Dubspot is very proud to present Roots & Future - a special month-long video series celebrating the pioneers, innovators, and torch-bearers of Jamaican music. In the third installment of Roots & Future interview and profile series, Matt Shadetek caught up with Kamal Evans, senior engineer at Kingston’s Big Yard Studios.
Since the late 1960s, the small island nation of Jamaica has maintained one of the world’s most vibrant music scenes, sparked various musical styles and revolutions (reggae, ska, dub, and dancehall to name a few), and introduced new recording and production techniques to the world. Without question, Jamaican music and culture continues to influence a wide variety of musical genres around the globe.
In the third installment of Roots & Future, Dubspot instructor and Dutty Artz co-founder Matt Shadetek caught up with Kamal Evans, senior engineer at Big Yard Studios. Kamal has recorded and engineered for Jamaican dancehall regge luminaries such as Vybz Kartel, Ward 21, Tifa, and many others. Shadetek asked Kamal to offer some tips and techniques for producers and engineers working and recording vocalists, and Kamal generously obliged. Kamal’s main advice is simply make sure the vocalist or artist is comfortable during the recording session so they can deliver their utmost best performance. Kamal also discussed some of the unique aspects of mixing reggae and dancehall riddims, making sure the rhythms (drums and bass) are strong first and foremost, and having powerful vocals. Last but not least, Kamal talks about paying dues, learning from his predecessors (like Jamaican studio engineer like Steve Stanley).