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Richie Stephens, fueled by success of Rihanna and Drake’s ‘Work’ drops first production in over 10 years, partners with DubShot Records

Follow @eventlabgh < Richie Stephens, the famous lover’s rock crooner and dancehall producer will release the Skyscraper Riddim on his...

By Eventlabgh , in Entertainment News , at November 16, 2017


Richie Stephens, the famous lover’s rock crooner and dancehall producer will release the Skyscraper Riddim on his Pot Of Gold label, distributed by New York based DubShot Records, in late 2017. A one of a kind live juggling took place over the weekend, on the acclaimed TV program On Stage with Winford Williams.

As a young singerin 1994 Richie Stephens toured with Shabba Ranks.The tour was arranged by both hisand Shabba’smanager at the time (Specialist), all over the world they shared the stage and Richie was exposed to the hardcore dancehall style. He thought that if he,as a singer, could record over those types of dancehall riddims, he could cross-over from his Lover’s Rock roots. However, those riddims were dominated by hardcore deejays, and many of the productions had very ruff and tuff rhythmic elements. There wasn’t much melody going into the production, which made it difficult for a singer to grab ahold of the music. So he decided to build his own riddims, and add some chord changes and other styles to make them smoother and ready for a singer or singjay style artist.

Together with Sly Dunbar on drums and Lenkyon Keys,he created a remake of the popular song “She’s A Maniac” made famous by Michael Sembellowhose song “Maniac” was featured on the ‘Footloose’ Soundtrack. He then called up his friend from Seaview Gardens, Rodney Pryce aka Bounty Killer, to come and record the Deejay part. In 1998 they released the song, it became a hit, and it changed the way dancehall music sounded. “I toured Japan 4 times a year because of that song,” says Richie who credits Lenky’s vision for the development of songs after this “It was very strange for a dancehall song to sound like that; even Lenky thought it sounded kinda strange.But he was the crazy kinda guy who wouldn’t mind playing on that track with that weird sound. This was the fresh sound, and it influenced other songs Lenky played on like Everyone Falls In Love.”

Now flash forward to present day Jamaica, Richie finishes his morning workout and he gets a call from Rihanna’s lawyers and they said congratulations Mr. Richie Stephens Rihanna has used your riddim Sail Away from 1998 for her new single with Drake called “Work.” This became the biggest hit of 2016 and once again Richie was forced into the spotlight. In May he collected the ASCAP Pop Award, and the R&B awards in Beverly Hills, where he got a chance to meet all the great producers like Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis and the young producers who had worked on the Rihanna track. They expressed their love for the original Sail Away Riddim, and this really inspired Richie Stephens to get back in the studio and work on his own productions. When he went back to Jamaica he decided that he was going to revisit and explore more of that 90’s style sound, and the magic of the early dancehall years, but include a taste of now. The Skyscraper Riddim cameout of that vibe, looking back for that same inspiration that he drew upon for the original production of his earliest riddims“That same kind of movement from ‘She’s A Maniac’ is what I went back for;and inclusive of what I see and what I am hearing is happening now. I play the riddim and have the riddim playing in the studio and everybody would just go crazy over the riddim and I decided that eventhough I haven’t done a juggling in years, I would do another juggling and see what vibe and energy we would get out of it.”

The first song recorded on the riddim was with Goofy aka Mr. G, an artist and well respected producer for Young Blood Records, who encouraged Richie to put out the riddim now. So the two veteran artists put together the first track “Him Or Me.” After that he checked for young talent so reached out to Dexta Daps who came with a wicked song, then Christoper Martin, Romain Virgo, and two of Richie’s favorite lyricists when it comes to Deejay business: Professor Nuts and Agent Sasco to do a combination. Richie said as he described the recording process “I always like to introduce new talent when I am in the studio, so we featured a popular dancer named Hunter who has a great voice and put a killer song called Duppy Bat to round out the selections. I am excited to present this new riddim to the world and look forward to hear the reaction from the public.”

Source: Beenie Words

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