Thu | Nov 15, 2018

Spanish part of Cocoa Tea's plan

Published:Friday | October 6, 2017 | 12:00 AMStephanie Lyew
Cocoa Tea
Cocoa Tea

Cocoa Tea is synonymous with socially conscious and soulful lyrics. And while this has not changed, the man who sang 18 and Over, Ryker's Island, Come Again, and Israel's King, among other popular songs, has plans to take his music in a different direction.

His next full-length set is slated for release next year but its first single Fyah, will be made available later this month. Fyah is recorded on Sly and Robbie's take on the Bam Bam riddim.

Cocoa Tea has also collaborated with female reggae singer, Ines Pardo to produce a Spanish version of the new single titled, Fuego (which also translates as fire). Pardo is known for the song Sound System and other reggae collaborations such as One Sister Showcase and Mystic Revelation.

"Music crosses every boundary, because a lot of people will gravitate to it no matter the language it is recorded in. And so the main inspiration for this Spanish-English collaboration is to tie different countries together with a song that just speaks out against racial discrimination on a familiar beat," said Cocoa Tea.

The single shows all the musical sides of Cocoa Tea. The producers of the both singles are Calvin Scott and Troy McLean of Roaring Lion Records, with creative input provided by Sly Dunbar and Lloyd Willis. Fyah and Fuego will be available worldwide via for the official release on Saturday, October 21. So far, the English version has been listed on BBC's David Rodigan's Scorcher list.

The Bam Bam riddim has been frequently recycled over the past year by local and international artistes in tracks such as RDX's Shake Your Bam Bam and Jay-Z's Bam, featuring Damian Marley.

"I actually didn't know that the rhythm was being used so much, I just went to Sly and told him I wanted to use a few riddims, and Bam Bam was one of them," Cocoa Tea told The Gleaner.

"In fact there are a few others apart from Bam Bam that will be used on the album, persons can also look out for a single on the 1989 Taxi riddim and Punany riddim from 1995," he added.


Spreading his reach


The singer is hoping that having two versions of the single will continue to expand the number of his fans around the world, thus increasing chances of the new album gaining traction future Grammy Awards. Despite not having won a Grammy for past productions, Cocoa Tea's success and international fame is due in large part to his live and recorded performances.

"My aim is to put good music out and focusing attention on making people dance will at the same time attract younger markets. So I'm linking up with other Spanish artistes, as well as exploring the Afrobeat trend that is taking off in the world," said Cocoa Tea.

The 58-year-old reggae/dancehall artiste says "in the music industry these days, if you're not vibrant or not relevant to young people, then you might be considered as completely irrelevant, so we are having fun with these recent productions for the new album but still keeping it to the roots of reggae and dancehall."

Cocoa Tea next performs in Jamaica at the Heroes in Action stage show on Saturday, October 14. His 2018 50-City tour is in the early stages of planning.

The most recent albums by Cocoa Tea were Sunset in Negril in 2014, under his label Roaring Lion Records, and In a di Red, released by VP Records in 2012.