Over Da Real Storm
“Unity over Opportunity” is the slogan Storm aka Da Real Storm lives by; respect and fairness are her morals. The Storm is on a mission. Hold tight, the journey has just begun. With her witty style and versatility, Storm has managed to gain the attention of a global audience. Born Kelly-Ann Minto to parents Ovril, an executive secretary and Lester Minto, a musician in St. Catherine Jamaica, Storm showed a remarkable love for music from a very tender age. Featured on many episodes of “Ring Ding”, a children’s television show hosted by the late Honorable Louise Bennett Coverly, Storm never rejected an opportunity to sing. Her talent became more profound when she became a member of her church choir. She never ceased to amaze the congregation. Alto being her strong point, Storm’s raspy sound was well accepted when she went on to Holy Childhood High School where she performed at several of their annual social gatherings. Storm was considered to be the Jamaican version of Tracy Chapman by the members of her community, Marine Park, where she was also a crowd pleaser at their annual festivities. Her father, known to everyone in his hometown of Ocho Rios as “Minto“, was the owner of the “Touch of Class Band” formerly the “Red Dirt Band”; He also served as an officer of the Jamaican Federation of Musicians and this allowed Storm the privilege to interact and become acquainted with the different styles and techniques of veteran artists who were former band mates and very good friends of her father. It was this affiliation that encouraged Storm’s unique style and ‘rootsy’ flavor. While visiting her father in St. Ann, Storm frequented President Brown’s studio, Muzic Avenue, with her cousin Ifari, a cultural reggae artist who was then a part of Brown’s team. She was persuaded by the engineer there, “Brave Heart”, and a close friend, “Professor Frisky”, into recording her first song entitled “Can We”. It was a new and exciting venture for Storm as she then discovered her love for writing and was elated by the words of encouragement she received from artists such as Frankie Paul, Courtney Melody, President Brown, and Mikey Spice, just to name a few. Storm’s dream of becoming a star, however, was delayed as she had to make a very hard decision in January of 2001. She was accepted to a well-known university in Baltimore, Maryland and chose to migrate to the United States to further her studies as well as to be close to her mother, who was already living there, and other family members. Her love for music never allowed a day to go by without words, notes, and melodies captivating her thoughts. Storm’s friendly personality and outspoken character afforded her to meet and become friends with many in her new found hometown. She was introduced to a recording studio in Baltimore by Canadian reggae artist “Gucci Linxx” who encouraged her to keep doing music as he realized that she had a special knack for it and wrote songs so fluently and easily. This talent was what subsequently led to her being given the name “Storm” as it was thought that her lyrical ability and different sound blew the minds of those who listened. She then went on to record her first single in the U.S. entitled “Cellular” which caught the attention of many promoters and producers in Maryland. After recording her second single, “Got Your Back”, Storm became a household name in Baltimore and has shared a stage with an array of artists such as, Junior Reid, Turbulence, Buju Banton, Ken Boothe, Mavado, Baby Cham, Junior Kelly, Yami Bolo, Johnny Osbourne, Junior Cat, Junior Demus, Boom Dandimite, Noppa Toppa, General Pecos, Lady Saw, Sean Paul, Beenie Man, Third Wirld, Morgan Heritage, Frankie Paul, Sanchez, and many more. In March of 2011, a part of Storm’s world ended when she lost her mother to a case of medical malpractice. This was a great set back as their relationship was a very close one. Her best friend and motivation was now gone. Bewildered and sullen after a few months of musical withdrawal, Storm put pen to paper. Creativity exploded as she counteracted all those feelings of sadness with the happy memories of time well spent with her late mother. Storm’s once very provocative lyrics transformed into more cultural and motivational songs after she was introduced to the teachings of Rastafari by a very close friend and fellow artist General Pecos. This insight was the factor that allowed the blooming of a new Storm. She had finally found her comfort zone and strong point in the world of reggae music. Her uplifting and relatable lyrics broadened her fan base and gave her the respect and adoration of many. Social media gave way to a meeting that still seems uncanny to Storm. She became acquainted with Dullord Thompson, C.E.O. of Signature Music Group Inc. in Kingston Jamaica, while browsing through her Blackberry messenger notifications. She had noticed a broadcast he had made about missing his also deceased mother and felt compelled to exchange some words of comfort and motivation. They chatted for a while, never about music, despite the fact that they were both aware of each other’s involvement in the industry. Storm was, however, drawn to another broadcast made by him about a riddim he was releasing called “The Broken Pieces Riddim”. She contacted him immediately and sent a copy of a song she had voiced for Andy’s Muzic Productions entitled “Miss Your Kisses”. He was flabbergasted by her unique sound and enigmatic flavor that he sent the riddim immediately despite the fact that he had decided to close the riddim for release. She wrote and recorded “Me Gone” produced by Signature Records, an affiliate of Signature Music Group Inc., and a musical bond was formed between artist and label. Storm, now a seasoned recording artist, is aiming for the stars. Her soulful melody and lyrical eloquence is evident in her songs “Me Gone”, “Lioness”, “Mr. Pedophile”, “Daddy Where Were You”, “Unpredictable Love”, "Working For My Pay", "Baby I'm Leaving" featuring Lutan Fyah, and an array of other compositions. Since the musical union with Signature Music Group and the release of her album, Storm has done several radio interviews on both main stream and internet based stations across the world as well as numerous shows and festivals in The United States. A career chosen can never be as fulfilling as one that has been pre-destined. Music is Storm’s passion and has followed her throughout her life. She continues her musical journey to a destination of notoriety for her contribution to the Industry of reggae music. Her debut album “Nostalgia - A Sentimental Journey back to the Good Old Days of Reggae” was released by Signature Records on January 1st of 2013. The album is dedicated to her late mother, Ovril Minto, on the anniversary of her birth. When asked about Nostalgia the artist replied: "Nostalgia is very dear to me as it brings back the essence of the good old days of roots reggae music and it affords me an opportunity to pay homage to some of it's icons who deserve great respect and honor. They have paved the way for artists like myself and their works, in my opinion, need more acknowledgement. I think the album is a colorful one that encompasses the mellow tones and sounds of lover's rock, the upbeat tempo and bouncy flair of dancehall reggae, and also a soulful meditation of praises and upliftment. I think it is well balanced as it brings the listener back to the core of reggae with somewhat of a modern twist. My hopes and aspirations for the years ahead is to continue making great songs that uplift, educate, and entertain my people; and when i say my people I mean all people. My music, like myself, sees no hue. Oneness, universal love, global warming of the heart is my aim and if i can send this message and change the outlook of even one individual, then I'll be satisfied. Music is the medium that Jah has afforded me and my intention is to use it for his works, as the late great Garnet "Garnett Silk" Smith sang, "Music is the rock and we are Moses, leading God's children to the Promise Land..."