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Walshy Fire and The Expanders presents Thanks for Life

Published:Sunday | October 14, 2018 | 12:00 AMKimberley Small
Major Lazer's Walshy Fire
Members of Major Lazer - (from left) Diplo, Walshy Fire and Jillionaire.

Walshy Fire, a member of the popular EDM and dancehall-reggae-influenced group Major Lazer, has expanded his scope with the release of his latest project. Walshy Fire and The Expanders Present Thanks For Life, which was launched on Friday, is a collaborative effort involving an international reggae band, a 'Jamerican' master of ceremonies, and a collection of both seasoned and rising reggae performance artistes.

In this collaboration with The Expanders, who are based in Los Angeles, California, the celebrated emcee replaces the anticipated low booming beats of dancehall or the pulsating bass and punching melodies of EDM to create a reggae music compilation. "I'm using the word compilation because the world doesn't know what 'juggling' means," he told The Sunday Gleaner.

In Jamaican music culture, a juggling rhythm features many artistes performing different songs.

Thanks For Life features Randy Valentine, Cocoa Tea, Blessed Promise, Toke featuring Exile Di Brave, Hamai, Buzzrock, Saje, Jaden Chase, Tiwony, Kye, Sean Taylor, and The Expanders. Now known for their throwback rockers style of reggae, The Expanders play in the tradition of classic 1970s Jamaican groups like The Ethiopians, Culture, and The Mighty Diamonds. The group has played as backing band for class acts such as Alton Ellis, The Maytones, The Ethiopians, and The Wailing Souls.

Regardless of the arguments that often arise that foreign musicians commandeer the Jamaican music soundscape, Walshy Fire has taken full-advantage of his consistently busy touring and residency schedules to network then combine the talents of reggae music practitioners all over the world.

"I want to contribute to the music and put forward a positive energy, and I know that the people in this world who are receptive to positive energy, who have their antenna up for positive energy, that it will reach them. I don't really think anything else. There's no strategy or nothing like that. I just wanna make good music," he explained.

This is not the first time that Walshy Fire has sat in the executive producer's chair. In 2015, he launched the Walshy Fire Presents label to work with Caribbean artistes and enhance the presentation of Jamaican subgenres of music. He released a number of singles under the label, including Work by Popeye Caution (2017), Chicken and Dumplin by Bunji Garlin (2017), Be Inspired by Raekwon & Kabaka Pyramid (2016), and Live For Today by Kelissa & Keznamdi (2015).

"I think next year, I might actually do a compilation of different reggae songs. I'm just making good music. I love rhythms and I know that the people who love good music - they'll get it," Walshy Fire said.