You may have heard the infectious song Banana which features Jamaican artistes Conkarah and Shaggy which has garnered 64,000 views on YouTube since being released one week ago.
But would you believe the song was produced and lyrics were co-written by a Barbadian-born Simon Pipe? Yes, you read it right. Bajan Vibes sat down with Simon Pipe to discuss the creation of Banana and how he came to work with Conkarah and Shaggy.
Q: The song Banana plays on the De Banana Boat song. What was the inspiration behind using the popular folk song?
A: This just happened by chance. The music I made did not contain those melodies but as Conkarah and I started writing, it just came about. We didn’t set out with the intention to play on that song but it seemed to work well with the lyric ideas we had.
Q: How was the experience working with Shaggy and Conkarah?
A: I started working with Conkarah last year. I produced an album for him called Inna Reggae Style which entered the Billboard charts at number 11. So we have been working together for a little while and Conkarah has always been a pleasure to work with. He is a hardworking guy. This is my first time working with Shaggy and the process has been really smooth. I am happy for sure.
Q: How did you come to produce the song Banana?
A: I produced the first version of the song in September last year initially for a solo release with Conkarah. Things progressed naturally from there and added to the production.
Q: Since producing Banana do you have more opportunities to work with international artistes?
A: I work with artistes from all over the world fairly regularly already. Hopefully, this will be a stepping stone to do more of that work.
Q: As a producer, how did you go about creating the sound for the song as it has a groovy, infectious beat?
A: My creative process tends to be different every time. I don’t approach every project the same way. The song started as a baseline, drums, and a guitar. So, I think it started out as being very rhythmic and those elements remain prominent in the final production.
Q: What was the inspiration behind Banana?
A: I sent some music to Conkarah, and he started writing and we sent each other a few ideas back and forth. We thought the song was pretty funny but catchy. It really was just an expression of fun.
Q: Will you be working with Conkarah on another song and if so, how far is it in the works?
A: I work with Conkarah fairly regularly and we do have a few unfinished records. So, there is definitely more to come.
Q: When can we expect new music from Simon Pipe?
A: I have a new album out now. I only put it up on my website www.simonpipe.com and as a playlist on my YouTube page. The album is called Sanity is a Strange State of Mind.
Q: Do you think this song would let people see that Barbadian producers can deliver Caribbean songs which are Internet sensations?
A: I have no idea. What I can say is that there are many Barbadian producers making top quality music for artistes in many different places and genres. I work with Chris Rose, Hardware, DJ Davinchi and I have a production group called Purple Jacket and all of us are doing great work and we are, by far, not the only ones. I mention those names because they are close to me but there are many great up-and-coming producers and songwriters here.
Q: What is next for Simon Pipe?
A: I am setting up to go on tour with a Jamaican artiste in December. I am also working on some music for a couple of TV shows, films, working on a bunch of carnival productions for Trinidad carnival, doing some mixing and mastering work, producing a few upcoming EPS and albums for other artistes. Basically, my plate is full and I like to keep it that way, keep creating, keep contributing and hopefully help some others along the way. (LG)