Born Hugh Beresford Hammond in 1953, Beres is considered the lover’s rock singer par excellence in Jamaica and around the world. He became the singer of the band Zap Pow in 1975. His youth influences were American soul artists, such as like Sam Cooke and Otis Redding. But it was more Peter Tosh, Ken Boothe, Alton Ellis and The Heptones, his reggae idols that pushed him to persevere in this style of music. He had to wait until 1976 to release his first album Soul Reggae on the label Aquarius, his first great success, in the wake of the single One Step Ahead, which held the first place on the charts for fourteen weeks! Despite this, he did not record any more albums for the next few years and only focused on producing singles. He will quit Zap Pow in 1979.
Five years after his first album, Joe Gibbs produced his second, Just A Man. Unfortunately, things do not go well between the artist and the producer. He steps back for one year, after which he released his new album for Willie Lindo. After creating his own group, Tuesday’s Children, he founded his own record label, Harmony House. It is on the latter that he’ll produce new singles, of which What One Dance Can Do will be his greatest success, produced by Lindo.
He left Jamaica in 1987 after being attacked at home to relocate to New York for three years. But the decisive encounter in Beres Hammond’s career was undoubtedly with Donovan Germain, the Penthouse record label boss. Indeed, Germain produced the single Tempted To Touch, a huge success for Beres, to mark his return on his native island. The title transcended borders and did very well in New York and the UK as well. Beres was revealed as a true crooner! Since then, he has specialized in love songs, to the delight of his admirers.
The greatest Jamaican producers and labels have also been seduced by his voice; Fatis Burell, the Xterminator boss, Richard “Bello” Bell of Star Trail and also Steely & Clevie. He has released a number of albums for the major reggae labels: VP Records, HeartBeat, Greensleeves, as well as his own label Harmony House.