Billboard-charting producer Rohan ‘Jah Snowcone’ Fuller is preparing to make a full frontal assault on the music scene this Easter with a pair of new projects. He has a new one-drop called ‘Nuff Love’, and a dancehall project dubbed ‘Energy Rush’ which he will be unleashing over the next two months.
"The Nuff Love rhythm is a live lover’s rock reggae. I love the way reggae music is building up with the likes of Notice Productions and his Digital Love riddim, artistes like D Major, Exco Levi, Christopher Martin, Romain Virgo, Chronixx and Dre Island. Producers Donovan Germaine and Shane Brown are doing some great work to elevate the ting. That is why I am playing my role, I collaborated with Clive Hunt on this project because I believe he is the perfect person to work with. He is very experienced and knows good reggae music," he said.
However, it is the dancehall genre where ‘Jah Snowcone’ has carved out such an enviable reputation, and the industry is bracing for the arrival of ‘Energy Rush’ which features several dancehall heavyweights.
“So far, I have recorded Dolli, Savage, Skii, Spragga, Busy Signal, Flexx, Ninja Kid and Mr. Vegas. Bounty Killer will be on it as well, and then I am going to release it at the end of February, crazy people ah ask mi bout it, the artistes dem a link me too, it’s a great look,” he said.
The man who wrote Mystery and I Am Who I Am for Bounty Killer, has taken a new recruit, the female recording artiste Dolli, under his wing.
“I've written for Elephant Man, Bounty Killer, Beenie Man and Spragga just to name a few. These are good writers, but sometimes artistes just want to try a different style, and now I am turning towards artiste development, I have signed Dolli who knows keys and harmonies, and I am also working with female deejay Skii, and these two girls are incredible talents," he said.
Snowcone said he is also working with new reggae firebrand Dre Island for Great Mind Records on a new dancehall riddim set for release later this year.
“Dre Island ah the baddest yute, his rhymes are tight, his sound is just incredible and exciting, and he is a musician, he is the yute to look out for,” Jah Snowcone said.
Snowcone is known for c0-producing the 'Gallop' rhythm with Dyer Fearon that featured Predator's hit Mad Sick Head Nuh Good. Cone got his huge big break locally in 2001 with the Rice and Peas beat which was co-produced with Mark Pinnock and spawned hits by Bounty Killer (Mystery Is The Man) Spragga Benz and Elephant Man (Warrior Cause) and Assassin and Sugar Slick (Dedicated To The World). Even hip hop superstar Wyclef Jean got in on the Rice and Peas action, recording his Warriors Part Two song on the beat.
But he is best known for the 'Applause' riddim, with Sean Paul's Temperature, Thunder Roll that brought youngster Shane-O to the fore and which also spawned a European hit with Ring Ding for the Jam-British trio, LOC. Last year, he stormed back on the scene to produce the Mercury riddim which spawned the number one hit Beenie Man’s ‘Dweet Again’, and the top ten hits, Assassin’s ‘Dem Dutty’ and Spragga Benz’s ‘Activate’. The executive producer of the Mercury project was Claude Mills.
He followed up that success with the Antibiotic riddim with Bounty Killer’s ‘Nuh Long Talking’ becoming an underground and radio hit.
“Things are looking up, I have heard that Beenie Man will be doing a ‘Dweet Again’ album and that’s a great look for dancehall in the US, because Beenie is a big seller,” he said.
Still, the Applause riddim remains his biggest success. The Temperature single stayed on the Billboard pop chart for 17 weeks and boosted The Trinity to sales of over four million units. The success earned him two ASCAP awards and paved the way for his collaboration with big names in hip hop, including Kat Deluna, Rick Ross featuring Magazeen, and a remix of ‘Dolla Bill’ with Akon, Li'l Wayne and Wyclef.
"After 18 years I returned to Jamaica in 2000 and I started producing. I learnt a lot from a lot of people and wanted to share it. I've worked with people like Salaam Remi, who produced Here Comes the Hotstepper by Ini Kamoze, and now, even though I still have a lot to learn, I am sharing my knowledge with other songwriters and developing new talent from Jamaica’s inner cities,” he said.
Grammy-nominated producer/songwriter Salaam Remi who has produced Grammy-nomianted works with Amy Winehouse, Nas and Alicia Keyes, is now the executive VP of A&R/production and will work across all Sony labels. Snowcone pointed to the fact that major hip hop stars such as Snoop Lion have embraced Rastafarianism and reggae music.
“These are exciting times for reggae music. I am just urging the young producers to head back to their roots. They don't understand that is what we grow up on. They need to research people like Garnet Silk, Beres Hammond, Peter Tosh and dem man deh. We need dem thing deh fi build back wi music," Snowcone said.