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Fans fund, select tracks for Scratch Perry's album - A first ever for a Grammy-nominated work

Published:Sunday | December 14, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Lee 'Scratch' Perry - Contributed
Lee 'Scratch' Perry - Contributed

Shereita Grizzle, Gleaner Writer

By now, many are well aware of Lee 'Scratch' Perry's Grammy nomination for the Best Reggae Album of 2014. However, what may come as news to many is the fact that the compilation was completely financed through crowd-funding, a first ever for a Grammy-nominated work.

Starting back in November 2013, music lovers were asked to help complete the album by making donations to the project via an online fund set up through (a website that allows persons to raise funds for their independent creative projects). According to the album's Kickstarter account page, the team, consisting of music producer Daniel Boyles and Perry himself, decided to go the 'crowd-funding' route, to not only locate Perry's fans in the Kickstarter community and to get them personally involved, and to also allow them the opportunity to be a part of the movement to bring the iconic reggae star's new and personal works to the world. Boyle said people who gave money to the project were involved in choosing which songs went on the album and had an input into the artwork for the cover.

Though a win would ultimately push the history-making bars a bit further, producer Boyles believes that the nomination alone has brought enough satisfaction. "To be nominated is more than enough, that is fantastic enough. To even think we could win a Grammy is amazing," he said.


According to numerous online sources, Boyles, who spent more than two years working with Perry on the album, also revealed that the project was completed using a lot of vintage equipment to ensure that an authentic reggae feeling was obtained. "The reason I'm pleased is that we purposefully created an album with a lot of vintage equipment in a vintage way," he said. "We wanted it to be that home-grown vintage sound Lee had back in the day." The producer also expressed his delight at working with Perry. "I was humbled. I was super keen because he is a legend in the industry, so I agreed and we spent about two and a half years doing it every time he came to the UK. It was fun. It was an honour."

Titled Back on the Controls, the project saw Perry sharpening up on his producing skills. According to the Kickstarter page, Perry was actively involved in the creation of dubs for each of the tracks on the album, as well as handling the mixing aspect of several tracks. Prior to the Grammy nomination, the album reached number five on the Billboard reggae album chart in America.