Some sound system selectors possess the uncanny ability to turn mere recording artistes into stars.Top-rated dancehall selector Ricky Trooper possesses that ability and has been credited with boosting the career of several notable Jamaican dancehall artistes.
Now, the rest have come calling. Guyana-born, New York based dancehall artiste Phed X (real name Churaman Sukhram) has teamed up with the famous selector as he seeks to enhance his career in the music industry.
Currently pushing the 2016 singles Kill Dem All and Done and Lighters Up, Phed X seeks to cement his place in the dancehall fraternity.
"Kill Dem All and Done is a sound clash record being rotated by Sound Trooper," Phed X told Entertainment Avenue from his New York base.
"I'm getting a lot of requests for dubplates from all across the globe."
Asked why the link with Sound Trooper, Phed X replied: "Sound Trooper helped to buss artistes like Beenie Man, Vybz Kartel, Anthony B, Gage, and he is now guiding Phed X to climb the music ladder."
Trooper (real name Garfield McKoy) is a feared sound clash selector who emerged from being the top selector at Kilimanjaro sound system to start his own Sound Trooper killing machine around 2000.
Lighters Up, released in late February by VP Records, is produced by Holland-based Benn-I Productions and marks a peculiar development in dancehall music, with the Dutch, Guyanese, and Jamaican components promising to create a huge hit.
Lighters Up was recorded in New York and is not to be confused with a song by the same name released some years ago by Snoop Lion, featuring Mavado and Popcaan.
"The reaction to Lighters Up has been good. We getting a good vibe,? Phed X said. ?Everything is nice. It?s the type of song that helps to bring the mellow vibes back to the dancehall."
Last year, Phed X's track, Dancehall Time (World Dance Riddim), was remixed to feature Gully Bop, and although the remix created a lot of buzz, Phed X says that he has fallen out with the controversial artiste.
Phed X left Guyana for New York in 1991 at age 10 and has been inspired by reggae stars Super Cat, Yellowman, Shabba Ranks, and Beres Hammond.
But it was the playing of top sound system Stone Love that inspired Phed X to take up the art of being a music selector later in the decade.
The artiste later built his own sound system, Murder Love, before his transition into recording in 2002, with his first recording, Mo Gyal, recorded at Ed Robinson's E2 Studio for Award One Records.
"I'll be in Jamaica later this year to do some recordings and to shoot a video and to try to connect with the Jamaican audience, but so far, it's a good look, and we give thanks for the blessing," said Phed X.