Donovan Germain

b. 7 March 1952. A producer whose involvement in 80s and 90s reggae music has helped to define and popularize the format, Germain started in the business with a record shop in New York, and he began producing…
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Artist Biography

b. 7 March 1952. A producer whose involvement in 80s and 90s reggae music has helped to define and popularize the format, Germain started in the business with a record shop in New York, and he began producing his own work in 1972. From the outset his style was characterized by its dignified, musical approach and Germain soon proved that he could make lovers rock as adeptly as "roots" records - his "Mr Boss Man" with Cultural Roots was a huge underground hit in 1980. He made the UK national Top 20 in 1986 with Audrey Hall's "One Dance Won't Do". Strangely enough, the song was an answer version to Beres Hammond's "What One Dance Can Do", which was not a hit outside of the reggae sphere. He had many more hits throughout the 80s, including Hall's follow-up single "Smile". However, everything came together towards the end of the decade when he opened his own Penthouse Studio on Slipe Road in Kingston in 1987.

The quality and feel of the studio ensured that it was in constant demand for outside sessions and many classic recordings were recorded on the premises under the auspices of Germain and Dave "Rude Boy" Kelly. It retains its position as one of the top Kingston studios, no mean feat in the hectic competition that abounds in this particular field. Penthouse's clean, sophisticated sound and production work have ensured the popularity of the music with a much wider audience. Germain is a modest man who always prefers to let his music do the talking. A keen student of reggae, his involvement has always been imbued with a sense of, and sympathy for, the music's history and traditions. Now recognized as one of the very top reggae producers, he has proved himself many times over and there are few who would begrudge him the accolade. The discography lists just a small selection of the man's prolific output. All the releases demonstrate the clean, crisp sound that has become a byword for Penthouse productions, and Germain's ability to draw the best from both vocalists and DJs.