Horace Andy was born as Horace Hinds on February 19, 1951 in Kingston, Jamaica. Andy, also known as "Sleepy," has become an enduring voice on the Jamaican music scene. His signature early 1970s hit, "Skylarking," defined his ability to deliver songs of black determination and social commentary, but he could equally deliver songs of love. His association with British trip-hop band Massive Attack exposed him to an even wider audience.
Horace Andy was born as Horace Hinds in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1951. Andy worked with producer George "Phil" Pratt on his first single, "This Is a Black Man's Country," in 1967. His cousin, Justin Hinds, was starting to enjoy some success at that time, but Andy would not gain notice until working with noted Jamaican producer Clement "Coxsone" Dodd in 1970. "Got To Be Sure: became his first release for Studio One, Dodd's studio. Dodd gave him the stage name of Horace Andy—a reference to popular singer Bob Andy.
With Dodd, Andy went on to record "See A Man's Face," the well-received "Mr. Bassie" and the breakthrough hit "Skylarking," among other songs. "Skylarking," which encouraged wayward youth to clean up their act, was released as a single and topped the Jamaican record charts, becoming a signature tune for Andy.
Although American R&B singers were Andy's early influences, he wanted to emulate American rock star Jimi Hendrix. "I wanted to be like Jimi Hendrix ... to play the guitar like Jimi Hendrix," he told the Sydney Morning Herald. "I didn't see myself as [having] ... a great voice. I didn't know I'd be a great singer."
Andy has consistently recorded and performed around the world, and has remained relevant in reggae subgenres such as roots reggae, rocksteady, lover's rock and dancehall. In 1990, he was discovered by the Bristol, England-based trip-hop band Massive Attack, who cited Andy's work as a major influence. He recorded the song "One Love" for their 1991 debut album, Blue Lines, and the band's popularity exposed Andy to a younger generation of fans, many of whom continue to seek out his earlier work. After Massive Attack launched their own label, Melankolic, they released Skylarking, a compilation of Andy's career hits.
Andy is the only singer of Massive Attack's rotating group of guest artists to appear on each one of the band's albums. He also appeared on the British group Dub Pistols' 2001 album, Six Million Ways to Live, and on the Easy Star All-Stars' 2006 Radiohead tribute, Radiodread.
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