THE year was 1993. Twenty-five year-old singer Nadine Sutherland and teenaged deejay Terror Fabulous are brought together by producer Dave Kelly to record a duet Kelly had penned titled Action.
This collaboration between Sutherland who had been on the music scene since she was 11 years old and the up-and-coming Fabulous would take them to places beyond their wildest dreams.
"I had just returned to Jamaica from England where I had gone in search of a record deal," remembers Sutherland. "At the time reggae and dancehall artistes were being signed internationally. There was Shabba, Diana King, Patra, Cobra, so I wanted a deal too."
She started doing a number of dancehall demos for various producers including Kelly and one of the tracks was Action.
"Once it was released the song just took off both locally and overseas -- initially in the ethnic markets of North America and England," says Sutherland.
And with this surge an accompanying music video was a must.
"I went around to all the major dance studios casting dancers and incorporated some of the popular dance moves of the time, including the World Dance into the choreography," she recalls.
The result was a visual which took Action from the ethnic markets to the world via American cable television giants BET, VH1 and MTV.
Action climbed to number 43 on the Billboard Hot 100. And recently, Vibe magazine listed it at number 19 in its 50 Greatest Duets of All Time.
For Sutherland, there were so many big moments, thanks to Action. However, she sees the song as a blessing and a curse. She was able to secure the record deal she so badly sought, getting signed to Elektra, while Terror Fabulous was inked to East West Records, a subsidiary of that label.
But the pressure was now on for a follow-up hit.
"Action was so ridiculously huge, it took us all over the world and exposed us to so much that we were both pressured to reproduce what we had done with the tune."
Today, Sutherland is extremely protective of the mentally-fragile Terror Fabulous and speaks very little of his unfortunate situation.
As for her career, she is optimistic about the progress of her latest track Karma which she says is on reggae charts in North America, Europe and Africa, but notes that there can never be another Action.
"I never look for another hit. Action will always be Action. I can only do my best and see where the other works take me."