Now 49, Rochester lives in Atlanta, Georgia, and is still involved in the music business as a writer and producer with artistes such as Kashief Lindo and Jahmali. He says Silk, whom he describes as a "brother from another mother", was the most talented act he knew.
"Our friendship was awesome. Garnet was my moral compass as I was for him," Rochester told the Jamaica Observer. "He brought out the best in me, and I am thankful to have had him in my life."
Rochester and Silk co-wrote hit songs like It's Growing, Fill Us up With Your Mercy, The Rod and Oh Me, Oh My. Rochester wrote A Place in Your Heart and Blessed Be The Almighty, which were also hits for the Manchester-born vocalist.
Born in Kingston, Rochester grew up in the Pembroke Hall area where he first met Silk in the late 1980s. They were introduced to each other by Silk's close friend, deejay Tony Rebel, who was also a Pembroke Hall resident at the time.
A past student of St George's College, Rochester was influenced to get into music by his father, a pianist who was big into jazz and Rhythm and Blues. He had an immediate connection with Rebel and Silk who were deep into the Rastafarian faith.
The Silk/Rochester team clicked and rarely missed the charts. Produced by Bobby Digital, It's Growing was a mainstream hit that helped solidify the singer's emergence as a mainstream force.
Fill Us up With Your Mercy and The Rod reflected their deep-rooted spirituality.
Silk was recording an album for Atlantic Records when he and his mother Etiga Gray were killed on December 9, 1994 in a fire at her home in Manchester.
Rochester was in the United States at the time of the tragedy.
"I was in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I got the call from a friend who told me that Garnet had passed away," he recalled. "After hanging up from that call, I called (singer) Utan Green, who confirmed that it was true. My world turned upside down, it was one of the most painful experiences I had been through."
Though he took a break from music after Silk's death, Rochester returned to the scene by working with Lindo and Jahmali. He is currently working on the latter's EP for his (Rochester) A'Dis Music label.
Rochester is also producing an album for deejay Natty Remo and plans to collaborate with Silk's son, Garnet Jnr, on a similar project.
[Howard Campbell -Jamaica Observer]