Dancehall star Teejay says dancer Gabbidon had reached out to him almost a year ago to come up with a song to complement the Drift dance, but it took him a while to get a fitting beat.
During a recent interview with British disc jockey DJ Davda on Kiss Fresh, Teejay was asked whether or not the dance was created before or after what is now his biggest song, the Afro-Dancehall track Drift, was recorded.
“The dance was the inspiration to write the song. The dance was there before,” Teejay explained.
“Gabbidon created the dance, reach out to me and asked me to build a song for the dance. But it was like from December last year. Mi just get di riddim in March from Panda and then it was just history after,” the Owna Lane artist added.
Gabbidon, who recently traveled with Teejay to Nigeria for the shooting of a video for the remix of Drift, featuring Afrobeats star Davido, had, in a June interview with The Fix, revealed that he had approached several deejays to create a “dancing song” surrounding the Drift dance, but to no avail, that is, until Teejay acceded.
“You know, a whole heap a artist mi really link fi do di song; mi reach to whole heap a artist. An nuff a di artiste seh ‘yow, yuh know seh mi nuh really do dancing song’… A Rebel Salute mi si Teejay enuh and tell him seh ‘yow, mi new ting name Drift enuh Teejay’. An him seh ‘awrite, mi a guh clock it een; tek dah numba yah’. An mi link him and link him, an him a seh ‘yow, mi a fix tings Gabbidon man. Bout two month him a tell mi dat enuh,” he said.
“An mi guh do a show a Canada… an him link mi, caw inna dem time deh, mi put out a challenge pan Tik Tok, an di people dem a do di Drift inna it, suh mi start sen him bare video; bare video mi a sen him. Suh is like him look pan it an seh: yeh, mi like wah a gwaan,” Gabbidon had explained.
According to Gabbidon, whilst he was in Canada, Teejay called him and broke the news that he had found the perfect beat for the dance move.
“Teejay shout mi an seh ‘mi just find di riddim Gabbidon’. Him deh inna di studio a voice di song an mi deh-deh pan di phone an Teejay a seh: ‘yow, bro, mi nuh do dem ting yah enuh but yute, mi like dah vibes yah, an mi rate yuh energy’,” the dancer added.
He continued: “Mi deh up deh an di song done an Teejay sen mi di song, an mi link bout three a my bredrin dem from Canada weh dance and seh wi a guh maths up a video. An wi maths up di video an sen it to Teejay an Teejay seh ‘mi love di vibes’”.
According to Gabbidon, Drift was initially a simple foot movement akin to Elephant Man’s Log On, after which he “kind of built something around it.”
He said he came up with the idea to create the dance after recognising that the excitement behind his other big dance move, Foot, was ‘fading out’.
“Mi deh a Jamaica and seh ‘mi a guh build a next dance, becaw Foot a guh weh yah now’. A inna di party mi build it enuh; a inna party mi build mi dance dem enuh, like mi wi hear a riddim and jus build it. Suh when mi deh a di party and build Drift, mi a seh: ‘yow which next artiste mi can link now? An mi link two artiste and dem seh ‘yow, dawg, wi a bad man artiste, wi nih do dem suppm deh enuh dawg. Mi seh awrite,” he recalled.
Admitting that Drift was his most successful song to date, Gabbidon said that its successes saw some of the very artists who had shunned his idea, returning to contact him for collabs.
“Yuh si when sem si dis guh viral, dem even reach out back an seh ‘yow’… di amount a artist weh a link mi bro, mi inbox full up… and even right now mi a do some work wid one a di artiste dem right now…. But mi di understand him because a nuh really di fi him flow and everything,” he explained.
“Caw me is a yute weh look pan tings different, caw mi coulda go to one next artiste weh do dancing song, fi do a dancing song fi mi. But me like different. Yuh si like how Squash do Foot fi mi; IWaata do Foot fi mi? Is like mi like more gangster artists do dancing song fi mi more dan a artiste weh just do straight dancing song,” he added.