King Danskie
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King Danskie

McDonough, Georgia, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

McDonough, Georgia, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band World Reggae

Calendar

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Aug
24
King Danskie @ Clayton County International Park, 2300 Highway 138 Se, Jonesboro, GA 30236

Jonesboro, Georgia, USA

Jonesboro, Georgia, USA

Oct
06
King Danskie @ Porter Sanford III Performing Arts Center

Decatur, Georgia, USA

Decatur, Georgia, USA

Aug
04
King Danskie @ Antigua Recreation Grounds

St John's, None, Antigua and Barbuda

St John's, None, Antigua and Barbuda

Music

Press


Artist: King Danskie
Title: Swankie Music
Review by Alex Henderson

All too often, artists will invent a term to describe their music in the hope that people will think their music is more interesting or adventurous than it actually is. Sometimes, that trick works; other times, it doesn’t. King Danskie, however, is an example of an artist who invented a term to describe his music and really does take some chances. The term that the Antigua-born Danskie came up with is “swankie music,” which is also the name of this album. So what is swankie? Essentially, it is soca, an outgrowth of calypso that originated in Trinidad and is also quite popular in other English-speaking parts of the Caribbean. Danskie, when you get down to it, is a soca-oriented artist, but his approach to soca is not generic or cookie-cutter. And Danskie’s exuberant, energetic work incorporates elements of everything from African pop to Jamaican reggae (including dancehall) to American R&B.

Danskie, who is now 42, favors a gruff vocal style that hints at the gruffness of dancehall reggae; Danskie is primarily a singer rather than a toaster (toasting is the style of chanting one hears in dancehall and its predecessor dubwise) or a rapper, but he injects some dancehall-ish toasting on “Carnival Time,” “More Money,” “Iwer Hand,” “We All Is One” and “Addicted.” The dancehall influence is also quite strong on “Nah fe Bruk,” a duet with toaster Fucha Kid. Like Danskie, Fucha Kid is from Antigua. But while the dominant ingredient in Danskie’s swankie music is soca, Fucha Kid is primarily a dancehall artist. And “Nah fe Bruk” demonstrates that someone from the soca world and someone from the dancehall world can have fun collaborating musically.


Swankie Music CD Song List (Listen on Jango)
Meanwhile, a heavy R&B influence finds it way to “On My Way,” “Zouk,” “Sugar Cane” and “I Want to Know”; those tunes are still very Caribbean-sounding, but they are Caribbean-sounding in an R&B-influenced way. And that R&B element makes perfect sense in light of the fact that American soul has influenced everything from reggae and ska in Jamaica to compas in Haiti to soca in Trinidad and Tobago. Singer Militant is the dominant vocalist on “Sugar Cane,” but it is evident that King Danskie is the one in the driver’s seat and that everything on this 19-song album reflects his creative vision regardless of who he might feature as a guest on a particular track.

This September 2011 release has plenty of straight-up party music; “Carnival Time,” “Danskie,” “50 Years,” “Iwer Hand” and “Don’t Stop the Jammin’” all have a “let’s party” vibe. This is not an album to listen to if one is in the mood for easy listening or wants to chill out. Danskie can be relentlessly exuberant much of the time, and even when he calms down a bit, he still has plenty of energy and passion. No one will mistake Swankie Music for a new age album or an album of adult contemporary ballads.

Danskie performs a duet with Guyana vocalist Fojo on “Dadli Posse,” demonstrating that a vocalist from Antigua and a vocalist from Guyana can find common ground musically. Guyana, the only South American country where English is the dominant language, has a strongly Caribbean-influenced culture. And when Danskie and Fojo team up on “Dadli Posse,” one can hear the cultural connection between Guyana and a Caribbean island like Antigua.

The infectious “We All Is One” is largely a shout out to the musicians of Antigua, but it doesn’t acknowledge Antigua exclusively; Danskie’s lyrics also references Barbuda, and by doing so, Danskie tells us a lot about his musical outlook. Danskie is reminding us that he has a very pan-Caribbean perspective.

King Danskie is soca-oriented, but he isn’t a soca purist. And his willingness to take chances yields enjoyable results on Swankie Music.

Review by Alex Henderson
Rating: 3.5 Stars (Out of 5) - AOWR Publishing


Artist: King Danskie
Album: Swankie Music
Review by Matthew Forss

Born on the island of Antigua in the Caribbean, King Danskie (aka Shawn Ryan) is an innovative musician with writhing rhythms and electronic additions that are matched with equally-inventive vocals stemming from calypso, zouk, and soca musical traditions. Swankie Music celebrates a combination of musical styles steeped with island fervor and vibrant lyrics throughout the nineteen hits contained on the new album.

“Gimme Lickle” opens with a few guttural vocals and a steady, up-tempo beat with punchy percussion and electronic accompaniment and horns. The party-like song is rich with keyboards, horns, and drums that follow a soca vein and other similarly-structured musical traditions from the Caribbean. The relatively unchanged vocal melodies create a soca frenzy unlike anything heard before. The backup vocals match King Danskie’s throaty vocals, but the keyboard percussion, horns, and drums make the song stand out as a party favorite.


