When the 51st reggae Grammy nominations were announced on Wednesday, for dancehall’s ‘Energy God’ Elephant Man, it was a night that acknowledged his many years of hard work
in the business.
The deejay is the only dancehall artiste in the category and is receiving his first Grammy nod for the album Let’s Get Physical. The other nominations include Burning Spear with Jah Is Real, American rapper-turned-reggae artiste Heavy D for Vibes, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry for Repentance, Shaggy for Intoxication and Sly & Robbie for Amazing. With the exception of Heavy D, Elephant Man is the only other artiste in the category who hasn’t already won a Grammy.
While the other Grammy nominees might find next year’s ceremony another walk in the park, for Ele, winning a Grammy would be the crowning glory of his musical career
Given that there is never a dull moment in his life, it was in the midst of a party that Ele learnt of his nomination.
He said, “I was at Cuddy’z wid my girlfriend and her friends. It was ma girl’s birthday and we were all celebrating when a bredrin called me and told me I was nominated. I was excited, same time mi buy a bottle of champagne and make a toast to the Grammys. We just a party and enjoy wi self. It’s good to know mi hard work pay off. It pay off to stay focus, do positive good music.”
Ringing off the hook
Since hearing the announcement, the artiste’s phone has been ringing off the hook with persons calling to congratulate him. Ele says even Diddy, who distributed the album through his Bad Boy label, called to give him his best wishes.
Let’s Get Physical is Ele’s first album to be released on the Bad Boy label owned by Diddy. While some naysayers might believe it was the push of Diddy’s influence that propelled Let’s Get Physical to ‘Grammy-dom’, Ele disagrees, explaining that in the past other artistes have had major labels behind them without being nominated.
Ele is optimistic that his album, which was his first album to ever debut at number one on the Billboard Reggae Top 10 charts, has a good shot at winning the Grammy. Even though the artiste has a number of achievements under his belt, for Ele, winning the Grammy would be on the top of the list.
Grammy unda my belt
He said, “It would mean a lot caw if you ask anyone mi always a bring the energy, a jump and entertain di people. It would be di biggest achievement. Music
carry me overseas and let me see di world. To have a Grammy unda my belt would be the best. No one can seh mi don’t deserve it. Caw even when mi tek weh miself or mi deh bout, mi always have good music.”
Beneath the surface of his brightly coloured hair, outrageous clothes, bling and hilarious lyrics, Elephant Man has been one of the most consistent and positive deejays in the business. While some have taken the watered-down route to success internationally or the extensively violent one for street credibility locally, Elephant Man has maintained his playful side with songs for the ladies and signature dancing tunes that have hit in both markets.
Versatility of his music
According to Ele, his major contribution in the business has been the versatility of his music to move any type of crowd. “I record songs where kids and everyone can relate to. It’s positive. I can perform for parents, I can perform at charity shows, I can perform anywhere and send a message,” Ele told THE STAR.
Regardless of a win, Elephant Man plans to continue working hard. For the Christmas season, Ele is releasing a new dancing Christmas carol for TJ Records, titled Christmas Swagger. He is also voicing for Stephen McGregor, Firelinks and a slew of other popular producers.