Nearly 30 Japanese deejays based locally and overseas are recording a tribute single entitled One For All as part of earthquake relief efforts.
It signifies, in part, the response already undertaken by the Japanese dancehall community, according to top deejay Ryo the Skywalker who left Japan two days prior to the earthquake for Jamaica.
“We already start making a song. Japanese deejay Chehon call on all reggae friends and (producer) Gachapan to build the riddim fi it. Twenty-eight artistes de pon this song already,” explained Skywalker whose prominence in Japan equals that of Vybz Kartel in Jamaica. “Chehon and Gachapan dem live in Jamaica and is leading this movement.”
Skywalker’s original intent was to mix an album at Big Ship Records in Kingston. But he admitted that his mind is focused on Japan.
“Actually I left Japan on the 9th inna this month. After mi reach Jamaica, I got this news and I was so shocked. Since then mi start check out Japan situation by the Internet and help to spread right information to dem while doing studio work in Jamaica,” he tweeted to the Sunday Observer. “What we mixing is our next compilation album. Various Japanese dancehall artiste pon it. But I still worry bout people in Japan. And mi worry ’bout the nuclear plants which got damaged. I hope it a go stop and be safe.”
Last week’s 9.0 earthquake and tsunami killed more than 6,900, but estimates range over 10,000. Additionally, the tsunami crippled the cooling systems at a nuclear plant which resulted in explosions at four of six reactor units releasing toxic radiation into the atmosphere. Japan called the triple disaster its worst crisis since World War II.
Skywalker will also conduct his own charity event going forward: “Of course I want to do live (performance) to support Tohoku and all Japan. But I have to prepare and set up dat in the right time.”
Skywalker’s vocals are unmistakably deep and even brawling. Sort of a mix between local deejays Buju Banton and Sizzla. He began honing his style after a 1994 visit to the island and released his first full album in 2000. His dominance continues to date and currently his 10th Anniversary live album is charting at number seven on iTunes Japan Reggae Album Charts. Whilst his colleague Chehon ranks number two on the reggae singles charts with 4ever.
The earthquake has resulted in the postponement of shows and albums by at least two popular Japanese dancehall artistes. Charity concerts, however, have already begun since this weekend including one in New York, US by large Japanese soundsystem Mighty Crown.
On Friday reggae singer Lecca announced that the album Mo-flo, Stitch the Future and Past would be postponed due to transportation and logistical difficulties arising from the earthquake.”…We will postpone the release… regarding the revised release date, we will inform you as soon as a decision is made”.
“In the aftermath of the earthquake, we have events scheduled following Fireball appearance is discontinued,” stated a message on the Mighty Crown website to which the Japanese group Fireball is affiliated.