The names Richmond Quarshie (Richy Gem) and Lloyd Charles (Lloydie Gem), to many, are the down-to-earth individuals who make up Harlem Gem. Yet few would refute their status as the genius duo from Huddersfield, who with their debut album, HUNGRY, stamped UK’s reggae imprint firmly on the map.
Despite his newly acquired title of label sound engineer, Richy remains the gifted songwriter, arranger, musician, and producer with the magic formula complementing Lloydie’s distinctive vocals. From humbled beginnings, however, this firm partnership which saw their signing to Boss Records and the ground breaking and unforgettable debut “Missing You Missing Me c/w Heaven Is (Lying in Your Arms) which topped the Independent charts to win them the Best Newcomers Award.
Affirming their versatility, Harlem Gem then went on carve up their mark on the reggae scene with the single ‘Let Me Love You’ which received critical acclaim and was play-listed on radio stations across the country including Radio 1. Its feature on Jet Star’s Pure Lovers Vol. 8 alongside distinguished legends like Dennis Brown, Gregory Isaacs, Junior Delgado and Ruddy Thomas transformed the duo into a household name in Europe, Africa, the Far East and other parts of the world.
The transition from Boss to their own Gem Magic Inc. operation, as evidenced with the conception of the Xtra Play (XP) series confirms that Harlem Gem’s special brand of reggae with its powerful messages about struggles and articulation of issues that everyone can relate to, has lost none of its sparkle. Having graced stages in places as far as St Lucia and Africa including appearances alongside the likes of Beres Hammond, reggae’s future is assured of great things with Harlem Gem at its helm.
XTRA PLAY 2 (XP2): Harlem Gem (also featuring Junior Lex)
“The Gemsagain deliver music with depth which actually makes you feel good – Wayne ‘G Spot’ Marshall”
The distinctive sounds of the GEM MAGIC INC. stable continue with a musical high that is unrivalled. Having laid the foundation with Xtra Play 1 (XP1), the second in the series sees Harlem Gem combine with Junior Lex in a powerful and captivating display of sheer class and magic.
With tight production, thoughtful lyrics and infectious lines, this set is a succinct reminder of what is meant by real talent. As well as value for money, XP2 represents that extra something special in music that is in a league of its own.