With a solid blend of veterans, newcomers and those on the cusp of stardom, Downsound Records (DSR) is steadily building itself into quite a musical force.
In fact, the artistes are now known collectively as the Downsound Force, the production and Management Company stated in a release.
Comprising elder statesman Ninjaman – or ‘the Bob Marley of Dancehall’ as Downsound boss, Joe Bogdanovich hails Ninja Man, Harry Toddler, Specialist, Nature, the sole female act, Ishawna, and selector Foota Hype, the Downsound Force is boldly making inroads in the business.
Under the keen direction of producer Cordell ‘Scatta’ Burrell, DSR is being felt on the streets. Scatta has the knack of knowing the right types of collabs to cement the Force, and so far, the Specialist Ishawna combination, Just The Two of Us, has proven to be a winner.
So, too, is Dweet, the big bad tune with Ninja Man and Specialist, which boldly addresses, in a light-hearted manner, the seriously vexed issue in the dancehall of lack of respect for veteran entertainers.
Nature’s World Peace, which soared to number one in England, is still fresh and Ishawna is definitely on to something with her new tune, Murderer.
Over the Easter weekend, the DSR Force had four shows across Jamaica, blasting off in Westmoreland then moving to De la Vega City in Spanish Town and rounding out with a double bill – St Thomas at the Grace Super Fun Day and St Ann at the Kite Festival.
DSR is swiftly building Ninja Man’s repertoire, something which has been largely ignored in the past. “It is well documented that Ninja Man is the only artiste who can simply walk onstage, pose, look intently on the crowd, and keep his mouth shut and the place mash up. So it is understandable that, over the years, he has been known as a performing artiste and he has that down to a science. Now, we are enhancing the recording side of his career,” Bogdanovich explained.
To the younger members of the DSR Force, Ninja is the teacher and he actually “keeps class” with them. “Ninja will assess the crowd right before the show and give us tips, and afterwards he will commend us on the things that we did right and also point out where we went wrong,” Ishawna said.
“Ninja is the greatest,” adds Specialist, “he is a legend and he is very good for the business.”