‘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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Mark Mukasa

Mark Mukasa

Mark is a South Lon­don based writer and avid fan of all things hip hop. He’s also an MMA and his­tory enthu­si­ast who tries to keep his love of animé under wraps.

About Mark Mukasa

Mark Mukasa
Mark is a South London based writer and avid fan of all things hip hop. He's also an MMA and history enthusiast who tries to keep his love of anime under wraps.