Mention the name “Duane Stephenson” to any real reggae head in Kenya and you’ll get an instant reaction – respect and reverence.
He’s an artist who is synonymous for many with one of the golden ages of reggae music – and his tune August Time remains a staple in the 254 – and is still played regularly both on the radio as well as in clubs.
Check out the video to what was a monster hit for Duane:
His talent goes further beyond the confines of his own voice however – the musician and songwriter has been a key component of the success of many of his peers – with a hand especially in Jah Cure’s mega hit record “Reflections” – the manner in which he tells stories of pain clearly a factor in the ability of his audience to relate – an audience that has seen struggle and is working their way out of it.
Duane Stephenson released his first solo album with VP Records in 2007 and went on to perform at Reggae Sumfest and toured with Dean Fraser, playing throughout the Caribbean, the United States, and Europe.
His second album, Black Gold, was released in 2010 and he toured the US and South America based entirely off of its popularity and success. He released his third album Dangerously Roots: Journey from August Town in 2014 – a passion project that took over two years to complete and included was a cover version of Bunny Wailers ‘Cool Runnings’.
The vocalist has spent much of the past few days promoting a new tune dubbed ‘Sarah’ produced by a Mombasa based outfit, as well as reintroducing himself to his audience via radio and TV appearances – including an appearance at TVs hottest reggae show ‘One Love’ on Citizen TV this past weekend.
Listen to a teaser of his new tune – produced by home grown talent “Sarah”
Kenya has long been considered one of the biggest hubs for reggae music with an audience that is both in tune with what happens on the group as well as ready to fully embrace artists both old as well as new.
Catch up with Duane Stephenson on twitter