King Of The Dancehall Beenie Man says the death of his mother had such a huge impact on him that it stalled the completion and release of his seventeenth studio album, Simma.
The ‘Docta’ made this vulnerable declaration during a sit down where he shared details about the album’s production.
“Between the whole making of the album, mi madda drop out…mi live ah country fi ‘bout two years. Mi couldn’t even come home; mi couldn’t even gah studio fi voice di nex’ song,” he revealed.
“This is why di album neva release at dat time when di album did suppose to release. But, now we’re here and we’re strong and we’re firm. We’re here because mi madda still deh here inna mi heart and she still deh here inna mi mind.”
Beenie’s mother, Lilieth Sewell or ‘Mama Lilieth,’ as she was affectionately known, died in 2020 after what many believe came from complications from a stroke she suffered in 2019.
Simma will be released on August 31, 2023. The 19-track set will feature Sean Paul and Anthony Red Rose, Busy Signal, Patoranking, Giggs, Ms. Banks, Mya, Hoodcelebrityy, Dexta Daps, Shenseea, Bunji Garlin, Shaggy, Popcaan, Dre Island, Morgan Heritage, Charly Black, Louie Culture, Stonebwoy, and Backroad Gee.
Interestingly, Beenie Man said that several of his collaborators offered him a slot when they, too, were working on their own albums.
“Some of the features on the album like Ms. Banks and Pato…dem ah mek fi dem album and me ah mek my album di same time. Sean Paul ah mek fi him album mi get ah feature, Shenseea ah mek fi har album mi get a feature…,” he explained.
Beenie added that the project promises to be multi-genre.
“It’s about Dancehall, it’s about Afrobeat, it’s about Hip Hop, it’s about R&B. It’s about all different kinds of music in our style.”
Addressing potential misconceptions, Beenie Man clarified that Simma is not linked to his 1998 track Who Am I (Sim Simma). In fact, the inspiration is so, so simple.
“This is not associated with my song Sim Simma, it’s a lot of noise and the people need to calm down and Simma. The King is here”, he explained.
The upcoming album boasts an impressive line-up of producers, including Frankie Music Productions, Jerome Wright, Andre ‘Suku’ Gray, Dutty Rock Productions, Walshy Fire, Rohan Smith, MD Music Group, Richie D, Jeremy Harding, Tony Kelly, Money Matters Entertainment and internationally acclaimed Teddy Riley and The FaNaTiX.
“The album, regardless if it’s somebody older dan you, dem still come wid di energy and di type of music dat yuh like,” Beenie Man confidently said in summing up the project.
The 51-year-old released his debut album, The Invincible Beenie Man: The Ten Year Old DJ Wonder, in 1983 for producer Bunny Lee. Following that were Cool Rider (1992) and Defend It (1994), both released under VP Records.
In 1994, Island Records signed him, and he subsequently released Blessed (1995), which reached No. 12 on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart.
Other notable works include Maestro (1996), Many Moods of Moses (1997), Ruff ’N’ Tuff (1999), The Doctor (1999), and Y2K (1999), each achieving positions on the Billboard Reggae chart.
Beenie’s Art and Life (2000), released under Virgin Records, won the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album in 2001. It peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart.
He continued to release albums throughout the 2000s, including Tropical Storm (2002), Back to Basics(2004), Undisputed (2006), and Unstoppable (2016).