While he may be best known as the Master of Ceremonies for Major Lazer, Walshy Fire is also a producer and DJ of his own accord, and now he’s ready to put forth his debut solo album, ABENG, along with the LP’s first single, “No Negative Vibes.”
The title of the album refers to an instrument crafted from an animal horn that was taken from Ghana to Jamaica. Slaves would use this instrument to communicate over long distances in a way only people within their community could understand.
This title is quite profound provided that Walshy’s presence in Major Lazer gives the group real authenticity. Diplo and Switch (two American DJs) started Major Lazer back in 2008, but Walshy was born in Kingston, Jamaica, a city where Major Lazer draws heavy musical influence. After the extreme success of “Lean On“, Walshy and Major Lazer began touring all over the world including Africa, which had an acute effect on him as a producer.
“The intention [of ABENG] is to make the Caribbean and Africa have a conversation that is louder, and in the same studio or the same stage, at the same time,” Walshy says.
Just as the abeng traveled from Africa to the Carribean, the music of those two regions have shared influence for decades, evolving into styles like dancehall, soca, and reggae. On “No Negative Vibes,” Walshy has included vocal work from fellow Jamaican artist Alkaline and Nigeria’s own Runtown for a pleasant, uplifting slow jam.
ABENG will be out June 7 on Mad Decent.