The melting pot of VP Records' 'Reggae Gold' Image

by Biko Kennedy

We caught up with Neil “Diamond” Edwards, Senior A&R for VP Records, to find out more about his beginnings, personal hand in the project and his hopes for the future of Reggae Gold.



JAMusic:
 How do you think your childhood characteristics are reflected in your current status in the industry today?

NE: My father was a devout record collector. Music was his addiction so it was passed on to me. I was always interested in the art of manipulating sounds. So even at an early age there was never a limit to what I would listen too. So I guess that followed me to this day. 

JAMusic: When you got into the music business where did you think you'd be today or where did you see yourself fitting in at the moment?

NE: As a fan of this art called music my participation was solely out of love.  I played violin, viola, cello and trombone and even lifted speaker boxes for a popular US based sound system so my journey wasn’t clear.  I was just glad to make money off of my passion.  So there wasn’t a set path or vision.

JAmusic: 
When you look at your sound (in terms of your production) how have outside producers and musicians impacted your sound?

NE: It varies. Depends on the artist and the project.  I don’t have a sound per say but I work with talented musicians who when needed can customize to fit based on the emotion and/or mood of the idea.

JAMusic: Could you talk a bit on some of your previous work and possibly a few projects you're currently working on?

NE: I work/working with numerous talented artist.  Mavado (Gangster for Life and Better Tomorrow), I Wayne (All 3 Albums), Gyptian (All Albums) , Etana (Better Tomorrow and I Rise), Busy Signal (Reggae Music Again), Tanya Stephens (Gangster Blues and Rebellution), Bushman (Signs), Christopher Martin (Big Deal), Bounty Killer (The Art Of War and Warlord Scrolls), Jah Cure (Ghetto Life, Freedom Blues, True Reflections and The Cure), Queen Ifrica (Montego Bay and Climb), Beres Hammond (One Love, One Life), Romain Virgo (Romain Virgo, The System and LoveSick), Elephant Man (Dance and Sweep) etc.. 

JAMusic: It is said that musicians communicate best through their instruments, it's really the language for them; could you talk a bit on why this is noted as such.

NE: Well the instrument is a vessel that musicians use to communicate whatever is inside of them.  Music is something that you feel note by note. 

JAMusic: What do you consider to be the greatest obstacle that you had overcome in achieving your current status?

NE: The fear of failure or the perception of failure. I am my biggest critic so learning to accept the end result and not being deterred but inspired is the greatest lesson.

JAMusic: Let’s talk a bit about the 2K17 Reggae Gold compilation album. What’s the story behind the project and is it a summer must have for sure?

NE: It has the hottest Reggae tracks from the hottest reggae artists.

JAMusic: How differently do you approach this project as opposed to other compilations?

NE: This is our flagship compilation so the objective of a Reggae Gold is to spread the word outside of our immediate genre.  So it is important to have music that can be absorbed by the avid and causal listener.   


JAmusic:
 How do you go about starting a project? Say you found an important topic or you're in a particular mood, do you just play around with varying sounds or you have a clear path as to how you want your work to come out before you begin?

NE: It depends on the artist and their particular frame of mind at that moment. Albums are custom built to fit. 

JAMusic: As a producer, what would you consider to be the greatest contributor to your musical diversity and versatility?

NE: My Father.  He is a devout record collector and music addict so I was never one to stick to one genre.

JAMusic:  We live in an era where music lives and dies quickly as a plethora of singles are released daily. What are you doing differently that will hold their attention/ear?

NE: Nothing. Classics have no expiration date. Good music will be absorbed by those who love it.  

JAmusic: Any final words?

NE:
#Musicislife

You can grab Reggae Gold 2017 by clicking the link below!

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