Ernie Smith's children carry on music
Among the highlights of the Solid Gold, held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, New Kingston, last Friday were Ernie's children Ojay and Sahara Smith performing In the Living Years with their father.
In the first segment of the show, which celebrated 50 years of their father's music, they also showcased their talents individually.
"I selected my song Don't Doubt Me Now," Sahara shared with The STAR. "Usually, my brother sings it. I always wanted to sing it."
She explained, "I have always had some sort of connections; it is a very powerful song. So it means something to me. I am not sure what it is, but it hits home to me."
Ojay's "song was picked out of what's left; all the good ones were taken, so I had to pick one that resonated with me the most. It's a song that he [Ernie] performed a lot. It's a beautiful song and I love the feel of it."
Ojay and Sahara are members of the 10-year-old Florida-based reggae band, Resolvers. They are the lead vocalists, along with Ron Eisner. And so understandably, they performed their father's songs.
"We perform his songs a lot. We love performing his songs and we want to continue to pass on what he taught us and continue what he taught us in our own way. Sahara said
"We want to continue, as best as we can, his legacy and just move forward and, hopefully, the world accept our music as they did his," Ojay added.
They also spoke of their favourite Ernie Smith song, as well as their childhood. "It was wonderful. We couldn't go on tours with him, but when we do go to shows and festivals, we meet a lot of people. We get to go backstage and meet Rita Marley and Ziggy Marley. Growing up was fun." Ojay said.
Sahara concurred, but, on their favourite songs, they differed. For Sahara, it is Don't Doubt Me Now "definitely." Ojay, on the other hand, has a toss-up between the light-hearted songs Ride on Sammy and Duppy Gunman as "they are about fun to me."
Sahara remembers fondly going to shows with her father and going to hotels, where they would swim in the pool. "It was always like a vacation, pretty much a vacation, every time we went to daddy's show," she said.
For Ojay, his memorable moment was performing at Ernie Smith's 30th anniversary show at the Pegasus. He was 18 at the time. "I came out and surprised them with One Dream. He did not know I was going to come up and sing for him," Ojay siad.
Ojay and Sahara are also proud of what their father has done for Jamaica through his songs and hopes he does a lot more.
After the initial surprise on learning from The STAR of their father's pledge to donate part proceeds from Solid Gold to assist Jamaica Association of Vintage Artistes (JAVAA) members, they were amazed and excited. "He should do that and that shows what a great man he is and how much love he has for Jamaica," they said.