Kalonji Records to reintroduce Juni Platinum to the world


By: Joseph Cunningham
Photo by: Carlington Wilmot


Lady Juni is back! In 1987 a 17 year-old student at Immaculate Conception High School for Girls, in Jamaica, released a song titled, 'Naah Get Punaani'. The song created quite a stir because of its 'moral breach' at a time when children were to be seen and not heard. As if that was not enough, the song sold gold - 500,000 records.
Oh yes! That means before the rise of Shabba Ranks, Super Cat, Bounty Killa and Beenie Man, hardcore Dancehall had been introduced to the international mainstream!

"As a young girl who just liked music and was doing it for enjoyment, I did not become aware of how successful the song was until I made a trip to the United States, and the distributor told me the song was doing well in both white and black communities," explained the musician now known as Juni Platinum. She added that she was not expecting anything 'big' from the track, and as such she was pleasantly surprised because she was not following its progress.

Back then, Juni Platinum was under the auspices of deceased legendary Reggae producer King Tubby, who she said educated her about the business aspect of the music industry. Along with Punaani, King Tubby's productions Tell Yuh Wah Police Can Do and Jamaican Man, became materials that kept the young star in the spotlight.

It is however certain that there are many persons wondering why they have not seen or heard Juni Platinum for the last 10 years. Well, after seven years in the church, a period during which she scored two number ones on Gospel charts, Juni Platinum has returned to her first love, the Dancehall. Now signed to Kalonji Records, a 'stable' governed by Reggae superstar, Sizzla Kalonji, she has been on the road and doing well - notably with a well received performance at the recently held Spring Break concert in Jamaica.

"After that performance I got phone calls from two California, USA, based recording companies that are interested in signing me," she revealed. She added that both companies were attracted to her unique sound, especially for a 'Jamaican girl'. "I'm perfecting an international sound. I'm not focused on local success, I'm more interested in platinum sales and the Grammy awards," she said.

Kalonji Records is currently in charge of reintroducing Juni Platinum to the world and she expresses confidence in Sizzla's ability to market the album effectively. The album is tentatively titled Jah Calling and has 17 tracks, some of which are voiced in two foreign languages, Dutch and Papiamento. According to Juni, the album will be an 'intelligent one', having a universal appeal.

Places to catch Juni Platinum in performance are Sizzla's Earth-day celebration on April 17 and Ras Murdock's Bash later this month.