Monday, April 26, 2010
Last week I had the honour and the privilege of interviewing the legendary Chinese Jamaican Reggae producer Mr Clive Chin.
Clive is the son of Vincent Chin (whose Chinese father moved from mainland China to the West Indies in the 1920s). Vincent Chin opened the the music store and then recording studio Randy's in Kingston Jamaica way back in 1957. Artists to record on the Randy's label included Alton Ellis, John Holt and Lord Creator.
Clive Chin began working at the store and studio aged 15 and in the 1970s began to produce tracks of his own, starting up the Impact! record label. His first big record as a producer was with his school friend Augustus Pablo (aka Horace Swaby, the melodica playing dub legend!)- Java.
I talked with Clive about the influence of Chinese music in Reggae and he mentioned some tracks he produced with an Eastern flavour. One of which is this superb Tommy McCook number Harvest in the East which was the instrumental B side to Dennis Brown's The Cheater:
This track can be found on the compilation LP Impact! .
Clive took a break from music production when he left Jamaica in 1978. He moved to New York and had a Jamaican restaurant there for ten years or so. Now he is very much back in the music business and manages the Randy's back catalogue along with Impact! and some other selected labels. And what a catalogue of music, in 2007 Randy's celebrated 50 years and brought out the box set 2 CD anthology with documentary DVD:
I talked at length with Clive about his Chinese Jamaican roots, other notable Chinese Jamaicans in the music business and his historical knowledge of Jamaican music. I have recorded the interview for a future radio project which I hope to tell you about very soon.
In the meantime check out Clive Chin's Myspace page and listen to the FRESH NEW CHINESE REGGAE TUNE FEAT SHANGHAI's CHA CHA!!!! As you can tell I am very excited about this, Clive is pressing 500 10" vinyl copies of this tune which is a combination track with Cha Cha (singing in Mandarin) and veteran DJ Rankin Joe. When the discs are ready I will be sure to let you all know where you can get you hands on them (I'm first in the queue though, obviously!).