Following in Specialist's footsteps
A record label quietly making a name for itself is Oufah Music. Run by Ryan Dillon, the company is also into events promotion, artiste management, publicity and organising tours.
Ryan's name may not ring a bell but his father's, Clifton 'Specialist' Dillon, should.
Specialist has had a successful career as producer and artiste manager. He piloted the careers of Shabba Ranks, Mad Cobra, Richie Stephens and Patra in the 1990s.
This stewardship resulted in a string of hit songs on Billboard and international charts, as well as Grammy success for Shabba Ranks.
"I was born into music, my life is music. Sometimes I think my umbilical cord was a microphone cable," Ryan Dillon joked during a recent interview with the Jamaica Observer.
Dillon spent most of his early years in Miami, Florida. He attended Full Sail University in Orlando where he studied recording arts.
He differentiates himself from the wave of dancehall producers by experimenting with different sounds.
"I am bringing a couple of things to the table. The fusion that I am doing provides other artistes with a highway that I can drive on," he said. "I will continue to spread reggae music on the global map as best as I can."
Italian reggae singer Albarosie, Ky-Mani Marley, Ikaya and newcomers I-Eye and Omi are some of the acts Dillon has worked with.
He also has songwriting credits on the Rihanna track, Say It, which is on the singer's Good Girl Gone Bad album. A platinum disc commemorating that milestone hangs in his Zone Oufah studio.
Among Dillon's new projects are songs by Japanese reggae artiste Pushim, German artiste Patrice and South America-based Dread Mar I. He is also working on albums for Ikaya and I-Eye.
As for the best advice his father has given him, Dillion said: "Never believe in the words 'no' and 'can't'."