Singer Wayne Wonder has been absent from the local stage for quite sometime now. However, he is currently working on an album comprising new material, which he hopes will put him back into the mix.
“I had to ease back and rewind a bit. You can’t always a press out, ’cause you will run out of gas. You have to take some time out for personal things, every now and then,” the singer explained as his reason for being out of the spotlight.
Wayne has been overseas. Although he has not been active locally, he has been working in the studios on a number of projects. “I prefer to make a few good songs, instead of releasing a barrage of songs that have no depth or any form of merit,” he explained.
He is in the process of finishing production work on an album titled “Schizophrenic,” for Jah Mike’s Reggae Vibes label. The project, according to Wayne, will contain 14 tracks. “It’s going to contain a lot of fresh stuff. You have the crazy side of Wayne Wonder coming out on the album. You also have the multiple personalities of Wayne on there too. I also deejay on the album, under the name Surprise,” said Wayne.
Apart from working on his 9th album, Wayne has done some side projects over the past few months. They include collaborations with J’son from the group Soul For Real, rapper Foxy Brown, and Lisa “Left Eye” Lopez from TLC. He also did a combination song with Warner Brothers recording artiste, rapper Dale. The song will be featured on the rapper’s upcoming debut album.
The combination with Brown is actually a remake of his early 1990’s hit “Saddest Day of My Life.” The song was recorded at legendary rocker, Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Lady Studios, in Manhattan. It will be featured on the rapper’s upcoming Def Jam Records album.
Formerly with Isaiah Laing’s Supreme Promotions, Donovan Germaine’s Penthouse Records and the Madhouse/Xtra Large label, Wayne is currently in discussions concerning management, with Paul “Bankey” Giscombe. Giscombe, who piloted Madd Anju to the fore a few years ago, currently has Richie Stephens and Frisco Kid as his latest charges.
Singso Records, a label that Wayne started a little over a year ago, debuted with its “Ambush” rhythm last year. Among the songs on the beat that did well were “War Forever” by Baby Cham, “Playa Playa” by Mr. Easy and “Dancehall Vibe” by Tanto Metro and Devonte. Newcomers Showki Ru and Demo Delgado were also featured on the rhythm. The label will be releasing some new material in time for the summer.
Asked why he had resorted to doing numerous cover versions back in the early days of his career, Wayne said, “The system drove me to do cover versions. The engineers and the producers did not want to work with any original songs that I had. Unfortunately, I fell into the cover version era. I just had to use the system as best as I could. Once I felt I had accomplished what I wanted, I easily worked in the original stuff, although for numerous reasons, they were overshadowed by the cover versions.”
Best known for songs such as “Excess Amount,” “Hottie Hottie Girls” (which featured his brother Textra), “Everybody’s Calling Your Name” (with Terror Fabulous), “Bashment Girl,” “Joyride,” “Informer,” “Watching You,” “Keep Them Coming,” as well as covers of “I’d Die Without You,” “Sunshine,” “Anything For You,” and “Fast Car,” Wayne Wonder emerged as one of the better known singers in the dancehall.
“I am making my music evolve. I am just taking it step by step and making the right decisions. I am far from competing with anyone. Time is the main factor,” he said.
The singer has some words of caution to young producers in the business. “Most of the young producers need to spend more time on their productions. The musicians need to get more involved in the music. Whatever happened to the musicians?” he queried. He also added, “Engineers need to be more alert and be able to detect when an artiste is off key. The producers need to stress more on a complete song, rather than on the rhythms. I really don’t miss being away from the scene. Some of the artistes I see today need some proper guidance.”
“Bring Your Body to Me” for the John John label and “What” are among Wayne Wonder’s latest releases.