Retirement not on Elephant Man’s mind
Dancehall proclaimed 'Energy Gad' Elephant Man is clearly not in any haste to retire from the scene, even if it is 'dying' as some critics have forecast.
In fact, the Grammy-nominated entertainer believes quite the opposite and wants to give the world what he told THE STAR is "a cool reminder that dancehall is here to stay".
"Dancehall has changed considerably over the generations. I think that is what people are focused on. But it's not just what music people are consuming, but how people are consuming the music. No matter how much it changes, I won't retire from my career, all when me well old, because dancehall nuh gone nuh weh, not going away and fun can still be had with the genre," Elephant Man continued.
The Can't Stop Dancing artiste-songwriter offered that the attention span is much less than it was 10 or 20 years ago, and that persons will continue to choose different aspects of Jamaica's music and culture to "pick apart" and pass their judgement.
Elephant Man made his dancehall debut more than 25 years ago as part of the Scare Dem Crew and said that it's "natural born talent" that has kept him active and relevant.
"Some people inna dancehall weh talk about retirement plans are either lazy, have given up, or not finding the drive any more to push for the culture or the fans, who can be unforgiving and aggressive with dem expectations, or dem just get fraid. Even big international talent like Andre 3,000 of Outkast did say he lost confidence in the industry... and I understood him. But retirement nuh weh pon my mind," he said.
"Locally, I may have been performing less, but I'm really focused on doing promotions for my upcoming EP which is named Cool Reminder for the reason that it was the title of the first song released from it, and we wanted to keep up the momentum with the reaction we get from fans globally. It's not about me, or being the Energy Gad or about my many talents. Is really dancehall." Cool Reminder is slated to be released on March 24 and features eight tracks which the artiste said will "trigger some nostalgia" for the true lovers of authentic dancehall of the '90s into early 2000s.
However committed he might be to the music, Elephant Man, given name O'Neil Bryan, seems to be interested to revisit a different stage, his old passion, acting. The deejay revealed that there have been requests for him to take on acting roles in several productions. Reminiscing on the 1999 hit film, Third World Cop, in which he was a cast member, Elephant Man laughed. "Memba me is a big actor but I guess what happen is that it take away so much from music. It is a different side of Ele, and me enjoy it. But me couldn't take on anything new because at the end of the day, me can't make nobody a call THE STAR newspaper and a tell unuh say Elephant Man did not fulfil a commitment or nuh do one show because him haffi go pon set and it go pass the time," he said.