Internationally celebrated Dancehall star Mr. Vegas has struck a note with foundation Reggae lovers worldwide with his latest single “You Make Me Happy.” A remake of Reggae pioneer Alton Ellis‘ 1967 cover of Motown singer Brenda Holloway’s Top 100 hit, “You Make Me Happy“ is one of the featured singles on Mr. Vegas’ first full Reggae album Sweet Jamaica, due to be released on February 7th.
Produced by renowned Jamaican producer Cleveland ‘Clevie’ Browne, “You Make Me Happy” is a refreshed, slightly up-tempo remake of Ellis’ single. “You Make Me Happy” originally appeared on Ellis’ debut album Mr. Soul of Jamaica. Produced by Duke Reid, another pioneering force in Jamaican music, Mr. Soul of Jamaica is a definitive Rocksteady album, and a key marker in the evolution of Reggae music. As Jamaica approaches its 50th Anniversary, Mr. Vegas is honoring Alton Ellis, and many of Reggae’s foundation artists who crafted Jamaica’s signature sound, on Sweet Jamaica.
“Alton Ellis is the ‘Godfather of Rocksteady’ and an important figure in Reggae music,” says Clifford ‘Mr. Vegas’ Smith. “I was watching a youtube video of his last concert, he gave the audience his all, and called for a helper backstage to help him finish his show because he was unable to – I am answering his call and making ‘You Make Me Happy’ the first official release from this new album.”
“The response to ‘You Make Me Happy’ has been great! Many radio disc jocks and music fans from around the world have reached out to me on my social media networks and complimented me on the single. It goes to prove that people still do, and always will love good Reggae music,” he says.
Mr. Vegas is a MOBO award winner known for Billboard charting smash singles like “Heads High,” “Pull Up,” and urban radio bangers “Tek Weh Yuhself,” “Hot Wuk,” “I Am Blessed” and “Gallis.” His current Dancehall single “Bruk it Down” is in the Top 10 on local charts, while “Certain Law“ is #1 on the MTV Base Dancehall video charts.
Last week, Mr. Vegas, in collaboration with Shelliann McBayne, initiated the Save Foundation Reggae campaign with a petition appealing to radio disc jocks to include music of Reggae pioneers like Ellis, Bob Marley, Gregory Issacs, and Cynthia Schloss into their daily playlists. The petition also appeals to the island’s producers who have traded Jamaica’s bass-heavy rhythms for Hip Hop, R&B, and Techno sounding beats. To date, over 450 people from as far away as Kenya, Australia, and Qatar have signed the petition.
“It seems as if our younger producers are turning their backs on Reggae to ‘cross-over’ into the American and European mainstream markets. What they don’t’ realize is that all our artists, from Bob Marley to Shabba Ranks, Sean Paul, and myself, crossed into mainstream playlists with authentic Jamaican music,” states Smith. “We set a trend that the rest of the world wants to follow, not the other way around.” (RAINE PR)