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Medicine with music: Medical doctor eyes return to dancehall stage

Published:Monday | June 2, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Shaka Pow

Curtis Campbell, Gleaner Writer

Medical doctor and recording artiste Shaka Pow is gearing up to make a return to the music industry.

According to the artiste, who compares himself to Superman because of his dual personality, he had taken a break to focus on medicine. However, with the return of old-school dancehall rhythms, he believes the climate is right to make a return.

"I am like Clarke Kent, who also plays Superman. I am a doctor, but then I have my dancehall side, and I want to explore that side of me as well," he said.

The doctor says fans of his music have been beckoning him to make new music and are challenging him to compete with the current crop of dancehall acts.

"The fans have been asking. They have been saying they haven't been seeing me as much, and that they don't see anything that the most talented artistes in the business are doing that I can't accomplish. So the 'Outfit General' is out for the fans," he said.

LOOKING OVERSEAS

Shaka Pow says he has proven his worth in the medical field and now feels the need to do the same for his second passion. The deejay has his eyes set on the international market, citing that his songs were more accepted in places like the United States, Japan and Germany.

"I see myself as an award winner. I have won several awards in medicine, and I want two Grammys to look on, too. One of the other reasons I have decided to come back is because of the resurgence of real dancehall rhythms. I feel more comfortable on those rhythms and you tend to blow away the competition when you are on rhythms you are more comfortable with. I can deliver on the new dancehall rhythms as well, but the authentic dancehall rhythms bring out something special in me," he said.

Shaka Pow says old school-influenced dancehall rhythms will last longer and break more barriers for the genre. The deejay recently joined forces with veteran dancehall producer Snow Cone, who achieved Billboard success with dancehall star Sean Paul. Now, the collaboration between Snow Cone and Shaka Pow has given birth to a new single called Best Babyfather, which is featured on the old school-flavoured 'Nuh Fraid' rhythm.

The rhythm also features veterans like Mr Vegas, Mad Cobra, Bounty Killer, Beenie Man, Capleton, Terry Ganzi and Sizzla Kalonji.

FEELING THE ENERGY

"This rhythm a generate whole heap a energy worldwide. Is a long time wi nuh see a rhythm weh cause so many iconic artistes to jump out. It's like in 1995 when all of us were going to King Jammys, Scorpio or Steelie and Cleevie. It's one of those rhythms that you don't want to miss you in your career, similar to the 'Sleng Teng' rhythm and the weight it carried," he said.

The deejay is gearing up to release a new mixtape called The Baddest Dancehall Mixtape Ever. The project features dancing songs, social commentary and roots-reggae music and was mixed by Shaka Pow's younger brother, Cha Baby.

"I am working on promotions now and visibility because I want the younger generation to know my work. For the summer, anywhere the shows are, I will be looking for them. Jamaica is the melting pot for music, so once the work is successful in Jamaica, it will blow up elsewhere. I am coming out with the full package. Right now, I am in the gym losing some weight and working on my stage performance," he said.

The deejay also highlighted that he does not intend to quit his day job as a medical doctor, and he will be managing his time wisely.

"I have been doing music since I knew how to talk, but I gained direct entry into medicine at age 18 … . So at no point was I doing only music, but now, I am more comfortable with juggling both professions and I understand myself as a person," he said.

curtis.campbell@gleanerjm.com