Artiste Leno Banton connects with Nigeria via SoundCloud
As the world becomes fully immersed with the ubiquitous influence of Jamaican dancehall sounds and culture throughout western mainstream pop charts, the indigenous music form continues to permeate other popular music scenes.
Two years ago, local artiste Leno Banton heard a song from a Nigerian recording artiste called Ayotemi on SoundCloud and 'liked' it. Last week Friday, the pair released a collaboration for the summer called Wata Baby.
The interactivity of SoundCloud as a music platform designed for creators, playlist curators, and listeners encourages collaboration. "[Ayotemi] did actually message me to say he digs the vibe and likes the music I'm making," Leno told The Gleaner.
Months after that initial interaction, the Nigerian musician visited Jamaica, where they pooled their millennial styles to create Wata Baby on a track developed by young producer Kone.
"I was just playing some beats with Ayotemi, and that beat came up, and he basically sang the hook straight out of his head. After that, I reminisced on some experiences I had with river and beach and past relationships, and I translated it into, 'Let me take you by the water.'
"It was really cool working with Ayotemi because of how fast everything came together. We didn't even write anything. Everything was straight off of the head. It took one day to do everything," he continued.
This cross-Atlantic connection is not confined to the Internet generation. Some of those more seasoned in the music industry have recognised symbiotic relations with the dancehall sound and Afro-beats.
Pantoranking is a Nigerian reggae-dancehall singer who has achieved notable success. Three months ago, the artiste released the music video to his latest song called Suh Different.
Rather than merely assimilating dancehall culture, Pantoranking explicitly included it, crediting Ikel Marvlous of Team Shella in the music video as the selector excitedly introducing the African star's party jam. Whether deliberate or not, music video fans may also recognise a nod to the brick-wall basement scene of international dancehall superstar Sean Paul's iconic clip, Get Busy.
Leno Banton's and Ayotemi's Wata Baby is currently available for streaming and download on all digital platforms.