Born in Kingston, Jamaica (1958), as a youth Derrick Lara loved to emulate American R&B singers of the early 70s. He nurtured his vocal style in the local church choir, performing alongside his sister, Jennifer Lara. Derrick started performing as a vocalist professionally alongside Errol Lee in the Bare Essentials Band. Later on he performed as a drummer in the Seventh Extension Band, playing on Jamaica’s north coast. Lara focused on drumming for a while until an impromptu appearance as a vocalist prompted him to focus again on vocals. By 1972 Lara's reputation as a singer reached Kingston where he was invited to record with Joe Gibbs. Gibbs’ production of ‘What We Need’ introduced Lara’s distinct falsetto to Jamaican ears. Further sessions with Gibbs led to Lara’s debut album and an appearance on the discomix, ‘Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough’ featuring DJ Trinity. In 1983, the vocal group the Tamlins engaged Lara to perform with them, initially on recording sessions with Sly and Robbie. Through the years Lara has remained with the Tamlins, although all the members of the Tamlins also pursue solo careers. In 1994, the Tamlins re-recorded their classic, ‘Baltimore’, with Richard ‘Bello’ Bell, who also enrolled Lara to join the Star Trail Posse. The Star Trail Posse provided backing vocals to performers such as Beres Hammond, Everton Blender and Anthony B. Lara released a series of hit singles including ‘Gun Man’, ‘Me No Have It’ and ‘Man Fe Know’ for Bell, while with Tappa Zukie he released, ‘Love Is Calling’ and for K.C. White he updated Horace Andy’s ‘Money Money’ rhythm for the classic, ‘Bad Vibes’. Lara also released the album “Motherless Child” drawing from his formative years and dedicated the title track to his mother, who had died in childbirth. "Motherless Child" established Lara as a seriously talented artist. In 1999, Lara released ‘All About Life’ in collaboration with Sly and Robbie, Mafia and Fluxy, Danny Browne, Firehouse Crew and Culture Lee. In the early 2000's Lara performed with the Tamlins and toured with Rita Marley singing background vocals. Derrick still performs with the Tamlins, but he has revived his solo career with the release of SOLID, a brand new album with the Stamina All Stars, produced by Bruce Lincoln Benjamin at Actual Music Productions label out of Santa Cruz, CA.
SOLID is available on CD through this website.
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