J'can produces top Soca Monarch song
Jamaican producer Xavier Hassard, aka Lenkey 5 Star, has seen his stocks rise since making the beat for Vybz Kartel's hit song 'Mhm Hm'. He has broadened his horizons and has been experimenting with soca, and that move has been paying dividends as entertainer Voice won the 2018 Soca Monarch with his song, titled 'Year for Love', on the 'Upendo' rhythm.
The 'Upendo' rhythm was produced by the young producer and Nine Mind Entertainment from Trinidad. Voice, real name Aaron St Louis, bested his competitors during the Soca Monarch finals in Trinidad on February 9.
"I am very proud. Voice was the defending champion, and my rhythm helped him to notch the hat-trick of wins. My team and I have been putting in a lot of hard work and sleepless nights to complete the project. I love the fact that people all over love and appreciate our production. When Voice heard the rhythm for the first time, he loved it and we made the link through that, and a just magic," the 23-year-old producer said.
Voice, who sang in position number 11, sang Year for Love to take the TT$300,000 first prize.
Before Voice's victory, Lenkey 5 Star actually spent six months in Trinidad, between 2016 and 2017, living in a tough community called Morvant in Port of Spain, where he immersed himself in the soca culture and studied the art form with the Nine Mind camp.
He has actually signed a fast-rising soca artiste, named Turner, who he manages alongside Nine Mind Entertainment. He has been working closely with Turner, and this year, Turner's breakout song, She Bad, has racked up over 2.3 million views so far. The song has also been remixed with features by soca superstar Machel Montano and Billboard-charting Nigerian artiste Mr Flavour.
Lenkey Five Star is a respected producer in Jamaica, having provided the beat for Vybz Kartel's monster Mhm Hm hit late last year, which was created by him and Zack, a Canada-based producer. He is also known for the 2014 hit rhythms 'Speedometer' and the 'Money Mi A Look' rhythms.