Interview with ...
Before beginning your musical career, you were a comedian. Moreover you studied acting at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in Kingston, from 1992 to 1995. Could you tell us more about these years ?
I was always an actor, but what I learnt at Edna Manley College moulded me into a professional actor and a more disciplined artist. Plus interacting with other creative energies like myself made me feel alive and even more special to the world I was bound to share that talent with.
You became a complete entertainer extraordinaire as a comedian, actor, singer and also radio show host. What did tempt you to develop these various facets ?
Acting and comedy were both in my blood from day one. Music was a burning fire I discovered at 10 years old. I never knew I could do radio til further on in my career, but it was a natural, genuine love for them all that led me to hone and harness my skills. I was always impersonating people, cracking jokes, being the resident entertainer, so eventually I said, why not just go pro !?!
How did you start your musical career ?
In the '90s, myself and international menswear designer Carlton Brown were both lead singers in a gospel group named Foundation. Years later, I was introduced to Robert Livingston of Big Yard music Group by Brian Gold (from the singing duo Brian & Tony Gold).
What was your first single ?
The first single I released was called "Girls Invasion" on The Salsa Riddim for Big Yard Music Group in 2003.
You seem to be equally comfortable as singjay, dee jay and singer. Did you take singing lessons, like you did for acting ?
Apart from a one semester course at Edna Manley College called Vocal Skills, I have no formal training in music. I grew up singing in church, did that for some time before I went pro.
You did backing vocals for a ska tune of Anthony Cruz "Take It Off" recorded in 2008 for Penthouse. Is it your first collaboration with Donovan Germain ? How did you get connected ?
I must admit that I don't recall that Anthony Cruz song. If that info is correct then that may very well have been my first collaboration with Germain. I was introduced to him by a friend of mine, D-Major, in 2013.
You recorded for many labels (Big Yard, Cell Block, Truckback Records, Birch Records, Digital One … ). What is Donovan Germain's singularity comparing to other producers ?
Simply put, the chemistry is good. His knowledge of the music is vast. I'm willing to follow his musical direction, and as a result, good songs unfold. He always says "Let's try it; if it works, it works; if not, not; but let's try." Can't argue with a producer responsible for unearthing so many prolific reggae and dancehall acts the world ever saw.
During the golden years of Penthouse records, which songs left most memories in you ?
Too many songs !!!!!!!! "Browning", "Love Black Woman", "Battyrider", "Woman Nuh Fret" and many more by Buju Banton. "Tempted to Touch" and more by Beres Hammond. "Fresh Vegetable", "Everybody Bawling One Day" and more by Tony Rebel, and the list goes on and on... !
Your first songs released by Penthouse were "Ringo & Loxley" and "Wha Dis" in october 2014 on the Penthouse Showcase compilation vol. 11, but what was your first recording in Penthouse Studio ?
My first Penthouse recording was "Your Love Is Life" in 2014, released in 2016.
Tell us more about the singles already released by Penthouse.
"Ringo & Loxley" is a song about two gun fighters seeking donship over enemies and turf.
For "Wha Dis", I wanted to tell a story about a woman who got faithful, honorable love from her man and she still cheated on him. Real tragedy.
"Your Love Is Life" is a real love song, a King celebrating his Empress.
"Jam Jam Party" was a blend of old school and new school reggae. I wanted to remind the world of that time when the dance did ram and people were just jamming to the music with a happy vibe. No war, no bad vibes, just Irie and mellow levels.
We tried the song "Consider Me" on the Come Back Darling Riddim and it worked like magic. Germain heard this song of Eddie Floyd playing in his head, asked me to sing it on the riddim, I learnt the words, recorded it in about 30 minutes. The song is getting great spins overseas and locally and is currently on The foundation radio network chart at #27.
"Friday" is my latest release. A song about partying away the week's work/stress, in a friday setting.
I had the opportunity to listen your song "Might As Well", recorded in 2015 that is unfortunately still unreleased. Are there other songs you recorded at Penthouse studio whiches are not unreleased ? How is made the choice to release a title ?
I have a number of unreleased tracks at Penthouse. In music, you have to know the right time to drop a song. Strategy works hand in hand with Choice; both can make or break a song so you have to be very calculated with the releases.
Your latest singles were released under the artist name Slashe. Is this change definitive ?
Yes this change is absolute ! SLASHE is my new musical moniker.
DISCOGRAPHY ON PENTHOUSE RECORDS : |
- Consider Me (2017 - Come Back Darling riddim)
- Friday (2017 - Friday riddim)
- Jam Jam Party (2017 - Peenie Wallie riddim)
- Ringo & Loxley (2014 - Nuh Trouble We riddim)
- Wha Dis (2014 -Run For Your Life riddim)
- Your Love Is Life (2016 - Love Is Not Blind riddim)
listen to these singles :