Q45 ready to feed dancehall with new productions - Says genre is starving for authentic rhythms

March 10, 2020
Dancehall entertainer Bounty Killer (left) shares 
a frame with producer and 
label owner 
Dancehall entertainer Bounty Killer (left) shares a frame with producer and label owner Q45.

Gary Blake, known in dancehall spaces as Q45, says that he is done watching dancehall from the sidelines.

A label owner, producer and artiste manager, he feels he has a responsibility to make contributions, and has returned with a new, yet vintage, dancehall rhythm which features entertainers like Wayne Wonder, Delly Ranks, Mr Chicken, Suku of Ward 21, Bugle and Bounty Killer.

"With production, I had stopped for a minute, but I realised that dancehall is in dire need for authentic sounds ... we need to stand up firm in dancehall (so) I linked up with Suku and the rest is history," said Q45.

Titled the Buss Box rhythm, Q45 explained that the musical composition is parallel to the dancehall productions of the 90s and early 2000s, having a signature bass that "sound like it going buss up the speak box".

Q45's rise to popularity in Jamaica's music industry goes back to the 1990s. Back then, the music prodigy joined forces with the dynamic reggae-dancehall production duo Steely and Clevie for the Dirty Money rhythm. The juggling was hot, with Ring Mi Cellie by Lexxus and More Prophet by Capleton among the singles. His biggest hit to date was Pon De River by Elephant Man.

'90s music

"The genre is starving," he said, "Globally people want to hear '90s dancehall and if the genre is going to hold its place on the international scene, the sounds must be maintained."

He continued: "I understand the younger generation has ideas of what the music should sound like but the original sound should not be replaced - it can't be replaced - not with this style created called 'trap hall (trap dancehall)."

A comment from Vybz Kartel's social media page under Q45's post announcing the rhythm's release has also energised him, as he believes it is evidence that entertainers are still hungry for similar sounds.

"I am optimistic that Vybz Kartel will get the opportunity to record on Buss Box. There will be other riddims that carry the same authentic flavour because the aim is to release one every quarter or every three months," he said. "This is of little to no benefit to me, it is for the dancehall entertainers who value real dancehall and they are guaranteed to attract a wide audience which means more shows for them."

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