Banana has world 'a-peel'


Banana has world 'a-peel'

Observer writer

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

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AFTER doing well in smaller markets deejay Conkarah is aiming for bigger things with Banana, his dance song featuring Shaggy.

Banana has been certified gold in Canada where it sold 40,000 copies, India (100,000), Norway (30,000), Mexico (30,000) and in the Netherlands (40,000). It has been certified platinum in Brazil for sales of 40,000.

“I've spent most of my career travelling to smaller markets so the foundation was already laid,” Conkarah told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.

First released in 2019, Banana was revived this year through a remix by DJ FLe (Minisiren remix), sparked by a dance challenge on popular social media app TikTok.

Conkarah is confident the song can cross over to the larger markets in the United States and United Kingdom.

“I don't see why not. These are, however, harder markets to break into,” he said, while crediting Shaggy for Banana's achievements.

“Shaggy has been very supportive and has played an instrumental role in the song's success. Massive respect to him,” gushed Conkarah, who said Shaggy got involved when his manager, a mutual friend, pitched the song to him.

Born Nicholas Murray, Conkarah is from Mona Heights in St Andrew. His mother is British and his father Jamaican. He attended Mona Preparatory School and St George's College, then obtained a broadcasting degree from the University of Charleston in West Virginia.

In 2011 he decided to pursue music.

Banana samples the 1956 Harry Belafonte classic Day O ( Banana Boat Song) which Shaggy covered for his 1995 platinum-selling album Boombastic. Initially, the Grammy winner was not big on covering the song again.

“I had covered Day O in 1995, which is why I was apprehensive about even doing the song because I had done it already. But what Conkarah had done to it was very clever. I wasn't surprised that it took off the way it did because the original was already a hit song,” Shaggy explained.

Since the early 1990s Shaggy has earned several gold- and platinum-certified singles and albums. These include the album and single Boombastic as well as the songs Angel, It Wasn't Me and I Need Your Love.

Banana topped the Dutch Top 100 for five weeks and made the Top 10 in Belgium. It also went number one on the Billboard Mexico Ingles Airplay and Mexico Airplay charts.

Banana performed respectably in Canada.

Shaggy, arguably Jamaica's most successful pop act, believes Banana's march to the bigger markets was impeded by a certain pandemic.

“The song could've been much much bigger. It's a runaway train and we weren't given the chance to really promote it due to the COVID-19 restrictions,” he said.

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