The founding member of production company Daseca caught up with Flavour to talk about what to expect from his upcoming album, what he looks for in a woman and how he didn’t have a car when he released the first Movado track.
Thanks for taking time out to speak to Flavour.
Ya man, thanks for having me
So Serani, how long have you been involved in the dancehall music scene?
Since 2001, when we started the label Daseca.
Daseca, that’s the production company right?
Yeah I’m a founding member of Daseca.
When you were young what music did you listen too, was it dancehall or was it other genres?
Well I grew up listening to dancehall, that’s one of the first things I listened to, then there was 80s music, 70s as well and reggae.
What artists do you listen to at the moment?
Well I’m always listening to R. Kelly, T Pain, there’s The Dream, oh and there’s this John Legend and Rick Ross track, I love that track.
Yeah, that’s the one.
What reggae artists would you say inspired you to do your thing?
You know there’s Bob Marley and Jimmy Cliff you know
Being a listener of dancehall music myself I would say that you played a part in pushing dancechall music worldwide. You produced Tony Matterhorn’s smash hit ‘Dutty Wine’, which was a global hit, how did it feel?
It’s a good feeling you know, it shows me that it can be done and I’m not working for nothing, you know, my work is actually getting out there and it can get out there.
Another artist that is really raising the profile of dancehall music is Movado, what was it like working with Movado?
It is really good, Movado is like my brother now you know. We both came a far way from where we were before. When I put out the first Movado song, I didn’t even have a car you know, neither did he. Eventually after I got my car, I used to go and pick up Movado. He barely had anything to his name, yet still we used to just go and do music, it was rough. But you know, we did what we had to do and here we are today representing on such a big scale as Jamaican diplomats.
What inspired you to go into main stage and make your own tracks instead being in the background of producing?
Erm, well basically I had a hidden side to me that I didn’t even know exsisted, you know. So I’d been making beats and the artist literally wanted to come out of me. Ideas started coming out my head so I just literally get up from the keyboard and started singing until I was like yo I gotta do this you know.
Absolutely, although in your lyrics you focus on love and relationships, there is a stereotype that many associate with dancehall music. The gangster lifestyle, the glorification of violence and the drugs, what would you say to the those who don’t listen to dancehall music purely because they think its all about negativity?
Well, everybody doesn’t have the same experience, you know what I mean. Dancehall music was never just all about that either you know. Because you got people like Wayne Wonder and Tony Curtis in dancehall for a whole long, how many years now? And you know they used to do a lot of nice songs too, and when I say nice I mean not drug or gun related you know, so it’s a shame that it has that stereotype but I’m bringing my flavour to the game and its on dancehall so I hope they can accept it.
What does 2009 have in store for you?
Well, you know I’m trying to release some more singles and hopefully they mark that mark on the international scene. I should be releasing an album in the next couple of months and its just more work, more music, trying to build that name, trying to get Dancehall to that higher level you know.
What can we expect from your album?
Just expect the ladies to be constantly turned on (he laughs) you na’ mean. This one is definitely for the ladies, its got that club vibe aswell, full of melodies, a lot of Daseca.
If you could work with any artist, who would you like to work with and why?
T- Pain, he is definitely somebody I listen to a lot, he is the number one played on my Ipod right now. He’s very talented and has crazy hooks and you know he sings about women a lot too (laughs).
Its interesting that you mentioned T-Pain because many artists use auto-tune for example Lil Wayne, Kanye West even 50 Cent whereas dancehall artists have been using auto-tune form day one, how do you feel about that as a dancehall artist?
Well you know, its what they do, it’s a vibe thing you know what I mean. Music has always been about vibes and that’s the vibe that theyre under right now you know, they ding their thing. I don’t use auto-tue because I actually do have a sound without the auto-tune and it has been accepted so I don’t see why I should change it, just like T-Pain, he has a sound with the auto tune so he doesn’t see why he should change it.
You touched upon the fact that you had a sound, and many women are in fact in love with your sound, just a question for the ladies, what do you look for in a woman?
Well a woman has to have a sense of humour, she has to be mature you know. She has to know how to take care of her man. She has to definitely know how to cook (laughs). Because I can cook so what kind of woman would she be if she can’t cook (laughs again). She would definitely have to have a model type figure (laughs loudly).
So Serani, where do you future of dancehall music heading?
Well, as long as I’m in it, theres no limit, its past the sky, its gonna be huge.
Words by Richard Ashie