Close your eyes and imagine a packed church crusade in full effect in Saint Elizabeth, Jamaica in the 1990s. A most unusual occurrence is taking place on stage. A charming and captivating seven-year old is given the microphone to sing, and his tender voice loaded with youthful innocence, ravishes the audience. One woman faints as the infant’s song peals throughout the worship session. Churchgoers are captivated by this gifted youth and his jaw-dropping performance.
Fast forward to now and the seven year old youth at the crusade, Leighton Miller, who later attended Munro College in Jamaica is now a grown man. Leighton currently lives in New York City. He is still the proud owner of that compelling and velvety smooth voice that first had audiences awe-struck, but now he has grown beyond the church and he is now wooing audiences in many different arenas across the country.
Leighton is from a Jamaican Adventist family and musical ministry was taken seriously at his home. By the time he migrated to the United States and enrolled in Harbor Fields High School in Long Island, joining the school choir was the natural thing for him to do. His stint with the choir further cemented his love for music. It also broadened his scope and appreciation for the art form. The experience enabled him to embrace new forms of music like reggae and Broadway musicals, and he also benefited from classical training that formed part of the choir’s rigorous routine. But equally important were the opportunities that the choir provided for continuous live performances across the state, and in no time, Leighton was an integral part of a school choir that won the county and state championships repeatedly.
Upon graduation, Leighton’s musical thoughts turned towards reggae and R & B. In 2000, he joined a four-man R & B band called Cornerstone. After the band dismantled, Leighton’s next musical destination was reggae. He had always cherished a love for his own music and he always admired the enduring artistry of a number of reggae greats, including Sanchez, Wayne Wonder and Garnet Silk. “Many of my friends were into reggae and I felt I was missing out on parts of my Jamaican reggae culture, so I wanted to get back to my roots”, Leighton affirmed.
As it turned out, getting back to his roots was not that difficult for the hugely talented Leighton. He already comes to the table with a magnificent voice and a mesmerizing performance style. Additionally, he writes his own lyrics that are anchored on the cultural side of the reggae spectrum. His themes speak of love, relationships, heart break and world politics. By a stroke of luck, he reconnected with an old friend Nikimo Palache who also has a passion for music and the collaboration of the two is bearing fruit.
Leighton's new single, "Press Along" (Out Deh Records/Punch This Records) has hit the airwaves and his previous single "Silly of Me" is still going strong with an EP and full length album on the drawing board. For now, he is looking forward to sharing his eclectic R & B flavored reggae and his magical voice with the rest of the world.