August 21, 2023 -A recent BET article featured Wayne Wonder, the Jamaican Dancehall sensation, as he unveils his journey towards international stardom, the intersection between musical styles, and the persistent admiration for his craft.
The year 2003 was a hallmark for Dancehall music in the US, with the Diwali Riddim taking center stage. Jamaican producer Steven “Lenky” Marsden’s masterful creation ignited the charts, giving rise to hits including the timeless “No Letting Go” by none other than Wayne Wonder himself.
Carving a niche in Jamaican music
Long before this groundbreaking success on American soil, Wayne Wonder was known in the Jamaican music scene. Collaborations with iconic figures like King Tubby, Dave Kelly, and Buju Banton since the late ’80s enriched his repertoire.
In the BET feature, Wonder highlighted his deep roots in his community and the Caribbean diaspora, where he laid a strong foundation. He shared that from the days of sound systems, live shows, and collaborations with fellow artists, he had an extensive catalog even before the release of “No Letting Go.”
Interestingly, Wonder said that it was Wendy Williams who first introduced the song to commercial radio, which then gained traction among DJs, propelling its momentum continuously forward.
Beyond just original compositions, Wonder’s diverse range includes renditions of American classics, like Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” and En Vogue’s “Hold On.”
His presence on mainstream Hip Hop albums underlines the interwoven relationship between genres. Delving into the history of reggae and hip-hop reveals shared musical energy that spread far and wide.
Wayne Wonder’s continued musical evolution
The BET feature further notes that this year alone, Wayne Wonder showcased the hit at multiple venues, including the Harlem Festival of Culture and the Lovers & Friends Festival in Las Vegas.
While “No Letting Go” might be his hallmark, Wayne Wonder’s musical journey did not stop there. New tracks like “Find A Way,” “I Don’t Know Why,” and his collaboration on “One More Chance” with Pickout All-Star Band prove that he continues to evolve and enthrall his fans.