Saturday, September 1, 2012

Persephone Laird AKA Queen P The West Coast Rocksteady Heroine

The lead singer of Ocean 11, Persephone Laird AKA Queen P, has over the past 20 years, dedicated herself to singing and performing the hits of a young Jamaica and the hits that led to a world well known reggae takeover.

Formed in the early 90's,with the likes of fellow the LA Ska scene contemporaries such as Fishbone, The Untouchables, Hepcat and Sublime - Ocean 11’s prime directive has always been staying as true to the roots as they could. Recording with forgotten techniques they were doing it their way, in honour of Lee Perry before the modern day Pro Tools DIY musicians and before artists knew they could do it on their own........ Ocean 11 did! Recorded, sold and played worldwide before labels decided to start calling. Eventually the band hit big with commercials and soundtracks through Sony music, performing all their own original compositions written by Persephone Laird.

This dedication led to them being able to record and play with many of the artists that truly inspired them. Queen P's voice was a shiny beckon of vocal prowess recognized by not only their peers but many of the legends they tried to honour such as Phyllis Dillion, Derrick Morgan, Patsy Todd, Lee Perry, Skatalites and the vocal groups of Rocksteady era. Derrick Morgan, now close friend, required them to play their music as to pass the torch. Jesse of the Aggrolites said, he never would have played this music without hearing Ocean 11 music and specifically Queen P's dedication to Phyllis Dillon, which is a key factor to the audience appreciation of her artistry.

The band's hit "Best of Love" was featured on a high profile comp with the likes of No Doubt and Sublime which highlighted the amazing artists that were making music interesting around this time. Queen P's vocals on this tune set it apart from many of the others featured as a stand out track of classic Jamaican sounds unlike anything else on the comp. It was even noted by none other than Bradley Nowell of Sublime as a favourite tune in fact. 

This helped foster a relationship between the 2 bands that lead to further musical ventures, such as Brad's wife asking to manage the band personally, and more musical collaborations. Over the many years as the band's mystic grew, along with its fanbase, Queen P continued to develop as an artist because her passion never wavered in her goal to truly honour the greats of the past. She has always worked tirelessly to pay it forward - taking the music to another generation.

Ocean 11 became busy in the real world since that time and over the past couple of years Queen P was able to fulfil even more of her dreams. She played with the likes of Dennis Alcapone, Stranger Cole, Derrick Morgan, Alton Ellis, Pat Kelly, Ken Boothe, Leonard Dillon and more. She made some calls bringing together an absolute all-star line up including members of various bands such as Hepcat, The Debonaires, Jump with Joey, The Expanders and more. The passion goes on today playing and recording with various groups, artists and mentors as well as mentoring other young artist's herself. 

The next step in her plan is to further highlight the best and the brightest of the new young crop while paying tribute to all the amazing bands that have come out of the West Coast music scene, an area that has played a big part in maintaining the more traditional sounds of Jamaica than anywhere else. It is has been said by others that have helped her to understand her mission is a realistic one. Like Chris Murray (selected vocalist on Solid as A Rock) and Chuck Foster, of a 30 year term on Reggae Central. Queen P learned from him and is now in the works to record his own written track for a well received album of Chucks music! Full Circle!

Queen P is currently being backed an amazing young group of East LA musicians called The Delirians. These kids blew everyone away with their solid playing and are a group of musicians who really know how to play their instruments and her hope is to continue carrying the torch and spreading Rocksteady love around the world. 

See her here doing a cover of Moonlight Lover

Performingwith the The Delirians

WithPat Kelly

Listen to  "MissUnderstanding" with Ocean 11 

Youcan also join her on Facebook

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