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Snow looking to recreate monster collab like ‘Anything For You’

Published:Sunday | July 7, 2019 | 12:00 AMSade Gardner - Gleaner Writer
Nadine Sutherland

Just as weather forecasters tussle with predicting when it will snow, it is difficult to know when dancehall superstar Snow will return to the music scene. “On an ordinary day,” was his vague response while chilling in a hammock at his Canadian residence, detached from celebrity life. In the next breath, he spills the beans to The Sunday Gleaner about recreating an all-star hit like Anything For You, the 1995 Penthouse wonder that is revered as the standard of dancehall collaborations.

“I’m working on that now. I’m talking to Tony, so let’s see where it goes. maybe we can put Koffee on it,” he said.

It was Tony Kelly who had produced the record, hosted six top-flight players of the ’90s – Nadine Sutherland, Beenie Man, Buju Banton, Terror Fabulous, Louie Culture, and Kulcha Knox. The original collab had been done that same year with Sutherland and embodied the sensual, R&B flavour that permeated dancehall creations at the start of the 1990s.

Though the lyrics profess the unconditional desire of lovers to be ‘all-pleasing’, Snow revealed that the chorus was initially inspired by a bottle of Jameson Irish whiskey.

“Me and the producer, Herby ‘Luv Bug’ Azor, were working in Toronto, and he said I was getting in a lot of trouble, so we should go to Bermuda,” he recalled. “I bought my Jameson whiskey at the airport, and when I got to Bermuda, he hid my bottle, saying I had to work first, and then I could drink. I started following him around, singing, ‘I will do any-anything just for you, give me back my bottle, don’t make me feel blue’ and he said ‘ that’s it! That’s the song’.”

With a quick lyric change, the track was sent to Sutherland, whose smooth vocals contributed to the first release.

“My manager had the idea to send it to Tony Kelly, who took it to another dimension,” said Snow. “He got all the other artistes, and the day we shot the video was the day we did our parts. It was just a blessing to be in the room with all them guys. The vibe was natural. it wasn’t like a competition, and everybody loved each other’s verse. The video was top-notch, the artistes were top-notch. Before that song, there was never a song with seven of the top artistes, and we haven’t seen it lately, so I guess Snow’s gonna have to come and do it again.“

Sutherland agreed that collaborations on such a large scale have scarcely been replicated.

“Sometimes you get a collab if a company is doing a promotion, but I’m not hearing anything that jumps out after Anything for You,” she said. “That was just an exciting time in dancehall. when that came out, it bulldozed the dancehall. I don’t think anything has happened after that with the kind of intensity and lived on like how it has.’

Sutherland is no stranger to collaborations, having amassed smash features like Action with Terror Fabulous, Please Me with Spragga Benz, and Wicked Dickie with Buju Banton. She noted the benefits of collaborative projects.

“Back in the day, producers saw me as the Whitney Houston of Jamaica, so they felt like merging the ‘more gritty with my sweet,’ as how they would say it, to take me to a different market, and it has,” she said. “Even with Please Me, I thought the lyrics were too risqué, and Dave Kelly said it’s not, and look at it now. A lot of the collabs I’ve done have become dancehall classics that still play and mash up the dance.”