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The musical invasion of Tarik 'Russian' Johnston

Krista Henry, Staff Reporter

Producer Tarik 'Russian' Johnston.

Within one year of being in the business, producer Tarik 'Russian' Johnston has started to get his name and music out.

At 20, Russian is one of the younger set of hot producers making waves in 2008.

Having founded his Head Concussion Music alongside partner Cleveland 'Brixton' Scott, Russian has already signed a new artiste, Chan Bizzy, and released rising singles such as Life Sweet from Vybz Kartel and This Means Money by Konshens.

Son of oldies producer Michael 'Micron' Johnston, Russian has had a love for music since an early age but only decided to set up musical shop in December 2007.

He told THE STAR, "growing up I used to play instruments, piano and later the drums. One day I just decided to try out this producing thing...

thus far, this year has been all right, it's just that in the music business there aren't as many music returns. But I'm happy that deejays and sound systems are working with me and giving me their support by playing my music."

His big break

One sound that has taken Russian under their wings is Coppershot Disco, which he claims has supported his productions.

For Russian, who is working out of a small studio as he builds his own off Hope Road, says his big break came through meeting Vybz Kartel. The producer met Kartel through fellow producers Jordan McClure of Chimney Records and Stephen 'Di Genius' McGregor.

Since then, Kartel has been voicing for the young producer, and has made his name recognisable with the hit Life Sweet. Shortly after, Russian released his 'Liberty' rhythm, which became popular in Canada and New York and features artistes such as Shane O, Konshens, Kartel and others.

Creating good music

Utilising a number of genres in his music, Russian has already worked with most artistes in the business, with the notable exceptions of Sean Paul and Bounty Killer. Currently, the producer is working on singles for Tarrus Riley, DeMarco and Mavado and has just released Send Yuh Go Home for Blak Ryno.

One of the biggest challenges for the producer, as with most newcomers, has been getting his music played in dances and on the radio. "Getting di music out there, promoting it and getting heavy rotation isn't easy. While a few people know ma name I think I still have a long way to go," he said.

For the future, Russian is all about creating good music, without the feuding, seeing life in entertainment as a path along which he wants to continue.


December 3, 2008

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