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Da Fuchaman - Stronger Together

Da Fuchaman - Stronger Together

Da Fuchaman - Stronger Together

By on - Photos by Chloe Sharma - Comment

A modern example for creating Reggae music in the sense of what it stands for.

Sampler

Whilst at One Love Festival 2018 I had the pleasure of meeting Da Fuchaman in person and seeing him perform live. He played with his band built from Bristol based musicians called The Fire Blaze Band, and accompanied Troy Ellis on stage, which to me felt like a special performance. Troy Ellis was celebrating his father’s birthday, Alton Ellis, along with us in the field singing along to the Ellis classics. A sense of togetherness poured over us and what added to the equation was the fact that the guy we had just spoken to on the grassy dance floor was there sharing the moment and participated in bringing the vibe in a Ragga fashion. He bounded on stage and rapped in a speed chat fashion on the Ellis classics leaving a lasting impression on the crowd.

Da Fuchaman - Stronger TogetherMoved from my first all Reggae festival, I grabbed the chances of finding out more about the acts at the festival, and arranged a meeting with Fuchaman to talk about his most recent work, his EP called Stronger Together. The EP was made under an objective of creating music collaboratively showcasing a range of Jamaican styles. Given Reggae music shares the ideals of unity and faith, the process of creating the EP supports itself like a marriage made in heaven. Whilst with Fuchaman I reviewed this – Firstly he opens with setting the score and telling me the whole piece was about the artists coming together, hence the title name, and building collaboratively. The form was that a Riddim made by Uri Green - the founder of Yam and Banana, and the record label the EP was released under - shared his work with Fuchaman to which he churns out lyrics. He cements the words and themes through improvising and working with what he hears on the riddim and starts to compose without a note pad and pen. Trust me the nickname Lyrics Machine is well deserved as I’ve now witnessed first-hand. Watching him record for his next project was like watching a one man Lord Of The Mics special – I don’t believe it’s a thing, yet... - Once a theme has been established for the song it is then deliberated between the two who they feel would be an appropriate addition as an artist to feature on the track. He explains it’s a case of discussing an artist who would do the theme justice more than anything else. The tracks are shared with the desired featured artists and they write their parts themselves.

Stronger Together

The album kicks off with track Rights to Life featuring Lutan Fyah. Steady beat starts with piano played on the offbeat setting the tone of a reggae track. When the first drop takes place the melodic bass guitar drives the song. It is a song you can feel a sense of pride about whilst singing. When I asked about this, he confirmed the message is to spread that everybody has the right to live their life, there is no need to be negative, you can choose your own destiny as long are you’re not having a negative impact. An impression of Rastafarianism is encouraged and delivered naturally in correlation of the drums bringing on a steppa’s vibe. Lutan Fyah voice is unique and soothing with two verses fitting unforced and making the song a completed piece.

The next track State of Emergency starts with a Melodica setting the scene with an air of impending dread. Song drops and we just hear bass guitar and Fuchaman singing the memorable hook:

“Dem a seh, state of emergency, lock down every town and every city.
Wha a gwaan round here so it nuh pretty, if you push out your head might nuh come back wed it”

Da FuchamanI needn’t ask, there was a well established theme. During Easter 2018 Fuchaman went back to Jamaica and met with singer Sativa D Black 1 on the quest of writing the next track. There was a founding idea of writing something political, the trigger for this came about quickly as he was driving around. He was pulled over by a Police Soldier and told to go back the other direction. At this time Jamaica was in a state of emergency due to Gangwars and the lyrics pretty much wrote themselves after this moment. As he turned back he riffed the hook, and like that it was set. The song was made at the Slingshot Recording Studios Jamaica.

People Live Up, a general statement we should all live by and is the track title for the next song. This special one features Uri Green toasting on the track amongst the beat which I implore influence imagery of sun rays and happy days. Contrastingly when asked about this song I was told the message is based on today’s politics and to stay world wise to not be hazed by the truth. As I’ve said before, there is a trait about the art of Reggae music, where a political message is woven in the lyrics but because of the relaxed nature of reggae music we are able to miss this like that to Guerrilla Art. This song to me is one of those.

The whole vibe switches up at this point, it’s time to dance as we are nearing the end of this collection it’s now time to have fun. As Fuchaman says it’s the song you can play at the end of the day/ month and is a reminder you can let your hair down! For this track he worked with Skrilla Ugq who gives a hip hop twist to her verse. As a lady when I am out to have a dance I want that track with a female voice bearing feminine energy, taking the lead to embrace some empowerment like Missy Elliot and Lil Kim did. This is Go Baby Go. With the horns and fast paced beat you get a feel of a Rio street party. We hear Fuchaman in his versatile states; he sings and conducts the song like a hype man yet still flaunting his chatting skills.

Lastly but not least is track called Skiddy Diddly with Peppery. You may have guessed from the title, this one is also a dance along song. It has a comical factor to it with the phrase “Skiddy Diddy” being the main focus. What is Skiddy Diddy? Well in the song it is referenced as:

“This dance is richer than the one P Diddy.
Skiddy Diddy is not the moon walk”

Whilst in the studio he free styled the term and it stuck. The song is upbeat and plays on dancehall vibes you may find yourself Twerking to. I did ask Fuchaman if this song had a dance assigned to it yet? He says it’s coming this summer.

I feel this EP is the modern example for creating Reggae music in the sense of what it stands for. The EP tackles themes of unity, today’s politics and encouraging a positive outlook.

As we divulged into the background of the EP I couldn’t pass asking about the cover art as I’d stopped to look at it properly every time my Shuffle showed me it. You can’t mistake it. It features Fuchaman in a black and white snap, caught in a moment of movement - His locks thrown across his face as in the midst of the enjoyment of a dance, wearing a Da Fuchaman and The Fire Blaze Band Tshirt. This picture was taken by Gary Horne. He elucidates on the story of how the shot was taken and the kind of night they were in for. The location takes place at Mr Wolfs with the venue looking pretty empty. By the end of the first song people came in from the streets as the sounds promised a good night with music to pair. Whilst he performed the shot was taken and surely encapsulates the vibe of an enlivened performance.

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