Words by Jesse Serwer, Photos by Jenny McLaughlin—
If you’ve followed reggae music over the last 15 years, you’ve seen the work of Martei Korley. The Kingston and NYC-based photographer has snapped cover images for albums by Beres Hammond, Busy Signal and I-Wayne, to name a few, and for magazines such as Trace. As LargeUp’s co-founder, creative director and chief photographer, he’s also responsible for the look of this site, taking many of the memorable images that have distinguished us as the web’s top destination for Caribbean music and culture.
Now, Martei is stepping out as a reggae singer himself, with the release of his Kingston Konfidential EP later this month. Today, for International Reggae Day, he unveiled his first music video, for “Couldn’t Be Wrong,” a tale of long-distance love shot between his two homes of NYC and JA. As Martei reminded us on a recent afternoon bike ride through Brooklyn, pedaling between his favorite NYC Caribbean food spots Glenda’s Restaurant and Long Life Vegetarian in Crown Heights, he’s no stranger to making music. He’s been singing since he was a child, and played bass for bands in his birthplace of Copenhagen, Denmark and NYC, well before starting his career in photography.