Kaya Fyah keeps coming back

Monday, October 22, 2018

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African singer Kaya Fyah was in Kingston recently recording songs for his third album, which is due for release early next year. Like his previous sessions here, he worked with veteran producer Tony Owens and the Firehouse Crew.

Kayah Fyah, who is from Cape Verde — located off the northwest coast of Africa — also recorded his earlier albums Rocky Way and Live Natty Dread in the Jamaican capital. There is a specific reason for working here, he told the Jamaica Observer.

“We are satisfied, that is why we keep coming back to do more production in Jamaica. In Jamaica you have the best reggae studios, the best reggae musicians, the best reggae sound engineers by far, and also the irreplaceable Jamaican irie vibes. That can only be obtained by being here in the flesh,” he said.

The Firehouse Crew, who were the backbone of producer Philip “Fatis” Burrell's Xterminator Records' success in the 1990s, again provided most of the backing for Kayah Fyah. Drummer Sly Dunbar, guitarist Dalton Browne and keyboardist Robbie Lyn also contributed to the sessions.

For the yet-to-be-titled album, Kayah Fyah said he and Owens went for a different feel.

“Most of this current album is very futuristic with the sound. We have tracks like Syber Time; See U Later (Alligator), an original track written by Stevie Wonder that has never being heard before; and a collaboration with Wippa Demus named Why Oh Why,” he explained.

Kayah has worked for over a decade with Kingston-born Owens, who is a respected figure in British reggae. Owens produced Pass The Dutchie, Musical Youth's massive 1982 hit song that went number one in the United Kingdom and Top 10 in the United States.

Owens has also produced songs by other African artistes and promoted shows in Africa.

Since leaving his homeland over 40 years ago, Kayah Fyah has lived in Portugal and The Netherlands. He settled in the latter country during the late 1970s and has made a name there in reggae and worldbeat circles.

— Howard Campbell

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