Throwback: Maxi Priest-Close To You
Maxi Priest started his career singing lovers rock style reggae in 1985 with the debut album, You’re Safe. Priest, who hails from the U.K. started a trio of hits at home with “In The Springtime” followed by “Strollin’ On” and a cover of Van Morrison’s “Crazy Love” on his second release, Intentions. The singer, who is related to the late reggae singer Jacob Miller and deceased rapper Heavy D., didn’t break into the American market until this third project, simply titled Maxi. Sly and Robbie produced the album and a cover of Cat Stevens’ “Wild World” took him beyond his previous audience. “Close To You” was a single from his 1990 album, Bonafide and it is his biggest international hit song. The sound moved away from his reggae roots and was heavily influenced by Soul II Soul. Jazzie B was one of the producers who worked on Bonafide and had a feature on the song “Peace Throughout The World.” The connection with American fans continued with the “Set The Night To Music” duet with Roberta Flack in ’91, “House Call (Your Body Can’t Lie To Me)” with Shabba Ranks and his ’96 “That Girl” collaboration with Shaggy. He took a break from recording in the late ’90’s and started releasing music again in the 2000’s. Easy To Love, released in 2014, reached number two on the Billboard Top Reggae Charts and features more of his reggae fusion and the reappearance of his working relationships with Sly and Robbie and Beres Hammond.