Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Banana”?
Banana is my latest single featuring Shaggy (one of my favourite Jamaican artistes) It’s a modern day spin on Harry Bellafonte’s hit “Banana Boat Song (Day-O).”
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song? Did you write this with National Banana Day in mind or was that a coincidence?
I was living in Medellin, Colombia strumming my guitar on a balcony overlooking the entire city. I looked over at my breakfast table and saw a hand of bananas and immediately started to toy with ideas based on Harry Belafonte’s song. It is purely coincidence that the song would be released surrounding National Banana Day (9/12).
I understand the visuals for the song were choreographed by the famed Richie Jackson (Lady Gaga) – how did he come on board?
S-Curve Records planned the music video idea for “Banana” and they chose Richie for the choreographer and what a great choice they made. He helped bring the music video to life!
How was the filming process and experience behind the video?
I was on a three month tour in the Pacific when I was asked by S-Curve to stay an extra night in Sydney to record my part on a green screen. I had so much fun! Shaggy filmed his scenes in NYC and the rest of the video was shot in LA. It’s amazing how technology could make this all happen continents apart.
How was the recording and writing process?
I wrote this song while I was in Medellin [Colombia]. I wanted to write a catchy song that made people smile and want to dance. I recorded my vocals in my portable studio while on tour.
What was it like to work with Shaggy and how did that relationship develop?
It was an honour to work with Shaggy and it was all made possible through S-Curve and Cherrytree Music Company. Shaggy was one of my favourite artistes growing up so it’s still surreal to me.
How much did he get to influence the song?
You know Shaggy will always bring his contagious vibe and charisma to any song he jumps on, so the first time I heard it, I knew the energy was now on another level.
I am getting this slightly “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” on the chorus and some Harry Belafonte – did you get to sample that actually song or is that a pure coincidence?
The inspiration came solely from Harry Belafonte’s hit “Day-O.”
What made you want to pay some sort of a tribute to Harry in particular?
My grandfather would frequently play his songs on his cassette player growing up and I remember him playing “Day-O” on his piano while his dog sang/howled along—always a pleasant memory of my childhood.
Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along? Any tentative release date or title in mind?
Yes of course, I am always in the studio writing new songs and coming up with new material. I am excited about what lies ahead!
Any plans to hit the road?
Yes, I am actually flying to Papua New Guinea this weekend for a five-day concert, the ‘One Love’ tour. I am looking forward to spreading some good vibes with my fans there. I can’t wait to see their reaction to “Banana” in person!