Jamaican singer and songwriter Hezron Clarke continues his bid to restore reggae to global prominence with plans to perform in the United States and Europe later this year..
Following the release earlier this year of his latest album, M.O.A.M. (Man on a Mission), Clarke has received rave reviews. M.O.A.M. Man on a Mission is Hezron’s second album for Tad’s Record, following his 2014’s The Life I Live(d). Released in August 2022, M.O.A.M. topped reggae charts in Jamaica, New York and South Florida, yielded two number one singles, Tik Tok I’m Coming and Save The Children and earned critical acclaim from media around the world.
The momentum surrounding M.O.A.M. continues just as strongly in 2023.
On January 5 this year, Grammy composted Hezron’s acoustic performance of the album’s title track, Man On A Mission, recorded in Kingston, Jamaica, exclusively for the Grammy’s Press Play-at-Home series. The nearly five-minute video clip presents a stripped-down version of Man on a Mission, highlighting Hezron’s heartfelt, captivating vocals, and the song’s deeply inspirational lyrics that provide reassuring words for anyone in pursuit of their passions but also stand as a testament to Hezron’s unwavering resolve in pursuit of musical excellence. Hezron also plays rhythm guitar in the clip and he’s supported by Kenroy Mullings on lead guitar, Jerome (Spicy) Battick on keyboards with Jasino Bicknell and Katryna Chaplin providing harmonies. In the accompanying write up on Grammy.com, Carena Liptek cites, Man on a Mission as “a message of encouragement for anybody with a dream to chase — because that’s exactly how Clarke got to where he is today.
Hezron wrote, arranged and produced Man On A Mission, with additional production by Leroy Romans. “The song is about what everyday people go through, nurses, doctors, teachers, so called ‘ordinary people’ who’ve put their minds and wills together to do extraordinary things,” explains Hezron. “But Man on a Mission is also about the obstacles that I have faced in the music business and in my personal life. I am telling myself, telling the world, that this man is on a mission and there’s no stopping him.”
Hezron is managed by LynneX Ventures LLC in collaboration with 3G Media Group, represented in Africa by Goodies Music International and Nyansa Boakwa of Nyansa TV.
With the primary objective of M.O.A.M. Man On A Mission being to restore Jamaican reggae music to a prominent place internationally therefore Hezron is extremely grateful to have performed the album’s title track as part of the Grammy’s Press-Play-at-Home series.
“There is an old saying: if you aim for the sky, you may fall on top of a building but if you aim for the top of the building, you might fall on the ground,” Hezron shares. “My approach to the M.O.A.M. album was to utilize musical and lyrical qualities that I hear as the standard for Grammy consideration, aiming for the sky, hoping to get a Grammy nomination. Although I didn’t receive one, I am so humbled to have been asked to record a performance that is posted on Grammy.com, to receive that recognition. It shows me that vision, hard work and perseverance really do pay off.”
On November 2022 Hezron sat for an extensive interview with veteran broadcaster, Elise Kelly on The Bridge 99 FM. ‘The Queen of Jamaican radio’, as Kelly is called, lauded M.O.A.M. Man on a Mission, singling out Hezron’s exceptional song writing skills. “The brilliance of your writing blows me over every time; I have been saying that for years. I am especially fond of the writing in the country and western genre and your writing compares to the very best of those artists, really, the very best of any international act,” Ms. Kelly declared.
Other rave reviews for M.O.A.M. included Germany’s Riddim Magazine which observed that: “with the release of his third album M.O.A.M. Man on a Mission, Hezron is poised to significantly broaden his fan base and finally get the widespread recognition his talents merit.” Reggae Belgium hailed M.O.A.M. as “bringing back great Jamaican music, a reminder of where reggae is supposed to be in the world!” while New York City’s Soundchat Radio noted that, “M.O.A.M offers superb singing, inspirational songwriting, timely production, and impeccable musicianship.”
The promotional push for M.O.A.M. Man on A Mission will extend throughout 2023as Hezron plans to perform in the United States and Europe later this year.
Last February, a month designated as reggae month in Jamaica, he headlined three shows across that country.
On February 12, for instance, Hezron was the marquee act at WAVS Beach One Love Jerk Festival in the tourist mecca, Negril, located on the island’s western tip; on February 14, Hezron and Friends took over the Bamboo Joint Lounge in Ocho Rios and on February 8, Hezron performed for Reggae Wednesdays at Harmony Beach Park in Montego Bay. The Negril and MoBay dates are official reggae month events, endorsed by Jamaica’s Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports.
“For reasons beyond my control, I haven’t had the opportunity to perform live since my album was released, except at my album release party in August. I am looking forward to seeing my fans in Jamaica in February and the audiences in the U.S. and Europe later in the year and performing the songs from M.O.A.M. Man on a Mission for them,” says Clarke.