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Opa boss reveals musical side - Releases New EDM/Dancehall Track

Published:Sunday | May 29, 2016 | 5:00 AM
Alexx Antaeus
A still shot from the video of the new single, 'Angel'.
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Many may know Alexx Antaeus as the owner of Opa Greek Restaurant and Lounge on Hope Road, but there is another side to the Opa boss that persons in Jamaica may not be aware of.

Antaeus, who also has a studio space in Manhattan, New York - its walls lined with his gold and platinum records - is also very much into music.

"I've been in the music business since I can remember. That's my bread and butter," he told, The Sunday Gleaner. Ironically, he says, "Opa is just a side business."

Antaeus holds a Bachelor of Science in Music Industry from California State University and has made a name for himself as a disc jockey.

"Give me vinyl and you'd be surprised at how good I am scratching vinyl and mixing."

Antaeus won the Best DJ in Los Angeles award during the 1992 Winter Music Conference, one of the most anticipated clubbing events in the United States, according to The New York Times. In that same year, he became a voting member of the National Academy of the Recording Arts, and Sciences, the governing party for the Grammy Awards.

Antaeus has been involved in recording, remixing, and producing for a diverse selection of artistes, including the iconic rock band, The Rolling Stones and the genre-hopping ensemble, Earth Wind & Fire. He eventually made the transition into doing club remixes for major record labels, before he started producing music for himself.

But it was when Super Cat made an international splash, that Antaeus was motivated to experiment with Jamaican elements in his music. He claims to be one of the first persons to fuse techno with what he knew to be the ragamuffin style.

"RCA (Records) released some of my stuff, but I don't believe people were ready for that yet," he said. "What Major Lazer is doing now, I did it back then," he explained. "That influence of combining what we call EDM today with reggae elements, I did in the early 90s."

Since the release of his last personal music project, a chill-wave album released in 2005 called zero4, Antaeus found himself consumed by other non-musical pursuits. He said that as much as he loves Jamaica, starting a business has slowed his true passion to almost a halt. Now, after more than a decade of musical silence, Antaeus has returned to his studio, Monom Records, and plans to introduce a new approach to EDM music.

"What's coming out now, should have been coming out years ago," he told The Sunday Gleaner.

"The idea behind Angel, was to produce a down-tempo EDM track with Gregorian chants and Jamaican dancehall elements. It's been over 25 years since Enigma took 'Sadness' to number one around the world. They used a sample. We recorded a fresh approach to it," he explained.

Antaeus' brand new single, Angel, is now available for streaming on SoundCloud as of last Friday. The track features the vocals of Steven Wilson, tenor of the two-time Grammy nominated Renaissance and Medieval music quartet, the New York Polyphony. With a deep nod to indigenous Jamaican music, the track also features the vocals of the enigmatic and gritty dancehall artiste, Tommy Lee Sparta.

entertainment@gleanerjm.com