‘Switch’ (Fatty Fatty Remix) by Jamaican viral music artist Conkarah and South Asian rapper, singer and producer Roach Killa has been playing across the airwaves, bringing us the Island sunshine we have really been missing over the past 2 years (nearly!). Accompanied by a striking music video, the track brings together the very thing these two cultures are best at doing — throwing a party!
We got the opportunity to speak to Roach Killa and Conkarah about the collaboration, music and culture.
Congrats on the new track! How did the collaboration come together?
R.K : Thank you. My management brought me this opportunity which I am grateful for. They were looking to take the song to a different market, a different sound to what the current single had, so we decided to give them an East Meets West type of a blend as you can hear it from the Get Go.. From the first drop the TUMBI comes in but not over powering the feel of the dancehall reggae vibe. The song itself was so catchy that it took me no time to get in the zone and start creating some magic and believe you me, this wasn’t the only version. I had worked on a few versions before we all agreed that this was the one to go with and I’m glad everyone is loving it.
C: Thank you, I enjoy collaborating with other artists and seeing what vibe we create together. When this remix with Roach Killa was suggested I knew it would be a positive vibration and nice blend of musical styles.
The track is such a dance anthem, did you feel it was necessary to release it post-lockdown so people could enjoy it in the clubs ?
R.K: Yes. Music is a lot about timing as well as the feel. Everybody was itching to get back on the dancefloor so it was only right that we turned this track to a upbeat danceable no. where everybody can enjoy is not just reggae lovers or Bhangra lovers but all round. The beat is so infectious that the minute you hear it, you feel the need to get up and start moving. It’s a feel good track with great energy and gets the party started. Did you start dancing once you heard the tune? Lol.. don’t worry if not, next time I see you in the club, I will make sure to pull you to the floor lol
C: Yes, we wanted everyone to enjoy it in the right setting.
Fusing the two cultures together worked really well, did you find similarities between the cultures whilst trying to find the balance? What would you call this style on music?
R.K: Reggae Music and Bhangra music have been always smashing our scene since the days of Apache Indian to Bally Sagoo. I have been influenced by the greats over my whole career. It’s a perfect blend. Our culture has a lot of party songs, wedding etc. So the 2 cultures are very similar in terms of music. When you mix the heavy reggae bassline with a tumbi and a lil dholki, it just brings out a whole next level of a riddim that gets your shoulders moving, lol even if you trying not to … I hope more people go down this lane.
C: Roach Killa already has a similar dancehall flava so I think we complement one another well with this track.
Tell us a bit about the music video, the vibes you were trying to create, were you able to film together ?
R.K: I really wanted to Go to Jamaica to shoot the video which would have been ideal and epic. However due to Covid restrictions, it was a bit difficult to make that happen so we decided to shoot my parts in London and we had Conkarah in Jamaica set up live with us with a Jamaican camera team, that way we could have him shooting live with us and it still felt like Conkarah was with us at the shoot and the directors were very creative to bring this vision to life as they had him on the television in the video. Also we wanted to showcase the Asian element along side Dancehall so the Video was broken down into 3 rooms — Dancehall, American and Asian room and you can see in the Asian room the Dancers killed the bhangra routine and everybody just joined in and it was great fun!
C: Due to COVID restrictions at the time we weren’t able to film in the same place so we tried to be creative and still give the vibes of being there together. We created separate vibes for the different parts of the song and I think it came across nicely.
Roach Killa — you have lived all over the world! How has your travel affected the style of music you make?
R.K: I was born in Sabha, Libya and at the age of 10 I moved to Toronto, Canada. The area I grew up in was filled with Immigrants and most of them were of the Caribbean descent. I grew up learning English and the culture of my surroundings which was heavily influenced by Jamaicans. Growing up in Canada, Born in Libya and coming to the UK, allowed me to take all my up bringing influences and blend them in to my music. It gives me a different edge, versatility, and originality. I dabble in and out of different genres and its gives me so much more variation and ideas to create which is a blessing
Conkarah, you’re viral hit ‘Banana’ last year was the Tik Tok pandemic anthem. Do you think the global pandemic really helped the track pick up more?
C: Most definitely with everyone stuck at home it gave them something fun to do and if you notice everyone’s smiling in their videos.
What biggest changes have you seen in the music industry ? And what is the biggest challenge ?
R.K: When we were growing up, there was no social media, artists had to strictly rely on labels to release music.
But now due to Social Media, independent artists have the ability to release music themselves. Which then takes us to the quality vs. quantity aspect of the industry, before there was some sort of quality control but now anyone can make music and release and because of such large volumes of music being released, the attention span of an individual has become very low. You release one song today and by the 3rd day fans are asking when are you releasing the next. I think the appreciation of the craft has been lost and I am hoping that we can salvage that with an efficient way.
C: With COVID everything has changed but the way I see it, if music is your passion you’ll continue to create and spread positive vibes in these unprecedented times.
What have you both got coming up for the rest of the year?
R.K: Conkarah’s got an EP coming soon. For me I have lots of projects that I have been working on and will be releasing them one by one hoping for the most impact. I have also officially stepped into the production side of the music so a lot of songs that I have produced are yet to be released.. One of my Favourites that I have produced for an artist is “2AM” by Karan Aujla, it was great to work with Karan as he is such a talented artist. I produced the beat and Karan wrote the song in 20 mins, the song was done and recorded in 45 mins.
I produced for Apache Indian for his latest album song called “look my way” also Jazzy B “ALL EYEZ ON ME” and Garry Sandhu “Coming Home” and lots more to come.. So I am excited about the new projects as and artist and a producer.
C: I will be dropping a brand new album soon called ‘Destination Unknown’ — I can’t wait to share this positive vibration with everyone.
‘Switch’ (Fatty Fatty) Remix is out now. Listen Here
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