Tue | Jul 16, 2019

Iconic father-daughter musical relationships

Published:Sunday | June 16, 2019 | 12:11 AMStephanie Lyew - Gleaner Writer
Reggae singer Beres Hammond, surrounded by his children. From left: Beresford, Andrene, Romayne, Nathifa, Tyler (his granddaughter) and Rasheed.
The Wixard
Yellowman stands with his wife Rosalee and children Karim and Kareema.
Yellowman with his children from left: Kamar, Kemo, and Kareema.
Beres Hammond
The King Yellowman and is daughter Kareema Foster in 2018.
Beres Hammond and a very young The Wixard.
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Most children of entertainers grow up with a love for the industry. When you are the child of musical icons like dancehall’s first king, Yellowman, and reggae’s premiere romancer Beres Hammond, following their footsteps into the industry seems inevitable.

Though the world knows Winston ‘King Yellowman’ Foster, as the deejay who came to prominence in the ‘80s with songs like Zungguzungguguzungguzeng, behind the scenes, he’s also a family man, and a devoted father to his children. His daughter, Kareema, who goes by the sobriquet K’Reema, told The Sunday Gleaner: “Daddy did a very good job maintaining the balance between the streets and home. He was very present, making sure he was there to pick me up from school and to help with homework.”

She said the iconic deejay never hid anything about the industry from them, especially how aggressive it was. “It was the best way for him to teach us about the industry’s truth so I could understand from early on what was happening around me. I have been on the road with him from the age of two, and my earliest memory of my dad as a performer was at a show where both my mother and brother were also present.”

She says that they were fixated on the man their father became as an entertainer on stage, with his distinctively sporty yet fashionable outfits.“He was very energetic, lovable with people and always giving his all. He was what I aspired to become: a true performer.” She continued, “Like our family, audiences embraced him even with his skin condition. And while some children would be curious about things like that, his Albinism never caused any major concerns.”

K’reema admitted that when she told him she wanted to pursue music professionally, he was initially opposed to the idea. As a strict father, he wanted her to stick to the more traditional route by going to college. But he eventually relented and now fully endorses her career.

She says the most important important lesson he has taught her is, “ to always be true to myself and love myself first (before any man) and, of course, education first.”

Musical Style

With a style that is a fusion of dancehall and pop music, she has been following in her iconic father’s footsteps since she made her debut in 2017 with her EP Drop It . She quickly attracted attention with the same style and energy as Yellowman and has even sampled one of his most popular songs – Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt putting her own spin on the track, fusing reggae pop and dancehall, making it more appealing to today’s generation.

Her most recent tribute was the Father’s Love collaboration with him in 2016. “King Yellowman will always be a global icon, but for me he is still just always daddy,” she concluded.

Now, K’reema is touring and opening for her father from coast to coast. Through her own label, Yellow Baby Records, to which her father, as well as her brothers, upcoming artiste Kamar and producer Kemo are signed, they are working collectively to produce the dancehall icon’s first album in 16 years.

Beres Hammond and The Wixard

For Nastassja ‘The Wixard’ Hammond, growing up as one of six children of reggae singer Beres Hammond, taking on a career in music was unquestionable – the studio was like home. Before The Wixard was known as the eclectic producer she is today, she started singing harmonies in her father’s studio.

Speaking to The Sunday Gleaner, she said: “Whenever my father grabbed me from school, we would head straight to the studio. Probably the first popular reggae performer I met from being around my dad was Buju Banton.” Having been exposed to several reggae as well as dancehall entertainers helped her grow musically and develop a business-like approach to every project. It also provided her with many memorable moments in time with her father.

“I remember women throwing roses at my father on stage, and there was a lady shining his shoes and crying for the entire show,” she recalled. “And people always treated me differently when they discover that he is my father. The strangest question I have been asked was what he eats for breakfast.”

Formally trained as a drummer at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, the father-daughter musical relationship developed, the title track of her father’s A Moment in Time album. “I had a beat, and just gave it to him. That’s usually how it works, and now we are delving into another project along with my brother, DJ Inferno.”

The Wixard has worked with a long list of artistes such as Courtney John, Cherine Anderson, Sean Paul and Mr Lexx and has also produced remixes for international superstars Nelly Furtado and Fefe Dobson. She also worked with Walshy Fire on No-Maddz second album, Heaven on Earth.

Even though one might imagine that the producer’s focus would be on reggae music, The Wixard describes her productions as “genre-less”. But is she anything like her father? “I am usually super low key – probably one of the traits I have acquired from my dad even though he is a lot more outgoing,” she laughed.

One of the few female producers to take a chance exploring the world of music, his words of advice to her have been, “Nuh fraid ah nuhbody, just do you”. His words have stuck with her. “For his priceless lessons, the support he has given, I want him to know that I love him and wish him many more happy Father’s days,” she said.