A star’s advice to producers

Reggae and dancehall fans will be familiar with the “Think Twice Riddim”, which was inspired by Phil Collins’ hit song “Another Day in Paradise”.

The riddim — which featured the likes of Fantan Mojah, Lutan Fyah, Luciano, Turbulence, Anthony B and Duane Stephenson among others — is still popular to this day.

From Mojah’s “Rasta Got Soul” to Devano’s “In This Jungle”, the production has proved to be a classic, which helped build Dameon Gayle’s reputation as a top producer.

Besides music production, Gayle has established himself as one of the best music video directors in Jamaica.

Some of his notable works behind the camera include Busy Signal’s “Come Over”, Konshens’s “Bruk Off Yuh Back”, Vybz Kartel’s “Real Youth”, Chuck Fender’s “It Hard”, Sizzla’s “Greatest Mother”, Romain Virgo’s “Mi A Wait”, and Voice Mail’s “Dance Hall”.

The producer-cum-director was responsible for the creation of Busy Signal’s “Out of Many”, which was shot in Zimbabwe when the artiste visited the country last year.

Being Busy Signal’s main music video director and sound engineer, he has become a permanent feature on the superstar’s touring contingent.

In an exclusive interview with The Sunday Mail Society last weekend, Dameon Gayle expressed concern over the perception many people in the West have of Africa.

Gayle said there was need for video directors to show the beautiful and progressive side of Africa.

“Last time we came I had an idea to shoot a video this side and we managed to pull it off. We had Busy dress up as a sheik and had him driving around the city in expensive cars among other things,” said Gayle.

“Many people back home loved the video, which was showing a different perspective of Africa, the side that others are not showing. You will realise that when people come to shoot videos in Africa, they want to show jungles, animals, poverty and stuff like that so when we were doing this project my aim was to show people that Africa is not what they think it is.”

He shed more light on his work and relationship with the “One More Night” hit-maker.

“Busy and I are friends, rather brethren, who have been working together for a long time so you will realise that there is quite a bit of things that I do when I am travelling with him.

“Besides being behind the camera I also do sound engineering for Busy so I am basically the guy who makes sure that his sound is on point when he is on stage.”

Gayle said that travelling had enabled him to come up with unique concepts for the videos he made as he was exposed to various environments and cultures.

The director is considering shooting another video in Zimbabwe, enthusing about the breath-taking scenery.

“We always have opportunities to film in different countries, get different sceneries, different vibes so we have a lot of videos that we make outside Jamaica. There are many songs that we are yet to shoot videos for so there is a possibility that we could come up with something while we are here as long as we get the opportunity to do so.”

He commended the continent’s video producers for upping their game.

“The quality of music videos being made in Africa right now is really good, which comes as no surprise because everybody now has access to technology and the knowledge to make things happen.

“We are now in a playing field where everything is equal in terms of making music and videos. There are some who might still be lagging behind but then it is clear that everyone is getting there.”

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