Wed | Sep 26, 2018

Visually impaired producer aims to spread Jamaican culture

Published:Thursday | August 30, 2018 | 12:00 AMShereita Grizzle/Gleaner Writer
Shavane 'Escallibah' Daley

Visually impaired record producers Shavane 'Escallibah' Daley and Askel have joined forces to produce a new rhythm compilation - The Sweet Dreams project. The compilation is expected to feature a slew of up-and-coming recording artistes.

Highlighting the success of other visually impaired entertainers in the local industry, Escallibah says he wants to build on that rich legacy. He believes that Jamaica's visually impaired have proven that disabilities can give birth to new abilities. He noted that although successful visually impaired acts are rare, those who have managed to earn commercial success have left competitive rÈsumÈs to replicate.

"As a blind cultural practitioner, I have big shoes to fill because others before my time have done so well. Persons like Frankie Paul, Derick Morgan, the great Fab 5 Band, Roy Richards and Askel have paved the way for the blind, and I am encouraged by their success," he told The Gleaner. He added, "I am looking to do my part in carrying on the legacy, and I have already seen where my potential is being recognised. A song I produced was recently selected in the top 10 of the Jamaica Festival Song Competition. It was called Jamaica Wi Rich, and was basically my introduction into the music industry."

Coincidentally, Jamaica Wi Rich was performed by Juke Box, who happens to be the son of visually impaired musician Roy Richards. Escallibah, who operates the Blue Phlamez Record label, says his next major move is to spread Jamaican culture globally. He wants to do this through international collaborations, and hopes to experiment with a variety of international acts who actively participate in Jamaican culture. "As a new producer, I want to do something unique. I want to create a product that represents how I see culture, and how I would love to see the global community relate to each other," he said. "As a radio show producer and presenter, I try to do this in my programmes. I always try to reach out to members of the global creative and cultural industry to present my image of a global cultural community," Escallibah explained.

The Sweet Dreams compilation album is available on all online music platforms such as iTunes, Spotify and Amazon. Daley and his team have also released two music videos from the album, in an attempt to amplify the promotions. The collection of global artistes featured on the project includes talents from Germany, Zimbabwe, The Canary Islands, Canada, South Africa and the USA.

"The reviews that I have received thus far from key members of the music industry are very good and encouraging. So far, I have received airplay from some DJs overseas, such as Patrick Lafayette in New York, DJ Ray in London, DJ Jamal P in Grenada, and DJ Cane on Zanj Internet radio. This is a new strategy, and I just want the music industry in Jamaica to come on board and let's create something unique. I also want to bless up Askel and Congo for their work on the project," he told The Gleaner.