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May 17, 2013
Star Entertainment


Robert Sutherland aims high in music

Robert 'Marky' Sutherland

If there is one word that best describes reggae singer, song-writer and guitarist Robert Sutherland, it would be 'determined'. And indeed, Sutherland is determined to make it in the music business as he says, "My inspiration to be successful comes from my belief that when your passion is nurtured, success will follow."

A talented footballer of whom great things were expected, Sutherland instead followed his calling of music, and in the process, has richly enhanced the reggae genre.

Undaunted by obstacles which may have caused most aspiring artistes to throw in the towel, Sutherland, through the years, has remained true to his musical vocation. He has proven as the saying goes, that 'failure is simply success turned inside out'.

His determination has paid off and the singer who is affectionately called Marky, is now harvesting the labour of his work with his hit song titled Times So Hard worldwide - in places as far as Australia, while enjoying acclaim in Jamaica, North America and the Caribbean.

Sutherland says, "The idea for the song (Times So Hard) came about while I was living in Philadelphia. One day, I found that I couldn't pay my bills, I was struggling. I can remember looking in the refrigerator and finding nothing to eat."

However, Sutherland takes comfort in his music and hope others who have caught wind of his song, will be encouraged. "Music for me has always been a true passion and when you love what you do, never will you work a day in life."

Sutherland's musical sojourn, which began in the early 90s, can be traced to the football field where he had a meeting that surely must have been orchestrated by fate. A budding songwriter at the time, young Sutherland's footsteps crossed the path of the talented guitar player, Steve Golding. And being one not to let an opportunity slip by, he approached Golding to teach him the guitar, an instrument which he already owned.

Golding obliged and from then, the football field really became a 'field of play' in every sense of the word. The combination of an excellent tutor and a dedicated student meant that Sutherland soon became proficient, as his guitar playing skills grew, and he was soon able to harness his songwriting ability.

Sutherland, and his guitar, along with the songs he was working on, could be heard from all over. Some of the works must have sounded interesting, as a famous son of the area was attracted to his efforts. This son, Prilly Hamilton (former lead vocalist of the band Third World), recorded some of the material Sutherland wrote with at least one, Night Doctor making it into the local charts.

"Prilly was someone I looked up to in the community, one of the best vocalists in Jamaica. He gave me a few pointers about music composition and harmonising. So for me, it was a real honour for him to record a song that I had written," Sutherland said.

After migrating to the United States where he continued to fly the Jamaican flag high, Sutherland found the right groove with the song Times So Hard, a social lament which pierces through to the core of the matter. The song has claimed its space on musical charts and Sutherland is certainly proving that hard work and determination are a winning combination.

As time progressed to the winter of 2012, Sutherland released his debut album, Courage, on the Nijeri record label, a label in which he founded. It was then that his music grew and Sutherland's fan base took root and began to flourish.

As a result, Sutherland was invited to perform in December at Hootananny in Brixton, London. The venue caters to roots reggae artistes while hosting other genres. Hootananny has been acclaimed by London Lifestyle Awards (2011) as Best Music Venue (2011), The Great British Pub Award (2010), as well as Best Live Music Pub in the UK.

Undoubtedly, Sutherland still has fond memories of his performance there, as he says, "My performance in Brixton, London was a great experience. At the time my music was new to the area, not many people had heard of me. To have the opportunity to perform and bring awareness to my music was a blessing. The audience had a great time and was very receptive to me."

Sutherland's recent accomplishments have now led us to present day 2013 with the release of the ever growing popular songs, Put It On Me Girl and Treat Her Right. This rising talent can be felt through his versatile, melodious sounds and rhythms and according to Sutherland, "I'm a very ambitious artiste and my vision is that my music will have the ability to span the globe ..."

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