I enjoyed a musical family background. My father-who was born in the West Indies-played clarinet in an undergraduate calypso quartet whilst studying dentistry at Durham University - he also played piano, cello and guitar - and would sing and play calypso songs at home. He encouraged and demonstrated the joy of music in his two children and I began piano lessons at an early age followed by violin lessons.
My early teens was an era when rock & roll legends were in their prime. The swingin’ sixties had changed Britain, first generation brown-skin babies were being born in the UK and the record shops were stocking Mowtown, soul, funk, reggae, ska, latin etc. along with rock and pop. I jumped to electric guitar, influenced by Deep Purple, Kool & The Gang, Jimi Hendrix and all the legendary singers, musicians and songwriters that abounded at the time. I stayed with guitar and was guitarist and songwriter in many bands but at the time I didn’t sing. I started singing because I wanted to produce demos of songs I’d written, I added bass guitar to my instruments as (along with a drum machine) I now had the tools to record the demos myself. Having always had a leaning towards rhythm, it was natural to include congas and some percussion instruments.
In time I applied for a Post-grad course at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama and was accepted as a vocalist on the Jazz & Rock Music course and sharpened up my singing somewhat. After my Guildhall course I started gigging in earnest and worked with superb musicians at Ronnie Scott’s and other great venues. I sang with The Len Phillips Big Band for twenty years and also many and various function bands along with running my own outfit. I played keyboards and sang in my local interdenominational church every Sunday for a couple of years and I witnessed the power of music in healing and prayer.