by Howard Campbell
BRONX, NY – Making a dancehall rhythm is somewhat similar to concocting a scientific formula. The ingredients have to be spot-on; choosing the right artists is critical to any rhythm’s success.
After six years as a producer, Tomique ‘DJ Fresh’ Williams of Berta Records is aware of this. He and his partners at the Bronx, New York-based label steadfastly selected artists for their new Certitude rhythm.
“The artist lineup wasn’t a coincidence. We decided we wanted to reach out to some artists who could help us bring the project to life,” said Williams. “I think they did a great job with the message they delivered. I think we hit the nail on the head.”
Unlike most rhythm projects which feature multiple acts, the Certitude has songs by five artists. They are Shuga, who does Champion; Chino McGregor with Real and Done; Pressure from the US Virgin Islands, who sings Give Ises; Bugle, who contributes Unbothered; and Jah Jah Children by Rockaz Elements.
Another difference with Berta Records, Williams pointed out, is the use of live instruments. He believes the listener gets more clarity in terms of sound.
The rhythm concept has been a winner in Jamaican music since the 1960s. Producers have successfully revamped classic beats such as the Sata Masa Gana, Answer, Stalag and Bam Bam countless times.
Since they started music production six years ago, Berta Records have produced three rhythm projects. Their previous songs were released on the Fresh and Season Change beats.