Singer/ Songwriter Helen Rogers, best known as the voice of the Jazzmasters and Direct Drive, encapsulates the vibe of two distinctive music movements, Lovers Rock Reggae and Smooth Jazz Funk giving a cool retro feel to her sound. Vocally she has a distinctive smooth, sweet tone that is instantly recognisable.
She began her singing career in London in the 80’s, firstly with One Stop a South London reggae label, where she met and recorded with reggae legend Ken Parker and worked with lovers rock band Natural Touch. She went on to become lead singer of the #1 Brit Funk band Direct Drive, and was signed to Polydor Records in this capacity. They had a massive hit with their song ‘Anything’ which remained #1 on the Black Echoes Soul chart for 8 weeks then crossed over to the UK National Chart. Helen had two UK top Twenty National chart hits as vocalist for Paul Hardcastle first in 1985 with Paul’s remix of Third World’s ‘’ Now That We’ve Found Love’’ and in 1988 on his version of Junior Walker’s ‘’Walk in the Night’’. Helen then went on to co-write and record a series of Adult Contemporary Smooth Jazz albums called Jazzmasters with multi-instrumentalist and producer Paul Hardcastle of ‘19’ fame. Throughout the 90’s the Jazzmasters series entered Billboard’s Smooth Jazz charts numerous times with several entries peaking at the #1 position. Helen also featured strongly on Paul’s eponymous album projects. In 2007 Helen recorded an album of Reggae versions of pop hits from the 70’s titled Homage with multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Black Steel. Her solo EP Eyes Like Midnight released in 2008 was a departure in style, featuring violin and cello played by Tony Qunta, and remained on the CD Baby bestseller list for many months.
Helen has been creating a lot of interest on the London Reggae specialist radio stations with her recent releases ‘Moving On’ hitting the #1 spot on the BBC Worldbeat Reggae show, and ‘Just Be Thankful’, ‘Faith For Love’ and ‘Woman Overboard’ receiving a massive amount of UK airplay.
Helen has been blessed to perform at many major events and venues in the UK, including London’s Summer Soulstice Festival, Hootananny’s, Black Grape Club, Excelsior Club, O2 Indigo, Good Ship and The Scoop.
Helen's new album “Smooth Jazz Meets Reggae” (Skinny Bwoy Records), brings together the best of both her worlds – Smooth Jazz & Reggae. It was released in November of 2015 to rave reviews. Helen is currently planning a series of shows in support of the new album.