Honorebel the GuruWednesday, August 04, 2021
BY HOWARD CAMPBELL
AS he prepares to drop his eighth album, Honorebel not only observes changing music trends, but how marketing an artiste and their product have evolved since he got into the game in the 1990s.
Guru, a 16-song set to be distributed by Zojak World Wide, drops on Friday. It is the singjay's first full-length project since Above The Noise, which was released in 2019.
Though he will have conventional events in Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale on the weekend to showcase his latest project, Honorebel knows social media is the way to go for breaking new music.
“You don't have to have a big record to have a hit album; it doesn't work like that anymore because everything is streaming. Once you get in stream the algorithm probably takes it up and it's on a playlist, so we have to do things in a strategic way for the fans to know it's available,” he explained.
Unlike Above The Noise which had songs with a reggae/dancehall feel, Honorebel returns to the pop sounds that brought him success with Now You See It (Shake That Ass), a 2010 hit for him alongside rapper Pitbull and house music trio Jump Smokers.
However, an interesting inclusion is If Only I Knew, a song written and produced by Willie Lindo and recorded by Beres Hammond 40 years ago. Hammond's original was a rhythm and blues hit in Jamaica, but Honorebel and Big Mountain covered it reggae-style; their version is produced by Paul Kastick, that band's drummer.
Born Richard Bailey in Kingston, Honorebel is a mainstay of the South Florida dancehall/reggae scene. He has also rubbed shoulders with artistes who burst out of the region's hip hop underground including Pitbull and Flo Rida.
South Florida no longer plays second fiddle to New York City or Los Angeles when it comes to breaking Jamaican music, he pointed out.
“There are more artistes from Jamaica and other islands who are more reggae-influenced. There are also more radio stations and outlets that get the music to people, so we give thanks for that,” said Honorebel.
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