Jamaica Gleaner
Published: Monday | September 28, 2009
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Hail King Hopeton - CEO married to his music, wants world peace
Paul H. Williams, Gleaner Writer

King Hopeton

"I started playing music at the age of four. Sitting, and watching an old lady play Come Back Charlie, a popular classical piece - The moment she got up from around the piano, I started playing the same piece as if I had learned it before ... She started teaching me from that point .... I did my first classical piano recital at age seven. I got my first standing ovation, and from that love I felt I said 'It's only music for me'," declared King Hopeton, a Jamaican-born musician, based in California, United States.

And this love affair with music has grown into one eternal 'wedding' for this father of two beautiful daughters, aged nine and four. "I would more say I am married to my music because all relationships I have been through say that I am married to my music," he asserted.

Different type of marriage

It's a different type of marriage, naturally, than that to a woman, so he doesn't compare his tie to music with marriage to a woman as they conflict, he said. They are two different concepts. "Music is beyond comparison to anyone in my life, as it has been that centre point, that healing and that comfort that no one, except for God Almighty, could possibly give to me.

And in return for the comfort he gets from God, he said, "[I am] doing what God wants me to do, going out there in the world preaching and teaching, through music. That's why I play all instruments, which would make me a 'maestro' ... My greatest achievement comes from God, knowing that He has created me as a god in the music."

Born Horace Campbell, in Alexandria, St Ann, in 1972, this talented 'King', who lived in St Thomas as a youngster, is also a singer, studio-recording engineer, producer, who is starting a revolution. He's producing his first reggae festival to promote world peace.

"Yes, I do believe in world peace, and yes, it is humanly possible. We create world war, which is humanly possible, so why not world peace. It's possible, once you believe," King Hopeton said.

As a very young drummer, pianist, bass and rhythm guitarist he played wit6h a band, rapture, which record its first album in 1988. "I then had to leave from Morant Bay back to St Ann, to get a job as my grandmother was getting really sick, and life was getting harder by the seconds," he recalled.

United Force

In Ocho Rios, King Hopeton got the job the first time he auditioned (on keyboards), and subsequently joined a band called United Force, with Hart Richards as his manager. Being on the hotel circuit gave him the opportunity to work with Ernie Ranglin, Mandella (jazz bass), Nicky OJ, Karen Smith, Sabrina Williams and Ebony.

After years of being on the road, things changed for King Hopeton somewhat in 1999. "I got a proposal from Sony Records (Germany) to do an album, I accepted and started working on my first project for Sony. I went and build a recording studio, I started out with my label - DoubleLion Records in Ocho Rios, producing and developing, artistes like Teflon, Zamunda, Little Hero, etc," he said.

From the little boy who watched an "old lady" playing the piano, Horace Campbell is now chief executive officer of his own music business, DoubleLion Records and Ent USA Inc, managing himself and his band, and other artistes and musicians.

He has a 2008 album, King of Kings, on the market, as well as some singles - King of King, Hard Times, My Destiny and Can You See the Light.

"It's hard work building your own company, especially in a market where hip hop and rock music are dominant. So, what I do is to ride the bandwagon. I found a rock band and few other hip-hop artistes, and started producing and developing their talents. So, basically I will be using those musicians and artistes to crossover. These artistes I know will get big," the world peace advocate said.


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