Confident that he now has a manager who is willing to push his musical career, Richie Bar from Port Morant in St. Thomas is aiming for big things this year.
“Mi dream si big things and mi have nuff more music in store,” he said.
His latest song, One Talamela, is the only track released so far since he started working with Orville Whyte, a Jamaican music producer and manager living in Canada.
“Mi deh bout for years a struggle and couldn’t find the right people [to manage my career],” the artiste explained. “But Whyte rate mi and know mi deh round the music long time. Him goh abroad and, when him come back [to Jamaica], him realize mi a struggle musically same way.”
Observing the struggle, Whyte gave a riddim to Richie Bar, whose real name is Richard Johnson.
“From mi hear the riddim, is like it a seh talamela, soh mi jus put ‘one talamela’ on it. Talamela is a ring game wi used to play with nuff girls,” the up-and-coming artiste disclosed.
His management wasted no time in having a music video produced after the song was released.
Richie Bar is optimistic that his new song will bring him more success than even his first noteworthy track – Wonda, released in 2020.
Produced by King Jammys Digital Productions, Wonda, which also features another artiste known as Bushman, is a commentary on the novel coronavirus pandemic. Its riddim was created by Colin Mullings, vice principal of Port Morant Primary and Junior High School.
“That song mek people start tek mi more serious,” Richie Bar opined.
He developed a knack for music from as early as five years old.
“Every time mi touch the stage from about five, mi have an impact. From that time, mi decide seh a music mi a choose as my career,” said Richie Bar, now 48.
He noted that his late father, Carlton Johnson, was a sound system operator who encouraged him to never give up on his musical dream.
“Mi born to be a star; mi father always tell mi dat,” he told The Beacon. “One of my greatest regret is that him not here to see my dream coming true.”
When he was not at home soaking up the music that blared from his father’s sound system, Richie Bar was tuned in to another area sound known as Aces.
Yellowman and Welton Irie were some of the artistes that flocked Aces at the time, Richie Bar recalled, adding that his current manager was a budding artiste who also clung to Aces.
“Mi always perform around those people while growing up and clash with my brother at home in the night also,” he further recalled. “Mi never goh to any music school because, to me, music is a inborn thing with me.”
Despite being around people of much musical acclaim and also voicing songs for some of them, Richie Bar’s career didn’t get the desired take-off.
What he got instead was continuous run-around and a beating that left him nursing broken bones at one point.
Not being able to make a living from music, Richie Bar relied on odd jobs to support himself and his family, including his two children.
“Mi duh [fishing], conductor work, run mi little shop and nuff other work because money haffi mek, food haffi eat and bills haffi pay,” he asserted.
His manager and producer, Whyte, is hoping for better days.
“I recognized Richie Bar’s talent from 2018 and decided to help develop his career by creating some riddims and putting him in studio to voice a couple songs,” he told The Beacon, adding that he is registered with Zojak Distribution.
The help is welcomed, Richie Bar said.
To further expand his fan base, he is now focusing also on “girl songs” – not only those that are cultural.
In the meantime, Richie Bar encouraged other aspiring artistes to be persistent – just like he has been.
“I would also advise young artistes to go to school, leave bad company, and put some hard work and dedication in the music because it is not an easy road,” he added.
To follow Richie Bar’s music, subscribe to his YouTube channel by CLICKING HERE.
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