by Howard Campbell
KINGSTON, Jamaica – Recruiting big-name artists is a must for music producers looking to break a dancehall ‘riddim’ in Jamaica. However, Jerome Elvie took a different course and called on upcoming acts for the Gold Leaf, his latest project.
The Gold Leaf was released on September 22 by Natural Bond Entertainment. It features several established artists such as Masicka and Jahvillani, but there is space for others looking to ‘bus’ including Deeclef and Lybran.
Elvie knows he is taking a chance but went ahead and selected the unknown acts, hoping to find the next generation of dancehall stars.
“To say that it’s not risky putting out a project with new names I’d be lying, so it’s imperative that you have the names to carry the riddim itself while ushering in the new acts, by using the more established artistes as a vehicle. It is also important that the new acts actually got real talent,” said Elvie.
Deeclef’s song on the Gold Leaf is Constancy, while Lybran does Kyaah Trust Dem. Knaxx, another newcomer, contributes Get Gyal Easy.
Masicka, one of the dancehall’s hot properties, does Memories. Bad Rider is the song from Jahvillani, who is also riding high.
While he is looking for hit songs, posterity is also important to Elvie.
“In this industry, like most, bringing something different; something that separates you from the rest, is marketable in itself. As competitive as dancehall is, being original is the only way to last… I strive to put music out that will be relevant for generations to come,” he said.