Reggae artist Kaya Black believes that doing covers of international hits creates a new window of opportunity for Jamaican artists.
“When you turn a foreign song into a reggae song, it gives it new life and a new dimension. It’s a win-win for the original artist who has the ability to reach a whole new market, if an artist covers your song decades after its original release and it’s done well, that’s a sign that your song is considered a classic, ”he said. DancehallMag.
On October 15, Black released a cover of the 1982 single Commodores Easy, produced by multi-platinum producer and Grammy winner, J-Vibe.
Easy is a Commodores song for Motown, taken from their fifth studio album Commodores. It was written by band member Lionel Richie.
For Kaya, who grew up listening to the band, it felt like a reggae cover would complement the lyrics.
“I always felt a connection with the single and thought a reggae version would sound good, but I never acted on it,” the artist explained.
He also made a point of contacting the Grammy-winning producer after hearing about his work.
“I hooked up with J-Vibe after hearing the production he did on Collie Buddz’s single Close to you Last year. I contacted him and we’ve been working with Tyler Cain, a Nashville-based producer ever since, ”the artist said.
It was when he posted recent press photos that his fans ironically compared him to Lionel Richie and suggested he cover one of the American icon’s songs.
“Even though it wasn’t a Lionel Richie song per se, Easy was the perfect song to cover, ”he added.
The artist added his own unique twist, also accompanied by a stellar guitar solo from Grammy-nominated producer Tyler Cain. The single quickly ascended the iTunes Reggae chart, ranking at number 62 shortly after its release.
Kaya says covers have the potential to be as successful as the original tracks.
“The song I like what you do honey by Big Mountain, originally directed by Peter Frampton was a hit. The success of the UB40 very red wine, also originally by Neil Diamond. Boy George took over Everything I Own from Ken Boothe and it became a huge success, ”he explained.
Kaya Black’s reggae roots began when her father Johnnie Black, a famous Jamaican photographer, urged him to pursue the genre as a career option. He was also inspired by listening to his mother’s R&B and Rock records, resulting in a mix of musical influences such as Bob Marley and the Wailers, Stevie Wonder, Maxi Priest, Matchbox Twenty and John Mayer.
Easy follows the artist’s recent releases, I miss you and Burn of you.