Janet Kay needs no introduction to reggae fans worldwide; her lover’s rock hit, ‘Silly Games’, written and produced by Dennis Bovell, reached the UK number 2 in 1979.
Kay was born in north west London in 1958 to Jamaican parents and she was discovered singing impromptu at a rehearsal studio by Tony ‘Gad’ Robinson, the keyboardist from Aswad, who recommended Kay to Alton Ellis. The Jamaican-born Ellis, a successful rocksteady vocalist, had relocated permanently to London and was looking for a female vocalist to record a reggae cover of Minnie Ripperton’s ‘Lovin’ You’. The single became a reggae smash hit spending many weeks at No. 1 in the reggae charts 1n 1991.
In 1979, Janet had made history by becoming the first British born black female to have a reggae song at the top of the British charts. ‘Silly Games’ was a hit not only in the UK but also in Europe and Janet’s achievement has been recorded in the Music Guinness Book of Records. The chart success of ‘Silly Games’ also led to Kay appearing on Top of the Pops, then the BBC’s flagship music programme. the track appeared again in 1990 as a re-recording, billed as by Lindy Layton featuring Janet Kay, which reached No. 22. A remix version of Kay’s original recording spent three weeks in the UK Singles Chart, peaking at No. 62.
Kay has recorded, and co-produced her seventh album for Sony Music Japan. It was released on 18 June 2003, and is entitled ‘Lovin’ You … More’. The popularity of the song ‘Lovin’ You’ in Japan is so strong that she was asked to record it again for the album, the track being produced by Omar. Kay is also credited as producer on ‘Missing You’, recorded by Aswad.