THE CRAZE of wanting to send dancehall music abroad by any means has resulted in local artistes and producers using various rhythms for original versions as well as remixes. The most recent is techno.
After Fantan Mojah released the Fire Child song Motomtoto, which means ‘Fire Child’ in Swahili, in September 2005, it was remixed on a techno rhythm. It was the first in recent times that a new producer has undertaken such a project. The song, which was produced by Ra-umi Alkebu-lan on his MWASI label, says:
“First and foremost, I’m a businessman. I’m not the in-the-box producer and when I looked around in the world and the various genres and what is really selling out there, I realised that the techno market was very lucrative, hence, we did the techno mix,” Alkebu-lan said.
Techno is energy music, therefore, appropriate for many Jamaican artistes, and Alkebu-lan was convinced that rhythm and artistes would gel.
“When it (Fire Child) was released, it was reviewed all over the world. And even in the dancehall Fire Links did a dub called Welcome The Fire Links and we have been receiving good airplay right around the world,” he said.
The song reportedly hit the music charts in Japan, Germany, Spain and Italy.
“Other artistes have recently been seeking to voice on the techno rhythm, but I originally intended only for Fantan to be on it one artiste, one rhythm. But the demand is there now,” Alkebu-lan said, adding that he is reconsidering.
Alkebu-lan says he also hopes to do a straight techno album. “It would be an album with various songs with varying topics, because yuh can all have a cultural song on a techno rhythm. Suh a dat wi a look pon right now,” he said.
Since that release, a number of local producers are following suit on the techno trail. Cordell ‘Scatta’ Burrell recently released a new techno rhythm.
“The rhythm is called ‘Inevitable’. We have Spragga Benz and Ilano with a song called Inna Mi Style, one of the more popular songs out now, CeCile with Talk Talk, Aidonia with Straight Happiness, Beenie Man, Elephant Man, Lukie D, Hollow Point and Josey Rockwell, Lady Saw and couple more,” Scatta said.
According to Scatta, the list is getting longer and longer everyday as more and more artistes want to voice on the rhythm, citing Lexxus as the most recent addition.
Scatta, however, says the fusion does not surprise him, as he had earlier seen the potential of mixing different genres with dancehall.
“I’ve always been saying this from day one, from mi produce di rhythm called ‘Dancehall Rock’ which featured tunes like Elephant Man’s Ova Di Wall and Assassin’s We Are Not Afraid, where mi mix di energy, mi si it. From there suh mi seh mi a tek di initiative fi merge di two genres and build a energy and capitalise even on the outside market,” Scatta said.
The producer recalled his experience at a club in London.
“Mi guh a club once inna London and they played a lot of dancehall and hip hop, but later in the night it was all techno an di energy weh mi si it remind me of being in a club here like Asylum. I never thought that I could feel the same way abroad and right then and there I saw it fit to merge the two,” Scatta said.
Scatta says he can see where his latest techno rhythm and other similar endeavours will be looking to get much bigger, even hitting an international level.
“…Once people abroad see the mix and si seh it have that dancehall influence, dem wi start fi stop an recognise seh a something weh have their kind of appeal,” Scatta said.