Koptiq Sun literally transformed spiritually
Thirty-three years is a long time for an artiste to be recording before releasing their first album. That’s the case with roots singer Koptiq Sun whose “Transformed” (read review) set dropped in May on RUNN Records.
The 13-song effort was in the works for some time. It hears Koptiq Sun collaborating with a cosmopolitan cast of producers including Barry O’Hare, the respected engineer who died from Covid-related complications in September, 2020; Sam Gilly of House of Riddims in Austria, former Ziggy Marley and The Melody Makers guitarist Ian “Beezy” Coleman and Guido Delvoux of RUNN Records.
While pleased with the release of his first album, the occasion is bittersweet for Koptiq Sun. O’Hare, who guided him throughout the production process, is not around for the celebrations.
“The most satisfying aspect was finally doing an entire album with Barry, being an internationally acclaimed, Grammy-nominated engineer and producer for the likes of Burning Spear, Jack Radics, Mikey Spice and Prezident Brown, to name a few,” said Koptiq Sun.
“Barry and I met 23 years ago…I was doing a project for a producer in Florida (RAS I Production) and needed a dynamic sounding mix; I am also an engineer, so being around Barry I absorbed many mixing techniques and production skills. We became best friends and the rest is history.”
He and his wife, fellow singer Empress Chai, toured as harmony singers with the reggae legend who died in March, 2021 at age 73. It seemed fitting to record one of his finest moments, which is produced by Sam Gilly.
“Covering Armageddon was totally my idea, due to my wife and I (Empress Chai) being Bunny Wailer’s opening act and supporting vocals worldwide up until the time of his transition, so you could say it’s a tribute,” Koptiq Sun disclosed.
Previously known as Geoffrey Star, he is the son of bassist Ranchie McLean, who played on numerous hit songs at Channel One during the 1970s as a member of The Revolutionaries. He started his career as a member of Positive Crew, a band that included twin brothers Robert and Richard Browne, sons of famed bassist Glen Browne.
While recording an album with the Zap Pow band in 2018, Koptiq Sun said he “literally transformed spiritually”, hence a change in stage name. He has since recorded several singles including a cover of “Really Together” (with Empress Chai), the classic rock steady hit for Bob Andy and Marcia Griffiths.
Transformed is distributed and marketed by RUNN Records, an independent Dutch label (formerly RUNNetherlands) that worked with a number of Jamaican acts during the 1990s such as Prezident Brown and Daweh Congo. Koptiq Sun expects great things from the association.
“The benefits (of) working with RUNN Records are great. RUNN is a veteran reggae label from The Netherlands, grounded and known by radio/magazines/festivals. “Transformed” is actually a comeback project for them as they’ve been a little inactive for quite some time. The feedback is phenomenal,” he said.