Music

Secada'strack gets new Flava

BY KEVIN JACKSON
Observer writer

Monday, October 02, 2017

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In 1992, Cuban-American singer Jon Secada was one of the hottest male vocalists on the music scene. He scored his biggest chart hit to date with Just Another Day, which reached number five on the US Billboard Hot 100, number 2 on the Adult Contemporary chart, number five in the UK, and top ten in more than 10 European countries.

Just Another Day was certified gold in the United States for sales of over 500,000 copies, while in the UK it was certified silver for 200,000 copies.

Twenty-five years later, Jamaican producer and musician Kemar “Flava” McGregor has given Just Another Day a dancehall/reggae interpretation. The revamped Just Another Day was released on Friday via iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify.

McGregor combined elements of reggae, dancehall, and American pop music to create a seductive rendition of Secada's biggest hit to date. As an extra bonus, the vocals of reggae singer Gyptian were added to the mix.

“The song talks about yearning, but when you hear the new version, it feels more like a standard love song — a passionate, straightforward love song. That's what you want a new version of a song to do — to spark a different feeling,” Secada told Jamaica Observer.

It was Secada's newfound creative association with McGregor that sparked his interest in pop-reggae music.

“Kemar came to me with the idea for the track. I had done dance remixes of the song before, I had done it in Spanish as well. Once I heard it, I liked his version of it,” said Secada. “The track takes the song to a place it hasn't been before. The tonality is different, it allows my voice to be in a much smoother setting, so the melodic lines have much more feeling.”

Romantic love songs have been a staple of Secada's career. The singer-songwriter has written songs for multi-Grammy winners Gloria Estefan, Ricky Martin, Mandy Moore and Jennifer Lopez among others. He co-wrote and sang background on Estefan's 1991 number one Billboard hit Coming out of the Dark.

According to Secada, the romantic aspect of his songwriting is much more than an astute career move — it's an essential part of his personal identity.

“I've always been influenced by romantic songwriting. I mostly gravitated towards the songs of Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel and Elton John. I was usually influenced by singer-songwriters. At the beginning of my career, that's what I enjoyed,” said Secada.

“I prefer songs that have that love theme, that yearning type of feeling. The feeling when you love someone and you want that person to stay, and believing that you will work things out and move on together. It's personal, it comes from a personal place. It's that feeling where you're declaring love for someone, and wanting that feeling of love to stay,” he continued.

Born in Havana, Cuba, Secada grew up in Hialeah, Florida. He has won two Grammy awards and has sold over 20 million records.

His self-titled debut album, released in 1992, contained the hits Just Another Day, I'm Free, Do You Believe in Us and Do You Really Want Me. The Spanish-language version of the album was named the number 1 selling Latin album of 1992 in the United States. It won the Grammy for Best Latin Pop Album.

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