He is the original Soca Junkie.
Dale Rudder, more popularly known as Mistah Dale, entered the soca arena with a bang when he penned and recorded the hit single Kaylaylayback in 1998.
That number was a huge party hit in the Caribbean, France and most of Europe. So too was Born Fuh Dis that followed.
In an interview with Bajan Vibes, Mistah Dale simply could not believe how time had flown.
“Wow! It has been 15 years already?” the popular entertainer asked rhetorically.
“I have been travelling, working, bringing out albums, celebrating 15 years in the business,” he noted before going on to reveal his latest project –– an album, to which he was in the studio putting the finishing touches.
“ . . . Actually it is getting ready to hit the stores; so it has been strain,” he said of his current focus.
Mistah Dale, who has also been a perennial finalist in the Pic-O-De-Crop calypso competition, says he is not participating in that contest this time around, choosing to concentrate instead on the more uptempo Party Monarch and Sweet Soca competitions.
In fact, in another two weeks –– on July 27 –– he will be vying for both crowns singing De Dawg and Stressless.
A songwriter of note, Mistah Dale has penned songs for some top names in the business, including Alison Hinds, Destra Garcia and the late great Arrow. He has even copped the Songwriter Of The Year title three times –– in 2008, 2010 and 2011 –– at the prestigious Barbados Music Awards (BMAs).
Looking back at his contribution through the years, Mistah Dale admitted the arena had “been good” to him right from the
days of Kaylaylay.
“[That song] took me as far as France, all through the French territories, all through the Caribbean, Trinidad. And I started with that, and then went on to Soca Junkie. So I have seen it as far as Germany, Sweden, Switzerland.
“The music has been really good to me; so I can’t complain. It has been a learning experience.
“Every year you try to get stronger and pick up things; you network with people; and you really try to stretch the whole Mistah Dale package.
“As for the music, I would say that it has come along, especially the technology. [It] is allowing us to spread our wings a little more. Just a few days [ago], I had a call from a promoter in Japan, and he [was] interested in my coming to do a concert. De man started to quote songs like To Survive, and I was like, ‘You know tunes’!”
He added that there was a huge market for soca music in places like Japan and other parts of Asia.
Returning to his new album, he said he was still playing around with a name.
The first he came up with was Diary Of A Soca Junkie.
“ . . . What I am doing is looking at Mistah Dale through the years. Songs like Kaylaylay, Born Fuh This, Soca Junkie, Drop It . . . .
“In between there you have the Road March; you got People’s Monarch; a whole heap of tunes . . . . Fearless, Stressless and four or five of this year’s tracks.
“I have been in production with Sean Layne, De Red Boyz, Chris Allman, Kurt Arthur. It is just a wide spectrum . . . trying to make a representation of what my life has been in the soca world throughout the years,” Mistah Dale told Bajan Vibes.