Don Hartley is a Jamaican roots reggae artist in Manchester, England, known primarily through works with Nucleus Roots, Universal Love Music Works, Lewis Bennett, Fat Bird Recordings, and others.
“I never had any formal training in music except singing in the choir from the age of about ten years old. So I started relatively late in the day, in my middle twenties, and my first release was February 1990, when I was turning 30 years old. I produced and released a 7-inch vinyl called That Lady on my Rising Son label. It was recorded, mixed, and mastered at Penthouse Studios, where the engineer was the late great Lovers Rock champion, Ruddy Thomas. Musicians featured on the track included Leroy ‘Horsemouth’ Wallace on drums and Dean Fraser on Sax.
My next venture was not till a decade later when I was featured on a cd compilation by Nucleus Roots in Manchester, England. I was also featured on their next couple of cd compilations that included local artists again from Manchester, UK. Also, in 2001 I had a release courtesy of Faya Dub, a Jazz Reggae outfit from Paris, with a track entitled When The Bread Come Back. It attracted the attention of Wagram Music which gave it a remix and released it on their cd compilation entitled Hexagone Riddim (2001). Seven years later, this same song turned up in a funk mix of the same name released by Villa Saint Michel (2008) on their cd compilation Samourai Vill-Du.”
Fast forward to 2022, and I’m producing for release this summer on the World One Entertainment label a various artist album featuring notables like George Nooks and Mikey General.