Custom Search 1

These dancehall producers are flying the UK flag

KINGS OF THE PACK: The Fanatix have collaborated with dancehall heavyweights across the UK

I LOVE A dancehall riddim! That’s the first thing that grabs me when I listen to a new tune. As Shabba Ranks says in his classic Ting A Ling, “DJ ears cock up when them hear boom riddim!”.

The drums have to bang and I always long for the duttiest bassline to rumble through my speakers and shake the room. I’ve long been told I’m quite deaf, but I have to feel the music first and foremost.

You will know when it gets my nod of approval as my face is usually squished up like I’m sucking on a lemon!

The UK unfortunately hasn’t had many producers that have made their name stick like a Steely & Clevie, Dave Kelly, Don Corleone or Ward 21, all of whom at one point in their career were the ‘go-to’ producers for that latest sound.

MENTIONS

It hasn’t been completely bleak, though. Notable mentions have to go to Mafia and Fluxy and my old school friend Jazzwad who have both own the UK flag high, but I’m hard pushed to say who else has that level of impact.

The end of 2018 saw the production outfit The Fanatix come of age after steadily building their profile with some of the most unique riddims coming straight outta England. The Fanatix are the producers responsible for the Arabian inspired riddim for Stylo G’s Touchdown.

This has gone on to be one of the biggest records this year that featured a heavyweight line-up of Nicki Minaj and Vybz Kartel. They are a production trio outta London whose members are Master Piece, C Dot and Dro. Master Piece and Dro have been school friends since the age of 12 and it was the bond of music that has kept them together.

“Dro used to be in a rap group and I was their producer at the time,” Master Piece tells me. “We was introduced to C Dot as an engineer, but he was more than an engineer when he mixed our stuff. He was tweaking the beat and taking it to a next level. We was like, ‘Rah, this guy is sick!’ So it was Dro’s idea to make a production outfit with all of us.

“I was surprised to hear that it wasn’t long after that that they got their first hit as The Fanatix with Popcaan’s Rup Rup. That song was one of the songs that put us properly out on the map – that was literally the early days. Then 2014 into 2015, we had a link with Mini who was the main guy that got our beats to Popcaan and others.

LINK

“We had other things out but that was the song, then Nah Idle with Popcaan again put us even further up the ladder and caught the attention of people like Chip, Stylo and a lot of the other UK artists.”

I and many others are huge fans of their sparse but rhythmically full riddims. You can instantly tell when you are listening to a Fanatix production even without their production tagline inserted. It’s reminiscent to when I used to listen to Timbaland or Neptunes records.

Why do I mention those two in particular and we are talking Dancehall? Well, their sound reminds me of those musical powerhouses, and Master Piece agrees. “They were my favourite producers when I was growing, so I am heavily in uenced by them.”

The beauty of this trio is they are typical black British yutes. In the UK we listen to every kinda genre on any given day depending on our mood. Even though I’ve boxed them off into Dancehall, these guys do everything. Just listen to their latest offering with Giggs’ BABY, and that is straight hip-hop.

“We don’t really put ourselves in a box or one genre, we just make music, depending on which artist jumps on the track and de nes what genre it may fall into, but we just bring our flavour to each genre,” he adds confidently.

Recently, via Instagram, I saw The Fanatix in Jamaica. This must mean they are cooking up something special for us. This is my job, to ask those questions and be nosey!

“We were in Jamaica to put in some more promotion for Touch Down, but also bridge the gap between there and the UK. With Touch Down being as big as it was, we thought now was the perfect opportunity.”

And it seems they are taking that opportunity with projects with Radio One’s Toddla T about to start. Master Piece also tells me about The Fanatix project which will focus on them as the artist with some very special features.

But what excited me even more was to hear they have a riddim juggling called Galaxy forthcoming. Is that what the recent trip to Jamaica was all about?

We will have to wait and see.

Read every story in our hardcopy newspaper for free by downloading the app.

Facebook Comments