Producer Jeremy Harding upbeat
Beenie Man's Who Am I certified gold in US 26 years after first released
Jeremy Harding

Record producer and artiste manager Jeremy Harding who produced Beenie Man's chart-topping single Who Am I (Sim Simma) says the song's recent gold certification in America was way overdue.

"Feels like it's been a long time coming. This song has become a dancehall anthem all over the world. I'm glad it's finally gotten an official status of accomplishment," Harding said in an interview with the Jamaica Observer on Friday.

Who Am I was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on November 15, for sales and streaming equivalent exceeding 500,000 units.

Recorded in 1997, the song is featured on the inescapable Playground rhythm. It was also included on Beenie Man's Grammy nominated album Many Moods of Moses.

Beenie Man

Harding recalled the recording session for Who Am I:

"It was clear that Beenie Man really connected with the track. I don't think that song could have found a better union on a different rhythm. And the fact that it still resonates for another generation proves that it wasn't just great timing or circumstance; it's truly just a great song, period," Harding reasoned.

Asked what the certification signified to him as a producer, he said: "It's always an honour to be recognised by your industry as well as the streets. That way there's a public record of your achievement, so even when time marches on you're in the history books forever."

The Playground rhythm also featured several hit songs such as Hands in the Air (Nike Air) by Mr Vegas, Pet and Pamper by Mad Cobra, Slip Through Your Fingers (Swade), Infiltrate (Sean Paul), Fade Away (Lexxus), Strong Performer (Spragga Benz), and Scream (General B).

But it was Beenie Man's Who Am I that gave the enigmatic deejay his break in the lucrative North American music market.

The song reached #10 on the UK pop chart, #40 on the Billboard Hot 100, #6 on the Rap Singles chart, and #14 on the R&B Hip Hop Songs chart.

Harding also benefited from the song's success.

"All doors began to open... an international publishing deal, opportunities to work with international artistes, and a launch pad for my own artistes I was working with at the time. Sales figures are the true metric of success in the music business, so we give thanks for this milestone," said Harding.

BY KEVIN JACKSON Observer writer

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