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KuKudoo looks to Jerusalem

Thursday, October 01, 2020

Because he cut his teeth in the dancehall arena where innovation is key, KuKudoo has never limited his reach. Even though he switched to gospel music over 20 years ago, that policy still stands.

Jerusalem, his third album, will be released tomorrow by Tad's International Record, a company whose catalogue contains countless dancehall titles by acts like Vybz Kartel.

KuKudoo, 55, is best known for 'jump up' songs like King David and Thank You Jesus. Both were popular with Christian and secular audiences which, according to KuKudoo, is proof his music has mass appeal.

“I just want revivial music to be more recognisable and more involved in society, and with this album I know it will. Having more collaborations on this album will see it reaching a wider audience,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

Thank You Jesus, which was done with Omari, is one of the 16 songs on Jerusalem. KuKudoo also teams with Psalmist on Come Along; with Magie on Let The Power Fall and with Chosen on Prosper.

King David, his breakthrough single from over a decade ago, is also part of the collection.

Jerusalem was preceded by Time Waits on no Man and In The Middle of The Night. The latter was released in 2013, but the break between albums has not stopped KuKudoo's progress; he has performed in the United States, United Kingdom, Cayman Islands and British Virgin Islands.

He also made an appearance at Sting, the litmus test for dancehall artistes. There were no shudders when KuKudoo performed at the 2014 edition of the Boxing Day show as he was once part of the hardcore dancehall community.

Born David McDermott, he got his start in music singing and cutting dub plates for the Excalibur, Stereo Don and Impression sound systems in his native Spanish Town. His biggest influences were rocksteady giants Alton Ellis, Ken Boothe and John Holt.

He converted to Christianity in 1994, but it was not until 2005 that he did his first song, Journeyman Jesus, produced by Ralston Simpson.

Whether it is gospel or secular music, KuKudoo credits his delivery for winning over fans.

“My sound is very unique, very commanding and spiritual. I believe once you hear the voice you know it's Kukudoo,” he said.