Music

Busy solves the puzzle

BY RICHARD JOHNSON
Observer senior reporter
johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, October 11, 2019

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Busy Signal dismisses talk that Jamaican popular music, primarily dancehall, is going nowhere internationally. For the artiste, whose hits include Step Out, Night Shift, Stay So and Come Over, people who uphold this argument usually do not travel to see the genre's global impact.

Speaking to the Jamaica Observer's Splash from New York, a passionate Busy Signal is preparing to promote Parts of The Puzzle, his first album since he dropped Reggae Music Again in 2012.

“Di people who keep up that argument nuh go nowhere. I can't share the same view because I see it at work everyday. You all hear Tory Lanez just sample Everyone Falls in Love by Tanto Metro and Devonte. Drake, Rihanna, Jay Z, all a dem a tek our styles an' sample it. If the music wasn't moving, what would there be for them to sample? That means our music is reaching people who want to take it an' share with their audience an' from you hear it, you know it's a reggae, dancehall and Jamaican ting... What would there be to sample if our music wasn't going places?” the deejay argued.

Parts of The Puzzle was released on October 4 by VP Records. The project contains 17 songs which Busy Signal describes as a representation of the varied facets of who he is as an artiste, hence the title.

He said Parts of The Puzzle showcases his versatility, something he is proud of.

“God has blessed me with this versatility an' sometimes people are amazed that I am the same person who can do a track like Come Over an' then switch it up an' give them Bedroom Bully. So this album gives you a wide variety of styles, dancehall, reggae, some Afrobeat an' some mix-up stuff. Then there is the lyrical content. I don't believe in being monotonous or repetitive. Nobody wants to listen to a whole album an' all the tracks sound the same, for me that rather boring,” he said.

With that in mind, Busy Signal and his team came up with an eclectic mix of sound and collaborations. Among the artistes who guest on Parts of The Puzzle is veteran deejay Josey Wales, who is on Bring Back The Vibes. Busy Signal said he wanted to pay homage to artistes who paved the way for him.

To satisfy his hardcore dancehall constituents, he called on perennial favourite Bounty Killer on Nuh Weh Nuh Safe.

“Everywhere where you go you hearing Afrobeats. It's the wave right now an' I just wanted to capture that on this album. A little Afrobeat in the middle of the reggae an' it's the same artiste you are listening to. So I have a track call 100% featuring Afro B. This is the same guy who give you the song Joanna. It's what the world is listening to an' I just want to share it with my fans,” Busy Signal explained.

Busy Signal is still on a high following his set at Rototom Sunsplash in August. Rototom is one of the largest European reggae festivals, held in BenicÓssim, a municipality and beach resort in Spain.

“This summer tour was hot. I decided to do the music festivals in Europe just to get my music to another audience. I have to say the highlight was Rototom. I performed for 94 minutes in front of 82,000 people. That was a great experience an' I don't think I will forget that anytime soon,” he said. “It was just a joy to share my music with this sea of people who just came out to enjoy themselves. Mi jus' a continue work an' not lose focus. I'm going at it like mi young an' remain open to learn more and reach further, but grateful for where I am.”


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