Rihanna’s Work revives Richie Stephens’ riddim

Rihanna’s Work revives Richie Stephens’ riddim

BY KEVIN JACKSON Observer Writer

Sunday, January 31, 2016

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The Sail Away ‘riddim’, released in 1998 by Richie Stephens’ Pot of Gold label, has been sampled by singer Rihanna on her hit song Work.


The single is from the Barbadian star’s latest album, ANTI.



Work, which features Canadian rapper Drake, was co-produced by Jamaicans Matthew ‘Boi-1da’ Samuels, Sevn Thomas and Jahron ‘Partynextdoor’ Brathwaite, all based in Canada. Stephens (real name Richard Stephenson) is credited as co-writer.


Stephens said he was overjoyed when contacted by Rihanna’s representatives to get clearance for the sample.


"They contacted me last week Tuesday and asked if I was the producer and owner of the master and I told them yes. They said they would appreciate if I could move fast in assisting with the clearing of the sample because they wanted to release the song. So I put them on to my publisher," Stephens explained.


Created and recorded at Studio 2000 in Kingston, the Sail Away riddim was engineered by Mikey Williamson with Stephens playing bass and piano. It was a big hit locally, reeling off hits such as Take Me Away by Stephens, Bad Man Nuh Flee by Beenie Man and Mr Vegas and Legit by Sean Paul.


The 1990s was a fruitful period for Stephens. He signed to Motown Records in 1992 and released the album Pot of Gold, which contained the hits Body Slam (with Patra) and Legacy (with Mad Cobra) both of which charted on the Billboard R&B Singles charts.


He was featured on British group Soul II Soul’s Top 20 UK single Joy in 1993.


Stephens has to date released 18 albums. His most recent, Real Reggae Music, was released in 2013.


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