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Acceptance first, Wailer name after - Asadenaki values appreciation before famous father being known

Published:Thursday | July 5, 2018 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke
Bunny Wailer

Singjay Asadenaki does not put 'Wailer' on his recordings, the most recent of which was the early June release Rockin', done with Aza Lineage. It is the organisers of concerts, on which he performs (he was on Rebel Salute 2018 in January) who often put Asadenaki Wailer on a poster, making a direct association with his father, Bunny.

The son makes it clear that he enjoys his father's support not only because of their blood relationship, but Bunny's attitude towards music, generally. "I deejay and I sing. My father encourages all this as far as expression goes. He does it all as well," Asadenaki said. However, despite their vocal similarities, Aasdenaki says, "people tell me all the while, 'you sound like your father when you sing,' the moments when the compliments come before the Wailer connection is determined, are close to his heart. He takes a deliberate approach of, where possible, keeping being 'Bunny's son' quiet.

"They get to like Asadenaki for his own sound," he said. "I don't want to make it on the Wailer name. I am my own person." However, Asadenaki is quick to note that his sound is heavily influenced by his father. "Because of his voice and his techniques, I think it is in the genes automatically, even how I harmonise. I find that easy, " Asadenaki said. "I know it is him. It is naturally in me. I am definitely not running away from my rich musical heritage. I embrace it musically instead of telling people."

With the similarity being more pronounced when he sings, Asadenaki said, "even my management team tells me to sing more. "I don't want to act like I am just a deejay," he said.

In February, he performed at the function in Kingston where his father was given a Lifetime Achievement Award. He delivered a medley of Wailer material and he opens some of his performances including at Rebel Salute 2018 with Soul Rebel, inserting his own deejay lyrics and style. It is his way of connecting to his father without making an announcement. "Instead of saying 'I am Bunny Wailer's son' I introduce myself like that," Asadenaki said. And Bunny's approval and support is appreciated. "My father says it to me all the time, 'you ready, you ready'," Asadenaki said.

Asadenaki is currently doing a mixtape with a European-based producer, which is slated for release later this month, around the same time as his next single. As to how he develops from here, Asadenaki said: "I am still growing. I do not know how my sound will be transformed in the next five years."