Wed | Jun 19, 2019

Snow dominates charts 25 years after ‘Informer’

Published:Tuesday | May 21, 2019 | 12:14 AMDave Rodney and Anthony Turner/Gleaner Writers
Irie Jam Radio CEO, Bobby Clarke.
Irie Jam Radio CEO, Bobby Clarke.

Who remembers the hit song, Informer, which was recorded by Canadian dancehall/reggae singer Snow on the East West Records America /Atlantic label? The song was released in 1993, and it immediately became a smash hit that stayed atop the Billboard Hot 100 chart for seven weeks. The single gave newcomer Snow his biggest hit ever, and it also gave dancehall music one of its most successful crossover songs of the 1990s, based on sales.

A quarter-century later, Snow is featured on a new bilingual hit single, Con Calma, by Puerto Rican rapper Daddy Yankee, that pays homage to Informer. A remixed version of the track features pop sensation Katy Perry.

Con Calma has been viewed more than 830 million times on YouTube, well within striking range of a billion views, and was last week’s most popular song on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart. The song peaked at No. 1 on Billboard’s Latin Airplay chart and became the #1 Most streamed song on the Global Top 200 chart. Additionally, Con Calma peaked at No. 1 on Spotify’s Global Top 50 charts with more than 20 million streams and was the No. 1 song on Spotify across all Spanish-speaking countries.

“I am thrilled with the raging success of this remake,” Snow told The Gleaner from his residence in downtown Toronto. “This new success is an entirely different feeling from the 1990s. With Informer, I was just coming back from prison, but this time around, I am in a happier space and totally enjoying the love from the Hispanic fans,” he added.

BEYOND LATIN MARKET

The adoration for the Snow remake is by no means limited to Latino markets.

“I became aware of Con Calma because we here at Irie Jam radio have our ears to the ground on all matters musical,” Bobby Clarke, CEO of Irie Jam Radio in New York, told The Gleaner. “We were the first Caribbean/reggae station to have started playing the track here in New York. Snow was a huge station favourite when he first came out in the ’90s, and now with Daddy Yankee and Katy Perry on the single, we expect the song to become a huge summer anthem on reggae platforms,” Clarke added.

“The ’90s is among the most prolific periods in the dancehall genre, so I am not surprised by the comeback Snow has made with his song Informer,” said New Jersey-based Jamaican DJ Lushy Banton, himself an exponent of the ’90s dancehall revival. Lushy Banton’s new single, One Love, has been buzzing on a number of social-media platforms, and he is booked to join Jigsy King, Mr Easy and Mega Banton on a ‘90s Revival Dancehall Tour in June.

Interest in live performances by Snow is growing as a result of Con Calma. He is currently resolving issues with the work permit for the United States, and he is looking forward to performing in Jamaica once again. He has tremendous love for the island, and still cherishes fond memories of his first performance in Jamaica in 1993 at Reggae Sunsplash.

Snow, a Caucasian, was born in Nova Scotia, Canada, and moved to North York, Toronto, as a child. He later became friends with Jamaica-born DJ Marvin Prince, who groomed him in the fundamentals of dancehall in a basement studio in Toronto.

Snow’s début album, 12 Inches of Snow, sold over eight million units worldwide. He released a number of follow-up songs afterwards, including the hit I’ll Do Anything For You, a collab with Nadine Sutherland, in 1995.

An all-star remix version that featured Beenie Man, Buju Banton, Kulture Knox, Louie Culture and Terror Fabulous generated a surge in chart activity internationally, and it is still being enjoyed by radio listeners around the globe.

“Over the years, I have always got so much love from Jamaicans, and from reggae artistes, too, and I can’t wait to touch back down a yard,” Snow revealed.

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