Fri | Sep 29, 2023

Stefflon Don wants to record with more Jamaican producers, artistes

Published:Wednesday | September 28, 2022 | 12:08 AMStephanie Lyew/Gleaner Writer
Stefflon Don is happy to connect with her Jamaican roots.
Stefflon Don is happy to connect with her Jamaican roots.

UK-born recording artiste Stefflon Don is preparing for the release of her Island 54 album and has expressed an interest in working with more music professionals from Jamaica. In a recent interview with The Gleaner, she said that while the word ‘island’ as part of the name of the album, is a direct giveaway of what she plans to deliver, she “wouldn’t say it’s a full dancehall/reggae album”.

“I’m working really hard on this album, but with the name, you would know already what I’m gonna bring, it’s definitely gonna have a few songs in that style or genre. I’m also looking to record with a few more Jamaican producers, and I’m always up to collaborate,” Stefflon Don shared.

She has collaborated with the likes of Sean Paul, DJ Frass, Masicka, and more recently Spice and Vybz Kartel. “It does not get better than that [working with] the Queen and the King of hardcore Jamaican dancehall,” she offered.

The first song released from the album is titled Clockwork. It features Spice and was produced by Jamaican-American artiste and producer BEAM. It shows the dynamic and distinct personalities of both females on a uniquely dancehall rhythm partly influenced by the late-90s into early 2000s. During a recent visit to Jamaica, Stefflon Don recorded and released the video for the track, where the cast were outfitted in the island’s national colours “for full recognition of my Jamaican roots, by now persons would see that Nike has done the Stefflon Don Jordan sneakers in Jamaican colours”. Clockwork debuted at the No. 1 spot on the UK iTunes Reggae Chart.

“It’s quite fitting that the visuals were shot in downtown Kingston, and it is all to recognise the significance of Jamaica’s dancehall genre. Clockwork definitely has a different type of energy and we had to get Spice on this one, and it is a very, very, special feature for me because she is the Queen of Dancehall and the female face of dancehall in Jamaica, for me. It definitely means a lot to connect the audiences,” Stefflon Don said.

Following the success of her debut single, Hurtin’ Me, in 2017, she continued to cement her reputation as a versatile talent influenced by multiple cultures.

“I feel like music has no barrier, no language barrier; music is a feeling. If you don’t know the lyrics of the song, you can still feel a certain kind of way, whether it makes you happy, emotional of whatever it is, it has a feeling. I’m definitely inspired by the Nigerian culture, and to mix it with Jamaica’s music. I mean, it’s nice to see the world coming together musically,” the entertainer declared.

Recording artistes have the powerful tool that breaks barriers, and Stefflon Don said that it is important for her to connect with others in different parts of the world. It has been speculated that collaborations with several fast-rising males deejays, including Skillibeng, Skeng, and Bayka are in the pipeline, but instead of confirming this, she only said “all of those artistes are just some of whom I look to work with”.

“What I love about Skillibeng is, he’s very different. When he first came out he reminded me of Vybz Kartel, but very different, which I think is amazing. For someone to remind you of Vybz Kartel but not copy him is an amazing achievement. I think, lyrically, he is really ‘sick’ as his flow is so original. He’s very young, so he’s really doing his thing for a young yute. I love to see that. Skeng has got vibes, he’s got the voice, and he’s dropping dem ‘bangers’ same as Skilli; bang after bang after bang,” Stefflon Don said.