Lappaleng and his music

by Mar 27, 2024News

Lappaleng - The Gully Boy

Although Lappaleng cannot recall any relative choosing music as a career, or hobby, he insists music is an inborn trait.

“I cannot point to anywhere or anyone who has influenced my love for music. Perhaps, it is just a part of destiny. So, I will just live and enjoy it like others. One could rightly say, that I love music, talk music and even sleep music. Music is part of my daily diet. My heartbeats which energise my body and keep me alive.”

“I was about nine years old when I realised music was part of my DNA. I heard a riddim playing next door in Salt Spring, St James, Jamaica. It was the ‘Taxi’ riddim built by the great Grammy-winning producers Sly and Robbie. This riddim gave me a lot of vibes, so much that I went into the cellar of my house and started to put words to the beats.”

There Lappaleng created:
“Affi tidy before you go a party
If you nuh tidy yu wi smell frowsy (bad)”

In less than a day, the entire song was complete and Lappaleng was getting a lot of praise.
A friend decided to get him to perform at a nearby party to expose the song. But, there was at least one big hurdle to cross.

“I lived with my father, a Christian stepmother, and a stepbrother. He would never tell on me; it was my father and stepmother who posed the problem.”

“My friend and I decided to leave after the two had retired to bed. This was about 10 p.m. It took us about fifteen minutes to walk to the party. The party was in full swing when we reached and I was fully prepared for action. He took me to the soundman who was quite busy.”

“The soundman was hesitant to bring me on, and when he finally did, he got a surprise. The moment I got the mike it was like a crucial race in the Olympics. I sounded my lyrics and the crowd responded, lifting me high in the air.”

“The whole Salt Spring community was talking about me the following day and I was thinking how my future was shaping the way I wanted it to be. I began performing at several places and people were willing to pay me”.

Lappaleng recalled performing at Montego Hills. The song, ‘Tidy Before You Go A Party’, was a big hit there.

“As a Senior School student, I was handling a lot of money. Fans started and continued throwing paper money as I performed on stage.”

“I cannot forget the Black Moses sound which played under Mr. Fud Bar, while there was Super D, another sound which played on his verandah in Love Lane.”

“My popularity led to the meeting of Papa Richie, a popular DJ in Montego Bay, and I entered the JCDC (Jamaica Cultural Development Commission) Pop and Variety show which I won. I recall getting a trophy and some money.”

“My father became one of my biggest supporters. He was there to witness my victory.”

Lappaleng recorded, ‘Batten Up’, following the passage of hurricane Gilbert in 1988. The two songs (‘Girls Love Money Man’ and ‘Batten Up’) were good enough to get him on Reggae Sunplash and other major shows.

“That Reggae Sunsplash show included a soundclash between Killamanjaro, Stone Love, Electro Force, and Metro Media. I worked on Electro Force which won the clash.”

His first overseas show came from the experiences he had gained from Ticka Music which was his hometown sound.

“I was 17 years old and the trip to the Bahamas included Risto Benji, Conroy Smith, and myself. The show was held inside a theatre. We got rave reviews. I had three mega songs, ‘Girls Love Money Man’, ‘But See Ya’, and ‘Bibi Dip’.

The following year another promoter requested me without the team to perform. I took Apache Indian, a deejay from Montego Bay, with me.”

Lappaleng latest project is ‘Protect Yuh Life’. This, he feels is a warning that we are unsafe and we must take responsibility for our safety. With a catalogue of over 30 songs, Lappaleng hopes to become a major force in the music industry.

(Photo contributed)

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