Brooklyn We Rest

by Mikey Jarrett

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about

b. 26 January 1958, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies. In the early 70s Jarrett moved with his family to Brooklyn, New York, USA where he embarked on a career as a DJ. He initially performed on local sound systems such as, Papa Moke, African Love and Downbeat The Ruler, which led to connections with locally-based producers including, Lloyd Barnes and Hyman ‘Jah Life’ Wright. Jarrett’s notoriety in the dancehall led to live work as the opening act for visiting Jamaican artists such as, Big Youth and U-Roy. Jarrett’s initial experiences led to sessions in the burgeoning reggae recording industry in New York throughout the 70s. A desire to record ‘back a yard’ inspired his return to Jamaica in 1982 where he linked up with Dillinger who recorded, ‘Nothing No Safe’. The song was released in the USA on Jarrett’s newly formed What’s Up Doc? label, that, although faltered, inspired the singer to expand his musical career.
Jarrett set up the Fourteen-Karat label and worked on sessions with a number of celebrated performers including, Horace Andy, Patrick Andy, Carlton Livingston and the Lone Ranger. While producing others Jarrett also concurrently pursued his recording career and in 1983 enjoyed success with, ‘Me Nah Leave Mi Yard’. Throughout the 80s he continued to record local hits and in 1987 built a strong following in Tokyo, Japan where he toured to promote ‘Downtown’, a duet with Princess Goldie. The song led to the release of a second duet, ‘Who Mi Love’, that sustained both performers’ careers in Japan through to 1992. It was just as Jarrett’s career in the Far East looked as if it was over that the DJ revitalised his solo career with the hit ‘Mack Daddy’, produced in New York by the radio DJ Bobby Konders. The song topped a number of US specialist charts particularly in Philadelphia where it stayed at number 1 for a six-week period. The hit led to a hectic touring schedule throughout Europe, North America and the Caribbean. Jarrett’s association with Konders also resulted in recording sessions with hip-hop performers such as the X Clan, the Fat Boys and Guru. Although not as successful as his successors Jarrett is widely acknowledged as having paved the way for artists such as Wayne Jarrett, Sister Carol, Rob Symeonn and Natti Love Joys.

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released July 19, 2017

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