Since his break in 2003, this reggae prince has taken the music to new heights. With his seductive lyrics and honey laced vocals he has no trouble getting the ladies to bounce along to his rhythms. Making his return with Foreva the silky crooner tells Flavour about the surprise behind his hardcore alter ego.
How do you feel now you’ve gotten worldwide recognition after all these years in the business?
I feel blessed. I’ve been doing this for a while and it feels like all my hard work has paid off. Tubby T was my inspiration from the beginning, he kept pushing me. My aim was to produce good work and I feel that was achieved through the success of No Holding Back.
Where do you see dancehall going?
Dancehall has been going strong since my break in 2003; I think if we have the right people representing and keeping the music tight then it will be here to stay.
Can dancehall ever be as strong and accepted as Bob Marley style reggae?
There will never be another Bob Marley out there he is a pioneer. But with well-recognised artists such as Shaggy, Sean Paul etc producing high quality dancehall music there’s no reason it [Dancehall] shouldn’t be accepted.
Will you and Buju ever collaborate again?
[Laughs] Well, right now I don’t see it happening because we both have contrasting ideas about almost everything from religion to life in general, which pushes us apart musically.
Who is the hottest female in reggae?
I respect Lady Saw as a reggae artist; she is a veteran. But the hottest female is Tanya Stephens, her whole demeanour and writing style is killing it.
What’s the overall feel of your new album Foreva?
I don’t think about how successful it’s going to be when I make an album; I just make sure it’s of the highest quality. I’m laying my heart and soul down on this album. Foreva is 90% for the ladies but with a street edge; I describe it as steady dancehall.
What is your favourite track from the album?
[Sings] Gonna Love You, I love that track. Also For My Love featuring Trina. I produced that song so I’m very proud of it.
What is your greatest experience to date?
Coming from Eastern Kingston, to be recognised musically worldwide is a massive accomplishment for me. Also, to hear fans from as far as Dubai singing the lyrics from my albums when I perform live reminds me of how far I’ve come.
Tell us a secret about yourself?
[Laughs] Well, I’ve never told anyone this before, but I have an alter ego called Surprise. The difference between the two of us is that, Wayne Wonder is the singer, more calm and smooth. But Surprise is the DJ, he is more hardcore and edgy; you can hear him on the up beat tracks on my new album.
Words by Augusta Ettarh