Entertainment

Riding rhythms

Champion jockey looks to music career

BY HOWARD CAMPBELL Observer senior writer

Sunday, December 29, 2013    

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IT was champagne time for jockey Dane Nelson at Caymanas Park yesterday, where the 29-year-old sealed his second straight riders title.

On Friday, the diminutive Nelson took a break from working thoroughbreds to chat music, which he hopes will pay dividends for him in 2014.

Nelson has revived Warrior Chief Productions, the company he started two years ago to oversee his musical interests.

Its comeback project is the Ice Box 'riddim' which has songs by top artistes including I-Octane, Busy Signal and Gyptian.

"The thing a elevate yah now; God neva build Earth inna one day. Things look good fi 2014 fi Warrior Chief," he said.

Warrior Chief Productions got out of the gates last year with the Sun Screen beat. Bus Stop Gallis by Beenie Man and Shi Nuh Care from Kiprich were two of the songs released.

Nelson says he pulled the reins on his fledgling organisation last year to concentrate, on winning his first jockeys title. Defending that crown was even more challenging but Warrior Chief Productions, he points out, returns a much more structured entity.

"Mi have a proper team now an dat important. Mi wife Tanesha, shi tek care of management an' wi getting the link to the right people like the disc jockey dem," he said.

Nelson was born in Waterford, the Portmore neighbourhood adjacent to Caymanas Park. Like many youth from the area, being a jockey was always his ambition but he says music was never far away.

"Mi used to move wid the man dem inna the area like (deejay) G Seven and Vybz Kartel... dem days wi know him as Adi Banton," he recalled. "Mi used to think 'bout it as a career but mi si sey it wouldn't work out so mi stick wid mi jockey thing."

Nelson started riding professionally in 2001. After establishing himself with trainers, he began doing the show circuit with one of Caymanas' most famous owners.

"Freddie McGregor used to tek mi go stage show all over the place. Him carry mi on stage, mek mi feel like an artiste," he said, laughing. Dane Nelson is not the first jockey to try his hand at music production.

In the early 1980s, another champion, Emilio 'Bimbo' Rodriquez, produced and released several songs.

Nelson hopes to have a long and successful run in the music industry. As he strengthens his ties in the business, he believes the odds of that happening are pretty strong.

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