Trendsetting Lovers Rock artists Janet Kay and Carroll Thompson have both released new EP collections on iTunes, bringing their romantic brand of British reggae to a multi-national audience.
Janet Kay’s “All Woman,” and Carroll Thompson’s “Love Me Like This,” were released Tuesday, January 31, 2012, in connection with a burgeoning movement to advance UK Lovers Rock beyond its traditional demographic borders. Both EP albums were produced by Kemar ‘Flava’ McGregor, who has also produced Beres Hammond, Glen Washington, Marcia Griffiths and Sugar Minott, among many others.
Kay and Thompson’s collaborations with McGregor exemplify the most recent trend in the reggae world – global and generational crossover interest in Lovers Rock Reggae, wherein England’s homegrown genre has already wielded a strong influence among scores of international reggae artists, and has strengthened the genre’s momentum
within the UK club scene.
“As long as people are still falling in love and being in love, Lovers Rock is here to stay,” said Janet Kay. “At my shows, in the audience, I’m meeting people of all nationalities and all shades who love Lovers Rock. The ages of our audiences are also very varied. We are now getting a young audience, as well as a mature audience, which loves the music.”
Kay and Thompson collaborated with McGregor on his last three LP productions, “Cool and Deadly Riddim,” “Club Dance Riddim” and “Romantic Flava, Volume One,” which introduced British Lovers Rock stars, such as Kay, Thompson, Peter Spence, Peter Hunnigale, Adele Harley and Lady Lex to the global fan base of Jamaican reggae luminaries, such as Sanchez, Buju Banton, Nadine Sutherland, Sizzla, Glen Washington and Ce’Cile. This international dialogue has brought increased radio airplay to Lovers Rock Reggae across Europe, North America and the Caribbean, which Thompson said is vital and necessary to promote the intrinsic positivity of romantic reggae.
“When people hear the music, they like it,” said Carroll Thompson. “But without participation from radio stations, it’s hard to get the music to the people, and so therein lies the problem. The issue is how to get Lovers Rock past the gatekeepers, because if people can hear the music, they will want more of it. Lovers Rock is positive music. Positive music gives a good vibration. It can only promote wellness when people are humming and singing a song that releases good energy.”
Janet Kay and Carroll Thompson are two of the most legendary figures within England’s Lovers Rock Reggae industry. Janet Kay has sold more than 1 million albums worldwide. She is listed in the Guinness Book of Records, as the first British black female to have a reggae song at the top of the UK charts. Kay also starred as an actress in the popular United Kingdom TV sitcom, “No Problem,” between 1983 and 1985. Carroll Thompson’s Lovers Rock hits, “I’m So Sorry” and “Simply In Love,” both topped the UK Reggae Chart in 1981. Thompson won two GLR Reggae Awards in 1982, for Best Female Performer and Best Song. In 1983, Thompson was awarded Best Female Performer at the GLR awards. Thompson is the co-founder of Colourtelly, Britain’s first black-interest internet TV station, which hosted “Lovers Rock Lounge,” a weekly Lovers Rock Reggae television program that garnered international fame.