Gospel Reggae pioneer Lieutenant Stitchie is back in Jamaica engaging in copious amounts of studio work and doing the media rounds, ahead of the release of his 23rd album.
The Governor recently posted several posts of himself in Jamaica, doing studio work in Spanish Town, his original base, along with some of his Dancehall and Reggae compatriots.
“Whenever you can feel the joy in the production of the music in the studio, then that power will reach the people who listen to the end product !(L- R : Ali, Desie, Lt. Stitchie & Andrae Carter) DEZIKKS STUDIO, Spanish Town ah wi place!” Stitchie noted in one post.
“Working at home again, original roots Spanish Town 10 hrs. yesterday at DEZIKKS STUDIO with engineer Desie & Guitsy, Andrae Carter, pure
He also posted photos of himself with radio disc jockey Wesley “Burgerman’ Burger, in studio at Mello FM, and noted that they were longtime friends.
In May Lieutenant Stitchie announced that he was working on his 23rd album, which, from all indications will feature stringed instruments used in orchestras, such as cellos and violins.
The 55-year-old had also enlisted the likes of singer and Grammy-nominated musician, Benjy Myaz to serve as composer, arranger and producer, on the album.
Myaz, who hails from Montego Bay, has an extensive track record in production and arrangement, and was among the experts who worked with the late producer Bobby Digital on Sizzla’s internationally acclaimed album, The Real Thing, and Capleton’s Reign of Fire.
Stitchie’s new album, comes on the heels of his Masterclass album, which was co-produced by Gramps Morgan of Morgan Heritage and for which the former PE teacher recently received the Caribbean Afro Music Award’s Best Reggae Album of the year Award.
Masterclass was released in October 2019 and has been described by Stitchie as his “best work ever”. That album comprised 17 tracks and featured collaborations with Agent Sasco, Lukie D, Ricky Stereo, Million Stylez and Fantan Mojah.
Stitchie’s first Gospel Reggae album was titled To God Be the Glory which was released in 1999. In 2002, he won the ‘Outstanding Male Reggae Vocal Performance of the Year’ award at Caribbean Gospel Music Marlin Awards.
The self-titled Governor, has had an illustrious Dancehall career, recording his first album Wear Yuh Size for King Jammys in 1987, which was also named Great Ambition by the producer, for the overseas market.
He was signed to Atlantic Records, and during his time there, recorded a total of three albums, namely The Governor in 1989, Wild Jamaican Romances in 1991 and Rude Boy in 1993, all of which copped the Album Of The Year award in Jamaica. At the time he was also was featured on LL Cool J’s 1993 Gold Album 14 Shots to the Dome on a track titled Straight From Queens.
Stitchie recorded Bun It Down for producer Patrick Roberts of Shocking Vibes in 1993, after leaving Atlantic. The single which topped the local music charts and was later followed by a slew of number one songs. In one calendar year Stitchie even ended up with 14 number one songs.
Although Stitchie’s discography is very extensive, his most memorable track is the hit Wear Yuh Size, about a love interest who forced her feet into a tiny pair of shoes and ended up embarrassing herself in public.
Among his other hits are Romance, Natty Dread, Hot Like the Sun, Broad Hips, and Woman Fe Get Lyrics.
He has worked with a wide range of Jamaica’s best producers among them Bobby Digital, Danny Browne, Donovan Germaine, riddim twins Sly and Robbie, and Steelie and Cleevie.
Among his greatest moments in Dancehall was Reggae Sumfest 1997 when he, following a car crash which occurred en route to the festival, still showed up at the Montego Bay venue with a bandage over one of his eyes, and put on an electrifying performance which earned him a series of encores. He was dubbed the best performer of the night and the best performer of the festival.
Following the pre-Sumfest crash, Stitchie became a Christian shortly afterward, moved away from secular Dancehall, and started the Gospel Reggae movement.
The Tivoli Gardens High School old boy also has the distinction of being the first Dancehall artiste to be a brand ambassador. He became the face of Red Stripe Beer’s You’re Right campaign in 1987, the Jamaica Tourist Board’s Anti-harassment campaign in 1988 as well as Cremo’s Buckingham Orange Juice campaign that same year.
In 2012, Stitchie, whose given name is Cleve Laing, was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Cornerstone Christian University in Orlando, Florida, in recognition of his contribution to Gospel Reggae. The deejay who still tours extensively also published his autobiography, The Power of Determination in 2014 and was subsequently inducted into the Gospel Hall Of Fame in January 2016, in Kingston.