Dancehall artiste-producer Kunley of Ward 21 recently had a song he produced sampled by pop artiste Santigold for her track titled 'Kicking Down Doors'.
The song sampled by Santigold is titled Seasons of The Year and was recorded by iconic dancehall artiste Bounty Killer.
Kicking Down Doors has received more than a million views on YouTube and was recently featured in an advertisement for popular clothing and shoe brand Nike. According to Kunley, the rewards have been fruitful, especially since records aren't selling.
"I am delighted because this is the dancehall general that we are talking about, and this means a piece of dancehall has gone into the world. We have paid on the back end of the Nike ad through publishing and stuff like that. The revenue streams have changed since CDs were created and so samples and ads benefit producers largely," he said.
The founding Ward 21 member also gave some advice to young producers. "Make sure your thing sound good and you learn from people because music is a worldwide language. Somewhere in the world somebody will like your work even if it doesn't take off in Jamaica instantly. You can't stress yourself over instant success because it will mad yuh. Some of the longest-lasting music are the ones that take a while to build a momentum, while the ones that blow up fast usually die in three months," he said.
Ward 21 is gearing up to embark on a tour of Europe in support of their Power Surge EP in the coming weeks. Kunley also encourage producers to increase financial returns by signing new talents and improving the quality of production.
"A lot of times mainstream radio don't play our music because the quality is poor, so young producers need to fix themselves. Study the music and fix your craft. Step up your game, man. I am one of the lucky producers because I write, produce, and tour as an artiste with Ward 21, but it is really sad for producers who only do one job," he said.
Bounty Killer was also sampled by pop star will.i.am in 2014. Prior to that, his last major work with a pop artiste, titled Hey Baby, received a Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance at the 45th Grammy Awards.