Roxroy McLean, Star Writer
Leroy Smart - file
Foundation reggae singer Leroy 'Don' Smart has returned to the forefront with his latest single, One Of A Kind, doing well among the current crop of dancehall/ reggae songs.
"I'm now heading to a new direction, with more current and stronger music, because the man who keeps up pace with this generation will go far," Smart said.
Since his return from Europe, where he conducted promotional tours, with an album produced by a French recording company, Leroy Smart stands out with his One Of A Kind song, produced by WWS Label which has been getting regular airplay.
The song has been warmly welcomed by the public and, according to Smart, fans can expect more great music from him in the future.
"Yes man, a 'Don Smart' me name, me always have something new, right now I'm all over the place just to pick up what happening ... Leroy is in all the parties, my song a play at everywhere too, so is a storm me a go create," Smart said.
During the early 1970s, Smart produced songs that grabbed great admiration from music-savvy supporters.
With over 35 albums to his name, the former Alpha Boys School graduate has cemented his spot as one of Jamaica's most extraordinary and colourful performers.
"Yeah man, Jamaica know me as a top performer from back in the day," Smart said.
"For me music means a lot, from Catholic school I had a passion for music," he said.
Smart's first single, It Pains Me, came in 1969, for a producer called Mr Caribbean, before his breakthrough in 1973 with Mother Lisa, produced by Jimmy Radway, a song that topped the local charts for several months.
He then started to work with Bunny Lee in 1976, and managed to carve out the lyrics for his hit song Ballistic Affair.
Leroy Smart, who grew as an orphan from age two, says, "Ninety-nine percent of the entertainers them a street boy, who grow in the ghetto and face a lot of struggles... I was a good youth, right through Catholic school. My aim was to become something good in life."
Smart believes that while dancehall music is being scanned negatively, upcoming artistes should not give up hope, as the promise seems clear for them.
"You see music never dies, the direction I see it going is good. Me see millions in the youths them hands that coming up, cause the people are supportive," he said.
In offering some 'Smart' advice to his fellow Jamaicans, the veteran singer says, "I'd love for everybody to uplift themselves consciously, cause whatever you do will follow you, so the best is to do good, 'cause you only go prison or deadhouse when you choose bad."