Veteran recording artiste Elephant Man believes that disputes between dance move creators and artistes who are doing songs to bring exposure to the moves are putting a strain on the music.
The entertainer said that he has practised good housekeeping when it comes to the collaborations with the dance community.
He said, “You not only want to get the right dance move but make sure the people can relate in the street. If I want to give a new dance move and me have an idea, me will link a dancer and make sure that whatever comes from that sends the dance ah road and gives him or her exposure. Is ah relationship ya build when you do that and we supposed to do this for the culture but everybody ah mek dem ego get to them.” Songs like Willie Bounce, Nuh Linga, Pon De River, Gully Creepa and Signal De Plane, all of which are dances, boosted his career and introduced the name Elephant Man to some of the leading acts on the pop, R&B and hip-hop scene.
“Each time I released one of these songs, some international artiste would do something with the dances or my style. Memba when Usher come out wid him hit single Yeah and he had Lil Jon and Ludacris on it, dem use everyting fi me. At the time me did deh a Japan. Me couldn’t vex. I look at it as exposure and it doing something great for my culture and our dances,” Elephant Man told THE STAR.
“Locally too, when our artiste Sean Paul do Like Glue, it never have nutten fi do wid ‘pon de river, pon de bank’ or ‘signalling nuh plane’ and yuh never hear me or nuh dancer complain because is unity and giving di people music to enjoy needs that. Nowadays too much drama ah develop between artistes and dancers. So we hear the songs and see the dances but the energy not right.”
Recalling the exposure he received from several international hits, Elephant Man shared that he received opportunities to tour with Usher, record with Lil Jon, the Ying Yang Twins and The East Side Boyz as well as Kat De Luna.
“There needs to be an understanding. The climate change and pandemic put things pon pause so maybe there’s not much opportunity fi an artiste tek ah dancer with him on tour or him really just a try him best promote the song and nutten nah gwaan. But what matters is the respect – on both sides – fi know when di entertainment sector open up fully, dem will all benefit,” he said.
Elephant Man released Di Best EP last month which honoured dancers who created the ‘Rifle Walk’, but fans have called for a new dance move of his own and accompanying song. The last major dance song he released was Find It in 2019 and prior to that, his Dance and Sweep album featured ‘Nuh Linga’ and ‘Sweep’. He said that the groundwork has been laid for a soon-to-be-released dancing track.
“When I do a dance song, everything haffi connect [so] mi do the maths from the rhythm composition to the final mixing and the video has to be done for its release. Right now me just want to get the right dance move and dancers fi highlight with the new production,” Elephant Man said.