Sat | Sep 19, 2020

Doktor takes ‘full-bodied’ approach to dancehall

Published:Friday | October 25, 2019 | 12:00 AMKimberley Small/Staff Reporter
United Kingdom-based dancehall recording artiste Doktor.
Doktor emigrated to London as a teenager.
Doktor believes the ‘90s were the best time for dancehall music.

United Kingdom-based recording artiste Doktor manages to be simultaneously deliberate and unintentional in the presentation of dancehall culture in his music. Action, his brand-new single, rings reminiscent of the old school with visuals set in a smoky party scene – and a full-figured black woman grabbing all the attention on the dance floor. Perhaps testament to an authentic approach to creative expression, Doktor is one artiste unabashedly dedicated to the soundscape laid before the emergence of ‘trap-dancehall’. He is also the embodiment of the red-blooded Jamaican man who unabashedly sees beauty in fullness and celebrates it.

Released last month, the Action music video has climbed to over 250,000 views. The video went sensational on local music blogs after clips hit social media, putting international dancer Queen Mojo at the centre. What’s exciting about Queen Mojo is that she is the atypical video vixen with deep dark skin and a lot of curves – an absolute vision in Doktor’s eyes.

“Me is a person weh love woman. If a woman look good, she just look good. I’ve seen this woman before, and I always thought she was beautiful. I thought she was sexy. So me ask har fi come inna di video!” Doktor told The Gleaner.

‘A beautiful girl’

He continued: “Nuff people watch colour and size and whatever. But beauty is beauty, and she’s a beautiful girl. She sexy. That’s the reason why I used her. It wasn’t to raise awareness or anything like that. There actually wasn’t a thought process behind it, like, ‘Let’s get a plus-size woman’. It’s just that she is a beautiful girl.”

As Doktor admires his heavyset queen, he also pays homage to the kings who came before him. Doktor’s new single is a clear takeaway from Terror Fabulous’ classic of the same name, a fact the young artiste was happy to explain.

“For me, ’90s dancehall was the best time for dancehall music. It was hits after hits. There’s a lot of young people out there at the moment that don’t really know the history of dancehall. They only come to see the Popcaan, Mavado and Kartel and don’t really know where the music is coming from,” he said.

So he wanted to make it obvious. “I wanted to take an element of Action, and still, when I’m singing it, people know exactly what that is ..., but still put my own twist on it for 2019 so the young generation can connect. I wanted to make people understand that this is where the song is coming from, but this is the vibe now.”

Land of beauty

Doktor was born in Mandeville, Manchester, but emigrated to London, England, as a teenager in the mid-’90s. “I came to live in London with my father. I’m in Jamaica every year. It’s the land of beauty and gold. It’s my home.” At the time he left home, Doktor was already studying the music and melodies of those who would become his current influences.

“Garnet Silk was the artiste I was listening to non-stop when I was living in Jamaica. That artiste would have been the next Bob Marley, trust me – his melodies, lyrics, deep thinking. Then Beenie Man and Bounty Killer in those days, a dem a run dancehall inna di ’90s. You cannot not like them. And if you say you’re gonna do music – especially dancehall – if you’re not influenced by them, den bwoy ... ,” he let the thought trail off.

Also among his top influences are Professor Nuts, Mad Anju and King Yellowman.

And, of course, Doktor hasn’t escaped the influence of the self-proclaimed World Boss, Vybz Kartel. “He’s a genius. You’ve never seen anything like this. You cannot work it out, you cannot guess it. He’s just amazing. You have to be in awe when it comes to his talent.”