n Photo  by Sarah Lagan
tribute: Clinark sings a Michael Jackson song at Shine’s House of Music where he will perform songs from his tribute album on Monday.
* Photo by Sarah Lagan. Tribute: Clinark sings a Michael Jackson song at Shine’s House of Music where he will perform songs from his tribute album on Monday.
n Photo  by Sarah Lagan
tribute: Clinark sings a Michael Jackson song at Shine’s House of Music where he will perform songs from his tribute album on Monday.
* Photo by Sarah Lagan. Tribute: Clinark sings a Michael Jackson song at Shine’s House of Music where he will perform songs from his tribute album on Monday.

A Bermudian reggae artist has released a tribute album made up entirely of Michael Jackson cover songs with a reggae and R&B twist.

Clinark Dill was ­approached about making the album by close associates of the King of Pop himself, including family members and one of his top drummers, Jonathan Moffett. They encouraged him to write a full album of covers after hearing his version of Jackson’s Smile with the Soul of Prophecy Choir in London — released on CD in 2009.

The current album — A Tribute to Michael Jackson, A Legend and a Warrior — features 18 tracks including They Don’t Really Care About Us, Rock My World, Liberian Girl, I’ll Be There (featuring Adele Harley) and Heal the World.

Mr. Dill, whose stage name is Clinark, will perform songs from the ­album at a special release party at Shine’s House of Music on Reid Street on Monday, December 20. He will be sharing the stage with Mr. Hayward, who will be performing songs from his new Christmas album Saxy Drummer Boys.

Clinark, who now lives in London, has been a Michael Jackson fan since as far back as he can remember — he grew up listening to the Jackson Five and watching their cartoons.

“The Jackson Five were my first influences before Bob Marley, even though I’m a reggae artist.

“One day I was singing I’ll Be There and my manager and girlfriend Juliet ­(Edwards) said I should record it in the studio. Michael was preparing to come to England at that time for his 02 concerts in London. He ended up passing in June (2009) so we ended up releasing it as a tribute ­single to him in the U.K.”

The recording was received well by DJs and fans as a tribute to Jackson, and was played on radio stations around the world.

When Clinark was ­approached to do a full ­album of covers following Michael Jackson’s death, he was reluctant to do so.

U.K. producers

“I didn’t want to look as if I was trying to capitalize on his death but this August I felt the time was right.”

Clinark teamed up with top U.K. producers Mafia and Fluxy and musicians Stanley Andrews and Dillie and to create the album.

“It wasn’t easy — Michael Jackson’s songs are difficult, with lots of bridges and changes.

“Reggae is simple but I didn’t want to do them simply — I wanted to keep to the structure of the ­originals but do it in my way.

“We finally got it down and it was a really excellent project.”

Clinark has produced three albums during his musical career, including Journey To Foreign which features artists including Maxi Priest and Richie Spice. His live music career has also been star-studded, having opened concerts for the likes of Ziggy Marley and Aswad.

Asked what advice he would give Bermuda’s ­aspiring young musicians, Clinark said: “There is so much talent here but it is raw talent  it needs to be nurtured and polished.

“I have been overseas and come back — we have as much talent as over there but we just don’t have the exposure and we are sometimes lacking the engineering expertise that will give you that international song.

“I tell a lot of young artists they have to think outside the box — don’t just think about getting your music played on local radio. The egos have got to come down as well — they think they are big stars but you have to get your music played overseas.

“It’s also about the technical ability, the ability to get that fat sound and to get the vocals blended right and equalized right.”

The tribute album is on sale at Shine’s House of Music, Music Box and Arnold’s for $20.