INTERVIEW - Wayne Wonder
Tomomi Ueki-Lawrence, Contributor, N.Y.
Wayne Wonder has been successful for a long time as a singer. At the same time, he has helped artists like Buju Banton and Baby Cham to be the top DJs in the Jamaican Dancehall world. Since the recent mega hit "No Letting Go" on the Diwali track, he has become an international star and one of the hottest reggae artists. You will definitely hear the song at least once a day playing on the New York Metro area's Hip Hop radio stations! Though he has a very busy schedule, he made time to do the quick interview over the phone.
Tomomi (t): I know you have been working on your new album. When the Album's gonna come out?
Wayne (w): 4th of March, and the album has been finished already.
t: So tell me more about the album. Is this going to be an album with the completely new materials? or will it contain the materials that has been released already?
w: Well, I did not want this album to be a collector's series album, definitely have to enter the new market with new fans. There will be at least 4 songs that is on the market already. I am gonna have a song with with Elephant Man name "Crazy Feeling", and featuring my group Entourage*'s Demo Delgado . And there will be at least 10 new songs that the world has never heard before.
t: Ok, so you have mentioned about the Entourage Crew and Elephant Man, but do you have any other combination song with other artist?
w: Yeah, Surprise**, DJ Surprise.
t: Cool, so talking about Surprise, I know Wayne and Surprise always work together, but is there going to be any song as Surprise alone or Surprise with other singer?
w: Yes definitely, Surprise has a couple of solo tracks coming out also for the new year. So you can definitely look out for Surprise and his solo career.
t: Now, you have your own label called SingSo. You have not released anything since 2000. According to your site, you are working with Lenky (trackmaker for Diwali and Masterpiece, Also the keyboard player for Buju). Do you have any specific plans?
w: Well, actually he was a producer for the album...anything Wayne Wonder produced is really on the SingSo. So I have been working but nothing comes out for the SingSo exclusively for a while. I am working on Surprise solo project coming out from SingSo. Demo Delgado solo, Showki Ru Solo and Entourage Crew also coming out from SingSo as well.
t: So when can we expect them to be released?
w: I am targeting this to be released by Easter. I haven't had time to put it together completely because I am really working on my solo project, my album "No Holding Back".
t: A lot of people love to hear you with Buju. You did the Reunion Tour together, and another show is coming up in New York in March. Do you have any other plans to work with him the recording wise?
w: Wayne Wonder is so caught up doing Entourage project and doing his solo career, I cannot put any energy into other things right now. I brought Buju on stage in 91 and used to travel around with him to all over the place. I played my part with Buju.
t: Do you have any message for Japanese fans?
w: Well, Japanese fans braced me since 1991 that was my first time I have been to Japan. So I know that Japanese fans has supported me over the years. So it just a lot of love and Wayne Wonder will release more music, more music and more music!
t: Thank you so much for your time!
w: Oh, and tell the Japanese fan "Aishitemasu!"
I personally have been a big fan of his music for a long time. New artists have come and gone, but he has been on the top of the reggae scene constantly. I know his album will contain a lot of high-quality music, and he will succeed even more. As he has mentioned, his album "No Holding Back" will release on March 4th, so look out for his album and get it!
*Surprise: Wayne Wonder's DJ Name.