Sanchez is one of the all time favorite singer/performer who transforms his audience into a mass choir at his live performances. He epitomizes elegance and style and is always splendidly attired in a formal suit, enhanced with gold chains and bracelets, giving fans the ultimate in appearance and presentation. His selection of songs range from soulful R&B to hardcore Dancehall, Reggae, balanced with religiously calming cuts that enhance the spiritual vibes of his act.
Entertainment writer, Howard Hendricks, describes Sanchez’s voice as “a supernatural gift from a loving God that can out sing any Nightingale, and he possesses one of the sweetest male voices in popular music”.
Born on November 30, 1964 in Kingston, Jamaica and christened Kevin Anthony Jackson, Sanchez grew up with his Mother, Father, two brothers and two sisters, in the Stony Hill and Waterford Communities under strong Christian principles. He says, “I had to go to church every Sunday and often during the week as well. I was a member of the Rehoboth Apostolic Church junior choir and later the senior choir where I was the lead singer. I just love singing and going to church. However, when I started to attend St. Andrew Technical High School, I started hanging out with a new set of friends, things began to change and we would go to parties where sound systems like Rambo, Small Ax and Crystal would play. I really began to like the music and went through a period of conflict which later resulted in me drifting from the church.”
The former choir leader became a selector for the Rambo Sound system; a system on which many of his close DJ colleagues such as Flourigan, Lizard and Red Dragon also worked out. (By this time, he had been renamed Sanchez by his friends. and soccer team mates because of a highly skilled pass he made that was reminiscent of the great Brazilian soccer star Hugo Sanchez). As he gradually moved on to singing at these parties/sessions, the response he received was encouraging.
Sanchez soon began voicing for some of the top record producers in the business: Red Man, Winston Riley and Fattis Burrell. In 1987, Sanchez’s first single “Lady In Red” was released; soaring to the # 19 slot on JBC Radio record chart and that was very encouraging for young Sanchez. “It was a great feeling to hear my song playing on the radio.”
His first hit, the Winston Riley produced, ‘Loneliness,’ recorded in 1988, is still one of his biggest hits. In that same year, he was voted Singer of the Year, Best Up and Coming and Best New Artist by Rockers and Bins awards respectively. ‘Loneliness’ was also voted Song of the Year, and this led him to his first appearance at Reggae Sunsplash. Since Loneliness, Sanchez has scored with big hits such as, “Wild Sanchez”, “Love Mi Lover Bad”(a combination with DJ Florigan), “Fall In Love,” “If I Ever Fall In Love Again,” “Pretty Girl,” “One In A Million,” “Hello,” ‘Amazing Grace,’ and “Frenzy.” Frenzy won for Sanchez the 2002 songwriter of the year award from The Martin International Awards.
Additional achievements are: An Award from Authentic Real Music in recognition of Sanchez’s 20th year in Reggae Music. Award from Sanchez’s UK Fan Club, for being an excelent Reggae ambassador to the world. A Crest of the Township of Harrow, City of London, presented by the Mayor. Receving a Proclamation and the keys to the city of Hartford, Connecticut, March 5th 2004. Presented by Jamaican born Vice Mayor Veronica Aird-Wilson, on behalf of the Mayor Hon. Eddie Perez. (See awards and Proclamation below)
On November 15, 2003 he was inducted in the International Gospel Hall of Fame and received the Governor’s Cup for excellence at the Cairbbean American Gospel awards CAGA. The presentation was made by U.S. Congressman Kenrick Meeks and popular Jamaican businessman Roy Bramwell of Florida.
Previously the city of Lauderhill, Florida, rolled out the red carpet on Saturday night 5th, Feb.2000, in a ceremony presided over by the deputy mayor, Wally Alfers who awarded honorary citizenship to Kevin “Sanchez” Jackson and his wife Monica. the investiture was spearheaded by Chester McCollough, as part of Black History Month.
Other accolades he has received are the International World for Lovers Rock 2000, Ambassador for Reggae. The 1999 Reggae Soca Awards for the gospel song, Amazing Grace. He has been four time consecutive winner (1990-1994) of the best dress male artist, Rockers Award competition. All his clothes are designed my Monica Jackson.
