Jahworks.org recently caught up with the “poor people’s defender” Chuck Fenda, who has been on and off the island of Jamaica and in and out of the studio since his show-stopping performance at Red Stripe Reggae Sumfest 2K5.
A lot has been happening for Chuck Fenda since the year started. Changing into a higher gear at Rebel Salute, taking his career solo, facing the critics and rumours, booting up his website and releasing hits on his Living Fire label. Now he is in the process of bettering his ‘Better Days’–that means a new album. Who better than the man to tell his own story?
JULIAN: You surprised a lot of people this year and held your own very well at Reggae Sumfest.
CHUCK: Yes, but you know Chuck Fenda has always been holding his own ever since. I was prepared for Sumfest spiritually, lyrically, physically and mentally. This time around was nothing new. Fenda has always been a solo performer.
JULIAN: You had a 30-minute set performing before thousands. Were you pleased with your delivery and the response?
CHUCK: The response was tremendous as usual and this has been since Rebel Salute [January 2005] to start the year out right. Sting and East Fest were just before–all the major shows. Just look back and you’ll see.
JULIAN: It was a novel and noble thing to do in sharing the moment most coveted with young sensation QQ. How was this planned?
CHUCK: QQ is a little youth that have a lot of respect for Chuck Fenda. He saw me and just said to me that he would like me to call him on Sumfest. How could I say no or deny him that moment? QQ represents the said cause that I’n’I stand for. He is fighting against poverty and defending the poor and needy.
JULIAN: Was it what you had expected?
CHUCK: Yes, ‘cause even from overseas people a call me and tell me say the message reach them from Sumfest and they loved it.
JULIAN: It would appear that you left Jamaica immediately after getting off the stage, via the Sangster International Airport in MoBay.
CHUCK: After I left Sumfest I went to Washington, DC. The message reached before me. This show was a unity show. I was the headliner featuring Mr. Easy and Metro Media.
JULIAN: It would seem that you are MYOB these days–minding your own business–literally, booking and recording.
CHUCK: The season is always a busy season for me. I never stop work. A Jah works, so it unstoppable. Even when I returned from DC I flew out again to do a show in Freeport, Bahamas. Richie Spice, R&B singer Trina and Barrington Levy were also on that show.
JULIAN: What is the name of your new booking agent and label?
CHUCK: The word is already out. My booking agent and label is called Living Fire Records. This is a label that I started awhile back. It was not functioning as a booking agency because I was signed to a camp that [did] my booking.
JULIAN: What led to the decision by you or Fifth Element to leave the camp?
CHUCK: Sometimes I ask myself that question. We were in a meeting after the incident; I was not even here at the time when it happened. Tempers were flaring so I just got up and went outside to cool off. Next thing I hear a popular radio station DJ called me to confirm if I was dropped from the camp. I called the label and they denied telling anyone that. The next day I saw it front page in the Star.
JULIAN: What do you have to say about the rumours surrounding your name and another prominent cultural artiste even though he himself has refuted those claims?
CHUCK: It just goes to show how when you are doing Haile Selassie I works and lifting the righteousness banner you will always face tribulation. But the love of Jah and the people make me have to carry on amidst rumours and all types of lies; a just life and love to the fullest.
JULIAN: ‘Murderer’ seems to be doing well on the local [Jamaican] scene. What’s the buzz like overseas?
CHUCK: ‘Murderer’ on the Young Blood label is doing great in Europe and America. My fans love it. Even in Europe from where I just got back, it is doing well. Right now I just have to continue the works steadfast.
JULIAN: ‘Better Days’ has spawned several favourites, making your debut album a fair success. Tell us about the new album that you are working on.
CHUCK: I have been busy in and out of the studio. Another monster track that will be on the album I am working on for myself is ‘All About The Weed’ on the Massive B label for Bobby Konders. The new thing ‘Hip Hip Hooray’ on Fire Links rhythm and ‘Hungry Attack’ on the Hard Drugs rhythm. I am also working on another album for another big name producer.
JULIAN: When will this album be ready?
CHUCK: By the end of the year this album should be ready [also] my website www.chuckfendaonline.com. My people can surf the sites and get info from show reviews, pictures, music and about the album. So stay strong and know that great is within you and Fenda is here to defend the people. No matter the tribulation, we are here to serve the people.