Mixpak label boss Dre Skull recently collaborated on a full length with controversial dancehall artist Vybz Kartel titled Kingston Story. We caught up with the Brooklyn-based DJ/producer to see how that all came together…
how the hell did you connect with Vybz Kartel ?
I first connected with him in early 2009 for a dubplate and then later that year to work on a track which became “Yuh Love.” That was all sending stuff back and forth over the internet. It wasn’t until 2010 when I went down to Kingston and we got into the studio that we actually had a chance to vibe.
what’s your favorite Vybz song that put you onto him?
I don’t know if I can remember one particular track, but tracks like “Buddy Nuh Done” or “Why You Doing It” with Wayne Marshal.
what’s the creative process like working with Vybz in the studio?
Usually, I bring some tracks and he just sits down in the booth with the microphone ready and starts in on the recording from the very first listen. Sometimes he would ask me what I was looking for on the tracks in terms of content, but other times he would just go with his instinct. He works incredbily quickly so most songs would be written in under two hours. After the vocal session I would then take the vocals back in New York with me and finish shaping the riddim around his performance.
who else in JA scene would you like to work with?
Beenie Man, Busy Signal, Elephant Man, Popcaan, Ward 21 among others.
dancehall producers kinda lay in cut, who are the guys we should know about?
I feel like if I could get the spotlight on anyone it would be Ward 21, they always have interesting riddims.
what do you make your beats on?
These days I’m mainly working in Logic, but I still like to mess around with all sorts of weird software.
5 favorite dancehall tracks
I’m not too good with lists like this, but here’s five classics:
Shelly Thunder – Kuff
Chaka Demus & Pliers – Murder She Wrote
Beenie Man – Who Am I
Shabba Ranks – Dem Bow
Sister Nancy – Bam Bam
what were you like in high school?
favorite places to eat
5 top dj songs
Schlachthofbronx – Wave And Wine Feat. Ruff N Smooth
Melé – Starlight Express
Frederic De Carvalho – Radio Freak (Bert On Beats Remix)
Dubbel Dutch – Alaroye
Dj Fresh ft Dj Jay Hood – Like A Congo
5 top listening songs / albums
Ms. Cristal – Hoe You Just Mad
Khia – You Can Make It
1stLady – I’m Selling Pussy
Gunna – Silly Bitches
Unladylike – O Lets Do It
Thank you Dre Skull