Award for Norris Man
“Persistence”, the 2000 album by roots singer Norris Man, has certainly lived up to its name. It was recently acknowledged for one million streams by Spotify which presented the veteran artiste with a plaque commemorating the milestone.
Norris Man received the award in Sweden where he has lived for the past 11 years. While it is a major accomplishment, he took the acclaim in stride.
“I’m not really celebrating if it’s a big, big milestone because yuh have other artistes who have greater numbers, but the fact that this album was released in 2000, that’s a big thing for me,” said the lanky Rastafarian.
Produced mainly by Colin ‘Iley Dread’ Levy for Kings Of Kings Records, “Persistence” was distributed by VP Records. The title song, featuring Sly and Robbie, was a hit in Jamaica and throughout the reggae Diaspora.
Other songs from the 12-song set are “Bad Road,” “Bright Days,” “Greatest Reward,” and “My Happiness.” Richard ‘Bello’ Bell of Star Trail Records produced three of the album’s tracks.
According to Norris Man, “Persistence is one of my biggest albums. Is it help keep mi busy all these years.”
His latest album, the Trainline Records-produced “Deep Conversation,” was released in 2022.
Norris Man was born Christopher Campbell in Trench Town, the working-class community that has produced some of reggae’s biggest acts including The Wailers, Joe Higgs, Alton Ellis, The Heptones, and The Abyssinians. He began recording in the early 1990s, releasing easy-listening songs like “Woman You Body Good” for Apex Records.
By the mid-1990s, he struck up a prolific partnership with Kings Of Kings, which was operated by Levy, then based in Toronto, Canada. Released in 1995, songs like “Congo Shante” and “Traffic” did well in the underground but it was “Persistence,” which came out in 1997, that fared well on radio and in the dancehalls.
In 2005, Norris Man hit mainstream charts in a big way with the yearning “Home And Away,” a ballad that rocked charts in Kingston, New York, and London. Typical of roots-reggae artistes, Europe is his strongest market followed by the Caribbean.
Even then, Norris Man always has eyes on the Jamaican scene.
“Always! ‘Cause if yuh hit inna Jamaica, yuh hit anywhere,” he said.
In coming months, Norris Man has shows scheduled for Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Austria, and the United Kingdom.
(Photos courtesy of Norris Man)