U-Roy tops NACC World Chart

Observer writer

THE music of veteran toaster U-Roy continues to resonate with music lovers, particularly the college market in the United States. His posthumous album Solid Gold (released July 16 via Trojan Jamaica/BMG) tops the North American College & Community (NACC) World Chart for a second non-consecutive week.

The NACC World Chart is a college radio chart which captures the albums that are popular among the college demographic. Among the more familiar names represented on the chart are African artiste Angelique Kidjo (at number three with Mother Nature), Pachyman (at number four with The Return of Pachyman) and Alborosie (at 12 with For the Culture).

Asked what has made Solid Gold a hit with the college market, Zak Starkey, co-chief of Trojan Jamaica, said: “I guess college really does make you smart.”

Solid Gold has 12 tracks, including collaborations with Shaggy, Jesse Royal, Ziggy Marley, Richie Spice, David Hinds of Steel Pulse, Mick Jones and Big Youth, Santigold, and dancehall artiste Rygin King.

Questioned whether the inclusion of the collaborators was a strategic move, Starkey said, “All artistes participated out of deep love and respect for their daddy.”

U-Roy was affectionately called Daddy U-Roy.

Outside of the US, Solid Gold (which debuted at eight on the US Current Reggae Albums chart in July) has been getting positive reviews. There have been features in New Music Express NME) magazine and The Guardian and Echoes Magazine, all British publications.

Sharna “Sshh” Liguz is also co-chief at Trojan Jamaica.

“Zak and I toured Brazil with Daddy U-Roy in January and February 2020. Zak played guitar and I sang the songs for Daddy U-Roy. U-Roy was so great to perform with. He has a very powerful presence, huge voice, and very warm, welcoming, and thankful to his audience. We had a lot of fun on stage jamming,” she recalled.

She continued, “Sly and Robbie were not available for the tour so we had a recording of the ‘Riddim Twins’ coming through a Jamaica sound system behind us. 200,000 people came to see U-Roy perform in Sao Paulo, many waving copies of U-Roy records. There is big love for U-Roy in Brazil and U-Roy helped us to put on a free concert for the people of the Rocinha Favela and another at a music school in Rio. It was truly an honour for Zak and I to perform with U-Roy, and to get to play for the people of Brazil.”

U Roy died on February 17.

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