Even while he was producing songs by Lady Saw, Ninja Man and Frankie Paul, Garfield “Sampalue” Phillips saw himself on the other side of the recording booth. In the past five years he has realized his dream of being an artist, releasing an album and several songs.
His latest song is the self-produced ‘Give Thanks’, released on June 18, celebrated globally as Father’s Day. ‘Give Thanks’ features drummer Kirk Bennett, bassist Donald Dennis of the Firehouse Crew and keyboardist Robbie Lyn.
“It’s a special song ‘cause wi have to big up di fathers who get a lotta beating, a lot of which dem don’t deserve. So, dis is a big up to all di great fathers including my old man,” said Sampalue. His ‘old man’ is Phil Pratt, a successful producer whose catalog includes songs such as ‘Talk About Love’ by Pat Kelly and John Holt’s ‘Strange Things’.
Sampalue got into music production in 1989 with his Diamond Rush label, which is noted for breaking a saucy deejay named Lady Saw. Her songs for Diamond Rush include ‘Find A Good Man’ and ‘Give me A Reason’.
Eager to emulate his heroes like Dennis Brown, Sampalue stepped up his recording career in recent years. It culminated with the release of his first album, ‘Straight Outta Hannah Town’, in 2019. That set is a tribute to the West Kingston community where he is from. Sampalue is scheduled to perform in Conyers, Georgia on September 16.