Gargamel's dubs a cut above the rest
Veteran sound system operator Wee Pow has described Buju Banton as a cut above the rest, arguing that he brings a sense of individuality and uniqueness to the entertainment business.
"We at Stone Love have a very good relationship with Buju Banton, and I personally have a very good relationship with him. He's one of those artistes that don't come around often in terms of talent and professionalism. Over the years we didn't just work together, we became good friends," Wee Pow of the world-immortal sound told The STAR.
The 'Gargamel', as Buju is called, has been listed among the artistes whose dubplates have been considered the 'baddest' in the business.
"Buju Banton was a very special artiste when it came on to dubplates," Wee Pow said.
"His dubplates became some of the most dominant dubplates ever and that was because Buju gave you something unique every time. He could really express himself on a song and he would always find something extra when he recorded a dub. You know you would get something that would stand out. It's not like how the artistes today cutting dubs, and everybody basically have the same thing," he said.
Bass Odyssey's Yaniq Walford agreed that Buju is one of the best when it comes to the dubplate business. She described the Til Shiloh artiste as one of the few go-to artistes sound system operators would call on when they needed a one-of-a-kind recording.
"From what I observed growing up, Buju was what you called a 'principled artiste'. The thing with dubplates is that their strength is in exclusivity, so if an artiste voices something for you and him go voice a similar counteraction for a competing sound, den you know yuh likely 'fi dead' (in the clash)," she observed.
"Buju understood how the system worked, and more valuable than money is an artiste that will not violate a relationship he has built with a partner. Buju was that artiste," she said.
It is because of Buju's 'nah sell out' attitude that led Bass Odyssey to invest in countless Buju dubplates.
"We had a special relationship. We have a sound system anthem. It is sung by Buju Banton and it's a one-of-a-kind cut. We can say there is none like it anywhere else in the world, and that is important to any sound system operator," Walford.
Walford explained that the artiste/sound system relationship is a sacred one as it is mutually benefiting. She said that while the artiste's duty is to ensure they give sound system operators an exclusive cut, it is the duty of the sound system operators to 'put tunes a road and keep the artiste relevant'.
"Buju delivered for us over the years, and we also feel like we delivered for him as well. His songs were being played across the globe. His work saturated the music scene (locally and internationally), so much that most of his songs remain popular and, most importantly, very relevant to this day."