VP Records releases Dancehall Anthems, a set of new recordings that paints a 2020 portrait of classic Reggae and Dancehall Anthems from the golden era of the 70’s and 90’s. This project brings fresh perspectives and voices to timeless classics. Some of the compositions have a storied history with VP Records and others are meaningful to the genre.
The album, produced by veteran dancehall producer Jeremy Harding, features Kabaka Pyramid, Sean Paul, Beenie Man, Agent Sasco, Wayne Marshall, Ikaya, Ginjah, Runkus, Blvk H3ro, Bugle, Royal Blu, Naomi Cowan, and Kumar, taking on classic material from Yellowman, Michigan & Smiley, Ken Boothe, Tenor Saw, Papa San, Louie Culture, and others.
“Originally, this was going to be a VP Records 40th anniversary project, but it expanded, as I wanted to pay tribute to the history of dancehall in the broadest sense, reconsidering iconic songs and particularly the roots of the genre, including what played heavily on Soundsystems when I was growing up.
I wanted to give the artists, new and veterans, the chance to put their spin on these classics,” said producer Harding. The first tracks released from the album included Beenie Man’s “Mad Kings,” his update of Yellowman’s “Zungguzungguguzungguzeng.”
This was followed by Kabaka Pyramid’s exceptional interpretation of Michigan & Smiley’s “Nice Up The Dance,” followed by Wayne Marshall’s tribute to Tenor Saw’s “Lots Of Sign,” and Runkus’s ode to Papa San’s “Strange.”
While the album features a variety of straight ahead covers, it also includes creative adaptions such as Sean Paul’s “Marijuana Mi Love,” based on Tiger’s “No Puppy Love,” featuring all new lyrics.
In addition to “Who Am I,” Jeremy Harding is known for Mr. Vegas’s “Nike Air” and Sean Paul’s “Infiltrate” (all on the Playground Riddim); and Elephant Man’s “Log On” and Tanto Metro and Devonte’s “Give It To Her” (both on the Liquid Riddim).
Harding was Sean Paul’s manager through the apex of his career and produced three tracks on the platinum Dutty Rock album, the biggest selling title in VP Records’ history. More recently Harding produced “Heaven” for Jah9, found on her Note To Self album.
Harding has been a prominent guest on Jamaican television and other media platforms in recent years, giving his take on industry trends. He is known as one of the most innovative dancehall producers of the 1990s, helping to usher in a new era of music production in Jamaica as an early adopter of ProTools software now industry standards, as well as the still controversial Auto-Tune plug-in.
He is one of the first examples of a DJ-turned-producer, now a standard music industry path, having started in college radio while studying at McGill University. He is a trained guitarist and has degrees from the Royal School Of Music London and Trebas Institute and is adjunct faculty in Reggae Studies at the University of the West Indies.
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IMAGE: Various Artists