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Aysha Lorén album launch in London

Aysha Lorén album launch in London

Aysha Lorén album launch in London

By on - Photos by Veronique Skelsey - Comment

Big names rally 'round the Lovers Rock family’s latest addition.

Sampler

Plush voiced London singer Aysha Lorén launched her debut album My Wishing Well on Thursday 18th June at the Jazz Cafe. 

Lorén is now back on the scene - having paused a burgeoning career in R&B to start a family. She and producers including Adrian McKenzie, Jazzwad and Chris Peckings have assembled a collection of variations on the romantic reggae that made her city famous.

Dressed in a white trouser suit, she was a sincere and humble presence, sharing songs from her new record, released digitally on July 10th. These included her naturally-sweetened cover of Peter Tosh's Pick Myself Up, exclusive gift track - penned by So Solid’s AC Burrell - Better Than Sex and Mack Gordon/Harry Warren’s ballad standard At Last.

Aysha Loren

Aysha's return to music has clearly attracted interest from some of UK reggae’s founding parents. Carroll Thompson took the stage to sing her 1981 classic Hopelessly In Love. "I'm here to support new blood. Exceptional talent" was her reason for joining Lorén who said Carroll “Had given me advice from day one”.

"I want to congratulate her for her release and welcome her to the lovers rock family” announced the legendary Janet Kay, who sang Alton Ellis/Brenda Holloway’s You Make Me So Very Happy and Thom Bell/Linda Creed’s Betcha By Golly Wow.

Both ladies demanded the engineer fix early sound level problems – giving Lorén the confidence to do the same when she commenced the second half of her set. Janet also had some sage guidance for her young protégé. "Before she does a show she gets so nervous. You’ve no reason to be nervous. You're wicked".

Sure-fire entertainer Tippa Irie joined Aysha for their rendition of Shabba Ranks Champion Lover. Christopher Ellis appeared to update his father’s Ain't That Loving You - returning the favour for Aysha’s 2013 guest spot on his Jazz Cafe show.

Support came from vulnerable crooner Damion Mulrain (who later returned for a duet with Aysha on Musiq Soulchild’s So Beautiful) and roots powerhouse Prince Malachi who shared his still unreleased The Great Welcome about the racism faced by the Windrush Generation. “I and I don't want to seem ungrateful but we must share the true history” he explained (given the horrific events of the previous 24 hours in the USA it was not something that could be so easily consigned to the past).

The band included Lorén’s partner, manager and producer Adrian McKenzie on drums, Gyasi Crosdale of Royal Sounds playing guitar and Don Chandler on bass. The vibe felt like a reunion of Chandler’s scene-invigorating, now dormant, Reggae In Da City night.

"You have no idea how much this means to me. I've always wanted to sing at The Jazz Café” gushed Aysha before another lovers staple, Keep It Like It Is. “My family, friends, work mates, are all here. You've made all my dreams come true."

The warm feeling was reciprocated. A long line of fans queued for her to sign copies of the album, on sale to the side of the stage. 

Gallery

Reproduction without permission of United Reggae and Veronique Skelsey is prohibited.

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