Ricardo Brown journeys to Fame and Fortune
From a small board room to being evicted is a story many would want to sweep under a carpet. But, when the plot takes a right turn and ends in a spacious comfortable three-bedroom house, fitted with a recording studio with lounge which opens into a picturesque garden, then such a story becomes something that the world needs to know.
Record producer/artiste Ricardo “Tinue” Brown hardly has time to scratch his head these days. This basketball-height player is not producing just for fun. He wants his recording studio and the artistes who come there to be known internationally.
“My days are just taxing, and it’s all about business – from trying to get ready the best riddims to advising just about everyone who comes through these doors.”
From his gate there is a 15-second casual walkathon to a rehearsal room. This is pretty equipped with drums, keyboards, guitars, and all the acoustic which are important to give your voice an authentic sound.
“Look here, we are ready to prepare our artistes for various shows, both locally and abroad. The rehearsal room is equipped with a 36-track which gives control over vocals and instruments. So, here we have keyboards, guitars, drum sets,” Brown says.
In addition to hands-off experience, Brown has been to the Edna Manley College of The Visual and Performing Arts to do music.
Named after one of the Caribbean’s most distinguished sculptress, Edna Manley was the wife of National hero Norman Manley, and mother of Michael Manley, former Prime Minister of Jamaica.
“The three semester course taught me to play the guitar, keyboard and how to control my vocals. This is now helping me significantly to identify flaws in any production.”
Each time Brown rises there is a feeling that, like a lion, he is ready to roar, but this is not the case; he appears gentle like a lamb. His already shoulder length locks can wrap around his neck at least twice.
Among the many artistes who have walked through his gates are Bounty Killer, Capleton, Cutty Ranks, Jahshii and Jah Thunder.
“They respect me and is giving me lots of support. A number of these artises have voiced their songs here too on my AllSpikes Production label.”
Capleton recorded “I’m Free – Signs of the Times”. The song is expressing himself and this can be seen from three of his lines;
“Waan be the master, you affi know di time.
Waan reach di top, yu affi know fi climb
Waan see di glory, yu affi know fi shine…”
In terms of Bounty Killer, Brown recalls meeting him in 2011.
“He was always listening to this particular riddim called ‘Talking Parrot’. Then, one day when he was here he decided to voice on the riddim. The song was “Turn Dem On” with the words:
“Dem gall ya waan di sexual healing
A man to turn dem on
And mek dem walk inna di ceiling
Go on and on”
For Cutty Ranks his message is condemning persons who are mischief makers. Titled “My Kingdom” the lines bear the message.
“Informer lef outa wi kingdon
Because yu don’t have no wisdom
Yu go carry go bring cum.
Just to make an income…”
A number of emerging artistes and others are banking on Brown to give them the big break. One such artiste is singjay MachineLawd Gad born Milton Bucknall. One of his latest projects is “Prayer.” Another artiste is Richi Bangin given name Richard Murphy releasing “Up This Time” on the same label.
Brown has some 10 songs to his credit – five on his label. Among his favourites are “The Truth”(2017), “Unexplainable”(2020), and “Naw Count” (2022).
Brown’s life has been paved with struggles in Kingston which offers very little hope for progress. His migrating to Portland with his mother did not bring any significant changes. However, Brown who became a lover of music during his pre-teen age blossomed into a sound system operator and never turn back from becoming a record producer and artiste.
(Photos courtesy of All Spikes Production)
Capleton – I’m Free / Signs of the Times
Bounty Killer – Turn Dem On
Cutty Ranks – My Kingdom