TheRealTraxx is keen to be a top producer
Reggae’s greats have never been limited to its artistes. Musicians, and producers, played important roles in making the genre seminal.
Clement Dodd, Duke Reid, Lee “Scratch” Perry, and Joseph Hoo Kim are generally regarded as reggae’s top producers. While he has some way to go before achieving similar acclaim, Damion Nelson, aka TheRealTraxx, is keen to emulate those legends.
Based in the United States, he operates Breaking Records LLC and has been producing music since 2009. His current project is ‘My Closest Friend’, a song by singer Jah Silent.
Nelson is a protégé of Clive Hunt, rated as one of the great reggae producers. He combines old school methods with modern equipment for his productions.
“My approach to music production is diverse; I’ve been interpolating a lot these days but I also play instruments as well as use VSTs, I play with samples on splice like Stephen ‘The Genius’ Sound Killa Pack or I might have a melody or lyric in my head and I record it, make a loop then build the music around that,” Nelson explained.
‘My Closest Friend’ is the second released song for 2023 from the Breaking Records LLC camp. It is inspired by the loss of Jah Silent’s mother four months ago, after an 18-year fight with Alzheimer’s disease.
“I played the whole song, I remade the lyrics and arranged the vocals. I mixed and mastered the song as well. I never went to school to learn engineering, I just had a passion for music early,” said Nelson, who like Hunt is from Linstead, a bustling market town in St. Catherine parish, Jamaica.
It was through a relative that he met Hunt, best known for his work with cosmopolitan reggae acts like Alpha Blondy of Cote d’voire, French singer Pierpoljak, and roots-reggae icons, The Abyssinians.
As Hunt’s official engineer, Nelson worked on projects by Luciano, D’Angel, and Devonte. Branching out as a producer 14 years ago, he has produced songs by artistes such as Lymie Murray, Shawn Storm, and Sanjay.
Over the years, rubbing shoulders with other successful producers such as Sly Dunbar, Computer Paul, and Gussie Clarke has helped him improve his production style.
“I worked with Sly Dunbar on some songs for Clive and Sly dealt with me like he knew me for many years. Those are the ones I will always respect because he always shows me respect,” said Nelson.
(Photo contributed by Damion Nelson)
Jah Silent – My Closest Friend