30 years… still the King of the Dancehall

In the fickle world of entertainment where careers are launched and ended in a heartbeat, survival is the mantra of those who dare to endure the constantly changing environment of what it takes to sell records and keep fans interested.

Anthony Moses Davis has mastered the changing landscape. It has been 30 years since Davis, better known as Beenie Man, stepped on to a stage and, in effect, launched one of the more colourful careers in dancehall. It is testament to his mastery that even after three decades in an industry where most pretenders to the throne come and go in the blink of an eye, that Beenie Man can still truly be called King of the Dancehall.


beenie-man
“For 30 years in music, it’s a great achievement for any artiste who is now making number-one hits same way, who is now King of the Dancehall, who is now ramming up shows all over the world. It’s a great achievement,” says the man who is not averse to patting himself on the back in a big way.

adjust and adapt

It’s part of what has made him so great, that and his ability to adjust to the changing times. “You need to adjust and adapt,” Beenie Man said, revealing his secrets to being on top this long. “If you don’t adjust to the music and don’t adapt to what is going on that means you’re behind the times. So with the experience you have, you have to know how to adapt and know how to adjust.”

He says, though, that his career may not have been what it was, had it not been for several key people who, he said, were instrumental in getting his career going. He praised Patrick Roberts, his first manager, Bunny Lee, the Tastee Talent Show, disc jock Barry Gordon, Super Don and Bagga Brown. “These are the people that made my career but the man who made me become an artiste was Jimmy Cliff,” he said. “And I give all my praises to him, except for God and mi mother. I knew Jimmy Cliff from I was a baby. My uncle used to play in his band, so Jimmy Cliff was inna mi backyard every day. He heard me sing for the first time when I was four years of age and he encouraged me to get into music, be music and follow music.”

many achievements

He also paid tribute to veteran deejay General Trees, who he said taught him to become a deejay.

Beenie Man plans to celebrate his many achievements and his longevity during Summer Sizzle at the National Stadium parking lot in August, the month in which he began his career three decades ago. The line-up includes several international artistes from the UK, USA and Caribbean and includes Ric Ross, Busta Rhymes, Heavy D, Fantan Mojah, Da’Ville, Gentleman and Richie Spice, among scores of others. “Everybody who I have ever done a song with will be there,” he said. “It’s all about celebrating 30 years of music. It’s all about my fans and well-wishers,” he said. “I want them to come out and support the show because this will be one of my best shows.”

Source: JamaicaStar

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