French singer plants mu­sic ca­reer in Ja

Jamaica Gleaner - - ENTERTAINMENT - En­ter­tain­ment@glean­ melville.cooke@glean­

WORLD TRAV­ELLER and bud­ding songstress Del­phine has made the de­ci­sion to root her reg­gae mu­sic ca­reer in the birth­place of the genre. She was born in Bur­gundy, France, and at age 10 de­cided that her pur­suits would be in the arts. Af­ter gain­ing an ed­u­ca­tion in lyri­cal and clas­si­cal train­ing, and travers­ing bor­ders to per­form in var­i­ous bands, Del­phine has set­tled on Ja­maica be­ing the pri­mary pro­duc­tion spot for her mu­sic.

“Reg­gae mu­sic at this mo­ment speaks to me,” she told The Gleaner, in some­times bro­ken and heav­ily ac­cented Eng­lish. “Reg­gae mu­sic talks to me. I don’t know if it’s right what I say now,” she laughed.

“I love mu­sic since I’m a lit­tle girl,” Del­phine said. “I re­spect the mu­sic and all the legacy for the peo­ple who make the mu­sic be­fore me. And I want to make it live (with more) re­spect.”

It was mo­ments af­ter land­ing and catch­ing a glimpse of the Blue Moun­tains that the as­pir­ing songstress kicked her­self for not book­ing a longer stay.

“I see the moun­tain, the land, and so I was so sad that I just didn’t see more. I can’t go more closer to the peo­ple and go in the moun­tain or so.”

Del­phine com­pleted lyri­cal and clas­si­cal sing­ing at a con­ser­va­tory be­fore mov­ing to Paris to fol­low sev­eral cour­ses in song­writ­ing, im­pro­vi­sa­tion and gospel. In tan­dem with her for­mal train­ing, Del­phine ex­tended her mu­si­cal ed­u­ca­tion by join­ing var­i­ous bands through­out France and Ger­many.

Soul, jazz, blues, pop-rock and funk are just some of the gen­res the French singer has at­tempted. How­ever, her first sin­gle, in­spired by a trip to an is­land off the coast of Africa, mo­ti­vated the pro­duc­tion and re­lease of a reg­gae song called Mu­sic.

“When I was in Mada­gas­car, I was the guest of the chief of the vil­lage, a small vil­lage,” the singer told The Gleaner. “When I land, there is no car, noth­ing. Some­times they have noth­ing to eat, not much to eat,” she said. But, as well as she could de­scribe, Del­phine told The Gleaner that af­ter a month of stay­ing in this vil­lage, they put on a feast, com­plete with indige­nous mu­sic. While rem­i­nisc­ing, she held her hand to her chest and bobbed to an imag­i­nary 2-4 beat.

“There was a vi­bra­tion, and ev­ery­one (was feel­ing) the same one,” she said.

Lady Saw as Mar­ion Hall in the lat­ter part of its Port Kaiser Sports Club, St El­iz­a­beth, days, and Bounty Killer as Rod­ney Price at its cur­rent Pri­ory, St Ann, home. Heck, even Jazz and Blues had Mar­ion Hall on.

This makes the con­tract between au­di­ence and per­former dif­fer­ent from the ac­cus­tomed cir­cum­stance. The per­former can ad­just with­out dis­ap­point­ing any­one, the au­di­ence can look for­ward to a ‘toned-down’ pre­sen­ta­tion,

free-to-air tele­vi­sion can ex­pand dance­hall’s bound­aries for the mo­ment and ev­ery­one is happy.


Mu­sic was re­leased in April, its writ­ing and com­po­si­tion in­spired by her month-long ex­pe­ri­ence in Mada­gas­car and its cli­mac­tic feast. With a sound that is un­de­ni­ably reg­gae, the French singer de­cided on the Tuff Gong record la­bel as the song’s dis­trib­u­tor.

“I will like to work with the peo­ple who came from here, be­cause reg­gae mu­sic – it’s im­por­tant to work with the peo­ple who re­ally know the mu­sic.”

She asked Tuff Gong if they could make the con­nec­tion between her and a will­ing Ja­maican reg­gae pro­ducer. Veteran pro­ducer and mas­ter sax­o­phon­ist Dean Fraser an­swered the call.

Del­phine in­tends to take ad­van­tage of her trip to Ja­maica, as she plans to do mul­ti­ple record­ings and film a video clip for the up­com­ing re­lease of her sec­ond song, Pon De Road.

“We have a lot of work in our record sta­tion,” she said with a grin.

“If you want to re­ally know the peo­ple, you have to share real mo­ments. Now, it’s just a job, and I don’t go closer to the peo­ple to see how they live, and they wel­come me at their home – to see how they re­ally live – that makes me sad, be­cause now it’s just work. I have to go closer to the peo­ple to re­ally know what’s the cul­ture of the peo­ple, ev­ery­where in the world, be­cause ev­ery cul­ture is very dif­fer­ent and you have so much to learn from other peo­ple. That’s why I’m gonna come back!” she laughed. “I al­ready told my man­ager that I need to come back for six months.”

Still, isn’t it ironic that Spice is be­ing crit­i­cised for her gala show­ing at a time when Shabba Ranks is be­ing given na­tional hon­ours? C’mon, he did dee­jay that re­al­ity is on Shabba Rank­ing mind, but the ti­tle of his Grammy win­ning sets — X-tra Naked and As Raw as Ever — are true in­di­ca­tors of the di­rec­tion his prodi­gious dee­jay­ing skill has been pointed in. How can we as a na­tion hon­our - in free-toair TV broad­cast, at that - the man whose Love P ****** Bad and Nee­dle Eye P** P** have given me many a glo­ri­ous rub up near a big speaker box and then lam­bast Spice. By the way, she has a ver­sion of Nee­dle Eye, so she may just be head­ing to an OD one day.


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