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January 15, 2014
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Turtleman launches 'Full Dem Belly'

Turtleman - Contributed

Jamaican reggae singer Turtleman returned to the island recently to launch and promote his second album, 'Full Dem Belly'.

The album features tracks such as Woman, Poor And Needy and Sugar Lady, some of which have been getting airplay on local radio. This is his second album, released almost 10 years after his debut, Prosperity, which was released in 2004.

"The feedback has been encouraging so far, and I plan to shoot a video soon," Turtleman, whose real name is Conrad Barham, said.

He has performed throughout Europe and America, and in Latin America.

"I recently performed at a show in Mexico, a reggae show alongside Mexican reggae artistes, white rappers and reggae performers from other countries. It shows how powerful reggae is. I have done club shows in Frankfurt and Dusseldorf, and in Amsterdam, and also shows in LA at the House of Blues, the Key Club and in Hollywood Park," he said.

Turtleman grew up in Hannah Town in Kingston, before he was sent to live with his grandmother in Negril, Westmoreland. He attended Negril All Age where he was nicknamed 'Turtleman' because as a teenager, he would catch turtles and sell them to make an extra income.

"The name just kinda stuck to me because I was 15 at the time, and hustling and selling turtles was my little business at the time, so when I began to do music, everybody knew me as Turtleman so I just used the name,"he said.

He got involved in music when he made contact with Youthman Promotions during the time of their stint in Negril.

"At the time, my idols were Ninja Man, Yellowman and Charlie Chaplin. At the time, I was a Kingstonian living in Negril and the parents used to tell their children not to play with me because of my Kingston connection, so music was an escape for me," he said.

In the early 90s, he began to carve out a great reputation in Negril. He revealed that he had onstage clashes with Beenie Man and Merciless in the early days of their careers.

"Mi clash with Beenie Man three times in Orange Hill, Good Hope and Negril, mi even clash with Merciless and kill him," he said, laughing.

He migrated to the United States in 1999, but never severed his links with the island, or his music. He has branched out his interests into acting, landing bit parts in films such as Bringing Down the House, and Hollywood Homicide with Master P.

"I recently had a scene as a homeless man in CSI Las Vegas, and I made a cameo in Taylor Swift's Diet Coke ad," he said.

Turtleman has been featured on tracks with numerous American artistes. You can find Turtleman's music on iTunes, Amazon, Xbox and CDBaby. His music videos can be found at youtube.com/turtlemantv

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