Swankie Music CD (Listen on Jango)
“I Want To Know” starts out with laser-like embellishments and a piano melody. The rickety percussion and throaty vocals resemble a type of hip hop instrumental song. Though, the vocals reflect a type of alternative pop with urban riffs and miscellaneous vocal embellishments and sounds. The slightly laid-back approach still reflects a sense of island flavor, but it is much more reduced.

“Zouk” opens with a steel-pan intro with punchy percussion and symphonic keyboard washes. King Danskie’s fun vocals accent the fine percussion, while a few female vocals fill in the vocal range with a higher scale than King Danskie’s. The symphonic keyboards provide a cinematic feel without losing Caribbean charm. However, the vocals are weaker on this song, but the zouk musical style is highlighted from a mostly instrumental approach.

“Dadli Posse” begins with a few electronic vocal shouts and keyboard percussion sounds that are led by King Danskie and Fojo. The keyboard washes and smooth vocals are accomplished by electronic manipulations of the vocals, which provide a danceable, rhythmic, and enjoyable sound overall. The lyrical repetition and rhythmic similarities throughout make the song stand out as a stellar example of musicianship.

“On My Mind” opens with a bit of solo acoustic guitar that melds into King Danskie’s characteristic vocals with fine back-up accompaniment from female singers. The percussion is tinny, swishy, and swanky. Keyboard accompaniment with strings adds a cinematic presence that is also reflected on previous songs. The island percussion and classy vocals reflects a maturity usually reserved for ballads. King Danskie brings it all together with fine instrumentation and a cascade of vocals that come together to produce one of the best songs on the album.

“More Money” opens with a skittish keyboard beat and fast vocals with little in the way of other musical accompaniment. The breakneck rhythms are punctuated by string-like or flute-like sounds characteristic of South Asia, but the song is uniquely Antiguan. The urban, rap-like vocal displays are relatively fluid and unchanging throughout. The highlight is the flute or string-like noises that reflect a slight Indo-Caribbean origin, while the lyrical-heavy wordplay is indicative of a type of rockso, which is a modern and urban form of calypso.

At any rate, King Danskie presents nineteen different hits from a calypso, zouk, and soca origin. The music reflects a good deal of instrumental variability and vocal changes that provide a party-like atmosphere without sacrificing musicianship or sound quality. However, some of the songs are more instrumentally-favored, which deplete the vocal soundings a bit. Still, Swankie Music sets the stage for posh calypso and soca music for a modern generation seeking something a little different. Fans of calypso, rockso, soca, zouk, and Caribbean urban music should listen to the honorable King Danskie.

Review by Matthew Forss
Rating: 4 Stars (out of 5) - AOWR Publishing


Discography

I.C.U. Album (Released August 2012)
Swankie Music Album (Released September 2011)

Photos

Bio

When asked to describe himself and his musical style, King Danskie's response is "I am an innovative musical artist with a unique and unconstrained style. Born October 6th, 1969, on the island of Antigua, Shawn Ryan - musically known as King Danskie, initially showed his vocal talents as a member of his local church choir. Growing up in the culturally rich Caribbean, King Danskie decided to venture into other genres of music by collaborating with artistes such as Militant, Machel Montano, Fojo, Shelly G, Mack Truck & Lion King. His collaboration with Machel Montano produced a well known hit titled Fireman.

Driven by an insatiable desire to expose his vocal talent, King Danskie entered into the Antigua and Barbuda Calypso and Soca Monarch competitions in 2002. He earned the first runner up spot in the Soca Monarch competition that year. Determined to take the top spot, King Danskie reentered the Soca Monarch competition in 2003 and took control of the stage. His dazzling performance, which pleased the crowd and judges alike, sealed the coveted title and he was crowned the Soca Monarch King that year.

King Danskie traveled to Trinidad and Tobago in 2003 and 2004. He performed at Trinidads Soca Monarch competition. At this event, King Danskie showcased his talent along with some of the Caribbean's best artists. His hit songs More Gyal and Soca Call Me were his chosen renditions for the competition. King Danskie proudly represented Antigua and was placed 7th overall amongst 15 contenders.

To date, King Danskie has two albums to his credit. Swankie Music and I.C.U. Swankie Music, which was released in September of 2011, features 19 of King Danskie's hits. The album represents his swankie style--a phrase original to the King himself. His swankiness emits from the lyrics and musical vibes of each song.

I.C.U, featuring 7 songs, finds King Danskie in a more subdued tone. Sneaky Freak and Finders Keepers both reflect the artist's softer side. You are still kept on your toes as his deep and passionate voice takes your imagination to a different level with his unique expression of love. On the other hand, Represent Your Country is energy filled--representing the Danskie's versatility and ever present energy.

Among others, Danskie has performed at the Antigua and Barbuda 35th Independence Gala, the Jerkfest, the Guyana Day in Atlanta, Georgia as well as the Labor Day concert at Marcus Garvey Park in New York. Each time, the artist had the crowds moving to the rhythmic flow of his signature swankie, energetic sounds.

When asked about his vision for his music and career, King Danskie expressed his desire to perform internationally, to bring his style and passion for music and spread it by creating, performing and producing music of all genres. He wants the world to know and recognize his talent, his swankiness.