With the chart success of “Born Again” following his summertime hit, “Practice What You Preach”, Mikey Spice has proven that his distinctive musical flavor is certain to remain with us for many moons. As a singer/songwriter/musician (proficient in 22 instruments), Mikey Spice is the embodiment of that rare musical phenomenon traditionally referred to as the “one man band”. Blessed with a uniquely broad, rich and resonant voice, Mikey was raised on the rousing spiritual music of the Church of God, in Kingston, Jamaica, where his father served as bishop.
As a youth, Mikey picked up musical instruments the way other children picked up toys, and learned to play them one at a time,from piano to banjo, saxophone, trumpet, guitar, harp, drums, and bass. "I had all the instruments to play around with, plus microphone and audience… all of it came about together”. Add to this mixture a voice that reaches from joyful falsetto to soul stirring bass, and you have all the ingredients for a virtuoso musical feast. Like most young musicians of his generation, the lure of the ever-present reggae rhythm soon led Mikey from church music to the hardcore, streetwise spirituality of Jamaica’s popular music, where he could “explain and express” himself more thoroughly.
Inspired also by international singers such as Lou Rawls, Barry White and Teddy Prendergras, Mikey took up residency on Jamaica’s north coast in 1984, and quickly established himself as a leading vocalist and guitarist for many of the bands on the cabaret circuit. The rigors of performing six to seven nights a week for hotel audiences of often 1500- 1600 people was invaluable experience for the young musician; a training that he credits to this day, "It’s very demanding… that’s seven nights a week to rehearse, out of that you’re supposed to be prepared, It was definitely worthwhile”. The late ‘80s also found Mikey Spice making a name for himself as a studio musician and harmony singer for many of Jamaica’s leading artistes, including Gregory Issacs, Dennis Brown, Toots Hibbert, Freddie McGregor, Frankie Paul and Tiger. His work with Freddie McGregor and Toots and the Maytals gave Mikey his first touring experience outside of Jamaica, traveling to the U.S.A, Canada and the other islands of the Caribbean. In early part of 1991, Mikey teamed up with engineer/producer Barry O’Hare at Grove Music Studios in Ocho Rios, and began recording his own compositions. “I think my experience from singing other people’s songs taught me how to write and structure a song. I had these words and they just flowed into place. The first time I ever put a song together, it was one of those thrilling moments”. In Jamaica, Mikey continued performing and producing tracks with other artistes, including Jack Radics, Capleton and Garnet Silk, with whom he recorded “Mama”.
In 1993 he performed with Gregory Issacs and other artistes at Jamaica’s annual Reggae Sunsplash and he roused a notoriously discriminating audience with his solo act at Sting ’93. Mikey’s first single, “You Caught Me”, released in Jamaica on the Roof label in 1991, garnered airplay in England as well as Jamaica. Several singles followed on the Ocho Rios based X-Rated label, including “The Way We Were”, “Let Me Know”, “Chant Down Babylon” and a very popular re-make of the Barry White classic “Practice What You Preach”, which continues to receive enthusiastic airplay in Jamaica, the U.S.A, Canada and Europe. The release of Mikey’s first CD, Happiness, on the X-Rated label (licensed in the U.S.A by RAS Records), led to his first European tour in 1995, under the auspices of RUN Netherlands Music. Several singles followed with Bobby Digital, Big Ship and New Name Music, and a follow-up CD is soon to be released in Jamaica on the Mixing Lab label. Mikey’s versatility and soulful delivery caught the ear of Pyramid International Records’ Patricia Richards and Marcia Williams-Simpson, who brought him to the U.S.A to begin laying tracks with acclaimed hip-hop producer Afrika Islam in the summer of 1995. With his capacity for hiphop/ reggae/r&b fusion, Mikey Spice is striving to broaden the definition of reggae music for the ‘90s. His is a fresh voice, a fresh vision, shaped as much by his reggae forerunners as by the international career artistes whose longevity and consistency continue to inspire him. Since having such major response from fans and well wishers , Mikey Spice has been voted best new artiste ’95, song of the year ‘95, “Showers Of Blessings”, also number one in Miami for three months, number ones in London, with “Born Again”, “When You’re Lonely”, “Shake Your Boody” with the renowned Shaggy, and a cover version of Bob Marley’s “So Much Things To Say” released on the Big Ship Label.
Mikey Spice is now also producing himself as well as other entertainers, his latest releases being “More Than Wonderful”, gospel oriented song, “I’m So Lonely” and a cover version of Abbyssians “Home To Zion”, and even more recent “The King” All released on the Ingredience Production Label and distributed by Sonic Sounds in Jamaica. In response to the immediate “lover-man” image that “Practice What You Preach” brought him, he says: “Every teacher knows that there is something else to learn. In my music I deal with reality, basic affection, love. I’m preaching the same thing that everyone else wants and expects in life: somebody to love, someone to have, someone to know. I don’t want to be the one who only sings about ‘baby, let me love you’, or over and over again about ‘my lady’. I want to sing about another lady, someone who’s there and needs to be seen, needs to be touched, needs some form of affection, needs something. I want to sing for the man who has no woman and the woman who has no man…not to have one image like, ‘I’m going to be the romantic guy so I can’t tell you the truth’-no, I want to tell you the truth, I want to be heard. I want someone to sit and listen to what I’m saying”. Open your eyes and see that the time is at hand, open your ears and hear what the messengers say, deep in your soul you can feel the love within, give and you will receive, brother man, the blessings within. -Mikey Spice, “Open Your Eyes”, 1995