Interview with ...
Kevino "Bunu" Elliott


Music engineers play a pivotal role - but often underated - in the quality of musical productions. Alongside the others resident engineers of Penthouse studios - Michael "Coolie" Cooper and Shane C. Brown - Kevino "Bunu" Elliott creates this recognizable sophisticated sound, the trademark of Penthouse Records.

(December 2009 - penthouserecords.free.fr)

Could you please introduce yourself to those reggae fans who don't know you.
My name is Kevino Elliott, I am 27 years old, I'm from an inner city area in Kingston Jamaica called Dunkirk where I've lived all my life.

When and how did you begin your engineer's career ?
In 2005, a friend of mine Jevon "Bonez" Bailey, who was an engineer at Penthouse Records, was offered a job to work at Rat-A-Kastle Records with Red Rat. At this time Penthouse Records was in transition and the new studio was not finished as yet. Knowing he could not commit to Rat-A-Kastle Records, Bonez immediately thought for me and how I said I would like to be an engineer like him. So we had a meeting with the C.E.Os of Rat-A-Kastle Record and came to the agreement that Bonez would work as the engineer and me as his apprentice until construction on Penthouse Studios were finished. Eventually Rat-A-Kastle studios came out of commission and Bonez started work for Board House Records and Mr Germain gave me the opportunity to work for Penthouse Records, the rest is history in the making.

So you met Donovan Germain at that time ?
Yes, Mr. Donovan Germain would do some work out of Rat-A-Kastle Studios while his studio was under construction, this is when I met Mr. Germain, and started doing some recording for him.

Who found the nickname of Kevino "Bunu" Elliott ? What is its meaning ?
The name Bunu was given to me at birth by my mother, at that time in Jamaica everything that was thought to be pretty was referred to as "Bunununus" : so because I was an exceptionally beautiful baby I was given an abbreviated version of the name (laughs).

You worked as recording engineer on the majority of the last productions of Penthouse but also as mixing engineer on some titles (like Romain Virgo's hit "Mi caan sleep"). Describe us your way of working.
I really don't do anything special, I just need the right vibe which is usually provided by the song I'm mixing. I usually start with the percussion instruments and the bass then I drop in the fillers one by one just the way my mentor Shane C. Brown does but of course not as good...... as yet.

What differences you observe when you record new roots riddims and dancehall riddims ?
As a young person of course I prefer the high tempo dancehall riddims, but I don't think there is much difference other than the tempo. They are both powerful forms for reggae music each has its place in the world of music.

Tell us about Penthouse new equipments in this new studio opened on Ballater Avenue in 2006.
The new Penthouse Studio is not much different from any other big name studio in Jamaica. We decline to upgrade to Pro-Tools 8.0 as yet so we still use 7.3.1. Control 24 mixing board; Genelec, NS-10 and Tannoy monitors; drum room for live sessions, still have the 24 track and the 16 track machine, basically the same as every other studio..... except for the quality of the music being produced of course (laughs).

Can you talk to us about your collaboration with the other engineers who work at present for Penthouse Records Michael "Coolie" Cooper and Shane C. Brown ?
It's been a wonderful learning experience, I'm just trying to learn as much as possible from everyone I can.

Among all the singles you recorded for Penthouse, which ones are your favorites ?
I don't think I have a favorite I like all songs I work one.

Do you work for other labels ?
I've worked with Board House Records, Juke Boxx Records, Flames Records...... and lots I can't remember.

Do you intend to create later your own label ?
Hopefully sooner than later.

Who are your favorite artists among the current generation ?
When it comes to dancehall, lyrically, I have three artists I place above all others : Busy Signal, Assassin and Vybz Kartel. As for singers my favorites are Romain Virgo, Alaine, Peetah Morgan and Cameal Davis.

To conclude, what are your plans for future works ?
Right now I'm just focused on moving the Penthouse label forward for the coming year.