The Culture

Dancehall Culture is alive and well, thanks to producers like Shaheed Muwwakil who continue to reinvent and strategize the genre to reach a wider audience. Dancehall is native to the Island of Jamaica and more specifically named after Jamaican dance halls in which popular Jamaican recordings were played by local sound systems. This began in the late 1940s among people from the city of Kingston, who were not able to participate in dances uptown.

Shaheed grew up around musicians, so it was only only a matter of time before he adapted a sincere love for the artform. He reminisced on young Shaheed, who sang, played base, piano, guitar and drums around his hometown in Jamaica. His Father and Uncle were singers and close friends with some of the reggae legends who started out in Trench Town like Peter Tosh and Ken Boothe. Although his foundation for music was built in Jamaica, Shaheed aspired to impact the International stage and so he migrated to the USA in the year 2000 to pursue the American dream, with no intentions of ever abandoning his culture. He graduated from Borough of Manhattan Community College and obtained AAS in Business Administration and then went to New York University and majored in International Business and Management Studies. He decided to pursue his career as a music producer and created his own recording company Sha-Tess Records, which specializes producing and promoting authentic Reggae and Dancehall music on a global level.

The Vision (Red Rum Riddim)

Creativity is one of the major components of producing quality music and Shaheed’s focus was to create! He partnered with Passadon, a fellow producer and engineer and other artistes like Stubban Gad Musik, Prospec and Thurteen13 to produce the Red Rum Riddim, a versatile beat that can be used with several genres of music. The beat was initially created for a collab with one of Shaheed’s artists and Dutchavelli, a U.K. based rapper. The collab fell through, so he decided to make it a juggling rhythm with the goal of making dancehall music more versatile.

Old School Juggling

Remember the juggling from the 90s when all the major players in the dancehall industry all had a hit song on the same rhythm? Shaheed hopes to bring that concept back with this versatile beat. Producing the rhythm required focus, and it wasn’t all smooth sailing as he had some delays with the release date, and other hiccups with some of the artistes on the project. The project was successfully released in February 2022 with artistes like D’yani, Gyptian, Munga Honorable, Prospec, Thurteen13 and Badbreed on the track.

“My only fear was having flaws that could make this project not meet the expectations that were anticipated by those who believed in me and gave me support.”

Shaheed credits his PRO, Juddian McLaren (@theprplacejamaica) and rapper/hiphop artiste YoungLuiy for continuous support along his journey. He also praised music icons like Baby Face, Quincy Jones, Lil Wayne, Donovan Germaine and King Jammy’s for giving him inspiration when he needed it most. Their knowledge and passion for the music industry gives him motivation to continue producing music that his fans will love. When asked for a bit of advice for his colleagues within the industry, he cautioned that they should “never rush the process, focus and deliver quality at all times.” He has plans to establish his studio for Sha-Tess Records in the Central Florida area, and create a multilingual website with an objective to tap into the Latin American/Reggaeton audience. In the mean time, he will continue to dabble a bit in other genres like Latin Music, R&B and Hip-Hop.

As a versatile music producer, Shaheed Muwwakil is on the right track! He hinted at a few new releases this summer so follow him on Instagram and Facebook to stay updated.

Listen to some tracks on the Red Rum Riddim here:

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