The dancefloor is on fire as people move to the Caribbean rhythm of “Slam!”, the latest release by producer/DJ/artist, Ricky Blaze. The video’s director, Peter Dmitriyev filmed an authentic Jamaican-styled bashment party. It is the type where choreographed dance moves are jaw-dropping spectacles, and everyone is shrouded in a dimly lit room rocking to the DJ. Amongst the crowd, Ricky Blaze pursues Diany Arias, the dancer that has caught his eye.
“Slam!” is a contagious theme song for a lover’s chase. Ricky Blaze confesses on the chorus, “Your motion, got me stuck on you. I can’t let go.” The established producer behind 2011’s certified gold single “Hold You” by Gyptian featuring Nicki Minaj, echoes the sentiment and energy of his crossover smash.
Growing up in the West Indian neighborhood of Flatbush Brooklyn, Ricky Blaze has always been inspired by dancehall’s formative years in the late 1980s through the mid-’90s. The origin of “slam” is rooted in Jamaican slang. The term was popularized in the ‘90s by dancehall icon Beenie Man to describe the sexual prowess of women. Hence, the album’s title X-Rated, which is another nod to dancehall trailblazer, Shabba Ranks.
This summer, Ricky Blaze released his 7-track EP showing his multi-genre range spanning throwback reggae and dancehall sounds, to soulful R&B, and electro-pop music. X-Rated leads off with “Vibes,” a slow-burning track in which the voices of Ricky Blaze and singer Alexus Rose harmonize about the power of attraction. Rose, who is signed to Ricky Blaze’s FME Recordings label, coos in her pitch perfect falsetto worthy of raising goosebumps on the first listen. Featured dancehall guest Kranium joins Ricky Blaze on “This Moment” one of the album’s many party anthems. Ricky Blaze crafted layered transitions from “This Moment,” into “Slam!”, followed by the vibrating thump of “Guarantee.” The sequence of these tracks flow the way a DJ would play them back-to-back.
2018 has been another landmark year for Ricky Blaze. He notched production credits on various releases through FME Recordings, from dancehall superstar Ding Dong, songstresses Chelley, Alexus Rose, and Gyptian. This year, Santigold tapped Ricky Blaze to produce tracks for her reggae-inspired album, including “Run the Road.” This follows her Ricky Blaze-produced single, “Disparate Youth” from 2012. Ricky Blaze is also behind “Don’t Wanna” on the forthcoming album by Estelle. Plus he linked up with veteran reggae beatsmith Supa Dups on “My Endz” for Timo of the group R. City.
The 2018 West Indian festivities in Brooklyn come to a climax this Labor Day weekend. Ricky Blaze will perform at the annual Hot 97 On Da Reggae and Soca Tip concert, DJ Norie’s Anything Goes Live show, and Reggae Room at NYC’s FREQ nightclub.