cover photo by Roxanne Haynes
In these desperate times which seem to be concurrent all over the world, Prezident Brown decided to release an official video to his song “Desperate Times” from his 2017 album “Journeyman Pil-grim-age”, highlighting his plea to stay calm and ride it out.
“Prezident Brown (Fitz Albert Cotterell) was born in Clarendon, Jamaica. His mother called him Junior and (ranking) was added because he used to grab the microphone and chant in the schoolyard and at country dances, He was first known publicly as Slim Brown, named by Necodemus, because of his resemblance to, and similar DJ style, to his mentor, U Brown.
His most formative early influence was producer and sound system operator Lawrence (Jack Ruby). Ruby saw something special in the young man. He took him under his wing, re-named him Prezident Brown and appointed him resident M.C. of his Hi-Power Sound System. After Ruby’s death in 1989, Brown began recording for Grove Music, whose owner later founded Irie-FM in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Eventually it was Barry O’Hare’s X-rated label which provided a home base for Prezident Brown and helped launch his career in Europe. X-Rated took off just as a massive roots revival swept across the world, paving the way for conscious reggae music
By 1995, Prezident Brown was flooding the market from all sides, freelancing without a break, releasing boom-tunes on such labels as X-Rated, Digital B, Black Scorpio, Mango, and Flames. He recorded the hit, “Blow Your Nose,” with Everton Blender for Star Trail and was featured on “Black and Proud,” a song which appeared on Steel Pulse’s Rage And Fury album. X-Rated produced two albums, Big Bad and Talented and Prezident Selections, distributed on the Runn label. Bobby Digital produced a third album, Original Blueprint, for his Digital B label before Brown recorded his breakthrough album, To Jah Only, for Kariang Records in 1998.
At the turn of the millenium he worked with German based Chet Records and released the Generation Next album distributed by Sony Germany. Jahmani Productions released Showcase Volumes 1 and 2 in 2002 with Showcase Volume 3 following in 2003. A forty-six show tour in the summer of 2002 with the Orchestra of Judah took Prezident Brown all over the United States, including Sierra Nevada World Music Festival and Reggae On The River. Shortly afterward said the Prez, “The state of I-man career is in the ‘live’ field right now. Yeah, cause you can fire up a CD but what you cannot fire up is the live vibe of Prezident Brown, so I stay with the live for now”. Brown has since done repeat performances at both festivals as well as appearing at major festivals all over the world where his live performances convey upliftment and spirituality
The 2009 Common Prosperity album on AxxHive records signaled Brown had a lot more music in store for his fans. His music speaks a universal language which remains timeless. Repeatedly crowned Most Conscious Artist by the Jamaican Federation of Musicians, he is an artist-driven by a sense of mission and purpose which dictates that he “edutains” as much as he entertains.
The “Do Thy Work” Ep released on Soundkillaz Music in February 2012 was made with assistance from River Jordan, the son of friend and fellow artist Jack Radics. The seven-song Ep features both River Jordan and U Brown as vocalists and Brown as a Nyabinghi drummer, among other highlights. Next Brown released I Sound Is From Creation on Tad’s International label.
In 2015 Brown released the Journeyman EP through Zojak World Wide. Later that same year he utilized a ‘new to the reggae industry’ technique to partially fund his next album. A successful campaign on the crowd funding website Musicraiser.com helped him to complete the Journeyman Pilgrimage album, released June 16, 2017, through ZojakWorldWide.”