Chuck Fenda "We resurrected culture music in dancehall"

by Written by Davina Hamilton

Reggae star Chuck Fenda on slowing down dancehall’s pace and bringing one-drop vibes back to the genre.

IT GOT to a stage where all the music in dancehall was just ah run like a racetrack.”

This observation from Chuck Fenda was what spurred the singjay (singer and deejay) to make his own foray into the world of reggae music.

Tired of the multitude of fast-paced tracks the genre was spawning, Fenda decided his music would be part of a movement that would put the focus back on slower, more spiritual music – like that of the reggae “elders” who came before him.

“The Fifth Element family – myself, Richie Spice, Anthony Cruz – we’re the ones who really resurrected culture music back into dancehall,” said Fenda, whose 2004 debut album Better Days was released through record label Fifth Element. “Before that, it was all fast paced music.

“That’s not to tek anything away from dancehall, but the culture music needs to be in dancehall,” continues the New York-born, Jamaica-raised artist. “It’s the heartbeat of the people and you can’t kill the sector of the music. Bob Marley, Burning Spear and all the elders before us set the template and we have to carry on that energy. So we really resurrected culture music; before that you never hear nuh one drop ah play in the dance in Jamaica. And the DJs didn’t want to play any one drop on their programmes – pure fast music dem ah play.

“So we decided to slow it down and touch people’s hearts with real messages. And people all over the world love reggae vibes right now. Rihanna, John Legend, all of them are feeling the reggae energy. That’s what people are crying for right now.”

Quickly finding favour with a host of hits including I Swear, Coming Over Tonight and the controversial track Gash Dem and Light Dem, Fenda’s ability to identify with those living in poverty and hardship earned him the moniker the ‘Poor People’s Defender.’

Explaining that he too was born in poverty, the 41-year-old, who recently released his new album Jah Elements, says he was determined to be the voice of the people.

“I come from the slum; from the ghetto. I had one khaki school uniform, so when I got home, it had to be washed and put on the line, ready to wear again the next day. So I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth – I had to work hard.

“I was from the ghetto and I had so many friends from the ghetto and I wanted to make a difference; to help people rise out of the ghetto,” explains the singer, who was raised in Spanish Town. “And when I did songs like I
Swear and Gash Dem and Light Dem, yout’s came to me and told me, ‘Bwoy, Fenda, ah you mek mi put down mi gun and start think differently.’ That gave me the motivation to work harder because I realised my music really was making a difference.”

And unlike several Jamaican artists, who, for one reason or another, struggle to obtain visas to travel and perform overseas, Fenda is free to travel anywhere in the world.

Being born in America and owning a US passport has enabled the artist to have the freedom to travel overseas that so many other Jamaican artists long for. And while some might consider Fenda’s birthplace a stroke of geographical luck, the singer insists his path was “ordained.”

“My mother was in Jamaica and she got a 10-year visa, but when she arrived to America, she realised she was pregnant with me,” he says. “She had me in New York, but she was working and she couldn’t manage working and looking after me because she was young at the time. So she called her mother back in Jamaica and told her she couldn’t manage. She then took me back to Jamaica when I was six-weeks old, she returned to America, and it was my grandparents who raised me.”
Though Fenda says his mother hasn’t returned to Jamaica since leaving her young son with her parents – “we’ve spoken about three times on the phone,” he explains – the artist insists he has no hard feelings towards her.

“If she didn’t bring me back to Jamaica, you wouldn’t be speaking to me today. I can’t be angry with her because I believe it was ordained to be that way. I can go to any country in the world. A lot of Jamaican entertainers have their visas taken away or they can’t get visas and so they can’t got to certain countries. I can go anywhere in the world and sing Jah music. So it was ordained that I came into the earth that way.”

Fenda’s next performance destination is right here on our UK shores, as he’s amongst the impressive line-up of Reggae Salute. Taking place tonight (Sep 29) at the O2 Academy Brixton, the show will feature Fenda, alongside reggae stalwart Luciano, and other leading artists I Octane, Etana and Christopher Martin.

“I haven’t performed at Brixton Academy before, so I’m excited,” says Fenda. “There are a lot of artists on the bill and this is a special show, so everybody go and get your tickets. If you miss this show, you ah go miss one of the greatest shows to ever touch England!”

Jah Elements is out now, available on iTunes. Reggae Salute takes place at the O2 Academy Brixton, London SW9 today (Sep 29). Visit

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Artiste comments.

Dancehall artiste Shenseea

Shenseea Claims "Princess Of Dancehall" Critics Hits Back

Dancehall artiste Shenseea yesterday claimed her spot among the female dancehall royalty when she dubbed herself dancehall's 'princess' in a post to her Instagram page.
The post took on a life of its own, sparking debate about which female dancehall artiste was deserving of the title princess, since Spice is the queen.Read full article here

Rygin King said Alkaline Not On his Level

Dancehall artiste Rygin King might be losing a few fans after comments he made about Alkaline, not on his level.  During a live broadcast on his Instagram Montego Bay Based artiste, Rygin King was asked if Alkaline is bigger Read more here

Help us to keep Dancehall & Reggae Music Genres alive. We are asking for a small contribution to Keep our site online. CLICK HERE TO MAKE A CONTRIBUTION.

To have your Music, Video, Album, Press Releases or posted or promoted on our site [Click here to contact us for more info]

Who Is The Most Underrated Reggae Entertainer You know?

Over the years there are a lot of good Dancehall and Reggae music entertainers who has been pushed unto the back burner for some reason not of their own.


Articles On Dancehall Reggae World You Might Have Missed ......


Producers, Artists, Publicist and Managers Get your  Product Out to Over 20,000 Music industry players.  Our players Include Radio Stations, Sound Systems and Deejays.  Click here to Contact Us For More detail.

Win a digital copy of "Welcome To Jamrock Digital CD" by answering the following question.

As a producer What's the name of the first album produced by Damian Jr Gong Marley on his Ghetto Youths International label?


Send Your Music, Video and Press Releases to


What's New? Click here and See


Producers, Artists, Publicist and Managers, Let us help you get your  Music Out to Over 20,000 Music industry players.  Our players Include Radio Stations, Sound Systems and Deejays.  Click here to Contact Us For More detail.

Featured artist

[?]Subscribe To This Site
  • follow us in feedly
  • Add to My Yahoo!

Jamaica Sunshine Toutrs is an authentic Jamaican Tour Company

Recent Articles

  1. Buju Salutes North America’s “Big Sound”, King Addies

    Mar 18, 19 02:50 PM

    (New York, NY - March 12, 2019) Still KING Addies Buju Salutes North America’s “Big Sound”, King Addies Buju Banton recently (3/4/19) generated extraordinary

    Read More

  2. Higherbound Productions Releases New Akae Beka Album HAIL THE KING - March 2019

    Mar 18, 19 02:26 PM

    Higher Bound Productions Releasing New AKAE BEKA Album: HAIL THE KING Pre-Order on itunes: March 16 / Digital Release: March 23, 2019 California/St.Croix,

    Read More

  3. Tyrone Davis Ready to Party Up for 2019

    Mar 03, 19 08:34 PM

    Tyrone Davis Ready to Party Up for 2019

    Read More

  4. Curvy Diva gets intimate with Teejay

    Feb 27, 19 02:09 PM

    Curvy Diva gets intimate with Teejay - Trending Dancehall female Yanique Curvy Diva has tongues wagging once more with the release of the new sexy collaboration with popular male singjay Teejay.

    Read More