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S#arp(샾)

The band ARP (Always Ready to Perform), comprising Orville Thomas, Patrick Hylton, Leon Gilbert, Roger Mitchell and Orand Rose-Green, initially performed under the guise of Shades Of Fidelity. They performed in an R&B style over current dancehall rhythms and by the mid-90s were lauded by the media as ‘the next big thing’. Both Thomas and Hylton had sung together for a number of years, although it was not until they linked up with Rose-Green that their aspirations came to fruition. The line-up was completed when Mitchell and Gilbert, whose close harmonies were gleaned from their experiences performing in church, joined the group. ARP’s debut release was a cover version of ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’ for Cell Block, which, although popular, failed to generate a breakthrough. In 1996, the group performed at the Jamaican Federation Of Musicians - Artistes For Artists presentation in the Jamaican Mirage club. While the group’s live performances were critically acclaimed, it was their vocals that enhanced Beenie Man’s ‘The Lion Rules’, and introduced them to a wider audience. Prior to their breakthrough they had collaborated with the DJ on ‘You Are The Wife’, which led to further combinations. In 1997, ARP joined the Shocking Vibes crew and were featured on Beenie Man’s acclaimed Many Moods Of Moses. They also enjoyed a second Jamaican chart hit on Beenie Man’s ‘Storm’. The winning formula culminated at the end of the year with a number 1 hit, the poignant ‘Missing You’ (also featuring the vocals of Tony Curtis). In 1998, they released the classic ‘I Want Your Body’, which established the group in their own right. A series of noteworthy hits followed including, ‘Return Of The Mac’, ‘Girls Dem Cry’, ‘Song For Mama’, ‘Really Want You’, ‘The Girl Dem Want’, a cover version of K-Ci And JoJo’s ‘All My Life’, and a team up with Patra on ‘True Love’. ARP also enjoyed particular success in the dancehall with, ‘Di Gal Dem Want’ and in combination with U.T. Dread ‘Youths Dem Play’, riding the ‘Cloak & Dagger’ rhythm. In 1999, the band joined Penthouse Records where they released ‘Temple Of The Lord’ and worked on an album with producer Donovan Germain. As is often the case in Jamaica, while affiliated to Penthouse, the group also recorded freelance, releasing the highly popular ‘Mama Makoso’ with producer Jeremy Harding. The group enjoyed other entries on the Jamaican Star Top 40 with ‘Tinted Car’, ‘Rhythm Of The Night’, ‘Selena’ and, in combination with Zebra, ‘Everybody’.

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