When the maestro Beres Hammond dropped two collaborations with dancehall artiste Popcaan in less than a year, many were surprised.
They seemed to be an unlikely combination, but, to the amazement of many, it worked “like a charm” as Hammond says gleefully. For the reggae legend, stepping out to bridge that generational gap musically was something that he wanted to do.
“It’s my duty to embrace everything that’s good. I’m always ready with arms open. I try to do my best,” the singer, songwriter and producer told THE WEEKEND STAR.
It is no secret that in the world of reggae music, Hammond’s respect is large. ‘Fada Beres’, as he is affectionately called, is a title that depicts his honour and the singer gives as good as he gets.
“Popcaan is a young man with a lot of prospects,” he said of the St Thomas artiste whose popularity keeps soaring. “He is a good talent, good everything … and him laugh loud too!” The collaborations are titled God is Love, and A Mother’s Love.
The Harmony House CEO, whose catalogue is soaked in hit songs, also recently released a collaboration with veteran dancehall act Wickerman. Titled Mi Deyah Again, it celebrates the positive vibes many are ready to experience. The feel-good reggae track beckons a post-COVID world and speaks about the joy of being around “we ole time friend dem” and the fact that people are “ready for a real-life embrace”. There is also an accompanying music video which features music industry players such as Tony Rebel, Jack Scorpio and well known dancers.
“It’s a nice tune and it was my pleasure to collab with Wicker. Yuh see, people like Wicker don’t even understand the amount of talent that dem have,” Hammond said, looking straight at Wickerman. “Dem inna too much shadow. Wicker come round and me and him always a ‘palaav’ and we say it’s about time we did something together … and it worked … and it’s still working.”
Last February, Harmony House and VP Records presented Love From A Distance Live, a streaming event featuring Hammond with guest appearances by Buju Banton, Marcia Griffiths, and Popcaan. This year, Hammond is delighted to be performing at another Reggae Month concert staged by VP and the culture ministry, which will be aired at the end of February.