Jahvante Campbell: Solid As A Rock Part 2
As far back as 1969, he has had hits including, “Wonderful World, Beautiful People” which went number six on the British charts and number 25 on the US charts. Some of his other hits include, “Many Rivers To Cross,” “The Harder They Come,” and “Reggae Night”.
He was awarded the Order of Merit, which is the highest honour to be granted by the Jamaican government for achievements in arts and sciences.
Jahvante is a keen listener and learnt a lot about Jimmy Cliff from his parents.
“Dad told me about the leadership qualities of Jimmy Cliff who had the drive to accomplish whatever he wanted in life. My dad also said Jimmy Cliff was known to defend Rastafarians who were much feared and hated because many saw them as revolutionaries.”
“My music seeks to unite people, not to divide or discriminate because we all need to live in harmony, despite our race or colour of our skin. This is why I keep telling people, Love is my religion.”
“Dad respected Jimmy Cliff as one to give back to his community, ensuring that the youths, especially, were given opportunities to achieve their goals.”
“I hope that my music will yearn enough financial rewards so that I can improve the living conditions of not only people in my Samerton community but also other parts of Jamaica.”
Jahvante sees Jimmy Cliff as an inspiration for his music.
“The more I listen to the music of Jimmy Cliff, the more I think of being successful in my career. I often sit and think about how my music can become an anthem in as much the same way as the music of Jimmy Cliff.”
“He (Jimmy Cliff) was also very expressive on stage. And, I too tend to find myself to wake up the energy in my fans.”
“East Fest, a St. Thomas-based music festival organised by the sibling reggae band Morgan Heritage, was one of my memorable appearances. That was the year following Sting 2000. I had my background vocalist and dancers and recall doing about three songs. These included “Mama I Love You” with patrons singing along.
“I was a teenager, about eighteen years old, when I began to listen to Jimmy Cliff. Looking back there is a lot of courage I have gained, for example, on the night when I went on a stage knowing my mother would have objected.”
“Sometimes it is good to believe in ourselves. Go out there and go after our dreams, despite what others will say.”
Be sure to read part three: Jahvante at St. James High. Only on the Reggae-Vibes site.
(Photo by Delroy Ledgister | Photos courtesy of Jahvante Campbell)