Mon | Sep 25, 2017

Japanese Selector A shows 'Reggae Loves Romance'

Published:Wednesday | January 25, 2017 | 1:00 AMCecelia Campbell-Livingston
Japanese born producer Eisaku 'Selector A' Yamaguchi

It is no secret that romantic reggae songs connect with music lovers globally and have a special place in their hearts.

To prove that point, Japan-born producer, Eisaku 'Selector A' Yamaguchi, released Reggae Loves Romance Volume 1 and 2 and is now gearing up to release the next disc in the series.

The compilation album includes some of reggae's biggest names adding their voices to the project.

"As you can see from the title, it is all about love. I picked the best and well-known love songs from veteran artistes like Beres Hammond, Sanchez, Maxi Priest, Garnet Silk, Grammy award-winning Morgan Heritage, and more. It is the album you can listen to, again and again, from the beginning to the end," he said.

Despite a slump in record sales, the New York-based producer is confident that a good product will succeed and can have a breakthrough in the market.

"Even though the music business, in terms of record sales, is not as good today as say, 10 years ago, people will buy good music. They want to have the best album that is out there, and this album is it," he reasoned.

In terms of online downloads, he disclosed that the US is his biggest market but also acknowledged that places like Belgium, France, and other countries in the UK appreciate his albums.

"I released Reggae Loves Romance Volume 1 in 2016 and it is selling more units and online downloads than any of my previous albums," he disclosed.

The CD peaked at number nine on the Billboard Reggae Chart, and for Selector A, that says a lot about the product. Part of that 'romance' that listeners have with the songs is the fact that it is powered by well-written lyrics that are sung by some of the best artistes in the business. Like a parent, all the tracks are his favourite; however, he did share a part of the rationale behind the selection of the songs.

"I included tracks like Brown Skin by Richie Spice, Dark Skin Girl by Romain Virgo and Woman I Need You by Sizzla, as these songs are timeless and loved by all reggae fans. The concept I had when I was putting the album together is of 'a man falling in love with a Jamaican woman'," he said about the project.

Producing music that connects is nothing new to Selector A. He released his first compilation for VP Records in 2014 titled Reggae Loves Africa. Record stores are still reordering the album that charted at number three on Belgium iTunes reggae chart. In 2015, he released 'Reggae Loves Jah', that was also successful.

"I am glad to be a part of the reggae music industry and would like more people, especially the youths worldwide, to embrace reggae, as it is the best. My hope, however, is for Jamaican producers to make more positive music. It is like, if producers make dancehall today, they make good reggae tomorrow. We need both," he said.

entertainment@gleanerjm.com