Composer of dancehall music’s biggest hit songs earned Hopeton Lindo the nickname, ‘The Pen’. But in recent years, his singing career has seen a resurgence in South Florida and the tri-state area.
Lindo’s album, Purpose, is currently number one on the South Florida Reggae Chart. Released on September 29, it contains a number of singles that have done well in the past 18 months.
Among them is I Don’t Know Much (with Novel-T), a cover of the Grammy-winning ballad made famous by acts like Aaron Neville and Linda Ronstadt.
Based in South Florida, Lindo said raising a family and focusing on writing took precedent over recording songs and possible tours back in the day.
With his newfound success, he is looking forward to breaking new ground.
“I’m really looking forward to performing in Africa, Europe and other places that I’ve never performed before to spread the love and message,” he said.
Lindo is from Kencot, a working-class community in Kingston that borders music-rich areas of Trench Town and Maxfield Avenue. He started his music career in the late 1970s on sound systems like Black Star, on which his contemporaries included Brigadier Jerry, Anthony Malvo and Tiger.
Several of his early recordings such as a cover of The Beatles’ All my Love, were produced by the legendary Osbourne “King Tubby” Ruddock. Lindo’s breakthrough as a singer came with Territory, a whistle-filled song from 1987.
It was during that period that his songwriting career took shape. Lindo has written songs like Temptress by Maxi Priest, Ragamuffin for Dennis Brown and Freddie McGregor and Red Rose For Gregory by Gregory Isaacs.
He co-wrote Telephone Love by J C Lodge, Can You by Brian and Tony Gold and Buju Banton’s Wanna Be Loved.
A rush of hit songs such as Grown Woman (with Peter G), You Don’t Have to Be A Star (with Fiona), Homely Girl, and Don’t Know Much have revitalised Hopeton Lindo the performer. He is eager to capitalise on that chart success.
“For me, the most satisfying aspect of performing live is the opportunity to interact with my fans and audience. I love performing live, even though I’m mostly known for my work behind the scenes, since I was focusing on that aspect of my career for a while,” he said.
By Howard Campbell for Worldareggae.com