Elephant Man is cautioning upcoming Dancehall artists to eat well and keep physically fit, in order to keep apace with grueling tours and performances in the future.
According to the Find It artist, his high energy performances have always paid off for him as Dancehall fans are always expecting that artists will come with their A-Game to the stage, for which a high level of fitness is compulsory.
Elephant Man, who turns 45 on Saturday, said in the 1990s, when he was touring extensively and gracing stages at massive concerts across the United States, his natural stamina made him able to command the stages and give his audiences spectacular performances, without having to go to the gym or pay attention to his diet unlike today when he is paying more attention to health and nutrition.
However, according to the Energy God, his performances then, which included acrobatics and would see him at times climbing to the top of the trusses to sing, would have been even more explosive if he were aware of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.
“Dem time deh me neva did a guh gym and woek out. So imagine f me dia a work out dem time deh like now, a trouble. Dem woulda seh mi a teck coke,” he joked during an interview on Next Frideh with Teino Evans.
“Caw dem time deh, wi jus a live, an wi jus eat some likkle waste ting and guh fast food.. wi neva used to drink whole heap a water serious and natural juice and ting deh serious. Bare sweets and ray…,” the Nuh Linga artist explained.
“Wi haffi teck wi health serious – every artiste. A just true me is a man sme fit naturally weh dem big stage deh mi neva used to (gasp) an breathe through mi mouth and yuh would hear it inna di mike,” he explained.
The Billboard-charting artist said he has mastered a performance technique that other artists could adopt, where he breathes through his nose when singing and not through his mouth, so no sounds of deep breathing will ever be heard.
“As young artiste, dem haffi practice dem ting deh. You know know how fi inhale and exhale… and keep it professional an nuh meck di people dem a hear it ina di mike and dem ting deh, an a seh: ‘wait, dem artiste yah unfit’ … suh to all a di young artiste dem weh a come up, mek sure seh oonu teck oonu health serious. Because look, if yuh a do hit chune and yuh a run di place and yuh plan fi run di place, den some big show and some big stage come – an dem a guh come enuh – hope you can manage it… Suh just teck oonu health serious,” Elephant said.
He also listed Shabba Ranks and Ninja Man as being among the artists whom he emulated due to their stage presence.
“As a likkle yute, when mi use to guh watch Shabba an Ninja man dem, when dem run out pon stage bro, a problem. And wi always try to bring dah same energy deh…,” he said.
The Seaview Gardens native also said shyness was also unacceptable on the stage. He said all artists should come well-prepared to dominate the stage and have the audience eating out of their hands, as if an artist is nervous or shy the audience will immediately become aware.
According to Elephant Man, the key is to recognize that no two audiences are necessarily the same as “sometime one weekend yu a guh get a crowd weh a guh rail and ray; a next time is a listening crowd and a see-how-him-perform crowd”.
“Di worst ting fi me si is artiste performing fi people in front him, an tun roun a talk to di bands. Mi nuh waan talk to no bands!” he said, raising his voice.
“Once mi si a artiste look back an a guh suh wid di bands, him a get intimidated, or him a worry bout di forward and di crowd. Look pon di people,” he declared. “Perform fi dem!