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DJ Karim, Busy Signal get Smirnoff ad campaign deal in Europe

Published:Sunday | March 27, 2016 | 3:00 AMCurtis Campbell
DJ Karim
Busy Signal
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Producer/DJ Karim is celebrating the success of his EDM record featuring Busy Signal.

According to Karim, there is much to be thankful for, as international beverage company, Smirnoff Ice, has decided to use the song as title track for their ongoing ad campaign in Europe.

DJ Karim, who revealed that he made the rhythm along with two associates in Florida, says he feels like his mission was accomplished.

"We went EDM because we wanted to create an electronic dancehall vibe. The ad agency contacted us through VP Records. I guess they heard the song and liked it and got in contact with us. We did the deal and it was history from there," he said.

The song is titled Watch Me Now, and currently has more than 100,000 views on YouTube. In terms of its sound, the record can easily be compared to Busy Signal's previous hit, the EDM/dancehall-infused single Bumaye/Watch Out For This. However, this effort appears to be picking up steam faster overseas rather than it is locally.

DJ Karim says his intention is to tap into foreign markets dominated by Major Lazer, Skrillex and other international producers.

"When the actual deal went through, it was a joy to know that another dancehall song had made it across the border. My mission is a music mission and it feels good to be a Jamaican producer/DJ to achieve success from an EDM record," he said.

The producer now aims to create a new sound by fusing the Spanish mumbata genre with dancehall. He has already started work on his follow-up record with Busy Signal and hopes to pull Elephant Man into the mix.

The producer believes Jamaicans are fully capable of producing credible EDM music, and pointed to his record as proof.

 

FEELING AND SOUL

 

"Jamaicans can produce any kind of music, because music is an expression of feeling and soul. Jamaicans are full of feeling, soul and talent and we can make any kind of music. Judging by this record, you can tell we are capable of producing really good EDM," he said.

Karim also said the music industry needs to be developed and united if the country wants to own its creations. He called on notable industry players to merge resources for the greater good of Jamaican music.

"The industry needs to become an industry. We need more leaders like Mikey Bennett, Dave Kelly, Tony Kelly ... these pioneers need to form a committee, even a label per se and control the industry in the island because we don't have that. If somebody wants a song for a commercial they have to go VP, and they are US-based. Even though they are Jamaicans, we need a Jamaica-based label that can do that. That is the only way we will have a true industry and make some serious money in Jamaica," he said

DJ Karim and Busy Signal will be releasing a music video for Watch Me Now in coming weeks. Coincidentally, Bumaye also peaked in Europe and was selected for an ad spearheaded by Pepsi. The video for that ad also featured superstar football player Lionel Messi.

Bumaye also went on to sell platinum in France and Belgium, as well as gold in Italy.

entertainment@gleanerjm.com