Weh Dem Up To: John Mouse never left the business
His sound has been compared to Cocoa Tea’s all his career, but John Mouse insists “Cocoa Tea a Cocoa Tea and me a me” – the popular line from his 1989 breakout hit, ‘ Me A Me’.
The Wycliffe ‘Steely’ Johnson-produced single was birthed after constant comparisons between the artistes, and remains Mouse’s most memorable song to date.
Over the past three decades, the singer has kept a low profile, but in a recent interview with THE WEEKEND STAR, he shared that it was not deliberate.
“From me sing Me A Me it come een like me was a threat. The producer dem never voice me because dem like me, dem did just want get to Cocoa Tea,” he said. “What happen is the song became a hit, and dem did surprised. Den Cocoa Tea come sing for them after that so they got what they wanted. If me never love music me woulda run weh long time. Me come inna the business wid me lovey-lovey self and nuh realise a some of the wickedest people inna di business. You only see the beauty when you outside looking in. People will ask weh yuh did deh all this time but me still deh here.”
He justifies this with steady releases, like Do Mama and Man Can Get Bad Bad, produced by the Black Magic Label.
The latter debuted last month, and the singer is pleased with its feedback.
“That song is relating to the youths weh can choose to be bad but dem never choose to. Right now nuff ghetto youths dream lean up cause things nuh put in place fi mek life better fi dem. Dat is the whole concept of the song,” he said.
John Mouse, given name Michael Hutchinson, was born in Spanish Town, St Catherine. The 51-year-old started his music career in the 1980s by singing on sound systems.
His name was recommended by a friend who noticed that he was a fan of Little John and Eek-A-Mouse.
“I used to do a lot of community concerts and sing around jukeboxes inna di bar; dat was my rehearsal ground. Then me realise seh me want record and tek it to another level, and start go studio every day like a nine-to-five job,” he said.
He hopes to increase his visibility with an upcoming EP scheduled for release this year.
“Black Magic Label producing it with 15 tracks. Nuff people don’t know weh me look like, dem only hear the songs, so me want drop it and do some touring,” he said.