by Howard Campbell
TORONTO, Canada – Though he has been artist and musician for over 30 years, Tony Anthony knows what it takes to promote a song. Living in Canada since 1991, the Jamaican singer admits it is tough getting reggae music on mainstream radio in that country.
“While radio airplay has improved somewhat for few artists since the inception of G 98.7 FM, a black-owned commercial radio station in Toronto, it hasn’t gotten any easier today to get airplay as a reggae artist in Canada. For many years, college radio has been the only media outlet that has given our music constant exposure,” he explained.
In April, Anthony released the radio-friendly That Wonderful Sound, a song made famous by Tom Jones. The original came out in 1969 and was a massive hit for the Welshman; like many of Jones’ songs, it was popular in Jamaica where one of its fans was Mark Bennett (Anthony’s real name).
Anthony said he always wanted to cover the song and in March, did just that. He co-produced the reggae version for his Phylani label with Ifield Joseph.
That Wonderful Sound is part of a tribute album Anthony is recording. He hopes to release it in the summer and plans market the set aggressively through the Internet.
“The Internet has been a blessing to artists like myself. With Internet radio popping up daily, we now have an avenue to get our music heard worldwide,” he said. “For many years, I have been connecting, contacting and collecting emails and phone numbers of radio DJs from all over and by doing that I use this avenue to get my music to the public as much as possible.”
Anthony grew up in Grove Farm, a rural area in St. Catherine parish, Jamaica. He started his career as a guitarist and singer with the Crucial Vibes Band, before migrating to Canada in 1991.
Since then, he has been one of the most visible reggae acts there, winning a number of awards. Anthony’s upcoming album will be his third; it was preceded by Million Chance and Live to The Fullest.