Kastick gets in the grooveThursday, July 25, 2019
BY HOWARD CAMPBELL
In 2011, a reggae-rocking song named Hideaway announced a relatively unknown singer named Tessanne Chin. Clocking over five minutes, its multiple chord changes and crunching guitars helped make it one of the biggest hits in Jamaica that year.
Hideaway was co-produced by Paul Kastick, one of contemporary reggae's best known drummers. Between touring with Big Mountain, Maxi Priest and Diana King, he is preparing to release projects through his GrooveGalore MuziK company.
Let me Love You by Chin and Miami-based deejay Honorebel relaunched the label last year. Say I, a collaboration between Kenyan artiste Chiluba and Maxi Priest, and Show Me by Canadian singer Belinda Brady, are two its latest projects.
An avid fan of rock music, Kastick told the Jamaica Observerrecently that some of GrooveGalore Muzik's releases will reflect that sound.
“My productions also vary in the sense that I love to fuse different styles and genres in most of my work, and being a drummer and programmer, I tend to keep an ear to stuff that's going on in faraway places that I get to visit on tour,” he explained. “I'm a rocker to heart, so I'm always kind of tweaking stuff differently when it comes to how my drums sound, hence the way Tessanne's Hideaway drums and guitars came across in that mix.”
Former Wailers singer Danglin is also part of the GrooveGalore Muzik camp'. Kastick has produced several of his songs including This Lifetime and Paper Soldiers.
The Montego Bay-born Kastick has been a member of some quality bands, starting with 809 in 1989. He has toured with big-selling pop-reggae acts like Shaggy, King, Maxi Priest and Big Mountain, which opened his eyes to diverse markets and sounds.
“Working with Big Mountain and listening all their previous work and the various stories from (lead singer) Quino on the procedures they went through to get their super global smash Baby I Love Ur Way has been invaluable, to say the least, same thing with Maxi, and also working with Shaggy,” he said. “Crossover songs are gained in my opinion from a marketing standpoint, how well you can promote each song, if you have hot, cutting-edge videos, and the song really has a nice singalong chorus that happens to grab you.”
Checking out production techniques of Sly and Robbie, Willie Lindo, Dean Frasier and Handel Tucker, Mutt Lange (Foreigner, Shania Twain, Def Leppard) and Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis helped guide Kastick into production. Since the 1990s, he produced albums and songs by Big Mountain, Priest, Shaggy and Sizzla, but his breakthrough came with Hideaway.
“That was special, I felt it the very first day Rudy Valentino (guitarist), Tessanne and myself got in the studio and started to put it together. I remember choosing that song as the first single from her 'cause of the different elements that we created in the production of that song and the surprises it had,” Kastick recalled. “I felt it would be something totally different for the Jamaican people to experience that hadn't been done before per se on a recording like the rock breakout bridge and the mix dancehall style, which up to that point had never been done in the studio on a recording, only the 'sound' man or the mix engineer when mixing the final song usually do the mix with the faders in the studio but bands had never done that while recording at all,” he added.
Like bass player Benjy Myaz and keyboardist Christopher Birch, Paul Kastick is a graduate of the Montego Bay hotel circuit. Some of his biggest influences on drums include Sly Dunbar, Carlton Barrett of The Wailers, Alex Van Halen and Jeff Porcaro of Toto.