With more than 40 years in the music industry, Otis Gayle seeks to make his voice known to Jamaicans after years of living abroad.
Migrating to Canada in 1967, Gayle travelled all over the country doing shows, and even winning a Juno award in 1985 for his hit song, Heaven Must Have Sent You.
Born January 28, 1946 in Kingston, Gayle, singer, songwriter and veteran Studio One artiste, began his musical career as a vocalist with Byron Lee and the Dragonaires. The singer performed with the group on the international circuit before he settled in Canada.
'i'll be around'
While he continued to perform as part of the Dragonaires, Gayle also recorded a series of solo hits, notably a cover version of the Detroit Spinners I'll Be Around for Clement 'Sir Coxson' Dodd at Studio One.
As a soloist, Gayle released a series of local hits and, in 1985, he was awarded a Juno. The award has since been acknowledged as a particularly notable achievement as Gayle was one of the first black artistes to be recognised by the prestigious panel of adjudicators. Heaven Must Have Sent You was accredited as the 'Best Reggae Song' in the Best Reggae/Calypso Recording Category, earning for the singer a high profile on the Canadian reggae circuit.
In spite of his successful solo career, Gayle continued to tour with the Dragonaires, where he performed a unique blend of soca and reggae, primarily in North America.
The singer also supported artistes such as Barry White, Joe Tex and Jackie Mittoo.
By the start of the millennium, Gayle had built a solid reputation as a 'big people singer' with favoured tracks such as Follow Your Dreams, Give A Little More Love and He Is My Friend. His legendary status as one of music's pioneers was finally acknowledged when, in 2001, the revival label Soul Jazz released the Studio One Soul CD, featuring Gayle's I'll Be Around.
His latest recording project is the production of a 12-track CD album, titled I'll Be There - taken from a track of the same name - on his own West End Records label.
reggae and r&B
A mix of reggae and R&B, it also includes Follow Your Dreams, Give A Little Love and I'll Be Around.
Since returning to Jamaica in March 2005, Gayle has called Negril, Westmoreland, home. He is a regular staple on the circuit, performing Thursdays through Sundays at a number of well-known Negril hot spots with his Oneness Band. Some of the places include Charela Inn, Cocolapalm Resort, and Tropical Fantasy (Boat Bar). On occasions, he performs at Bourbon Beach Negril Restaurant and Bar, Roots Bamboo Beach and Negril Escape Resort and Spa.
Gayle, a member of the Jamaica Association of Vintage Artistes and Affiliates, has also performed on a number of the association's shows. He plans on being around for a long time, continuing to do what he does best - perform, record, and write.