Mel Cooke, Gleaner Writer
Just before the turn of the millennium, it seemed that the title of deejay Tanto Metro and singer Devonte's breakthrough single applied to the relationship between themselves and music fans. For when they delivered Everyone Falls in Love at the end of 1997 they were singing about the very human desire for reciprocated love.
But everyone, from the airwaves to the clubs, was falling in love with the duo.
As Devonte, the singer of the duo, put it, "it hit the mark in Jamaica in 1997 then hit the international scene in 1998 then went into 1999 as a major hit for VP Records to Sony".
It is the standard boy-wants-to-get-involved-with-girl-but-is-not-quite-getting-the-right-signals jam, done in bubbly dancehall fashion. A frustrated Tanto Metro starts out:
"Yo, I'm just giving out sounds
Every day you get up and a
A one thing me waah you know
A one thing mi waah yu know
Then Devonte comes in with the observation:
"Everyone falls in love some
I don't know 'bout you but it
ain't a crime
Everyone falls in love
I don't know 'bout you but
it ain't a crime"
Devonte told The Sunday Gleaner that he got the rhythm (billboard.com lists Tony Kelly and Steven 'Lenky' Marsden as the musicians) and "I am a person, I tend to listen to the riddim and hear what it is saying. That is what it was saying. I wrote it up to a point, the first verse".
At the time Tanto Metro was travelling a lot with Shocking Vibes Crew, so when Devonte approached him with what had already been done, although the deejay was willing, scheduling was an issue. However, "he came back from foreign one night and said we are going to do it in the morning. We set the time with the engineer."
Everyone Falls in Love was recorded at Penthouse when it was on Slipe Road, St Andrew. It was an early morning session ("About 7 o'clock we reach," Tanto said) and when they were finished, they did not have it down as the huge hit it became. "We just do songs because we like doing songs," Tanto Metro said.
In the song, the deejay demands to know the true feelings of the lady he desires:
"Tell me what you want and what you really, really wanna do
Tell me, baby girl, if your love is really, really true
Tell me what you want and what you really, really wanna do
Tell me, baby girl, hey
"And no have like no yo, yo
If you really love me let it flow, flow
And if you don't love me let me go, go"
Devonte said by Christmas 1997 Everyone Falls in Love was hot, "video out and all". Tanto remembers the first time they performed it live - and they knew they had a bonafide hit on their hands. It was at Priory Beach in St Ann and the Shocking Vibes Crew (which also included Snagga Puss, Silvercat and Beenie Man) performed individually. Devonte performed before Tanto, who then called the singer on in his set to do Everyone Falls in Love. The response made him know that they had a high-impact song on their hands.
But that was in Jamaica. How would people outside the land of wood and water respond to the lines:
"Beep, beep, the singer got the key to the jeep
A we pretty gyal waah fi meet"
"All eight, nine, 10
The whole a dem gyal waah fi be our friend
A you me really love, why you want it fi end
You have mi brains a puzzled, me can't comprehend"
They got the answer in a call from deejay Red Rat. "When we know it international is when we get a call that your song playing on Power 96 in Miami. Red Rat call me and say 'yu buss!'. I feel good, but I never know how big it was," Devonte said.
Then the calls started coming in to do shows in unexpected places and "we know this cross borders. We perform with some major mainstream acts. We really jump for joy. We basically see the world because of that song."
And Tanto Metro pointed out that "it still play on the major radio stations in North America and Europe". They still play it too, when they perform live, as Everyone Falls in Love cannot be left out of their set.