Peter Hunnigale aka Mr Honeyvibes
Born in South London on December 12th, 1960 Peter Hunnigale was to develop into one of Britain's most formidable reggae artist of our time. It was clear at a tender age Peter's main interest was in music and being born of Jamaican parentage he was exposed and influenced by music of West Indian culture.
Growing up in Britain meant that Peter was also open to other genres of music and with seeing the popular acts of the day perform on television and hearing the songs on the radio Peter knew what he wanted to be.
There were very few places where one could nurture talents during the 60's so Peter had to wait until secondary school before he would be able to learn basic guitar chords and discover other students with the same interests as himself. It was at secondary school in South London where Peter met Fitzroy Blake who was to become the recording engineer for Peter's earlier hits. Their interests in music took Peter and Fitzroy through the basic rudiments of recording, making records and learning the skills needed to develop their talents as professionally as possible.
At the end of their academic years Fitzroy took on work as tape operator at De Wolfe Studio in Wardour St., London whilst Peter continued to learn his craft as a guitarist and both saw further encouragement in the wake of the Lovers Rock phenomenon.
Peter Hunnigale's first recordings were at De Wolfe Studio where Fitzroy was given free studio-time on weekends and being in such a privileged circumstance, they both were exposed to a professional level of playing and recording music. The first record released from that period was a song written by Peter called “Slipping Away” (around 1980 at LGR Records) and was to be the beginning of a long line of hits to follow from this prolific exponent of British reggae music.
“Dancin Time” was the next release Peter was to appear on teaming up with Raymond Simpson, a much-respected vocalist by many, including Peter. The song was recorded at Vibes Corner Studio the brainchild of Fitzroy and Raymond. Consisting mainly of British local talent, the studio was like a workshop and was an ideal environment for Peter to improve on his skills as a musician and to practice his vocal techniques, which was seen as an important factor to any of the in-house productions.
“Dancin Time” was the only record released from Vibes Corner and, unfortunately enough, the studio came to a close not long after. This gave birth to the idea of creating a new label as both Peter and Fitzroy were still a team producing material and still eager to continue their chosen profession so it was not long before „Street Vibes Records“ was formed. „Got to Get to Know You“ c/w "Money Money" was Street Vibes Records first issue but did very little to bring any further awareness to the talents of the outfit. It would be some time before Street Vibes released a second recording.
During the period outside of the studio productions Peter and Fitzroy took on the role of session musicians and did live work with reggae legends such as The Chosen Few The Pioneers, B. B. Seaton and many others while earning the respect of their peers as a competent bassist and qualified engineer. The live commitments were a new direction in Peter's career and taught him live performance protocol, which only served to enhance his knowledge of music and the industry.
Production was still the main feature of the duo's forte so armed with a 4 track quarter-inch machine, desk, keyboards and guitars Peter and Fitzroy continued to produce material and it was not long before "Giving Myself Away“ was recorded and released on the Street Vibes Label and became the first entry for Peter in the then Black Echoes charts. The song got to number 24 and received positive response from sales and media sources and gave the partners the platform they needed.
1986 was the year Peter Hunnigale firmly established his name as the industry's most promising newcomer charting with a song called Be My Lady (1986) and achieving the respectful position of number 4 in the Echoes Charts and again featuring on the Street Vibes Label. The path was set for a flurry of songs written and performed by Peter proving his talents as a recording artist and displaying the production qualities of Street Vibes.
“Fool for You“, “Let's Get It Together”, “It's Like Happiness”, “Mr. Vibes” and “Heart of Steel” were some of the titles released by the outfit and prompted Peter's first album entitled “In This Time” (1987) which featured new elements in the team: Tuca Rainbow (percussion) and Delroy ‘Fluty’ Clarke (keyboard's and horns) were the formal additions to the Street Vibes camp.
After its launch, “In This Time” came to rest at the number 1 position in the album charts and gained Peter notoriety for consistency and quality in his recordings. He was quoted to be one of Britain's finest singer/songwriters in reggae music.
Inevitably, awards followed marking the respect Peter had gained for his music. So, 1987 saw Peter collect his first accolade for Best Newcomer at the Celebrity Awards ceremony held in London. Within the same year Peter was presented with a second award at the British Reggae Industry ceremony for Best British Reggae Album.
More recordings followed and with his growing popularity he began co-writing and producing other artists from the industry. A DJ/singer partnership was born from the notable success of “Raggamuffin Girl” with Tippa Irie. It reached the number one position in the charts and won Peter and Tippa Record Of The Year (1989) in Black Echoes Magazine and also received an award at the British Reggae Industry ceremony for reaching to number one in 1989.
In 1990 Peter Hunnigale recorded his first single in Jamaica entitled “A Love Like This” at the courtesy of Augustus ‘Gussie’ Clarke (Music Works) but was mainly only available on the “Massive Compilations” produced by Level Vibes Records in the UK.
Two albums were recorded making official the new partnership between Peter and Tippa. “New Decade” (Mango Records – 1991) and “Done Cook and Curry” (Tribal Bass Records– 1992) was once again a new direction in Peter's career. His partner was a formidable artist in his own right, which led the team to different areas within the reggae industry.
At this stage Peter had firmly established himself in the market with chart topping hits such as “Mr. Vibes”, “Heavenly”, “Time for Love”, “Seeing Is Believing” and “Heart of Steel”