BY KAVELLE ANGLIN-CHRISTIE, Staff Reporter
IT WAS MORE than good advice when Warrior King changed his name from Bounty Junior and followed his own path.
He was then able to emerge into the mainstream with a string of conscious hits. Now, only a few years later, he is about to release his second album, Hold the Faith.
"When I was about 13 years old, I was always a fan of Bounty Killer and I used to imitate him and do it good, so my friends used to call me Bounty Junior, but after a while them start seh I must change my style ... plus I did start grow and see the impact of music and I was introduced to the Rasta faith and it curb the kind of lyrics that me do," he said.
Though he changed his style, the only thing that Warrior King couldn't get rid of was his love for music.Warrior King, 26, was born Mark Dyer and grew up in Sangutti, Clarendon. His father owned a shop and bar in the community and every genre of music could always be heard playing there.
"So is just a love of music from a youthful stage enuh," he said.Warrior King, however, says his family was not interested in him pursuing a music career, but instead preferred if he obtained an education.Even after his parents separated and he moved with his mother to Waterford, St. Catherine, she ensured that this was done. He attended a string of schools: St. Andrew Technical High school, (STATHS), Kingston Technical, Portmore Community College and the National Tools and Engineering Institute NTEI).
"Them never see the vision that me see at first still...more time them see you ah hang out at the studio and them figure seh is an idle thing, but after a while when them see the kind of music that me produce them accept it," he said.It was while living in Waterford that he met his now manager, Garfield 'Fresh Foot' Watson.
"We were living in the same community and he saw my talent and believed in me. Without even getting a dollar he said he wanted to be my manager. So is from there we start going around to the various studios," he said.
The rest is history, as they say, because not long after, he emerged with his big hit, Virtuous Woman, on the Lion Paw label in 2001."Is just the blessing of the Most High, Jah, is with me. Because I see a lot of people in the business for a long time and have to put out a lot of songs before they get a hit, so is just blessings you know. The song, Virtuous Woman, spent about 13 weeks on the Jamaican charts and those in Europe and Japan", he said.
After Virtuous Woman, Warrior King released Never Go Where Pagans Go and Breath Of Fresh Air, which were also hits with his fans. He then released the album Virtuous Woman in 2002.In a utopian setting, Warrior King's rise to fame would be as easy as it sounds. But he has had his share of rejections in the business. He entered the Tastee Talent Contest twice, and on both occasions he didn't get past the auditions.
"Me really nuh remember the year still, true me never go further than the auditions. At the time a me and a youth name 'Little Blacks', now called 'Persistence' used to perform," said Warrior King.This warrior's struggle has not ended; he says the hardest part of his career is trying to maintain it. Warrior King also says though he seemed to disappear from the reggae scene for almost three years, he was touring and working on his new album.So far he has released one of the songs from the 16 track album, Can't get me down, and has several other singles on the air, including, Girl don't go and Where can I.