With the aim of helping to bring Jamaica-based artists to the forefront of the current wave of dancehall appreciation in the global mainstream, Dutty Artz is proud to present Chan Dizzy’s ready for the club single “Calling All Girls,” on the Smakk Riddim – co-produced by Robzilla and Matt Shadetek.
New York and Jamaica have had a strong relationship since a large Jamaican immigrant community started forming in New York in the 1970’s. This has made the city, especially Brooklyn an important node in the formation and global popularization of Dancehall music. Many non-Jamaican New Yorkers were raised on Dancehall just from living in close proximity to local Jamaican strongholds like Crown Heights.
In the wake of several waves of the global popularization of Jamaican dancehall, today a new generation of Americans from outside the traditional immigrant strongholds are strengthening the ties of contemporary Jamaican music to the global mainstream. Like the Bob Marley and the Wailers crazed reggae fans of the 1970’s, today’s reggae music fans are headed to Jamaica to immerse themselves in the islands vibrant music culture first hand. On self-funded trips, disregarding the social boundaries that your average tourist might not dare to cross, a growing cast of Yankee artists, music producers, filmmakers, dancers, academics, or just enthusiasts are becoming a familiar sight even in Kingston’s roughest neighborhoods.
After years growing up in close proximity to the strong Brooklyn Dancehall scene, in early 2013 Robzilla and Matt Shadetek joined the pilgrimage to Jamaica, aiming to work with local vocalists. This is how “Calling All Girls” came about. Robzilla explains:
Things started when I met Matt Shadetek in 2011 through his Logic course at Dubspot, and we were always working on new dancehall riddims. I had one that I was playing around with, putting a Mavado vocal on top — it was a militaristic feel with a tense two-note bassline. Matt heard it and started reworking the bass part and arrangement and we developed it something that felt more like a full track, with verse and chorus parts. We decided that it would sound better with a more complete vocal on top. But to do that, we had to take off the existing acapella we had on top of it.
In early 2013 Matt and I headed to Big Yard Studio in Kingston, Jamaica to record vocalists over our riddims. We hit up our favorite dancehall artists and Chan Dizzy was one of them. When we got to the studio, Chan was vibing off this riddim in particular, and was silent for a while, trying lyrics in his head. Then he tells us he’s ready and heads to the vocal booth. Chan knocked out the hook and then verse after verse, and Calling All Girls was born.
Look out for more results from Dutty Artz in Big Yard soon!