Quality first for Al Third


Observer senior writer

Friday, July 30, 2021


Singer Al Third has never hidden his appreciation for pop songs and easy-listening melodies. That's been a hallmark of his songs since he went solo eight years ago. 

However, for his latest recordings he mixes things up a bit. Only When Close is a ballad that seems suited for American Top 40 radio while Mood Right Now is a hail to dancehall fans. 

Al Third wrote and produced both songs which were released early this month. 

“They are actually back-to-back releases... one in my comfort zone and the other with a bit of uptempo vibe. Something for everyone basically,” he said. 

A former member of harmony trio One Third, much of his solo work has veered between lovers rock such as a cover of Sam Smith's I'm Not The Only One, and pop-flavoured tracks like Lone Face. 

Mood Right Now, Al Third explained, shows he is comfortable working in any genre. 

“It represents a fusion of dancehall and pop. The beat will grab you and make you wanna get moving. I definitely had to keep my island vibe and as always something for the ladies so it's for people to have fun. So, yes it can play in the dancehall space as well,” he said.

Lone Face is one of four songs from Endless Possibilities, his 2017 EP on which Al Third (real name Alpheus Johnson) stepped away from reggae to express his pop influences which range from Michael Jackson to Maroon 5 and Bruno Mars. 

Pointing to Beres Hammond, whose solo career launched in the late 1970s with rhythm and blues-type ballads, he said the Jamaican music fan has always been indiscriminate. 

“Jamaica's musical landscape is quite diverse and there's a place for all types of music. Oftentimes we underestimate what Jamaicans tend to be drawn to,” Al Third reasoned. “There's a place for the softer side not just for the ladies but for the man to sing and dance with his woman when in that mood. We need balance, so we have raving songs and we have songs for the lovers.”


'Endless Possibilities' for Al Third: Former Rising Star releases EP 

17 APRIL 2017 


Singer Al Third is not afraid to say he is a fervent watcher of international music charts and trends. It's a good way to keep in tune with the market. That influenced the direction of Endless Possibilities, his four-song EP which will be released May 1. Its songs have an uptempo beat geared toward a region increasingly receptive to Jamaican artistes. 

"I believe that world music with elements of reggae or dancehall is more potent. I do believe in reggae and dancehall but doing it in the European way is more favourable for me," he said. Al Third, 35, produced three of the songs including the lead release, Love Yourself. He co-produced First Date with Florida-based Philip Kavuma. 

Lone Face and Live The Fun are the other genre-bending songs on the EP, his first. It features members of Raging Fyah band and guitarist Dubwise. Since the 1970s, Europeans have shown a bias for more cultural music out of Jamaica. Acts like Burning Spear, Culture, The Mighty Diamonds and The Gladiators have loyal supporters on the continent. But the last five years has seen dancehall artistes such as Konshens, Busy Signal and I Octane doing well there through collaborations with Euro artistes and producers. The Kingston-born Al Third is known to Jamaican audiences as a member of One Third, the harmony trio that won the Digicel Rising Stars competition in 2006. 

In the last four years, Al Third has ventured solo on songs like Nothing But Love and On Top of The World, produced by Young Veterans. Two years ago, he recorded and released a self-produced cover of Sam Smith's I'm Not The Only One. Following the release of Endless Possibilities, Al Third plans to promote the mini-set with possible dates in the United States and Canada.


Al Third tells story in ‘Lone Face’



Former Rising Star Al Johnson of the group One Third is currently promoting his promising self-produced reggae single and music video, Lone Face, from his Endless Possibilities EP. The 37-year-old, who goes by the moniker Al Third, released the video on his social media pages on Tuesday. Since being on YouTube, it has racked up more than 13,000 views.

The song tells a story of Al’s obsession with a female, who has dominated all his thoughts. “Cause you are the lone face in my head, guess you are always in head/ Cause you got your own space in my head,” he sings in the hook. The comments so far have been very positive on the artiste’s YouTube channel. In the music video, which lasts for just over four minutes, a free-spirited, happy young lady are seen wandering around a city full of high-rise buildings while Al is mostly seen sitting on a bridge looking rather pensive before the video comes to an interesting end.

Al Third started performing professionally in 2004 after One Third was formed. Two years later, the well-loved group rose to national fame after winning the Digicel Rising Stars, a Jamaican music competition. Since then, the artiste has undertaken several solo projects, his first being the single Nothing But Love, which was released in October 2010 on the Young Veterans Music label. 

— Written by Claudia Gardner