Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Germain puts catalogue on sale BY RICHARD JOHNSON Observer senior reporter johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com

Come March 7, music producer Donovan Germain will be making his Penthouse Records catalogue available to the public, digitally, for purchase. In an interview with the Jamaica Observer, the music industry veteran behind names such as Buju Banton, Cutty Ranks, Tony Rebel, Romain Virgo, Dalton Harris, Richie Stephens, George Nooks and Shuga noted that the launch of this new phase of his music business coincides with his 69th birthday and was, among other things, a means of streamlining the operations.
“It is something that has been years in the making. What I have realised is that a large number of my recordings is not available on the major digital platforms, such as iTunes, Amazon, etc. So based on the depth of the catalogue, I just said to myself let me just go for it, and what this has done is really just pointed to the depth of the Penthouse catalogue. It will also highlight some of the things that people never even knew existed as well as the favourites... so we a try a ting, “ he shared. Germain was also quick to point out that as the years passed, he wanted to ensure that all his music was available in one place. “As you notice, the launch date is also my birthday and as I advance in years, I just want to put my thing in order, so that when that day comes when I'm no longer here, my family will be aware of what is owned by Penthouse so there is no questioning as to what belongs to who. So this new project serves to give the purchasing public access to the music in one place, and in doing so it also puts things in order for that day when Donovan Germain is no longer at Penthouse. I feel very strong about this, as I see it happen far too often that persons are not putting the plans in place, and I would be remiss if I didn't do my part and clean up my house,” he said. So far, Germain and the team at Penthouse have pulled 400 albums for this digital platform, which will be available on the record label's website. Still to be added are the recordings which were released on vinyl, new and old exclusive music as well as merchandise. Penthouse Records was established in 1988, but the label officially began a decade earlier when he began working as a producer. However, while he shared that he was always surrounded by music, growing up in Jamaica, Germain's entry into the industry was via the record shop which he owned and operated in New York City in the 1970s. As a producer, he had hits on the reggae charts and broke through into the UK Singles Chart in the early and mid-1980s with Sugar Minott's Good Thing Going and Audrey Hall's One Dance Won't Do.

Reggae finds home in 'Ireland' BY HOWARD CAMPBELL Observer senior write

FOUR years ago when he started Ireland Records, businessman David Ireland was committed to exposing up-and-coming acts. That policy stands as he looks forward to a busy 2021.
Two singles by established artistes Jah Cure and Teflon mark the latest round of releases from the label which operates out of Duhaney Park, St Andrew. Pray is the title of Jah Cure's song while Teflon does Live And Learn. But Ireland points out that his company is investing in fresh faces like Riame and Wai Fuzion who also have songs scheduled for release soon. “As di label grows we want artistes to grow with us. Wi want to work from di ground up,” he told the Jamaica Observer. In late 2020, Ireland Records released songs by emerging artistes such as singer Autarchii ( Pomps And Pride) and singjay La Lee ( Tip Inna It and Fat Girls Matter). After four years, its head believes this is the year for his label to take off. “Wi plan to go twice as hard. I think we have paid our dues over di past three years an' wi have a lot a songs to be released,” he said. Ireland was born in St Mary but grew up in Seaview Gardens, a community with a rich dancehall lineage having produced marquee artistes such as Shabba Ranks, the Scare Dem Crew and Dexta Daps.

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