New York-based artiste shares 'Sugarcane'
Dancehall artiste Sugar Bear knows only too well the challenges faced by Caribbean artistes trying to make it in the New York music scene.
He says that dancehall artistes are at a disadvantage because they lack the major label support and access to high-quality production to consistently compete with other genres of music.
"The scene is tough. Many people see the glitz and glamour of New York, but you have to understand. Everything comes here - the reggaeton, pop, Europeans singing reggae, Down South rappers. It's hard for dancehall and reggae to break on the streets of New York," Sugar Bear said.
Aside from Kranium, no other dancehall artiste has achieved success while living overseas in recent times. However, Sugar Bear, who has teamed up with platinum-selling recording artiste Rayvon for a single, titled Sugarcane, hopes the collaboration will provide that elusive breakthrough.
"I have teamed up with Rayvon, who knows the New York area as well, and he is a platinum-selling act. Even though we don't have major label support, we are determined. We know that with teamwork, it can happen if artistes and producers start pooling their resources, sweat capital, money and belief," Sugar Bear said.
Sugarcane is featured on Troyton Remi's 'Happy Days' rhythm.
"It was great working with Rayvon. He is a man of class and great temperament, and he has helped to guide me with this song," Sugar Bear added.
Rayvon is a veteran of the New York reggae scene, with international hits such as Big Up, Nice and Lovely, Bashment Party, and the Billboard-charting Angel that was done with Shaggy.
"We are expecting great things from this collaboration," Rayvon added.
The 'Happy Days' rhythm also features top guns such as Shaggy Tifa, Rupee and Shane Hoosong.
Sugar Bear will be seeking to capitalise on the buzz of the song with a launch party on May 2 at Lime Light in Half-Way Tree, St Andrew. There will also be an international launch of the song on May 17 in Montreal, Canada, at Blizzards.