Bears A Yawd Image

by Tanaka Roberts met up with Swedish trio TeddyBears at the famous Big Yard Studio in Kingston last Thursday to learn about their new project. The band had spent the past two weeks producing, compiling and fusing Jamaican music with popular local acts.

TeddyBears became more popularly known within the Jamaican music circuit through the release of their song "Cobrastyle".

Cobrastyle, a mashup of Mad Cobra's Press Trigger is a revitalised version of the dancehall single with a new accented instrumental to complement the hard-core lyrics. It has successfully taken the world by storm appearing on the soundtrack of several movies, TV shows, advertisements and even on Fifa 2006 among other things. Since then Teddybears have worked with international Jamaican artistes Laza Morgan and ElephantMan.

Now they are back at it again. For the first time ever the trio travelled to Jamaica in May 2012 to undertake a series of new collaborations with different Jamaican artistes. The lineup includes Ninja Man, Beenie Man, Cutty Ranks, Busy Signal, Mr.Lexx, Tifa, Natalie Storm, Suku & Mean Dog (Ward 21), and nine year old Baby Trish. These collaborations marry the Jamaican flavour and the group's signature instrumentals to which one member noted "It's a good blend- with Swedes its good hooks and beats and we get great deejays to put their performance and temperament to it." According to the group they got their 'wish-list' of artistes and though they found each studio session to be memorable in their own way, one member recounted "It was a special feeling having Ninja Man in this room though."

As fans of the different types of Jamaican music TeddyBears maintained that their main objective is to make good music and show the world a different side of the island's offering through their innovative crafting. Ward 21 member Suku highlighted the importance of the project saying, "It's very awesome since for instance- in Europe we have a very strong fan base." He also expressed that the two styles of music really complemented each other as there are similar elements that seals the fusion ingeniously.

Acknowledging Jamaica's celebration of its 50th year of Independence, one member noted that Jamaicans, "should take the time to celebrate the impact that the Jamaican music has had on the world around it and the positive way that has coloured the way how people see Jamaica and be proud of that- acknowledge that and give proper status to that." Another added, "It's a small country but really everybody knows Jamaica and I think it's to a huge part because of the music."

When asked which Jamaican songs were currently on their playlist Do Summn by Konshens and the classic Night Nurse by Gregory Issacs was among the favourites. They are currently working on an album which we can expect several of these Jamaican fusion collaborations to be feature. A documentary with clips from Jamaica is also in the works.

Image To contort oneself into the prescribed of mediocre minds - contradicts character.
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