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Archie Wonder

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b. Delroy Taylor, 1970, Clarendon, Jamaica, West Indies. Wonder was raised in the village of Denbigh near May Pen, south west of the nations capital. He nurtured his vocal skills on local sound systems first appearing in his early teens on Commando and later on Bodyguard and Black Cat. He initially performed as Singing Zorro curiously on account of his complexion and plainly owing to the fact that he loved the Mask Of Zorro. His earliest influences were artists such as Sanchez and Yammie Bolo although he soon developed a style of his own. Wonder left school at 17 and inspired by his success with the sound systems he appeared at Jamaica’s Reggae Sumfest and Reggae Ram Jam. His performances resulted in his first recording session with Trevor Davis who produced, ‘If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Another’. The song demonstrated his unique style although owing to a lack of funds the duo were unable to promote Wonder’s debut, which subsequently faltered. Undeterred he also recorded with Super Plus before joining Jah Screw who produced a small number of unreleased songs in 1999. His destiny was transformed when he re-recorded ‘If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Another’ with Winston Riley who suggested his name change. While the partnership was short-lived he continued recording as Archie Wonder with a variety of producers including Lloyd Dennis who produced his interpretations of Brian McKnight’s ‘Back At One’, ‘I Want You’ and the inspiring ‘Mama Says’. His work with Dennis resulted in local radio hits and a trip to the UK to record with Wooligan. Vivian Jones was commissioned to produce Wonder’s debut album, a collection that could be described as cultural lovers rock. Notable tracks included, ‘Over U Now’, ‘Smokey Eyes’, ‘She Did Not Know I Missed The Plane’ and the a cappella ‘Jah Guide I’.

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