Look who's singinig now....Enter Courtney John. Exit Yogi

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Sean Miller
Yardflex Writer

Courtney_John_dancehall_reggae.jpgQuick, kids. Pop quiz. Who is Courtney John? Is he the same person as Yogi of 'I go Crazy' fame? Or is this another textbook case of 'identity theft'?

No, says Courtney 'Yogi' John, "we are the same persona."
But who can blame the public for being a little confused after seeing the reggae-pop singer in the snarky new video, 'Hey', where he changes his sound, looks way more dapper, gets up close and personal with Jovi, and in the stunning climax, where they both take a running jump into a pool. Yogi wouldn't have done any of that stuff.

The new persona appears to be generating a lot of buzz for this new incarnation of Yogi.

"Girls see me and ah call me all Junior Gong. But I am not Junior Gong, I am Courtney John, but I am happy that the young people are really into the Courtney John thing and because of the video and the song, I have a new set of fans," he said.

Interviewer: Who is Courtney John? And what are the streets saying about the new you?

"The street always love anything that ah gwaan. The Courtney John ting is a different vibe where I can integrate younger energies. He is the I-don't-give-a-f&&^ yute who don't care what people want to say while Yogi is the one who is worried about people, worried about balance, but CJ know say food haffi eat. One or two man will mek up dem face, or screw because dem ah say inna dem heart 'yu first me to that'. Mi just did want to step out of the pigeonhole and do other things, and look with a kind of peripheral vision at the world around me."

He explained the process behind the creation of the 'Hey' song.

"The song came about in an interesting way, we never plan to have a combination, we were just playing around, Jovi put a demo down, that introduction where she is making the moaning sound, that was the demo, and Vegas come and say, 'do a combination', and ah so it happen...we have some other moaning whe' the public no hear, that will be on the DVD Uncut version," he quipped.

Asked what he thought about people who felt about this new persona, he responded:

"It is selling out, selling secords, things haffi sell out. But I am not going to sell my soul...there's no space for soul in the business unless it's soul music...you have to separate self from business. People were saying 'mind the bobo dem bun yu up', but the Bobo dem no pay my mortgage. Mi just know mi nah dehumanize women, or over-sexualise women...I am going to push the envelope and be comfortable just being a creative person."


The video, with its offbeat sense of humour and stylish shots of limos and private jets, has set tongues wagging from here to Negril.

"The video was my concept, we wanted to go out of the box a little. So when we got the first reactions from people who say it wicked after it was released on radio, I called Jovi, and we planned it. I told her limo driver, private jet, the works, and she began laughing and say me smoke some bad weed; she even call Dessa and say 'something wrong with Courtney'. And then she got into the idea, and said she was going to create her own alter ego, Veronica, and go for a Jackie O look, and source a dress.If you notice, the video end on a 'to be continued...." We don't know yet where we go after, maybe Jovi pregnant...I am not at liberty to discuss that, maybe she strip down, and dry off under one towel."

Interviewer: What about rumours that you and Jovi are "involved"?

His eyebrows shoot up mischievously at this statement, and he blurts out: "Yes, we de....musically."

Courtney John's phones have been ringing off the hook for shows both her and in the Caribbean and as a consequence of that, he has had to take off his producing hat for a while.

"If the price is right, I will do it. But I want to do something with Tanya Stephens, call me, I want to do something. Tanya showed all of us that we can come and just be artistes, and not care what people think. Tesanne sings good songs, I like Etana as well, and people in the business into them ting fi real"

Courtney John's album, 'Unselfish' is due out next year and a follow-up single, 'Sometimes', written by accomplished songwriter Jovi, is creating waves on commercial radio overseas.

Step aside Yogi. Courtney John is here to stay.