Jamaican reggae artist Teacha Dee was shocked when he learned that his song Rastafari Way will be featured in the upcoming James Bond movie, No Time To Die.
Some scenes from the blockbuster movie, which is the 25th in the long-lived franchise, were shot in two locations in Jamaica – Portland and Kingston.
Rastafari Way was released as part of a 2016 compilation project by Giddimani Productions which is owned and operated by reggae producer Perfect Giddimani.
“It was a shock, and, honestly, in the first instance, when I got the email from the company called Search Party, I did not believe it. But afterwards, I did some research on the placement company and then I called Perfect Giddimani. When I realised that it was real, I didn’t speak for about nine hours,” Dee told the Jamaica Gleaner.
Teacha Dee, whose real name is Damion Darrel Warrenota, shared that the song focuses on the struggles he had to face when he left teaching to pursue Rastafarianism.
“I was the mathematics specialist at Glendevon Primary and Junior High, but I was putting out songs and sending them to Europe. As a teacher, after a certain number of years, you are entitled to long leave of eight months, so I took my leave and went to Europe, only to realise that my songs were huge, chart-toppers over there,” he said.
His journey took him to Germany where he still resides representing the culture.
“I had no idea that this was happening. It was really hard to leave the students, but I had to make a choice, and plus I had just started my Rastafari journey and certain key persons were not supportive. So I have been here in Germany being an ambassador for the music. It is a great feeling of accomplishment to know that such a big franchise has picked up this song,” Teacha Dee added.
He said that he hopes Jamaica can also share in his joy.
The Gleaner also spoke to Giddimani who shared the duo’s story of getting the song on to the global franchise hit movie series. He explained that it took a lot of back and forth communication between them and Search Party. That company which is based in New York matches songs with scenes in movies. After several emails between all concerned, MGM cemented the deal.
He also shared that song was part of his Horns of Africa project as well as Teacha Dee’s 2018 album.
“It feels like I have been rewarded for good work, and the fact is that this song wasn’t a huge seller. Rastafari Way is a timeless, beautiful song and for that reason, I am not surprised that the producers chose it to be a part of No Time to Die,” he continued.
He said that it took a lot of work to get the right sound for the song and that he’s happy that their hard work paid off. He also gave thanks to the House of Rhythm band which is based in Vienna. The band has been an integral part of all of his projects, he added.
“At first, reggae artistes coming to Europe were a bit hesitant [to] use House of Rhythm because of the question, if ‘dem white bwoy deh can play reggae’, but they have proved themselves to the point where, on all the major festivals, they were backing up to 16 reggae acts,” he went on to say.
It’s not just about the music making it on to the world stage but the fact that they were also given a very lucrative deal as well. A deal which he described as “very lucrative.”
While he did not put a number to the figure that they were offered he did say that the company paid an upfront fee for the use of the mastering. Added to that all the artists and musicians were given upfront deals as well.
“And what is important is that they all owned their publishing, so that is a plus. The company paid pretty early, too, before the original release date of the movie, so we are all very satisfied,” he said.
It is believed that the song will be used during one of the scenes in the movie that takes part in Jamaica though that has not been confirmed. Currently, the movie has been pushed back yet again but is expected to open on October 8 in the US.
According to Yahoo Entertainment that date could be moved to September 30 if all goes well.