Whenever the name Rayvon is mentioned, the person that comes to mind next is Shaggy. Rayvon and Shaggy, Shaggy and Rayvon; these two names seem to be forever linked. As both friends and musical sparring partners, the two have an undeniable chemistry and their voices complement each other in a way that’s reminiscent of recording duos Shaka Demus and Pliers, Beres Hammond and Buju Banton, or Tanto Metro and Devonte. Rayvon’s silky smooth vocals add the perfect accent to Shaggy’s toasting. But Rayvon is not just the secret ingredient to Shaggy’s Diamond-selling success.
Born Bruce Alexander Michael Brewster, Rayvon moved to the U.S. from his native island of Barbados at the age of 12. At the same time he began playing the bass guitar and has since become a skilled guitarist, drummer, turntable DJ, MC, songwriter, and singer. However in his teenage years his focus was more on deejaying so he formed his own rap crew. Determined to succeed, he set himself on a rigorous rehearsal schedule practising for two hours every morning before leaving the house to for work. In 1988, at a small recording studio in Brooklyn, Rayvon’s musical destiny was changed by a chance meeting with fellow aspiring Reggae artist, Shaggy. “Each of us was there to cut an individual project, but we ended up doing a song together and it clicked so we took that and went other places with it,” he recalls. A few years later they hooked up with Reggae producer and beatmaker Sting International who had them record the single “Big Up”. That song became a dancehall anthem, in the clubs and on mainstream New York radio. The two then scored another hit with the song “Nice and Lovely” and soon began touring together. When Shaggy’s remake of the ska classic “Oh Carolina” rocketed up the international charts, the duo found themselves on a string of extensive world tours. Rayvon graced the stages all over the United States, UK, most of Europe, Japan, and Australia.
He linked up with Frankie Cutlass and Funkmaster Flex on the 1994 summer smash “No Guns, No Murder”, which showcased his solo strengths and led to his solo deal with Virgin Records. For his debut album, Hear My Cry, Rayvon assembled some of Reggae and hip-hop’s hottest producers including Sting, Robert Livingston, Funkmaster Flex, and Salaam Remi. This album proved that Rayvon had the pulse of both dancehall and roots reggae music. In 1995 another Rayvon and Shaggy duet ran up the UK charts topping out in the #3 spot, “In the Summertime.” This same single made its way on to Shaggy’s Grammy–winning Boombastic album. But it was “Angel” that finally took Rayvon on a journey to #1. The single from Shaggy’s groundbreaking Diamond-selling Hot Shot album showed Rayvon’s unmistakable contribution to its international success. Soon Rayvon and Shaggy were doing guest appearances on the US media circuit including; “Late Night with David Letternan”, “Good Morning America” and “Saturday Night Live.”
In 2002 Rayvon released My Bad on the MCA / Big Yard Music Group label. This album, with its 13 positive and upbeat tracks, was produced by Big Yard talent like Christopher Birch, Robert Livingston, Dave Kelly and Sting International. “A lot of the songs are funny and realistic because they are about things I really went through. That’s why I think listeners can relate to it, they either went through it themselves or saw someone on Jerry Springer who did! It\\\'s real life with a comic twist,” he elaborates.
Today, when Rayvon is not recording or touring with Shaggy, he can be found working in the studio creating new music and writing new hits. He currently has the industry’s ear with his latest release “Woman of the World” a new track with Uganda’s rising star Henry Tigan. Rayvon’s recent musical tease “Games we Play” on the stock track riddim is creating a bit of buzz with its thought provoking lyrics and insinuations. As an artist Rayvon has never missed an opportunity to give the listener a new spin on an old concept, so why stop now? “I consider myself an entertainer, so I want to put my foot in all the doors of entertainment - I\\\'m a versatile type of brother.” Whether as a solo artist or as part of Reggae’s top-selling duo, Rayvon is an artist who will always give fans the thrills they want and the excellence they have come to expect.
As pop music continues to be informed by reggae, hip hop and dancehall, a skilled artist such as Rayvon can only continue to shine brightly. My Bad features Rayvon in his prime, from beginning to end. "This album will allow people to really find out what I'm about. I'm a guy who likes to enjoy life and that's what My Bad reflects."
You can listen here to this: go to Rayvon's Myspace page and check out all the current stuff he's up to at http://www.myspace.com/mrrayvon
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