I was wondering how the collabo happened and linked up with Dylan Powe, head of Prodigal. Here’s what he told me:
Wiley’s tune on the »Showa Eski« riddim hit the web about one week ago. Please tell me a little bit about who from the Prodigal production team was involved in it and how the collabo with the “retired” UK grime star happened.
Wiley and me linked up through a mutual bredren in the UK. He came down to Jamaica in the summer and we hung out at my studio just drinking and vibing and bouncing ideas off each other. I was telling him about the scene here and he was schooling me on the whole UK business. I got to playing him some tracks and Showa Eski was one of them. That track is like 2 years old but I just started voicing on it in April of this year. Then the May 24th situation happened and I kinda pulled back from production and just tried to build back my meditation. Wiley heard it and just bugged out cause he never thought that anyone in Jamaica would have been familiar with his stuff. So he said he loved it and that that was one of the tracks he had to body.
So Wiley did actually go down to Jamaica to voice that tune or did he just happen to be around? I think I read something about him spending his summer holidays in JA this year.
He’s been back and forth to Jamaica a couple of times this year and he eventually voiced on it at my studio like a month ago. I wanted a signature song for the riddim so I gave him the hook and he just killed it. He’s a monster, it was really a pleasure to work with him. I see why he’s one of the best in his game.
Will there be a video to that Wiley tune, too?
Dunno. Doubt it. I had an idea to actually do a real low-budget video shot in Tivoli Gardens. Cause it would be fitting considering the name of the riddim and the overall vibe of the tune. I think it woulda made a really powerful statement especially in light of what happened in Tivoli, who Wiley is and the fact that the riddim is a kinda tribute to the importance of West Kingston in Jamaican music. But if he’s down maybe it can happen, but I dont know what he feels about that.
Can you name other artists that will release tunes on the »Showa Eski« riddim?
Natalie Storm, Lady Chann, Einstein, Ward 21 and Rage are all on the riddim and they should be all released by the end of November.
As far as I know, the »Showa Eski« is the 1st part of a 3 part Showa riddim installment. What will the next two be and what will they sound like?
All the Showa trilogy is a kinda a tribute to West Kingston. It’s a reminder to people that Jamaican music as a whole has a significant amount of its orgins from that community. Showa is a term of endearment used by people in the community to hail or address each other or people who we hold in high regard. I figured that I wanted to show as well to the descendants of the Windrush generation that basically shaped UK youth culture that we back in Jamaica recognized what they had done and that there is still a bond and connection. Without ska, roots, rocksteady, dancehall, dub, and soundsystem culture there would be no punk, grime,2 tone, lovers rock, garage, jungle, dubstep and any number of uk youth movements that have existed. So I respect and love how they have taken the music of their bloodline and used it to create their own identity. So is a straight showa ting. We uniting the ravers. The next riddim is called the Showa Step and the last one is the Showa Stabbin. All 3 are completely different feels and tempos. But they will all speak to those who want to hear.
You said that the incidents of May 24th in West Kingston are the inspiration for the productions. How did life in Tivoli Gardens change since that day? For you personally and the whole community?
I just think its important for people to recognize that West Kingston is a strong vibrant community that has contributed greatly to the artform we call Jamaican Music. A lot has changed and a lot is still changing, so we will have to wait and see. But 1 thing is sure, that music will always play a role in the lives of people in west kingston and jamaica on the whole. No political force can destroy what is set in the fabric of a people.
For all collectors out there: selected tunes from the »Showa trilogy« will also be availbale on limited edition vinyl.