Susan Cadogan is the daughter of singer Lola Cadogan, who released several 78rpm singles of devotional music during the 1950s. She spent several years of her childhood in Belize, where her family had moved, before returning to Jamaica.
She trained and qualified as a librarian, taking a job in the library of the University of the West Indies at Mona. Her talents as a singer led to her recording her first single, “Love My Life” for Jamaican Broadcasting DJ Jerry Lewis, who was the boyfriend of one of Cadogan’s school friends. Lee “Scratch” Perry was in the recording studio at the time, and was impressed by Cadogan’s voice enough to record an album’s worth of material with her, also renaming her Susan around the Same time.
One of her first recordings for Perry, a cover of Millie Jackson’s soul hit, “Hurt So Good” (featuring bassist Boris Gardiner and the Zap Pow horns), was released to little effect in Jamaica on Perry’s new ‘Perries’ record label, but was released in the UK by Dennis Harris’s DIP International label, and topped the UK Reggae Chart.
Magnet Records picked up the single and it went on to reach the top 5 of the UK Singles Chart, with Cadogan flying to London to promote the single, including a legendary television appearance on Top of the Pops. Cadogan then signed directly to Magnet, who issued the official follow-up, the Pete Waterman produced “Love Me Baby”, which reached number 22 in July 1975, To date that was her last UK hit – Perry, meanwhile, arranged with the Birmingham based label Black Wax to release an unofficial follow-up – a remixed version of “Love My Life”. Other singles were released on Klik and Lucky in an attempt to cash in, but none of these charted.
Two mid 1970s albums, Doing It Her Way and Hurt So Good were released by Magnet and Trojan Records respectively, Susan returned to her library job, but resurfaced as a recording artist in 1982, having a string of hits in Jamaica including covers of “Tracks of My Tears” and “Piece of My Heart”, and 1983’s “(You Know How To Make Me) Feel So Good” – a duet with Ruddy Thomas. After returning again to her library job for most of the 1980s, she returned with the Mad Professor produced album Soulful Reggae in 1992. A further album, Chemistry of Love followed in 1995.
Cadogan caught the music bug once more in 2001, and she performed live at the Heineken Startime Series event in Kingston. More recently, Susan has toured together with Glen Adams and The Slackers as well as with the Portuguese band The Ratazanas and has been collaborating with many bands.
Aisha, Birth name Pamela Ross – Labels Ariwa, Twinkle
Associated acts Mad Professor, Aisha, sometimes Sister Aisha (
Aisha’s father ran a sound system and she began singing at the age of eight, building up a strong local following before beginning her recording career.At the age of sixteen she met Lippy, who owned the Locks City sound system, and she sang over the system’s dub plates.In 1979, she successfully auditioned for the band Capital Letters as a backing vocalist.[She went solo in 1984 and was soon introduced to Mad Professor, and after a few singles, Mad Professor produced her debut album, High Priestess (1988). A second album, Daughters of Zion appeared in 1993, with further albums in the years that followed, Aisha also working with Norman Grant of The Twinkle Brothers on two albums. She also featured on the Roots Daughters series of albums, alongside artists such as Kofi, Fabian, and Sandra Cross. She first performed in Jamaica in 2000 at the Augustus Pablo Benefit concert, and her debut performance in the United States came in 2004.She performed at the 2003 Meltdown festival (curated by Lee “Scratch” Perry) at London’s Royal Festival Hall, which saw The Daily Telegraph describe her as “the closest we have to a female Bob Marley”. In 2006, she toured internationally with Mad Professor’s Ariwa Posse
With over 20 years of experience in the music industry, more than 12 albums and singles which were followed by headlined tours throughout Europe, America and Japan, and 7 international music awards, Sandra Cross is regarded as one of the leading forces of England’s ‘lover’s rock’ era. She has become one of the most successful and respected singing talents coming out of the UK. Born amongst seven boys to Jamaican parents, and raised in London, England, Sandra was introduced to music from the young age of 7 when she was chosen as lead vocalist for the local church choir. Her parents were strict church-goers, so it was in the Pentecostal church her talent for playing the piano, singing and writing songs was initially discovered.
During her early school days instead of attending classes she would spend most of her day in the school’s music room playing the piano and writing songs. Sandra came of age during the original outbreak of the UK’s lover’ rock movement during the early seventies. After spells of sneaking out at nights squeezing into the back of sound system vans, so that she could sing on dub plates in the local dances, her hunger for the music industry seemed to be reeling out of control. In 1979 she entered a school talent contest with a composition entitled ‘I Adore You’. She won the contest and accepted the prize of recording the song under the production of a local record producer. However, at the same time, because of her reluctance to attend classes at school, and her spells of running off late at nights to sing, her parents came to the conclusion that they had lost total control of their only daughter and decided to hand her over to the local authorities. Sandra was fourteen years old when she was placed into a home for truant children, and it was whilst she was there ‘I Adore You’ went straight to the No.1 spot in the UK reggae charts. ‘I remember sitting in my room in the home and listening to ‘I Adore You’ being played on the radio….I remember feeling all the craze and excitement going on in the outside world, but not being able to be a part of it….I couldn’t understand why? How was it that I was educated and talented enough to achieve a number one record which was being played like crazy on radio stations all across England, yet I was locked up in a home for truant juveniles? ’
Over the following years, 4 more No.1 hits followed, the biggest to date entitled ‘Country Living’ which spent a whopping 10 weeks at the No.1 spot in the UK and European reggae charts in 1985. Twelve top 10 albums followed as she went on to accumulate popularity and fame in the reggae industry. She became one of the most admired lovers rock singers in the business and earned the title of the BBC listener’s “Britain’s Best Female Reggae Singer” for six consecutive years between 1986 -1991.
Her first exclusive Japanese release, an album entitled ‘Just a Dream’, was produced and released by Pioneer Records executive Koichi Hanafusa in 1997. This was followed by her second Japanese release entitled ‘Dreams Come True’ released in 1999.
‘Many times I have been labeled ‘The Thinker’……this indeed is a fact, however, during my times of pain and distress space is automatically made for me to ‘think and plan’, because it is during this time I am able to analyze and make sense of my life and the reason for my existence….The conclusion I reach is that the special gift of music was and is the reason for my existence…reaching and touching the hearts of my fans through music is the reason for my existence…’ After a long break from the business which included a lengthy ‘rest period’ in Barbados, 2005, introduced another great coalition in Sandra’s career when she met Florida based producer Lloyd Campbell of Joe Fraser Records, who actually travelled to Barbados to meet her! She recorded two tracks for his ‘Loving Pauper meets Hypocrite’ various artists project which was released later on that year. Received with resounding accolades from reggae radio and sound system personalities worldwide, she continued the partnership and in 2008 released the smash song ‘Someone Special’, her version to Taurus Riley’s ‘She’s Royal’. Her official comeback to the music industry was celebrated worldwide with the 2009 release of the album entitled ‘Now’ , which is currently causing waves in the international music arena.