Dancehall producer Anju Blaxx has unequivocally stated that there is no shame in his game when it comes to who he works with.
Blaxx was speaking to the Jamaica Star about his latest project Gimme, which sees English singer Sam Smith teaming up with Jamaican star Koffee and Canadian pop star Jessie Reyez. The song, which will appear on Smith’s upcoming album Gloria, was released on Wednesday, January 11.
“I have not met Sam Smith in person, but nobody can judge me for who I work with or work on productions for. I do music to do music. Music has no face or gender. There is also no timing to music. That’s my approach and I’m making music with the intention to leave my mark on whatever project my creativity is put into,” the Nuh Compatible producer said.
Sam Smith, who came out as non-binary in 2019, is seen scantily clad and strutting across a crowded nightclub in teasers for the song’s official music video, which is set for release later today. In addition to Koffee and Reyez, the visuals also feature a scene of two women locking lips.
Non-binary people don’t identify as either male or female and use the pronouns ‘they’ or ‘them’ instead of ‘he’ or ‘she.’
Smith, who is known for the Hot 100 Top 10 hits Stay With Me, Dancing With A Stranger, I’m Not The Only One, and Too Good At Goodbyes, had revealed that the concept of Gimme came about during a wild night with Reyez on his trip to Jamaica.
“Me and Jessie were basically drunk, drinking whisky in Jamaica, two in the morning, running around absolutely wasted, like two girlfriends having a laugh,” they said.
Meanwhile, Blaxx told the Star that he was the mastermind behind Gimme‘s 90s style Dancehall beat, alongside co-producers Stargate and Jimmy Napes.
“It is undeniably dancehall,” he said.
“We can’t complain that dancehall is not going anywhere. It is visible. It is happening. And with this song having the original dancehall sound, the ‘boop boop’ drums and bass, it is different from what persons expect from Sam Smith.”
He said he created the riddim around an idea that producer duo Stargate and engineer Timothy ‘Quik Keyz’ Kahwa already had.
“Quik Keyz works with Jon Baker and GeeJam Studios. He and I both attended Full Sail University in the US. He made that connection early 2022, and when they presented the demo with Jessie Reyez, a one melody and vocals, I worked quickly to create a drum and groove around it,” Blaxx said.
“I was inspired [so] I probably worked on it in an hour or two, and they were in awe and clearly more interested to do more work because of how punctual I was. They are very professional and top-quality producers. This is opening more doors for Jamaicans, both producers and artistes.”
Smith’s album Gloria will include the previously released singles Love Me More and the collaborative single Unholy with Kim Petras, which became the first track by openly non-binary and transgender artists, respectively, to top the Billboard Hot 100 following its release in September last year. It was also the first single for both artists to hit the No. 1 spot.
Anju Blaxx, whose real name is Andrew Myrie, is one of Dancehall’s leading producers.