Thriller U Releases Remake of Bill Withers “Grandma’s Hands”
It is often said the race is not to the swift or the strong but for those who endure to the end. The same can be said of Thriller (Trilla) U whose career has withstood the test of time. Arguably one of the Jamaica’s best vocalists, he has faced the many challenges of this demanding industry, remained firmly rooted and ready to takes his place in the Reggae Music Hall of Fame.
“Timing is everything in life. I am so delighted — finally — to welcome Trilla to the roster of name-brand artists now releasing product on Capsicum,” says label CEO and A&R Director Roger Meltzer. “Trilla and I had been talking for years about collaboration and I wanted to produce a reggae remake of the Bill Withers R&B classic “Grandma’s Hands” for even longer.
When his manager Hopeton Brown of Nyah Bless Music said he wanted to see us work together and I told him I was working on this track with my co-producer “Reality” Weekes, it finally happened.
“Grandma’s Hands” comes on the heels of “Non-Genuine” and “In Common” and serves notice to the world that the artist is still at the top of his game and remains a force to be reckoned with among the greatest singers of all time.
“Back in the days when we made music, it was good music to play to global audiences. These singles may be instrumental in putting the industry back on track. I have accepted the fact that the reggae music industry has changed a lot; However, I firmly believe reggae is not dancehall, reggae is reggae.”
Born Eustace Hamilton, Trilla started singing at the tender age of ten. He had no idea that playing tunes from the jukebox with his friends every Sunday in Sligoville would lead to a life changing endeavor and eventually a musical career.
“I was just doing it as a hobby; we were just out there with friends trying to be happy. Those times I never saw music as a career,” he explains.
Trilla’s style is similar to that of Frankie Paul whom he considers to be an influence on his musical career. Others include his sister Peaches, Dennis Brown, Gregory Isaacs, Pinchers and international stars such as James Ingram, Dionne Warwick, Teddy Pendergrass and Michael Jackson. His silky smooth singing style enabled him to obtain international recognition and he credits that voice for his artist name.
“Originally my nickname was Baby U, as my father was Big U. When I was singing, people said it thrilled them, so they started to call me Thriller U.”
Trilla’s United Kingdom debut album, “Waiting For You,” released in 1988, revealed his tremendous talent. The title track was a #1 hit on the U.K. Album charts and remained at #1 for eight consecutive weeks. During that same time, his vibrant single “Juggling” surged to #1 on the Jamaican Top 40 charts, spending over five weeks in the top slot. Other #1 hits followed, including “Young and She Green” (featuring Johnny P) and “I’ll Prove It to You”, on the Technique label.
In 1988 Trilla also linked up with Donavan Germain and began a collaboration that would eventually span over 20 years. He became one of the major singers on PenthouseRecords, recording more than 20 singles and an album for the label, “Crazy,” released in 1989, the same year he was honored Best New Singer of the Year by the Jammy Annual Awards. Since then, he has worked with a number of producers in Jamaica and internationally, including Ossie Hibbert, Bobby Digital, King Jammy, Overheat Records, Avex Tracks, Sly & Robbie and rap artist Krs 1.
While enjoying a successful solo career, he joined the vocal group L.U.S.T. (Love, Understanding, Sensitivity and Trust), alongside Singing Melody, Tony Curtis and Lukie D. The combined performers stated that the group was going to “put the flavor back into reggae.” The group shot to stardom in 2007 thanks to their debut single “Sweetness of Your Love” which spent multiple weeks atop numerous Jamaican charts. They found themselves back into the spotlight in 2009 with their impressive rendition of Air Supply’s 1985 hit, “Just As I Am.”
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