Sun | Jan 21, 2018

Riley gains success with father's 'Technique'

Published:Monday | April 25, 2016 | 12:00 AMCurtis Campbell
DJ Kurt Riley
Winston Riley

Record producer/DJ Kurt Riley is celebrating the success of his rhythm, 'Jambe-An', which has been climbing charts intentionally thanks to the single, Party Animal, recorded by Charly Black. The single was released under the legendary Technique Records, started by the late record producer Winston Riley, and is its biggest contemporary record to date.

Party Animal and the Jambe-An rhythm first peaked in other Caribbean countries before pulling the attention of the Jamaican fan base. Kurt Riley told The Gleaner that it was no coincidence, since he also recorded artistes from Trinidad, Guyana and Nigeria, among others, on the compilation.

"I even recorded an artiste with Spanish roots. His name is Notch and is based in the United States. The rhythm started to make an impact in Costa Rica, then the other Caribbean islands, and just took off. If you notice, the name of the rhythm is also Jambe-An and that is out of my belief that the entire Caribbean is one place and we can travel from one country to another through the power of music," he said.

Party Animal has been viewed more than 70 million times on and streamed more than 30 million times on Spotify. The song has also peaked at number one in Chile, Costa Rica and Ecuador, while it rose to the top five on charts in Peru. Party Animal also has a Spanish version, and has also performed well in Paraguay, Honduras and Nicaragua, rising to the top 10 on those charts.


Riley and his team have since signed a new distribution deal with Universal Records. He believes the song is poised to break more records with more promotion and could potentially chart on Billboard.

"I am feeling humbled and overwhelmed, and I am also giving thanks to the man above. Sometimes you get what you ask for, and I am really happy. A company in France called T2S Records took up the record and they placed effort into the promotion on that side, as well as we did what we could on our side. Universal is now on board and I don't think the success will stop here because we have the world to cover," he said.

Kurt Riley is the son of iconic producer Winston Riley, best known for his work with icons like Sister Nancy, Alton Ellis and Johnny Osbourne. Winston Riley also holds the record for the most sampled rhythm, 'The Stalag'.

With such a colourful legacy as his inspiration, Kurt Riley believes the success of the Jambe-An rhythm has silenced naysayers as well as answered questions about his capabilities as a producer.

"Some people know me as a producer and not a DJ, while there are others who know me as a DJ and not a producer. Is this the project that will make my mark? Is this the project that will cement my legacy? I think this is just a chip off the ice, based on what is to come. Because what is in the future, I don't know," he said.

The DJ, who once again called for the members of the music industry to unite for the greater good of Jamaican music, also gave credit to producers Demarco and Birch for their contribution to the final cut of the Jambe-An rhythm.

"Demarco played the rhythm and the project was mixed by Birch. That goes to show that unity can do wonders. Too many want it all for themselves when a united effort can be more beneficial to us. I rather have quarter loaf of bread and be grateful, because I know four quarters will make one bread," he said.

Technique Records is also celebrating Kanye West's sampling of Sister Nancy's Bam Bam in his new single titled Famous. Kurt Riley, who was recently featured in Billboard magazine, said the agreement with Kanye West was favourable.

"The paperwork was taken care of. In the music business, you have to make sure that you do the right thing as it relates to the business aspect," he said.

The producer was, however, reluctant to reveal the amount of money he and Charly Black would receive for the streaming of Party Animal. Neither did he expose the details of the financial agreement with Kanye West.