Entertainment

Will.i.am goes Dancehall

BY KEVIN JACKSON Observer writer

Monday, May 26, 2014    

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Black Eyed Peas frontman will.i.am does a little dancehall on his latest song, Birthday, which samples deejays Aidonia and Bounty Killer.

Birthday features Aidonia's Fi Di Jockey and Bounty Killer chanting 'Big Ship Sailing'. Birthday was co-produced by will.i.am and Damien LeRoy. It also has an appearance from American singer Cody Wise.

Birthday is scheduled to be released on June 7 by Interscope Records.

Stephen McGregor, who produced Fi Di Jockey for his Di Genius label, said his publishers at Sony Music are aware of the sample and approved its use.

"Once the publishers give clearance, then we don't necessarily know beforehand. However, my publishers are aware of it so they are on top of everything," he told the Jamaica Observer.

McGregor noted the significance of will.i.am's nod to dancehall.

"It's definitely a great look when an international artiste samples your work. It shows that there's potential for our music."

The 24-year-old McGregor has a long list of hits to his name. They include From Morning (Never Change) by his brother Chino; Don't Leave Me (Nelly Furtado); the Power Cut, Summer Bounce and Day Rave 'riddims'. He also produced songs for Sean Paul's Imperial Blaze album.

Fi Di Jockey was a chart-topper in Jamaica and the Caribbean last year.

McGregor said he knew the song was a hit once it was recorded.

"It just felt like it would be something special. Whenever I work with Aidonia, the results are usually good."

The 35-year-old will.i.am (William James Adams) has released four solo albums. He has won several Grammy Awards with the Black Eyed Peas.

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