was born Fritzmaurice Williams and raised on St. Croix, Virgin Islands. At the age of five, he
began his musical journey in the youth choir at the church his family attended. Little did he know
that he was laying the foundation for what would become a very promising musical career.
Determined to explore a variety of musical styles, he played the saxophone, became a member in a
jazz band and sang in various local bands.
The voice of Army was first heard in
2000 when he contributed selections on the Eastbound and Homegrown
compilations. Later that year, Army's first album 'Yesterdays News'
was released by Glamorous Records. In 2002, Army linked up
with DubRise Records who let off 'Struggler' along with a
rerelease of Yesterday's News. 2003 saw Army releasing 'Calling
Jah Army', a powerful duet with Luciano. The next year, he appeared at the San
Diego Bob Marley Day Festival. His song 'I Don't Know' is included on Bambu
Station's 2005 compilation Talkin' Roots Volume II, which preceded
his 2008 release.
Many are called, few are
chosen. Singer, songwriter Army, is soon to be the choice of many. His debut CD entitled
"Yesterday's News", currently re-released by Dub Rise Records, along with his
follow-up CD entitled "Struggler" also released by Dub Rise Records, could both
be best described as refreshingly original. Try to remember what pure, real, reggae music
sounds like. This is the sound we've been missing. It's been a long time since we've heard
it, some of us may have forgotten. But it's back, in the form of "Yesterday's
News" and "Struggler". Both CDs explore a variety of spiritually conscious
lyrics that takes you on a journey into the lives of all people. While his debut CD is a
classic, his follow up CD gives you a variety of flavors that shows how much the artiste
has grown. You immediately feel what reggae music is all about! While fulfilling a deep
desire to communicate positive messages to others, Army brings his vision to life through
his music. His unique ability to use poetry allows him to simultaneously send clear and
subtle messages that will touch any heart and soothe the soul.
Army was born Fritzmaurice Williams and
raised on St. Croix, Virgin Islands. At the age of five, he began his musical journey in
the youth choir at the church his family attended. Little did he know that he was laying
the foundation for what would become a very promising musical career. Determined to
explore a variety of musical styles, he played the saxophone, became a member in a jazz
band and sang in various local bands. Inspired and influenced by artistes such as Nat King
Cole, Dennis Brown and Freddie McGregor, Army couldn't go wrong. The Greats all played
their part in shaping this well-rounded singer. He later migrated to the United States and
attended New York's School of the Performing Arts. After high school, he enlisted in the
US Army, and attended military tech school. Later he trained and worked in the HVAC
industry. But music soon found its way back into his life in a big way.
After completing his education and
venturing off to pursue other goals, he went back home to where it all began: the Virgin
Islands. He began singing background vocals in the Front Line band and various other
bands. His friend, Jahole, who can be heard on "Yesterday's News", became his
mentor and showed him the rigmarole of music while performing with various reggae bands.
When the time was right, Army took his place as lead singer of the X Factor Band, a
promising band making their mark in the Virgin Islands. It wasn't long before the word was
out about the obvious talent Army and X Factor had to offer. Then came Abdul Williams, CEO
of Dub Rise Records Inc. and Dean Pond of DSP Music who had teamed up earlier to form a
winning partnership. They quickly saw the potential in Army and without any reservations,
signed him to their label.
Army's mission is clear and he believes we
are all mutually dependent on each other. "I want to send positive universal messages
to people through my music, without the commercialism we see so much today" he said
pointedly. He accomplishes this with great ease and feels he has only scratched the
surface of what he plans to contribute to the world of music. Dub Rise Records and DSP no
doubt share his vision. For Army, the future holds only one thing... Music. He plans to
continue writing songs and would like to study the piano. He will not be venturing off to
write screenplays produce sound tracks, direct movies or dance videos. Fortunately for us,
he will remain true to himself and continue doing what he does best... sing. Sit back,
relax and enjoy the journey.
The string of excellent roots music being
released from St. Croix continues with the emergence of Armys newest album "Struggler".
Produced by Abdul Williams and released on the DubRise Records label,
Struggler contains 14 crucial selections of consciousness sung over the
bubbly one-drop riddims that are so prevalent in Cruzian music.
The album opens with "More Dem
Talkn", a combination with Shaka Black, followed by my favorite
selection "Overtime", which had previously been released as a 7" single. Other
stand-out selections include "Paradise", "Ghetto Life", "Love and
Righteousness" and the title track. Most of the mixing of "Struggler"
was done by Dean Pond, with Batch and Ron Benjamin
each contributing on one of the selections.
The voice of Army first surfaced
several years ago on the vital (though difficult to obtain) compilation Eastbound.
The following year saw the release of Armys debut album "Yesterdays
News", which was recently remastered and re-released by DubRise Records. He
also contributed numerous songs to "Homegrown" release by Glamorous
Records in 2000.
In the early 70s, Jamaica was budding
with an incredible amount of untapped musical and vocal talents.
That same level of energy, enthusiasm and potential is present today in the Virgin Island of
St. Croix. To date, the global community has primarily been exposed to this fiery caldron
through the roots music of Midnite. But there is a slew of
talented conscious singers and players of instruments from STX that are worthy of
international recognition, and Army is certainly one such artist. And Armys
talents will be on full display at the 23rd annual Bob Marley Day Celebration
taking place in San Diego on February 16, 2004.