DJ Mac continues hot streak with Armanii’s Haad (Fiesta)

April 30, 2024

article reposted by Chelsea


Award-winning and Billboard-charting producer DJ Mac continues his hot streak with his latest production Haad (Fiesta) by dancehall rookie Armanii.

Haad (Fiesta) has been creating waves on social media since its release on April 19. Its official video ranked #1 on local YouTube Trending for Music up to Thursday, with more than 815,000 views.

Crash Dummy is credited as a co-producer of the track.

Haad (Fiesta) samples the beat to American R&B singer R Kelly’s 2001 hit Fiesta.

In an interview with the Jamaica Observer’s Splash on Wednesday, DJ Mac (real name Jason McDowell) explained his decision to sample the R Kelly hit.

“I decided to use the sample because it’s bouncy and I wanted to bring back a summer vibe with a nowadays sound. The Armanii song is part of a rhythm juggling which has four songs. The idea behind the juggling is old school and new school,” said DJ Mac.

The next release from the project is the song titled Old School, New School by Ding Dong. There is an untitled song by Valiant, which will be released after Elephant Man’s Workout. Rising dancehall star Jquan is also featured on the project.

“We are still in the recording process and will be dropping one song each week. Ding Dong’s song will be the next release”, DJ Mac disclosed.

Asked if he sought clearance from R Kelly’s publisher Universal Music Publishing Group for the use of the sample, DJ Mac said: “We just started dealing with the clearance, yes, we have to do that. If it’s a case where they want to be hard about it, no problem. Give them what they want. I’m trying to do things differently for the culture,” DJ Mac asserted.

In 2009, EMI Music Publishing, which represents R&B singer Ne-Yo ordered a cease and desist to performers Vybz Kartel and Spice for their mega hit Romping Shop, which sampled Ne-Yo’s Billboard-charting hit Miss Independent. The publishing company reportedly did approve clearance for the use of the sample.

Nine years later, in 2018, dancehall artiste Ishawna sampled the beat to British singer Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You in her hit Equal Rights. The song was not released commercially until a few years ago, after Sheeran approved the use of the sample.

This is not the first time that the beat to R Kelly’s Fiesta has been sampled locally.

In 2001, Stone Love productions used the sample for a project called Fiesta rhythm which featured Elephant Man’s hit Jamaica and 14K’s cover of the song

“At the time when we sampled it Fiesta was one of the hottest R&B songs. I wanted to make it more substantial in the dancehall and it was well-received. We kept it short and spicy, and we didn’t have too many songs on the project,” Stone Love’s Winston Powell said in a Splash interview on Wednesday.

Powell said his company did not receive clearance for the use of the sample.

“No, we didn’t get clearance, but I didn’t clear the publishing, so everything went to them. However, the Elephant Man song on the rhythm did a whole lot for Stone Love, because we held it exclusively before we released it,” Powell recalled.

The 24-year-old DJ Mac has been involved in music production for the past four years. He co-produced Teejay’s Billboard-charting hit Drift and has production credits on Byron Messia’s album No Love.

His other successes include Speed Off and Lumbah by Valiant, Still a Bleed by Chronic Law, Rytikal’s Chosen, Jahshii’s 25/8, 7 Fall Many Rise (Rygin King), and Rate Who Rate You (Squash) which have helped make him an in-demand producer.

Efforts to get a comment from the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO) were unsuccessful up until press time.

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