Sound Advice from Andrew and Wada Blood Image

by Biko Kennedy

A conversation with the 'blood' brothers, Andrew Reid and Wada Reid, reminds me of canoeing, except my intense rollercoaster-esque ride is on a flux of words rather than a cloudburst of water.

English mixed with the ever so popular Ebonics, sprinkled with that brotherly banter tumbled together in a very mercurial jumble. Pity the poor transcriber; still one does one's best. Once you've heard the duo, be it a platonic conversation or a new single to surf the airwaves, chances are you'll have a hard time forgetting them. Pulsing over the given beats, their unmistakable voices can turn any first-time listener to a committed fan, but there's much more hidden under their individual lyrical cloaks.

"The story of Andrew and Wada Blood speaks of a tale about brothers whom all they want to be is great," chuckled a laid-back Wada, lounged in a peculiarly uncomfortable chair. "Money isn't our main concern or trying to prove to people that we're worthy to be played in their stereos, just connecting with people is our passion and making good music," annexed Andrew. This approach might seem a bit antithetical in an era when an artiste's career seem to be build on viral videos and short bursts of internet buzz, but it certainly is working for them. Each of their release is like a clinic on how to produce the perfect fusion of Dancehall and Reggae.

"It's funny how much pull you can have as an artiste," intimated Andrew. "Right now our fanbase is growing rapidly. Last year we did a tour in Europe and I was really shocked because some songs that aren't necessarily 'big' here in Jamaica, that's what they want to hear and they're singing verbatim and those are the songs that we didn't really rehearse for the set (laughs). So it really shows that the music is travelling at great heights. And of course it's a great feeling when you go out there and really meet your fans and have them say how receptive they are of the music," continued Wada, who by this time is transfixed by the glow of his Blackberry phone.

Embracing the world of contradictions
Undoubtedly they're easily spotted as the sons of internationally acclaimed artiste, Junior Reid, but that does come with its fair-share of being scrutinized. "Well basically our name is out there, 'cause we do have well rotated singles, but what you'll see in this industry's climate is friendships fluctuates," explains Wada. "It fluctuates with how hot you are or how cold you are in the industry. Once before in the music business every artiste would have that mutual respect for each other because everyone wanted to help someone else. When a producer had a new riddim you wouldn't find a man saying 'yo x and y cyaa voice pon dis'. But in today's climate there's a lot of division within the industry and this camp have rivalry with that camp and that's where the politics in the industry will arrive. And I don't think that will ever change because of the greed for money," Andrew adds while tying a knot in his well-defined dreadlocked hair.

"Something I wished artistes and producers would acknowledge today is the fact that egos in the industry doesn't just metaphorically kills you but everyone around you," Wada adds springing from his relaxed haze. "And what a lot of 'Dancehall's critics' needs to know is that our generation of music is what we want to hear now. So if it's not as lyrically strong like the older songs that have been around, it's just the way the youths like it. Things and times have certainly changed; nothing remains the same," he continued lounging back in his seat.

Talks of a major debut album
Their individual personas are so aggressively muted that you might mistake them for anything else but hardcore Dancehall artistes. While remaining tightlipped about plans for their debut album, they do hint at a more introspective project. It's hard to imagine what exactly this personal narrative could entail but it does seem promising. "Music…is literally all we think about," noted Wada underlining that they're "so deeply buried in our art and career right now that the project is just gonna shock our fanbase in a major way."

In this tale of brothers, Chapter one's journey has been closed with the opening lines of Chapter two reading "its music with no limits…that sing-along vibe that personifies our lives."

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