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Triston Palma

Triston Palma

Media Page

For over twenty years, Triston Palma has been delighting listeners around the world with his sweet voice and cultural vibes. Though reggae has gone through many changes since the '70s, Triston has endured, always staying true to roots and culture. He has given reggae one of its biggest dancehall anthems, "Entertainment," which still rams the dance whenever it is played.

Triston was born in 1962 in Waltham Park, Kingston 13, Jamaica. By the time he was just ten years old, he was singing backing vocals for Sugar Minott and Tony Tuff, as well as singing with Earl "Chinna" Smith's Soul Syndicate band. While still very young, Triston recorded his first single, "Love Is A Message," for Bunny Lee's Justice label. Throughout his teens, Triston's reputation as a sweet voiced vocalist continued to grow, culminating in his breakout performance in 1979 at the General Penitentiary Memorial Concert for Claudie Massop, which also featured Bob Marley. Around the same time, Triston started his own label, Black Solidarity, with Ossie Thomas. His first big hit on the label was "A-Class Girl," which was followed by "I'm Ready," "Susan," "What A Bubbling," and "Spliff Tale." All of these tunes were number one hits on the Jamaican charts.

As the '80s began, the best was yet to come. Jah Thomas, who had been residing in England, came over to Jamaica to check out the young singer everyone was talking about. Their association led to one of the biggest dancehall hits of all time: the aforementioned "Entertainment." Triston recorded over thirty more tunes for Jah Thomas in the early '80s, including "Give Me A Chance" and "Joker Smoker." At one point, Triston had nine songs in Jamaica's Top 40 at the same time! Also in the early '80s, Triston recorded a couple of albums for Linval Thompson, as well as a few tracks for Henry "Junjo" Lawes, two of the biggest producers of the day. His song "Folly Ranking" was a big hit for producer George Phang. Triston also recorded for, and sing with, Sugar Minott's Black Roots label and Youth Promotion sound system. Two of his efforts from this time, "Mathematics Love" and "School Days," can be found on Easy Star Records' Hidden Treasures and Hidden Treasures Volume Two, respectively.

In 1985, Triston recorded the single "Land of Africa" with Freddie McGregor, Gregory Isaacs, Third World, Steel Pulse, and Mutabaruka, to benefit famine relief in Africa. In the late '80s, when the computerized sound of modern dancehall became all the rage and slack deejays began to predominate the charts, Triston and many other cultural singers stepped back from the spotlight a bit. Triston used this time to concentrate on honing his production skills, which culminated in 1995's Three Against War, which featured Triston, his good friend Dennis Brown, and a then up-and-coming deejay named Beenie Man. This album, along with another self-produced effort, 1998's Born Naked, won Triston a whole new legion of fans. In the year 2000, Triston Palma linked up with Easy Star Records to put together Two Roads. Produced by Triston, Steve Ibanez, and engineer Nigel Burrell, it is a collection of songs about love, faith, and life. For the recordings, Triston assembled many of reggae's greatest musicians, including the Roots Radics, Sly & Robbie, Robbie Lyn, and Benjy Myaz. Several songs off the record had been released as singles in Jamaica, such as "Never Be Ungrateful," "Get Up," and "The Struggle," which features Norris Man. The title cut, "Two Roads," was on Michael G's Thai Stick riddim and featured backing by the Easy Star All-Stars.

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