Keeping the Trench Town sound alive

By Howard Campbell
Observer senior writer

Monday, October 22, 2018

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The challenge, of ghetto life has been the soundtrack for Trench Town artistes since the 1960s, but singjay Dahvid Slur prefers to look at the positive side of life in his songs.

The roots artiste is from the storied community that produced some of reggae's legends, including Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer of The Wailers. While he has experienced crime and economic hardship in the “Concrete Jungle” those men famously sang about, the rigours of urban life have never cast a shadow on his outlook.

“Living in the community of Arnett Gardens (official name for Trench Town), violence has influenced my music and my life in some sense. I have lost friends who were very close to me due to violence, but the reflection of this in my music is of a positive one. I have a song called No Body Bag which speaks about preserving life,” he said.

Dahvid Slur's latest song, Tick of The Clock, addresses the impact crime has on inner-city communities such as Trench Town — one of Jamaica's so-called garrison communities. It is produced by Geekay Productions which also guided him on Sound It, another of his songs.

Born David Dockery, Dahvid Slur soaked up Trench Town's heralded music history from early, listening especially to the message of Marley. He was part of the choir at Trench Town High School but was also drawn to roots artistes like I-Wayne, Junior Gong and roots-revival kingpins Chronixx and Protoje.

Last year he and Geekay Productions released The Ingress, a six-song EP that includes No Body Bag and Sound It.Though he admires the methods 'elders' like Marley used to make music over 40 years ago, Dahvid Slur believes he and his contemporaries are in a better place to get their message out.

“The biggest difference I see from now compared to the '70s, '80s is that music is more available in the sense of creating, distributing, and the overall consumption,” he said. “I think it's arguable that the time put into the production of music, due to all the new digital gadgets, the quality might be fading.”

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