Up close and personal with Double R


By: Joan Wilson

123455677.jpgHe burst on the scene in the 90s with a string of hits include Shelly-Ann and Pencil…his fresh style and humour made him an immediate hit in the dancehall. Wallace Wilson aka Red Rat, now performing under the moniker Double R is still going strong.

Yardflex had a one on one with the DJ and it was hard not to notice that he hasn’t lost his easy charm and great sense of humour.

Double R who says he has been performing since the age of four said his inspiration came from his father who was a prominent person in the industry. His dad who played the guitar for Byron Lee and the Dragonaires and produced his first album Soft Lee. His dad was also a writer, producer and musical director for Cynthia Schloss and Boris Gardner.

It was not surprising when the music bug bit Red Rat, now with over 15 years in the biz the DJ has performed all over the globe. Responding to Yardflex question on some of the places he performed he jokes, “it would be easier to tell you where I’ve not performed,” he said with a teasing smile.

The DJ has performed to rave reviews every stop he makes and for him there can be no greater ‘award’ than to see the looks on the faces of his fans when he steps on stage.

When it comes to flexibility and not being limited to any one style Double R will be the first to tell you that he doesn’t set a limit on himself. “As a producer and a songwriter you have to keep up to date with what’s going on in the music world and move with the time,” he stressed.

With the downtown in the economy Double R is not allowing that to faze him in his usual down to earth style he pointed out that “Recession affects people that don’t plan.” He continued, “It’s all about moving with the times again. There are still artistes selling over six and eight million unit,” he pointed out adding that artistes must realize that regardless of what the situation, good music will always sell,

The DJ also had a few words for those who hold artistes ransom with the practice of payola, “Jamaica is not the only country that has payola, and payola will still be going on whether we like it or not. I don’t agree with the practice whether in Jamaica or anywhere else…but I personally feel if you have a good tune, payola or not it is going to buss,” he said.

Since being in the business, Red Rat has worked with some of the biggest producers and has performed on many top riddim including Scandal, Sweet Sunshine…he has recorded hits such as Dwayne, Tight Up Skirt, Over the past decade he has had the chance to make some worthwhile international connections such as Groove Armada from the UK, Lord Kossidy from France, Mims and many more.

As he looks ahead to his next decade in the business Double R says he wants to help the younger generation coming up who wants to make their mark in the business, as such he will be featuring some of them on his label.

Regarding the fight some of his fellow DJs are getting from the gay community Double R says, “Every artiste is entitled to do what they want in his or her career. Art is a form of expression regardless of what kind of art it is. The Bible teaches that homosexuality is wrong so if artistes want to place that message in their music, they should be allowed to without fear of repercussions.”

What’s on the horizon for this DJ…marriage…”soon!”