Where Are They Now? - Singing Sweet seeks comeback
Everybody loves a good comeback.
Reggae artiste Singing Sweet believes that comebacks are possible, especially given the trend where international rappers are revisiting the big dancehall hits of the '90s.
He says that he has been approached by overseas rappers to remix his voice from his breakout cover hit, When I See You Smile, done in 1992.
"A rapper out of 50 Cent's camp did a remake of the song for a mixtape late last year, plus I have been approached by local dancehall artistes who want to do a remake of the song. Overseas, you have huge artistes like Chris Brown doing over a Red Rat song, so it is a great thing for artistes who want to stay relevant," said Singing Sweet, whose given name is Paul McFarlane.
He also pointed to remakes such as a Top 20 Billboard hit for rapper Tory Lanez, who sampled Tanto Metro and Devonte's Everyone Falls in Love, and the remake of Who Am I by England-based rappers Krept and Konan, which received over 40 million views on YouTube and also featured American singer Jeremih.
"All it takes is one international artiste doing a great remake of the song and your fan base is reactivated," said Singing Sweet.
One key factor in Singing Sweet's comeback has been a deliberate move to change his sound.
When he got his big break as a teenager, his voice was an octave higher, so he has struggled to recreate that sound.
The intervention of his manager, Dr Dave Wallace, who bankrolled a number of voice-training sessions with experts in the field, led to a eureka moment for the singer.
"For years, I had been straining my voice to recreate the sound from my first hit, but after a few weeks of voice training, I discovered, with the help of my teacher Gina Davis from Boston, I found the right range and from that I was able to come up with a new sound," he said.
Singing Sweet is generating a lot of buzz with a pair of new singles, Caan Get Over You and Not a Bad Thing, featuring Chino McGregor.
"The response I have been getting has been incredible over the past month," he said, thanking every selector and disc jockey "who ah mek the ting happen."
He singled out Big A, who dropped Caan Get Over You three times consecutively on the radio recently, and Digital Chris "who ah help buss the song".
A video for Not a Bad Thing is now in rotation on RE TV and HYPE TV.
"Mi love the response mi a get inna the streets, the songs dem a play. Caan Get Over You has been added to mixtapes for Don Kingston, and Dotcom, so right now the promotion ah gwaan good," he said.
Singing Sweet is known for the hit covers of the singles, Oh Donna, a Richie Valens original. When I See You Smile was an international smash hit for rock band Bad English.
He is booked to perform at a couple of club shows in New York, Boston, and Miami during the next couple of weeks. He also has tentative offers for a couple of summer festivals this year.