ENTERTAINMENT The Real deal in Tower Hill


ENTERTAINMENT The Real deal in Tower Hill

ENTERTAINMENT  The Real deal in Tower Hill

Tower Hill, once known as a depressed Kingston community with a history of crime and violence, has a lot to smile about these days.

The area is home to the fledging Frenz For Real studio and label which is responsible for mixing the hottest songs, producing dub plates for overseas sound systems, and developing home-grown talent.

Omar Benjamin, his cousin Oneil Graham, and friends Robert Rodney, Dwayne Minott and Alton Brown were members of a group called Muziq’s Our Bizniz. When things did not work out for them as an act, they started Frenz For Real.

“We opened the studio in January 2010. Myself, Oneil and Robert started this. It took us almost eight years to complete the studio. But once we got things started, there was no looking back,” Benjamin told Splash.    

ower Hill is part of Olympic Gardens. It is close to Cockburn Gardens and Waterhouse, communities with strong music pedigree despite widespread crime and poverty.

Frenz For Real made its debut in 2010 with the song

Splashy Splashy, which was recorded by Nah Switch featuring Alton, Donovan and Got You (younger brother of singer Lukie D).

Splashy Splashy didn’t get that massive radio support but it allowed people to know, who Frenz For Real was,” said Benjamin.

Their first hit song was done by an artiste in his early 50s known as Gully Bop. His

Body Specialist, released in 2014, was followed by the

Take Time rhythm, a joint venture with United Kingdom-based Luv #1 Records.

That project featured

Used to Hungry by Vershon. 

The label’s success continued with Singer J’s

Can’t Stop Me Now and Dexta Daps’

Chinese Jordan.

Songs including

So Mi Like It by Spice, the current chart-topper

Banga by Aidonia, Popcaan’s

We Still A Win and

True Colours by Jahmiel were mixed at Frenz For Real studio.

“We have nine engineers working here and persons really know us for mixing songs. Our engineers, including Jovane “Jovi” Murdock, Ricardo “Red Boom” Reid and Jevaun Sterling (son of Josey Wales), are in high demand. Right now; we are just building the brand and protecting it at the same time,” said Benjamin.

Jah Vinci, Josey Wales (whom Benjamin regards as his musical mentor), Pamputtae, Jus Chris (formerly Baby Chris), Predator, and Starface also work closely with Frenz For Real, which also provides employment for youth in the community.

“We have persons working here who are engineers, graphic designers, composers (creating beats), road managers (promoting music in the streets), and persons who earn from washing vehicles for the artistes who come here daily,” said Benjamin.

The studio is a hot spot for a thriving Japanese ‘special’ market.

“We get a lot of Japanese around here due to the dub plate programme. There is the honesty rate which is very critical. The Japanese have been conned by persons an’ they trust us to deliver what they need in a timely manner. The quality of the work is also important. We treat dub plate like an actual recording ready for release,” Benjamin explained.

Frenz For Real’s latest project is the

Hard At Work rhythm which will be released in May.

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