Versatile Reggae Singer & Instrumentalist KORIQ
Ocho Rios, St. Ann, Jamaica born and Portmore, St. Catherine resident Courick Clarke, also known as KORIQ is one of Jamaica’s finest all round musician, who is gifted with an awesome talent as a song writer, singer and player of various instruments.
KORIQ has always been a musician, playing piano in church, then later playing for different artists including Queen Ifrika, Tony Rebel, Richie Stephens, Luciano, Tessane Chin, Duane Stephenson, Tarrus Riley, etc., until he finally decided it was time to express himself vocally, since he also has a voice and something to say.
The multitalented reggae singer showed evidence of a musical gift when he was 7 years old and was encouraged by his father to sing. He has always been around music so one could conclude that this is what he was destined to do. “There was always music in the house so it was hard to avoid. Also, after going through high school and college I decided I wanted to study music, my parents agreed to enroll me at Edna Manley College of the visual and performing arts…Jamaica School of Music,” says KORIQ.
One could also conclude that he is from a musical family as his father was a professional singer in his own rights and other members of his family sang in their local church choir, as is expressed by KORIQ, “My father, for as long as I can remember has always been involved in music at one level or another. He was an astute music collector, as he sang for a number of years on the north coast circuit, he is also a veteran broadcaster. Other members of my family used to sing on the church choir.”
KORIQ’s musical influences include a wide range of artists, such as Alton Ellis, Ken Boothe, Bob Marley, Beres Hammond, Dennis Brown, Tony Gregory, Leroy Sibbles, Peter Tosh, Gramps Morgan, Peter Morgan, Tarrus Riley, Damian Marley, Usher, Chris Brown and Neyo. He says, “I also learn a lot from the younger crop of singers too, people like Chronixx, Romain Virgo, Jesse Royal, Chris Martin, Kabaka Pyramid, etc…”
He is a very versatile musician, one who many would want to emulate. KORIQ’s outstanding ability to play the keyboard while singing, has left many in awe after watching him live in action. He shares, “Piano is my first instrument, but I also dabble with the guitar, bass, drums and alto saxophone.”
His first single along with other tracks were produced by Kalonji D’Aguilar of Picante Music. He has also worked with producers Ernie Wilks, Steve Locke (truck back records), Heart Court productions, among others. His catalog includes All Woman, So Freely, No Weapons Allowed, Like I’m Gonna Lose You and more. He has never done a collaboration, however in due time he expects to be involved in some great ones, but not with any particular artiste and says, “Honestly there are no favorites right now. I’m ready to make good music with any artiste who wants to make good music.”
KORIQ’s talent has been noticed by many local and international event promoters; as such he has performed on many stages in Jamaica and on the global scene as a singer or instrumentalist. Some of the events on which he performs still stand out in his mind; events like the Ocho Rios International Jazz and Blues Festival in 2016, opening act for Tarrus Riley European Tour also in 2016 and Fireworks on the Waterfront in 2017.
This gifted artiste understands that his career choice is one that demands much of his time to get the result he desires, so he has to be physically and mentally prepared, especially before performing at an event. With this in mind he rehearses and practices as often as possible and meditates to calm and center himself. He balances his music career with other personal obligations easily and shares, “Music itself is the job, so there’s no competition for my time or attention. Also, I’ve always been involved in music; it’s not a “new area” in my life…. It IS my life. Always has been. I’ve never known life any other way.”
When asked about challenges he faces in the music industry, he responded, “Well, I’m not one to dwell too much on the woes of life LOL. I prefer to focus on what good there is. But to answer your question, it can be quite disheartening when you’re faced with situations where people you’ve helped, who are now in a position to be of assistance, treat you as though they’ve never met you. People from whom you expect a certain level of support turn around and tell you its money that makes the world go round. It’s truly tragic. But Jah balance it out by aligning me with people. Good people who give unwavering and unexpected support.”
For this reason he advises beginners or persons planning to start a music career to; “Be your own biggest fan. Believe in your talent no matter what. Stay positive. Don’t let bad experiences kill your enthusiasm. Practice, Practice, Practice…GO HARD OR GO HOME!”
His fans and the world at large are in for greater treat from this outstanding talented artiste with the soothing melodic voice who expresses, “My stage performance gets better each time I perform. I sing my heart out for my audience. I believe that whether you paid or it was free, an audience deserves a stellar performance and that is what I try to deliver each time I hit the stage. I hold myself to high standards, you should too. Expect excellence from KORIQ.
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