The recording process for Jada Kingdom’s smash “GPP,” as described by Stephen “Di Genius” McGregor, puts to rest suspicions that the song is sampled.
Recently, the dancehall producer collaborated with the Jada Kingdom on a track that absolutely killed it. The music was praised by listeners and industry heavyweights alike, with Bounty Killer and Shaggy even proclaiming it the finest song of the year.
Recently, Stephen “Di Genius” McGregor posted a video on his YouTube channel, explaining how the Motown era of the 1970s and 1980s influenced the song’s overall sound and how he approaches writing lyrics.
To further disprove any notion that this song is only a sample from the era in question, the producer describes every step of the recording process, from him voicing the demo to the Jada Kingdom laying down her vocals.
Di Genius explained, “I was listening to a lot of Motown, which has that sound from the ’60s and ’70s and earlier American music.” Explain why a piece of music makes you feel a specific way. What if you had music that does that, but the lyrics are saying something really off the wall that makes you feel a completely different kind of way?
McGregor says that he was inspired to write “GPP” by the vibe of that era of music.
He compared the vibe of the music to “those small pockets” in describing the similarities between dancehall and reggae. The goal for this song was to use natural-sounding instruments. I’m just going for a vibe that’s in between Motown and the ’60s.
Stephen ‘Di Genius’ McGregor claims that he was looking for a song to sample but ended up speaking the intro demo himself.
Trying to locate a song to sample that “sort of relate” to the meaning of their song, Di Genius explained. The songwriter “simply… couldn’t think of a tune,” so he “just started like putting something together vocally, where I could sample myself and make it seem old school.”
They’ve been looking for what they believe to be the original sample from that era of music since since the song with Jada Kingdom dropped during the summer. Di Genius has finally put an end to that; the sample used in this track cannot be found anywhere else.
And it’s nice to see a major producer like Di Genius explain the thought process that went into making a track like this.
Stephen “Di Genius” McGregor: who is he?
Di Genius is the younger brother of dancehall icon Chino McGregor and the son of reggae icon Freddie McGregor. Although his brother and father are also successful musicians in Jamaica, Stephen chooses to focus on production instead.
He has collaborated with many prominent dancehall artists throughout the years, including Vybz Kartel, Mavado, Elephant Man, Govana, Wayne Marshall, Bounty Killer, and a host of others. Notable international artists he collaborated with include Drake and John Legend.
Vybz Kartel’s The Teacher’s Back, a 25-song album produced by Stephen “Di Genius” McGregor, was released on November 21, 2008. A rift developed between him and the jailed dancehall musician, prompting him to drop the diss tune “Cyaan Friend Again” in 2010. Since their argument, Di Genius and Kartel haven’t had any contact with each other.
Di Genius, a veteran of almost a decade in the industry, temporarily stepped away from dancehall to concentrate on other ventures.