While Dane Ray may have been introduced to the music scene as an artiste, it is his work on the production side of the industry that has made him a force to reckon with. Over the past five years, the 30-year-old music professional has produced some of the biggest tracks for some of Jamaica’s most popular artistes. He is the man behind Popcaan’s hit single, Numbers Don’t Lie, and Rygin King’s breakout hit, Tuff. Most recently, his work caused him to cross paths with the Grammy kid, Koffee. That encounter resulted in the single Lockdown, which is now blazing up the local and international airwaves. Ray says that although he was established on the local music trail, Lockdown could be the single that introduces him to international audiences.
“I have always been a hot commodity in terms of production, so this (success) is nothing new to me. You know how much people would want to voice top artistes like Popcaan and Rygin King but can’t get the opportunity? But what this Koffee track has done, and is doing for me, is to invite different types of people from different demographics to recognise the talent weh me have on a more global scale,” he said. “Locally, most people know the kind of work that I put in and what I’m capable of. I’ve been working hard for over ten years, and it is satisfying to see the fruits of my labour. We a start from recording an Internet mic, and to see the work paying off is a great feeling.”
Ray says he expected Lockdown to hit but says that making history the way it did in terms of becoming the fastest track by a Jamaican reggae artiste to surpass the million views mark on YouTube in 48 hours came as a surprise. “I never know the song would bruk no record, but I knew it would be a hit single and for numerous reasons. First, it’s Koffee doing a love song. People never hear her like this before, and so naturally, they’d be curious. Two, it has a natural easy ‘let the good vibes flow’ sound. People always love a song that makes them feel good, and so I knew it would hit,” he said. “But nobody in our local reggae music history never get one million views in such a short space of time, and so that is a very good feeling to be a part of that bit of history. As I said before, mi nuh know nobody weh work as hard as me, and fi see people finally a give me the recognition weh me deserve is a good thing. It’s very encouraging because I have more work to do. This is just the beginning.”
Speaking of more work, Ray also told The Gleaner that he is splitting his focus between producing music for other artistes and his solo career as an entertainer. He said that having started out in music as an artiste, he wants to level up on that end. He is currently promoting the single Ray Gad. “I actually transitioned into producing because I started in music as an artiste. I toured as a singer in Spanish countries like Panama and Chile. I did shows in Glasgow, England, and so many other countries with songs like Top Jockey. It’s just that the magnitude of producing dem kinda outweigh my individual songs dem,” he explained. “Mi buss artistes weh nobody never know bout, plus me work wid big artistes, and dem get big songs, so probably that’s why more people know me as producer, but I started as an artiste, and people in the world know that, but I want more people to get to know that side of me.”
“ Ray Gad is a single that will show that I’ve unlocked a new level. Every year, I add more achievements to my name, and is like more and more people getting to know me in every capacity. This song will show a different side of me and will let people know about my lifestyle as an artiste,” he continued.