In his earlier days, Sanchez was labeled as the singer who does too many covers; yet by the same token, he was simultaneously acknowledged as a special singer who received much international fame and recognition from doing these same covers. Sanchez explains, “Most times Jamaican producers are more willing to record songs that people are familiar with. I was able to break that cycle when I began recording original songs. My fans stimulated me to write because the critics used to question my writing ability, so over the years I have been writing a lot. The first original hit I wrote was ‘Brown Eyes,’ for the Shocking Vibes label, it went to # 1 on the Jamaican charts and did very well overseas. Some of the other hits I wrote are ‘I Cant Wait,’ ‘Never Dis The Man,’ ‘Praise Him” ‘Leave Out A Babylon,’ and of course ‘Frenzy’. Nuff respect to Fitz Livermore, my guitarist and songwriter, who composed most of my other originals. I want to big up the other members of my backing band, Chronic, they are, Oswald “IG Gordon on Bass, Courtney ‘Bubbla’ Edwards, Keyboards and Joslyn “King Speckle” McKenzie on drums.” A well seasoned group; Sanchez deals with his band in a professional and considerate manner and the result is like clockwork on stage.
In over 18 years of his career, Sanchez has come a long way from his first performance at a school concert at Waterford Secondary backed by the Sagittarius band. It was then that bandleader, bassist/vocalist, Derrick Barnett told Sanchez that he had a good voice and invited him to come by where they used to rehearse.
Sanchez is appreciative of how things have unfolded from the encouragement received from Derrick Barnett. Today, Sanchez is savoring a tight-knit family. One of the biggest supports to his well-being comes from his wife, Monica Jackson and their children Christopher, Kevin (Jr.), Annastacia, Keviann and Krysann. Since February 1995, Sanmonik Productions has managed Sanchez, which is headed by his wife. As she pointed out, “since I have been at the helm of managing his affairs, he has had a heavy schedule planned every year including tours and studio recording.” To date, Sanchez has released 28 albums and over 70 singles and has toured extensively throughout Europe, the USA, the Caribbean and Japan. He is presently planning on going to Australia and Africa and is poised for great things there, particularly in Zambia.”
His latest releases are the new lovers rock album ‘No More Heartache’ featuring tracks such as, ‘This Heart’, ‘You make my Day’ and a cover of ‘He Aint Heavy’, plus reality songs like ‘Gun Town’ and ‘Love And Unity’; following on the heels of his second gospel album called ‘He’s Got The Power,’ which was preceded by the secular album “Stays On My Mind” featuring the hit single “Frenzy.”
A man with a mission, who loves cooking, fashion designing and music collection. Sanchez has a serene attitude towards life. When asked about his most inspirational artist, he replied, “We can’t get better than Bob Marley, the one who pave the way. However, the artists whose songs I used to sing and tried to sound like them are Brook Benton, Sam Cook, and Tom Jones. And groups like the Temptations, the O’Jays, the Manhattans, Delfonics and The Dells.” On the topic of the different artists he has worked with, Sanchez said “Well, in the studio I have recorded many combinations with different singers like Marcia Griffiths, Chevelle Franklyn, Nadine Sutherland, Wayne Wonder, Bounty Killa, Florigan, Macka B, King Sound, Beenie Man, Sweetie Irie and more. While on stage, I have been billed with all the leading reggae singers at different times and have shared the stage on occasion with The Mighty Sparrow, Peebo Bryson, Ray Charles, The Manhattans, the Delfonics, the Dells, Donel Jones and Santana and it was everything I expected. How does he feel about working in the studio as opposed to working on stage? “Well it’s totally different because working in the studio things have to be correct, you are relaxed because you can do it over if needs be. Before you go on stage you still get a little chill here and there and feel shy because you are human. On stage if you lose track, you still have to continue, but people hardly hear it because they are singing along with you.
When asked about his most memorable stage experience, he smiled and said. “The most exciting time in Jamaica was Reggae Sunsplash 1989. I got five encores but did not return for the final one. And for overseas it was at the Humingburg Complex in Birmingham England, 1990. Sanchez was equally passionate when he described his most disappointing experience. “It is to go to a venue or to be in your hotel, ready to go, only to hear that the show is postponed or canceled and you had built yourself up for that moment” he sighed.
Fully engrossed in his music Sanchez is practicing to play several instruments. “I play drums, a little rhythm guitar, piano and bass. I have some rhythms that I made. I am completing an album called Sanchez Raw, you can look out for that, and I played all the instruments and did all the voicing.” He continued, “My aim right now is to try to produce some young talents who has no one to help them. Sanmonik production is working with some upcoming artists. We need to keep the music real, clean, and positive, break it down for the kids and to practice what we preach.