Yusimi Yusimi Making a comeback with the Release of “Automatic”
by Howard Campbell
ATLANTA – In the 1970s, Beres Barnett hung out at the rival recording studios of Channel One and producer Joe Gibbs in Kingston, Jamaica’s capital. He never got a break as a singer at the two hottest studios in reggae, but the lessons he learned there served him well.
Barnett is known as Yusimi Yusimi, an Atlanta-based artist who has covered the American reggae circuit for over 30 years. In 2017, he released the self-produced EP Automatic through Zojak Worldwide Distribution.
According to the dreadlocked musician, he continues to promote the project because its songs are timeless.
“Everything I sing about and how I make music is about now. When people hear a song like Dance With Me, they think it was recorded the other day because it sounds so fresh,” said Yusimi Yusimi.
Dance With Me is one of the songs from Automatic, which also contains the title track and Behold. Barnett wrote and produced the songs on the EP.
Another trait he adapted from his days hanging out at Jamaican studios was patience.
“Mi used to stand up sometimes three hours to get a (recording) session ‘cause yuh have people like The Mighty Diamonds before yuh. In dem days, if yuh can’t sing dem (producers) not going to record yuh,” he said.
Automatic is a comeback of sorts for Yusimi Yusimi. He says he took a break from music to build awareness about the industry’s business side, after years of performing with groups like Reality and Monyaka in Jamaica and New York, respectively.
Yusimi Yusimi joined Monyaka shortly after migrating to the US in 1979. In addition to backing elite artistes like Dennis Brown, Jimmy Cliff, Burning Spear and Peter Tosh when they played in New York, Monyaka released popular songs like Go Deh Yaka.
The Atlanta Jerk Festival, Vibes Club, Crazy Atlanta and Moonshiners are some of the events and venues Yusimi Yusimi has performed.