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Tribute to Fattis Burrell

Tribute to Fattis Burrell

Tribute to Fattis Burrell

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"He was really dedicated to his music and a great contributor to the fraternity and humanity"

Sampler

Veteran producer and hit maker Phillip "Fattis" Burrell died on Saturday December 3rd suffering complications of a stroke. He has worked with several of Jamaica's most successful artists, and had many friends. United Reggae has talked to some of them.

After suffering a mild stroke, veteran producer Phillip “Fattis” Burrell was admitted to the University Hospital of the West Indies in Kingston on November 17th. His condition later worsened and he was placed in the Intensive Care Unit where he spent his last two days.

He passed away on Saturday, December 3rd, after suffering several conditions which included kidney failure, stroke, pneumonia, pulmonary embolism and other complications. He was 57 years old.

Fattis Burrell

Mention the name Phillip Burrell and few might recognize it. Seeing him walking into a room you could not ignore his giant stature. Listen to some of his productions and you cannot mistake the distinctive sounds.

If you heard I Could Beat Myself by Beres Hammond, Where There is Life by Luciano or Praise Ye Jah by Sizzla, you would never make the connection unless you are in the music business. Yet, producer Phillip Burrell has been an integral part of the music industry since the early 90’s.

Fattis BurrellHe was born in Trench town and left for the UK where he spent most of his teenage years. Upon returning to Jamaica he later got into the music industry.

“I’m heartbroken over my old friend from Birmingham. So many memories and so many reasons to feel grateful towards him. He did a great deal for me and I'll never forget him,” says John Masouri, journalist for Echoes Magazine in the UK and a close friend to Burrell, and continues:

“He is the last of the great Jamaican record producers. The stable of artists and musicians Fattis had around him during the 90’s could rival those of Coxsone Dodd or Duke Reid. Like them he had an instantly recognizable sound, and made the kind of timeless music that reggae lovers will be playing for many years to come. He was also Birmingham's finest musical export, but not many people know that!”

Under his Xterminator label, he successfully managed the careers of Luciano, Sizzla, Diana Rutherford and many more. It is widely debated that Luciano’s best work with his albums 'Where There is Life' and 'Messenger' were done under the tutelage of Phillip Burrell. He produced a number of hits for Cocoa Tea, Beres Hammond, Turbulence, Ini Kamoze, Prince Malachi, Sanchez and Frankie Paul to name a few.

“The industry has lost a great individual and producer,” says a well-known and successful Jamaican artist, who wants to be anonymous.

Luciano worked with Burrell extensively in the 90’s and was a part of the Xterminator Crew for a number of years.

Fattis Burrell

Luciano’s two albums for Burrell - 'Where There is Life' and 'Messenger' - are still regarded as hallmarks of the singer’s catalogue. They produced such classics as Lord Give Me Strength, Over The Hills, How Can You and Guess What’s Happening.

“He was really dedicated to his music and a great contributor to the fraternity and humanity. He will be greatly missed, condolences to his family,” says Luciano, who had the opportunity to visit Burrell while in the hospital and armed with his guitar sang Sweep Over My Soul for him at his bedside.

Xterminator has during the last year started to produce and release material again. The production has been handled by Burrell’s son Kareem Burrell.

“He was a great influencer, great father figure and great producer,” says Kareem Burrell, who was beside his father until his final hours.

Among some of the top selling albums produced by The Xterminator label was 'Full Attention' by Beres Hammond. This album provided chart success with hits like Freedom, Full Attention, Empty Inside, No More Pain and Love Means Never to Say I’m Sorry.

One cannot either forget the many hits from Sizzla’s 'Praise Ye Jah' album and other songs like Babylon a Listen, No White God and Dem Ah Try and Thing.

Additionally, Ini Kamoze’s worldwide smash hit Here Comes the Hot Stepper – featured in the motion picture Prêt-à-Porter –was a remake of the original hit song Hot Stepper produced by Phillip Burrell.

The list could easily go on and on about Phillip Burrell – this remarkable producer.

Fattis Burrell

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Read comments (1)


Posted by Thomas Langshaw on 12.20.2011
RIP FATIS!!!! A real big timer in the JA music business. How come his Vena Recordings label is not mentioned here??? Or his very first productions with Sugar Minott and Michael Palmer in 1985 on the Kings And Lions label???

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