Phil Watkis
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Phil Watkis

Band Pop Reggae


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Phil Watkis

The voice of the once belted out old reggae hits atop the unfinished building in his St. Ann district has not been silenced. Known to us today as Phil Watkis, a more than promising musician that has already began to surpass industry expectations. The said voice by the way, is allegorically somewhere between, Roots Rock Reggae and R&B. That’s clearly not a bad place to be musically, especially if we check the power and the verve coming from any one of his soon to be released singles.

Born January 20th, 1979, the drive to sing had long overshadowed most of Watkis’ life. In about 2000, he finally decided to heed the call, consequently enrolling in EXED’s Performing Arts program. It was not long before things began to seem fruitful for the young musician. Perhaps it had something to do with the locale but Phil Watkis soon became recognized as one of the many performing talents to emerge from Kingston’s Vineyard Town region. It was an emphatic introduction by an already established singer that made Grafton Music’s Mikey Bennett takes a listen. “Yute, you have promise but you need more intriguing melodies,” Bennett stated. Despite the mixed reaction to what, at that time Watiks terms as his “absolutely best work” he took this advice and found an even stronger persuasion, that led him to take up the guitar and the reggae crooner has never looked back since. Forward to 2006 and Phil Watkis is bringing an expressive list of producer collaborations to the table.

His six song strong promotional disc encapsulates a few of his works with some of the latest greatest of the Jamaican studios. On his “Vanity” track Watkis does no harm and brings in the production help pf Dwayne of “To Isis Fame.” The timely track called “Wake up” is a Dean Frazer effort. The “Brighter Tomorrow” track finds Watkis taking the reigns as producer. A brilliant example of this vocal powerhouse is “Greediest” which is equally charged with lyrics; her DJ Karim takes the production credit. Take a listen to the reflective but energetic “Know My Friends” track, which finds Mikey Bennett as the producer; “lyrically rich and urging for airplay” could suffice. “Bless Our Souls” might have a familiar ring for some it was entered in the 2004 Festival Song contest. The track was originally an acoustic, recorded with Jamaican Guitar virtuoso Seretse Small for his Griot Music label and the latest version recorded by Mikey Bennett.

These days, Phil Watkis is all music through. As far as performances are concerned, he has weathered the jitters of performing on bills with the biggest and best of them. Shows of the likes of Rebel Salute 2005, reveals his readiness to take on the international arena. With such a refreshing vocal clarity, Phillip Ricardo Watkis is not likely to go unnoticed for much longer. Recently, Sherwin Sterling. CEO of New Creation Records recognized his talent and signed him to New Creation Records family (April 2006) and his career is being administrated by Master Artist Management, both operating out of Atlanta, Georgia. Watkis is personally taking the steps to get his message to the masses. “I am definitely about getting my album on an international level.” “I feel like I would want to take reggae to places where the sound is so obscure; places like Pakistan or even Iraq you know.” Watkis envision.

The mellow persona belies those reggae rebels who has mastered the science of optimum; a testament of his will to endure the varying degrees of the music business. “I will always disseminate words of righteousness; as long as it’s good work that you’re doing you going to get paid you know; mine is not about some crazy hype, its more of a lifetime investment thing,” Watkis reveals.

Gifted with an indisputable talent that stretches itself right across toe board, it seems to be one of constant evolution. Music is tough business as many will claim. Despite his inclination towards architecture and drawing, his other passion, it is perhaps the stage that has been the kindest to him. It is a little known fact that while honing his musical skills, Phil Watkis also played the lead in Edna Manley’s School of Drama final year production “Brotherman” in 2002. He did not go unnoticed and was soon enlisted by Kenny Salmon for a role in “Death Row” which was to be followed by an even more triumphant place in the play “Marcus to Manley” which saw him finally traveling to Trinidad,

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Telephone: (770)864-9865