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Shaggy Urges Jamaicans To Create Sync Records, High-Quality Dancehall/Reggae Hybrids – DancehallMag

Rebel Nation | November 25, 2021

Dancehall megastar Shaggy is advising his Jamaican musical compatriots to focus more on making records that can be utilized in music synchronization, as these tracks have the potential to generate even more wealth for them.

The It Wasn’t Me singer gave a bit of musical advice during an interview with veteran entertainment journalist Anthony Miller, which was aired during Television Jamaica’s The Entertainment Report on Friday night.

According to Shaggy, Barrington Levy is a prime example of an artist who has recorded songs that are sought after for music synchronization, which is the use of parts of a song within movies, television shows, television and radio commercials, and video games.

“So we have to think about what that sound is – and the language and the melodies, and all of these things that work.   Songs like what Barrington Levy is doing and all of these songs.  Those songs are great sync records and we have to create sync records, records that do well in movies and commercials and stuff like that.   You can’t just do it fi yuh likkle niche market.  Is either you gwine keep it local or global,” Shaggy advised.

Along with Barrington Levy, whose Here I Come was used in the movie The Harder They Fall, artists, whose music has been synchronized in recent times include Chronixx, whose I Can from his 2017 Grammy-nominated album, Chronology, was featured on luxury brand Jo Malone’s 2019 advertising campaign.  In addition, Wayne Smith’s legendary song Under Mi Sleng Teng was used by Meta, the new parent company name for Facebook, in its first video advertisement a few weeks ago.

The Entertainment Report discussion had centered on genre-bending hybrid Dancehall sounds, for which Shaggy and his colleague Sean Paul have well utilized over the years to massive success.

Like Sean Paul had explained several months ago, Shaggy pointed out that hybrids are a must, as these will help to get Jamaican artists on platforms and in places which the Dancehall genre is not very popular.

“At the end of the day we have to try and figure out what the market needs, and feed the market with that style of music, and put out more styles, so we haffi create hybrids”.

He also said hybrids are not new, as even Reggae icon Bob Marley hybridized Reggae in order to reach out to the rest of the world.

“In the early days people call Bob Marley music sell-out music, because of the fact that Bob Markey was creating hybrid style of music.   But he was ahead of the time.  We have documentary on YouTube that basically showed Chris Blackwell and Bob using session musicians to overdub the original Wailers music.  Isn’t it ironic that those very recordings are the blueprint of what Reggae music is?” Shaggy mused.

Bob Marley

“So he was ahead of the game.  And they created these hybrids because they wanted to be competitive; they wanted to get on these platforms that they naturally wouldn’t.  People wouldn’t gravitate to those music in its natural form so they created a hybrid and they became popular,” the Rae Town native added.

The Strength of a Woman singer also pointed to his mega-hit Oh Carolina, which was a classic example of a hybrid, and which was embraced both in Jamaica and globally.

“It’s the same thing we did when we were doing Oh Carolina; put in Marvin Gaye sample under Boombastic to create a leverage so that we can get on these platforms.  And that’s kinda what we have to kinda figure out.  Because we are in the age of hybrids.  Everything is a hybrid at this point,” he explained.

Shaggy also pointed to the Go Down Deh collab with himself, Spice and Sean Paul, indicating that the song was also a hybrid, masterminded by Romanian producer Costi.

“Even a song like Go Down Deh wid Spice, that’s a hybrid.   Those sounds were produced by Costi.  CostiOfficial a European guy; he is from Romania.  But when I heard those sounds that he was doing I said ‘oh this can work’.  And I put the song together and I created a hybrid sound, but it still connected with the core,” Shaggy said.

Costi, Shaggy

“And even when it was coming out, at some point Spice was kind of worried a bit, because she had such a hardcore following and I was like ‘yow, those hard core fans are gonna rock with this’, because you didn’t go that far… the song has started doing well in France, Russia and those places because it has that hybrid sound,” he explained.

The 10 executive producer also emphasized the importance of artists being well-prepared when going to the studio, and spending time to ensure songs are strong and well written.

“Songwriting is a formula.  It is not that you come in and you ketch a vibe.  I come in and give you that work.  My studio time start from 11 o clock inna di morning and between 11 and six you a get di song,” the former US Marine said.


Written by Rebel Nation


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