: If you were to look on a map, the Caribbean seems to be but a smattering of islands making up a slim archipelago between North and South America. However, when you encounter its people, the irrepressible spiritual fusion of warmth, magnetism, and vitality that flows naturally through their souls, immediately infuses the atmosphere. It is this unstoppable energy that is currently turning the 2012 London Olympics upside down, and also what inspired Beenie Man and Machel Montano to come together in order to pay tribute in song, to all the inhabitants of these beautiful sun-kissed lands. “Champion”, the second single off of the Going For Gold album, comes in the midst of the regional euphoria following the recent amazing Caribbean medaling spree by Jamaica in the 100m sprint, together with Grenada, the Dominican Republic, and Trinidad & Tobago in the 400m race.
The track was produced by Damien Leroy professionally known as DJ Ammo, whose skills gained him mainstream success in 2010 and 2011, when he co-produced, back-to-back, the multiplatinum singles The Time (Dirty Bit) and Just Can’t Get Enough with musical icon Will. I. Am of the Black Eyed Peas. These singles both peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart. DJ Ammo was also the producer of Sean Paul’s song “Touch the Sky”.
Working alongside him was a powerful Caribbean contingent including from Trinidad and Tobago, the original writing team, FullBlown Entertainment beside Peter ‘Wildfire’ Noel also with Kasey Phillips, who produced the original music from “Mr. Fete” used in this song. In addition there was Rondell ‘Speedy’ Teggaregg, who created the dance remix, Andrew ‘Hitz’ Phillip from Grenada along with Martin ‘Mice’ Raymond of Champion Sound Studio in T&T, and Noel Cadastre originally from St. Lucia now working as an engineer in hip hop star Drake’s camp.
This tune is a true reflection of the majestic champion spirit that lives in each of the athletes who represented our entire region. Its celebratory vibe also mirrors the excitement and pride being experienced this year, as both Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago revel in the tremendous strides they have made in their first 50 years of independence.
Also be sure to look out for the Mr. Fete versions soon to come, which will be co-produced by DJ Poet aka Poet Name Life, the current official DJ for the Black Eyed Peas. His resume includes two Grammy nominations that represent his exceptional abilities as a producer, songwriter, and remixer on the world music stage. He was also the co-producer of the chart- topping hit Boom Boom Pow on the Black Eyed Peas’ last album, The E.N.D as well as a co-writer for “Rock That Body”, also found on the same album.
This remarkable endeavor was all brought to fruition by Machel Montano, Beenie Man, and Dana Shayegan, who is an online content production specialist and social media and integrated marketing consultant, with a passion for new music and also the development of the sound of the Caribbean.
As T&T rejoices in 50 years of independence, “Champion” is a signal of the many wondrous things to come in the next 50 years for the developing sound of the Caribbean and Soca music as it is poised to influence the world through remarkable collaborations such as this.
Our numbers may be small but as our Champions show, we the people of the Caribbean can stand proudly with the rest of the world, as we are mighty in heart, talent, and strength.