown. Not afraid to convey how he feels about global affairs, Stephenson also communicates his desires for the world on tracks like “Fire in Me” and “More.”
Stephenson presents various styles and influences on the album and adds a lovers’ rock flavor to Larry Duane Addison’s ‘80s pop-soul lament “Members Only.” Stephenson and the soulful Gramps Morgan compete for a woman’s affection on the country-tinged track “Rescue Me,” which will feature a video release.
From ballads to roots reggae, Stephenson’s latest effort will resonate with fans and perhaps, gain a new legion of followers.