Vegas covers it loudThursday, October 28, 2021
BY KEDIESHA PERRY
The Ja maica Observer's Entertainment Desk continues its month-long feature titled 'Cover Me Good'. It will look at songs covered by Jamaican artistes which became hits.
WHEN dancehall artiste Mr Vegas decided to cover Ed Sheeran's mega-hit Thinking Out Loud , it was out of sheer fun. However, the track boosted his career more than he expected.
“It was very popular and when I listened to it, it was in my (vocal) range and I thought I could do a good job. I explored beats to put it on because I wanted a Bitty McLean or Sanchez vibe. I came across the Love Bump 'riddim' and thought it was perfect, so I linked Clevie from (producers) Steely and Clevie and asked him to mix it for me,” Vegas told the Jamaica Observer from his Florida home.
Clevie refers to Cleveland Browne, while Steely is Wycliffe Johnson who died in 2009.
“I never expected it to be so big. The amount of dubs people request and the amount of weddings I've been invited to to perform it live. It has millions of views on YouTube. It was a big, big tune and still is to this day. I still perform it live and it is well-received in the US and Canada in particular,” the singjay continued.
Thinking Out Loud was released in 2015 as part of Mr Vegas's 11-track cover album called Lovers Rock And Soul. The other cover songs included Lady In Red (Chris DeBurgh), Love Is All Around (Wet Wet Wet), Time After Time (Cyndi Lauper), and Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman? (Bryan Adams).
Mr Vegas was especially surprised at the track's success because cover songs are not as popular anymore.
“With social media, everybody knows the songs and the original artistes as soon as the songs are released. Back then, when Jamaica had two radio stations, it was easy to think that cover songs were the originals and those artistes would benefit more,” he said.
Sheeran's Thinking Out Loud was released in 2014, and received 18 nominations including 2016 Grammy Award for Song of the Year, 2015 MTV Video Music Award for Best Pop Video, 2015 Brit Award for British Single with MasterCard and 2016 Kids' Choice Award for Favourite Song.
Coincidentally, it was a cover song that helped launch Mr Vegas's career.
“I did a cover of Every Time (I Close My Eyes) by Baby Face and that's what really put me out there so I've always been a fan of covers,” he said.
Mr Vegas (given name Clifford Smith) emerged in 1997. He has scored a number of hit songs, including the gold-selling Heads High, Yuh Sure, She's A Ho, Bruk it Dung, and I am Blessed.