One of the few singers to truly bridge the gap between the roots and dancehall is the man known as Everton Blender. When music lovers hear the opening notes of songs like ‘Lift Up Your Head’, ‘Ghetto People Song’ and ‘Blend Dem’, they’re instantly recognized as modern day, cultural anthems. Since bursting onto the scene in the early 1990s, Everton has accrued an impressive back catalogue of music, securing his place as one of reggae’s greats. But like many of Jamaica's biggest musical stars, the road to fame wasn't a short or easy one.
Everton Williams was born in the parish of Clarendon, but grew up in Kingston 13 on Maxfield Avenue. He always enjoyed singing but having worked as a painter, construction worker and decorator, soon realized that the strong chemicals with worked with, were not good for his voice or his health in general. After this initial reflection about his then-current circumstance, a recipe for success began to quietly simmer within Blender’s consciousness. Adding to his talent, a sprinkle of divine help, a pinch of inspiration, a dollop of confidence and serving of direction, the 34 year old decided to leave his job to pursue a singing career.
After recording a handful of singles for various producers at the time, Everton’s first hit came in 1991 with the autobiographical ‘Create a Sound’ – a song which documented the artist’s experiences with the music business and personal tribulations. It was released the following year on the Star Trail label and the Clarendonian continued to record for the label, who also had a distribution deal with Heartbeat Records.
The ‘Lift Up Your Head’ LP was released in 1994 and featured his aforementioned hit along with standards such as ‘Family Man’, ‘Bring di Kutchie’, ‘My Father's Home’ and the title track, which would go on to become one of the biggest tunes of that decade. He’s received well deserved accolades throughout his career which include the Chicago Martins International Award, a South Florida Reggae Award and the Honorable Lester Micheal Henry Music Award for outstanding contribution to music held in his home parish of Clarendon.
In the early 2000s, Everton established his very own ‘Blend Dem’ productions label and has worked with artists such as Louie Culture, Jah Mason, Richie Spice, Anthony B and his daughter Isha Blender, as well as producing his own recordings.
Now, two and a half decades deep into the business, Everton Blender is extremely optimistic about the future.
In between touring destinations such as China, US, Africa and Europe, Blender is working hard in the studio, putting the finishing touches on his new album which is aptly entitled ‘Where is the Love’ and produced by The Love Injection label. Comprised with substance that the world yearns, this album promises to be the latest installment in Blender's legacy of excellent reggae music for the discerning listener.
This humble Rasta man has always clung steadfast to his faith and is truly a Family Man, as he often sings about. Everton Blender consistently continues to deliver quality – both on and off of the stage. Expect to see the great Babbaru somewhere near you, as he tours later this year in support of his latest musical project.