Donovan Joseph stays Positive
“Positive”, his new song, was released in February by Tuff Gong International. Produced by his son, Jermaine “Autarchii” Joseph, it hears him on a classic roots-reggae beat featuring an outstanding side including Flabba Holt on bass, Lloyd “Obeah” Denton on keyboards, Harry T Powell on percussion, and Dean Fraser playing saxophone.
Joseph, who is in his early 60s, sounds stronger than he has in years. He credits that to a healthier lifestyle and dedicating more time to his career.
“Mi stop smoke weed, dat’s one thing, so mi voice get stronger. Another thing, mi leggo di management thing an’ start concentrate on myself,” he said.
“Positive” is one of the songs Joseph has recorded in recent months. There is also “Howell Ites” with Autarchii and a cover of John Holt’s “My Best Girl” with deejay Daddy Twan of St. Lucia.
Joseph is particularly pleased to be working with his son, a talented singer/songwriter who heads the Red A Red Music Group.
“Is a great joy, is years me an’ him a pursue something like dis. It manifest now, so is a great joy,” he said.
Donovan Joseph says “mi sleep, eat an’ live music since mi a 16.” He started his career in the late 1970s when roots-reggae was dominant in Jamaica, hanging around the Greenwich Farm area of Kingston with famed session guitarist Earl “Chinna” Smith, singer Prince Alla, and Bertram Brown, owner of the Freedom Sounds label.
Most of his early songs, such as “I’ve Got A Feeling” and “True Believer In Love”, were done for Smith’s High Times Records. He also recorded as a member of Time Unlimited, a harmony group which released albums and did backing vocals for artistes like Mutabaruka.
In recent years, Joseph has helped guide the careers of other acts including Magma of Bermuda. With “Positive” and “My Best Girl” doing well in reggae circles in the United Kingdom, he is finally savouring success as an artiste.
(Photo courtesy of Red A Red Music Group)