It’s been a while since O’Neil Peart worked his way into the hearts of thousands of Jamaicans via Digicel’s Rising Star competition. Armed with his guitar and innate talent this self thought, intuitive musician has been quietly honing his craft and working on his debut album under the guidance of some of Jamaica’s most talented and respected Producers including Willie Lindo, Stephen ‘di genius ‘ Mcgregor, and Paul ‘Computer Paul’ Henton.
His current single ‘Still Got the Blues’ has been enjoying steady air play on a number of popular radio stations in Jamaica and abroad with the music video over the last three weeks holding on and climbing steadily on HYPE TV’s HOT PICKS.
For a performing artist who found music relatively late in his young life, O’Neil is pleased with the direction that his career is going; ‘even though I never considered music as a career until I was mid way through Excelsior Community College I have been fortunate to make up for some lost time, Rising Star came along at the right juncture when I was looking for ways to broaden my musical horizons.’ And what an education and opportunity this experience was, paving the way for him to be featured on the finalists compilation album produced by Shane Brown. His song ‘Judge Dem’, became quite popular with the teenagers in the UK / Europe market
While grateful for this exposure and acclaimed including being the recipient for the Prime Minister’s award for excellence in 2008 Peart was not one to rest on his laurels, since then he has been hard at work writing and singing and performing as much as he can because he is in this business for the long haul. With wisdom belying his youthful looks and years he commented ‘I’m confident that I have something to say, and music is something that I’m involved in for the long term. I see myself as an artist, and as such, I intend to present my own music, with my own perspectives, to Jamaica and, in time, the world.”
Story & Photo Credits: Scarlett-Deborah Beharie