Prestige holds on to love despite ‘bumpy’ personal journey
Reggae artiste Prestige built his recording career on an anti-war and spread love agenda back in the 1990s, which soared with his debut Big Time Murderer, recorded on the music powerhouse label Black Scorpio. Back then he was popularly known by the moniker ‘Presley’. Today, the well-travelled entertainer is still promoting the same type of messages and sees no reason to change course.
“It has been the path I have been on from day one. I have never changed lyrical content that focuses on speaking out for the voiceless, and though I might have changed my name, it is the same concept — for rights and justice. It is what I am,” Prestige told The Gleaner.
“Similarly, over the last 14 years, I found a likkle groove singing love songs. Growing up with a lot of ladies, seeing their pain that influenced the softer side of me, to make women feel comfortable knowing there is love and compassion.”
He describes his personal journey of love as “a bumpy road” but says that it has not affected his will to write music about it.
“People come in your life for different reasons and different things. There are those that have come along for vanity and for the fame, and things like car and such, but not for personality, but I still have love and compassion because it is not just about me, but my journey for love,” he said.
He claims that one of the biggest songs from his catalogue is a love song - Tender Loving - which was released in 2005 on the popular Lava Splash Riddim.
“It’s popular among my female fans. It was number one on several Caribbean and European reggae charts, and to date, it is one of my best-selling records,” said Prestige, though he could not provide the exact number of copies sold. He also shared that he plans to do a remake of the track for an upcoming album.
Other popular songs by the reggae artiste with love as a significant theme are Hold On To Love (2003) and Only One (2005). They can be found by searching for Cool Prestige, Presley, or Lauriston Bruce, his birth name.
A big fan of foundation music and its pioneers, he said, “These types of music will always be part of any project I set to release.”
Prestige named veteran crooners Gregory Isaacs, Dennis Brown, Freddie McGregor, Alton Ellis, and John Holt, who are popular for their serenading styles, as some of his favourites and has recently recorded a rendition of two popular tracks on the 1991-released A Love I Can Feel Riddim: Holt’s A Love I Can Feel and Tony Tuff’s I Got To Get You. The track titled Love I Can Feel, he says, is a modern remix of the two songs without inferring with its authentic sound. It is one of four tracks featured on his Good Vibes EP.
“The atmosphere is filled with low vibrations. Illness, hopelessness, and sadness have become the centre, and it is absolutely necessary to remind people that love can heal us all. I have been doing music over the years and doing it for the love. The music has been keeping me alive. That’s all that matters,” he said.