Robbie Shakespeare Session

Mr. Shakespeare is in the building, let the session begin! This is surely a man with Things to Do and Places to Be, so when a few technical glitches had us ready 10 minutes late and he was still there with us, he was quick to point out that he was being a patient man. Thank you Mr. Shakespeare!

So I take a back seat while Robbie (I’ve always wanted to call him ‘Robbie’ 🙂 is learning the chord transitions of the song. But nobody warned me about how mischievous this one man can be! If Steven doesn’t ‘pull up’ in the moment Robbie wanted, if he ‘unmutes’ another vocal without telling him first, there came cards galore. In fact, Mr. Shakespeare turns to Steven Stewart (Engineer) at one point, and asks him if he didn’t know he should always walk with a bag to carry the cards he would leave him in the studio.

Then the weirdest, coolest thing happens… While sitting beside Steven and Handel and inventing his baseline, Robbie’s phone (then perched on the mixing board) starts ringing. Before long everybody stops what they were doing and starts watching the phone because it is ringing to the beat of the song, sometimes syncopated, sometimes on the 1st count, and in the exact key of the song, so it sounds like it was already mixed into the song itself… Sorry whoever it was, but you know seh that call never got answered!!

It’s incredible what a baseline does for a song. It anchors it, what everyone else has sung or played. It frames the mood. It completes it. So with Robbie the ‘Riddim Twin’ touch down, we officially have all the elements required for a Sly and Robbie Reggae Mix. This is the moment many of us on the project have been waiting for- the beginning of Listen 2 the Call Version 2.