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Alton Ellis predicted Rozah Roze's work would pay off

Published:Sunday | March 22, 2015 | 3:00 AMCurtis Campbell
Alton Ellis
Kanye West
Rozah Roze
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Reggae artiste Noel 'Rozah Roze' Ellis, son of the late Alton Ellis, says his father would be proud of his accomplishment, as his reggae song, Dance With Me, was sampled by American rap star Kanye West for the single called All Day, and now sits at the number 15 spot on the US Billboard Hot 100 Chart.

According to Rozah Roze, also an avid comedian, Alton Ellis may have predicted his current success.

"I was influenced to do music by my father and people always say I sing like him. Some of his friends used to call me 'Little Alton' and asked me to sing. He always encouraged me to do the work because one day it will pay off, and now might be the time. He also said that if you want to buss in the music, then Jamaica is the bus stop," he told The Sunday Gleaner.

The artiste disclosed that the Canada-based label that initially released his Dance With Me single in 1983 is contemplating a re-release of the record, in an attempt to capitalise on the new attention generated by Kanye's sample. He also said the music of veterans are being shelved locally, but foreign countries still recognise roots reggae music.

"My music was released in foreign and not the Jamaican market. So now is when many of the youth are realising that I am an artiste. The producers now and radio DJs mostly target the younger set of people, so our music don't really get attention out here," he said.

He also explained why he felt that Dance With Me did not get the breakthrough until Kanye West decided to sample it, because, "at the time, Canada had a very young and inexperienced reggae industry, but now reggae is growing in Canada, so it's the right time for Dance With Me."

"I feel good about the sample because right now it is giving my thing a little boost," he added.

Kanye West's All Day also debuted at number seven on the YouTube popular singles playlist. He recently performed the single at the 2015 Brit awards to rave reviews.

Alton Ellis died in 2008 in London, 10 months after he was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer.

entertainment@gleanerjm.com