Justin Bieber remixes 'Diwali' rhythm - Hits Billboard with once popular J'can beat

September 28, 2016
Contributed Steven 'Lenky' Marsden
Justin Bieber
Justin Bieber
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International pop star Justin Bieber has recorded a song on the once-popular Jamaican 'Diwali' rhythm, which was created by well-known producer Steven 'Lenky' Marsden.

The song, Let Me Love You, a collaboration between Bieber and DJ Snake, has become a runaway hit, reaching number four on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, making it the fourth song from the hit rhythm to reach the upper echelons of the chart.

"It's great just to know that Justin Bieber can take that whole vibe and create a top-10 hit almost 14 years later. That's just cool. It was never something I expected when I made the 'Diwali' rhythm," Marsden said.

He said that his publishers have already been contacted about the royalties from the current hit, but that he has not spoken personally to DJ Snake or Bieber.

The rhythm is considered a classic. The 2002 dancehall beat is characterised by syncopated clapping, and it was given the name 'Diwali' for capturing the spirit of the popular Indian Festival of Lights, which celebrates good conquering evil, light over darkness. It eventually spawned three hit songs on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Sean Paul hit number one with Get Busy, while Lumidee peaked at three with Never Leave You. Wayne Wonder's hit, No Letting Go, peaked at number 11.

"'Diwali' used a different set of overdubs on each song. That's what made it unique and set it apart from other dancehall rhythms in that time. The beat was just an experiment, I was just trying to make something different, and the rest is history," said Marsden, who is the founder of the Jamaica-based labels 40/40 Productions and Diwali Records.

Marsden is also basking in the glow of success around Tory Lanez recent hit, LUV, which is a remake of Tonto Metro and Devonte's Everyone Falls in Love. The single recently peaked at number 19 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Nowadays, Lenky works out of his studio, Area 39, where, among other things, he is working on a soon-to-be-released EP with his son, Q Marsden, a vocalist who also plays the piano. Q's current single, Motion, and is available on iTunes.

OTHER UPCOMING PROJECTS

Also in the pipeline are solo projects with his lifelong friend Rohan 'Zumjay' Stephens and an instrumental project set for release early next year.

Marsden is a satellite member of Sly and Robbie's Taxi Label, and still collaborates on projects. He cites Sly and Robbie as his "biggest inspirations", and has been working with them as far back as Maniac, where Sly contributed the drum track.

"I don't give many interviews. I am not into publicity; that only overshadows my artistry. Musicians play music, and when you play, it starts from the soul, inspiration comes from inside. Every great musician plays and practises relentlessly and at every opportunity, it is at this time that your brain wanders off, and you feel it and the creativity is unleashed," he said.

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