Artiste teaches civility with ‘Dancehall Manners Book’
Spanish Town-based artiste Alpha Rowen believes that the age of civility is dead in the realm of dancehall. That is why he is releasing a 14-track album titled Dancehall Manners Book, produced by celebrity Chef Durrant Rowe, which he hopes will revive decorum and champion decency and morality.
“The title comes from the close and unmistakable observation that we are in an era of stolen identity. There is a notion that lacking respect and being poorly cultured is talent; this album is providing an overdue correction to that,” veteran singer Alpha Rowen said.
He believes the album can elevate the discourse in dancehall itself from the current fare of vulgarity, trigger-pulling and glorification of criminality.
Songs such as Love Potion, the fashion world conscious The Catwalk, and the title track, Dancehall Manners Book, show the different sides of a well-rounded artiste. Rowen also shows his “rude bwoy” roots, taking on the whole fraternity, with the hard-hitting, tongue-twisting Badda Dan Yuh Artiste.
The lead single, Cookie Crumble, is currently enjoying a huge online buzz. Produced by Earl Sterling, it was released on the SMP Records imprint in 2019 and has enjoyed heavy rotation on several popular local radio stations, including RJR 94 FM and HITZ 92 FM.
“I am very grateful for all the support that my song is getting; it’s doing well both locally and overseas,” he said.
Rowen said that even though Vybz Kartel is the current kingpin of dancehall, ‘The Teacha’ owes his dominance to the Jamaican tendency to embrace aggression, criminality, blatant disrespect and vulgarity.
“I got no fear in saying that dancehall’s most prolific star isn’t talented, him just no have no manners, self-love nor discipline. Our society celebrates vulgarity and disrespect, and the rest is history,” he said.
Alpha Rowen is known for songs such as Chakka Chakka, What Can I Do Lord, Africa’s Calling, Beat Dem and Teach Dem, and Mu rder. He released his first album, The Teacher, in 2001 on the Jet Star label, one of the largest distributors of reggae music in the UK.
“Jet Star declared Alpha Rowen ‘The Teacher’ in 2001, it’s after that Kartel started to call himself ‘Teacha’,” Alpha Rowen said.