Shaggy starts life on the Ranch

By Simone Morgan Observer staff reporter

Friday, March 08, 2013

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AFTER 18 years of hit singles and sold-out tours, Grammy-winning deejay Shaggy recently announced his split from manager Robert Livingston.

The Boombastic artiste also cut ties with Big Yard Entertainment, the company he and Livingston operated for nearly 10 years.

Two weeks ago, he officially launched his Ranch Entertainment label.

Shaggy, 44, says his time at Big Yard had run its course. He told Splash that his departure from the label resulted from an accumulation of incidents.

"I really can't put my finger on one thing as there were several factors, but what I know is that we could not move forward anymore as we had different ideas, and when a person is not 100 per cent behind something it will not work effectively," he said. "Instead of the big brawl and the lawsuits I just walked away."

Shaggy's main focus now is completing his album, Out of Many One Music, and establishing Ranch Entertainment worldwide. He says there is no rush to sign a host of entertainers.

"We can find the artistes but it's more about getting the label in the spotlight first. We have a verbal agreement with Tessanne Chin but no document has been officially signed off."

Artistes signed to Ranch Entertainment are singer GC and New York deejay Red Fox. Shaggy says he is working closely with other high-profile acts including Konshens, Chronixx and Sly and Robbie who are all featured on Out of Many One Music.

Also on the album are singers Jimmy Cozier, Beres Hammond, Ne-Yo and Cocoa Tea.

As for linking with a major record label in terms of distribution and promotion, Shaggy says he aims to establish Ranch Entertainment's artistes before taking that route.

"Everytime a reggae or dancehall act signs with a big label they are not treated as priority as there are not enough avenues to push the genre. There are lot of hip-hop, rock and pop (radio) stations but how many reggae stations do we have worldwide?" he asked.

"It is better for an artiste to grow on their own and make a name for his/herself and after they create a buzz in the streets they (record companies) will come running in to you," he added.

He does not count out working with some artistes from Big Yard.

Shaggy got his big break in 1993 with a cover of the Ffolkes Brothers' 1959 hit, Oh Carolina. He had a platinum run with Virgin and MCA Records, recording million-selling albums like Boombastic and Hot Shot as well as hit songs such as It Wasn't Me, Angel and In The Summertime.

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