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Tristan Rayon Nelson Speaks On New Song 'Sugar Cane,' And Its Homage To Robbie Shakespeare

Emerging producer and recording artist Tristan Rayon Nelson has released a track that he says has been dubbed as unique by listeners because of its components. Titled Sugar Cane, the single was released on May 10 via VPAL Music.

“The song is different because of the different kind of vibe it evokes. It’s like an Afrobeat song from a Jamaican perspective,” he told DancehallMag.

Born and raised in St. Thomas, Nelson is the founder of Da Mekanix music label. The artist and producer realised his passion from as early as his days at Morant Bay High School. According to him, his interest in the field piqued when he earned his first music certification while being a student there, and so he sought to hone his craft. 

Sugar Cane also pays homage to the late Robbie Shakespeare, according to Nelson. In fact, the late musician was expected to play an instrumental role in the final project.

“Meanwhile I was writing the song, I was supposed to present it to Robbie Shakespeare by ear. However, he had passed before… one of the lines in the song says, ‘call me Robbie, slide down my bass’ which was a reference from him playing… the whole intention was for him and Sly Dunbar to produce it. I however tried numerous rhythms until I started this one,” he said, adding that he wrote the song during the onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic.

Shakespeare died in Florida on December 8, 2021, following kidney surgery. He was 68.

Being on both ends of the spectrum isn’t always the easiest feat. For Nelson who is both an artist and producer, he says he takes notes from other creatives around him.

“I live an entertainment life. Everything that I do is around entertainment. From songwriting to music production and video production; script writing and acting— I live an entertainment life,” he reasoned.

Nelson hopes to collaborate with artists such as Sean Paul, Shaggy, Beres Hammond, Shenseea, and Spice.

He is working on another project featuring Sly Dunbar on drums.


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