IT was a competitive scene during the 1990s when Donovan Germain was making hit songs at his Penthouse Records. One of his contemporaries was Xterminator boss Phillip ‘Fattis’ Burrell.
Burrell died December 3 at the University Hospital of the West Indies at age 57. Germain told Observer that they were friends for almost 30 years.
He says he first met Burrell in 1985 when their companies were shaping to become powerhouses. Germain had made his debut as a producer seven years earlier with singer Joy White’s Sentimental Reasons.
He remembers friendly relationships with the imposing Burrell and other producers.
“I was never in competition with any producer, we had no form of rivalry,” Germain said. “Fattis was my friend and I was his distributor. Bobby Digital (Bobby Dixon) mixed his songs at my studio, Jammy’s (Lloyd James) is also a friend of mine,” he added.
Germain and the aforementioned producers had hit songs in the 1990s with several of the same artistes, including Buju Banton, Beres Hammond, Garnet Silk and Luciano. He rates Lord Give Me Strength, from the latter’s highly-regarded Where There Is Life album, as his favourite Burrell production.
Ironically, the Penthouse and Xterminator productions slowed considerably at the close of the 1990s, largely through Germain and Burrell taking on more administrative roles.
Burrell was planning a big comeback in 2012, said saxophonist Dean Fraser, one of his main collaborators in the 1990s. He had recently returned from performances in Zimbabwe with singer Cocoa Tea and was working with new acts.
The thanksgiving service for Phillip ‘Fattis’ Burrell takes place Saturday at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Kingston, at 10:00 am. Interment follows in Dovecot Memorial Park, St Catherine.