By: Claude Mills
Photos By: Carlington Wilmot
R&B singer Jimmy Cozier will soon complete his reggae album for Harmony House Records in Jamaica. The album, which has not yet been titled, could be released this Summer.
"I am just doing the last couple of tracks now, it's going to be 14 tracks of classic reggae," he said.
Jimmy Cozier's mother, Dawn, is Jamaican-born, while his dad is an accomplished jazz musician so he grew up in a home where diverse music cultures converged and he was exposed to a pantheon of jazz greats, as well as music from reggae icons such as Bob Marley and Beres Hammond. So it was almost inevitable that he would explore the Jamaican side of his heritage.
"I come here a lot, just for the peace of mind, and to work out on my album with Beres," he said.
Cozier's mother hails from Port Royal, just outside the capital city of Kingston. During the interview at the offices of entertainment promotions company, Solid Agency in Kingston, Cozier sometimes put on a pretty good Jamaican accent, and seemed to be quite knowledgeable about the lingua of the island.
One of the first singles on the reggae album will be 'Slow Down' which is an ambitious horn-happy reggae track centred around finding love.
In the meantime, he is also working on his R & B album, and he let YardFlex hear a single called 'You Got Them Goods', a juicy cut that will have the ladies swooning in the North American clubs. He has also been working with producers such as Swizz Beats, Sha Money and Salaam Remy.
"I am also doing some work with this hot new kid called Neo, who is signed to Jay Z, and he wrote two songs for my album," he said.
Jimmy is also challenging himself by donning a producer hat as head of Cozier Entertainment which signed singer Sheree Dennis recently. According to Cozier, her upcoming single, 'I Love You' features Jimmy Jones and a verse from the late Biggie Smalls".
The video for this single will be shot on March 14th and will premiere on BET 106 and Park soon afterwards.
"At this stage, the pull of being an artiste is still strong, I like doing the reggae and R & B projects, with reggae, you can say things, you have more artistic freedom than what you would have with R & B because those things would not be commercially successful. Reggae gives you more range to express yourself," he said.
Asked if he is trying to create a unique Reggae-R& B hybrid, he laughed and said: "The gap will be bridged, maybe not by Jimmy Cozier, but if I can play a role in helping to define the R& B and reggae sound, by bringing light to authentic reggae, that's what I am gonna do."
Cozier's voice was first heard on Junior M.A.F.I.A's 'Backstabber' and he has toured with Boyz II Men as well as Gladys Knight.
Cozier first vaulted into the spotlight with the single, 'She's All I Got' featuring Fabulous. He was first discovered when his managers at NY based Upgrade Entertainment slipped a tape of Jimmy Cozier's work to Wyclef Jean. Wyclef saw the talent in the Flatbush, Brooklyn-born Cozier and arranged a meeting with Clive Davis, a legend in the music music business, who was also in the midst of starting a new label - J Records. And the rest, as they say, is history.