Belizean artiste Eljai teams up with Jamaica's Dancehall/reggae artiste Capleton



How can the musical style of former Junior Rankin, now Eljai, be described in the reggae genre? He is a vocalist with harmonic phrasing that rivals the best of Dennis Brown and Eventon Blender. But more so, the album, Da Rebirth, from this artiste is a tribute to all the young rising reggae vocalists that have emerged on the scene today. He is a bridge between the Bunny Wailers and the Jah Cures - the junction between the reggae of old and that of the new.

Eljai was born Lloyd Carlton Mcfarlane Jr. in Belize City, Belize. Soon after, his family moved to the countryside where most of his early years were spent. Elijai had always been known for his humble and kind ways, joyous laughter and his spiritual enlightening conversations. As a youngster his family moved back to Belize City where he attended the Ebenezer Primary School It was there he met new friends and discovered his hidden musical talent. Soon, he was singing at school rallies and contests.

His talent was developed overtime and he was encouraged by his friends and family to pursue his career in music. In the late 1980's Elijai moved to Los Angeles, California knowing exactly what he wanted to do and ready to focus on his career. He was introduced to the Dominators, a local band and was asked to sing lead vocals, a position which he gladly accepted. During this time, his love for singing and music grew tremendously and he started to also develop an interest in songwriting.

In 1989, Elijai released the EP Give your Loving To Me, in Belize. The song, written he wrote sky rocketed up the charts in Belize and introduced him as a major player. Later that year Elijai was asked by a friend to be a guest artist on the Pupa Curly Free Mandela single. In the early 90's Carl MacGregor, the producer of his first EP, introduced Elijai to Kerry Gordy, the son of the legendary founder of Motown Records, Berry Gordy. Shortly after that meeting, the group Belize was formed which consisted of Elijai, Carl and Delly McGregor.

The group was soon signed to pop star Prince's Paisey Park Records where they recorded their first album. Belize was later signed to Warner Brothers where they wrote and released I'm Looking out for You, the theme song for the television show, 'The Real Stories Of The Highway Patrol."

Elijai is now pursuing a solo career, and he recently signed with Jasic Records. Jasic Records is operated by Fabian Cooke, a 30 year veteran in the industry who specializes in production and songwriting.

Elijai recently recorded the song Blessed with dancehall artiste Capleton. He was recently in the island where he was interviewed by Richie B on his afternoon programme The Hot Mix on Hot 102 FM.