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Story of the Song | Hit Buju collab surprised Nadine - Hopes to perform with Banton after release

Published:Sunday | March 18, 2018 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke
Nadine Sutherland
Buju Banton performing at a staging of Rebel Salute.

In the 1990s, Nadine Sutherland walked into a record store in London, England, and was congratulated for having a number one song with deejay Buju Banton. Her response was, "I don't have a song with Buju Banton."

After some insistence on both sides, playing the hit song sealed the deal. Sutherland laughs as she melodiously recounts hearing herself singing, "ooh wah, ooh wah" from the start of her song, Never Wanna Fall in Love, then hearing Buju's gravelly tones come in with "dickie dickie".

It was the first time she was hearing, Wicked Dickie, the combination of her song and Buju's Dickie (which appears on the 1993 Mr Mention album).

"I was slightly embarrassed that I did not know my own song. I was trying not to get into 'slackness', so when I heard the 'd' word... ," Sutherland said, laughing. Naturally, she had seen Buju at Penthouse studio on Slipe Road, St Andrew, but had not known before that their separate recordings had been fused seamlessly to good effect.

Ironically, at the time, Sutherland was in England pursuing another musical direction as she was working on R&B songs. Over two decades later, one of those, Love Comes Back to You, a combination with Simon Law, has had its acclaim. She points out that her father is heavily into sound systems, so nobody should have been surprised about her affinity for dancehall, although she did approach it from a diverse background, Sutherland pointing out that she had classical training - and the trophies to prove her excellence.

Still, Wicked Dickie pulled her further into dancehall, a path that led to Action - with Terror Fabulous and the remake of Anything For You, with Snow, Beenie Man, Buju Banton, Terror Fabulous, Louie Culture, and Kulcha Knox - among other songs.

In addition to not recording Wicked Dickie with Buju Banton, Sutherland says that she has never performed it with him. She hopes that that will change when Banton is released from prison, that, optimally, slated for late this year. It is not the only Buju Banton combination she would like to do live with the deejay as their song, What Am I Gonna Do, which is included on the album, she says, "I am looking forward."

Both Wicked Dickie and What Am I Gonna Do are on the 2004 CD, Buju and Friends.