Tanto Metro and Devonte
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Tanto Metro and Devonte

Kingston, Kingston, Jamaica | Established. Jan 01, 1997 | INDIE | AFTRA

Kingston, Kingston, Jamaica | INDIE | AFTRA
Established on Jan, 1997
Duo Alternative Dancehall

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"TANTO METRO & DEVONTE ARE STILL AT IT"

http://irishandchin.com/blogs-and-articles/news-and-articles/3717-tanto-metro-a-devonte-are-still-at-it#.UW-d-6hPiRU.gmail - Irish & Chin


""Tanto and Devonte make 2013 Request"

http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20121009/ent/ent3.html - Jamaica Gleaner


"Interview With Devonte"

Devonte is one of the major singers of Penthouse Records. He put his alto voice as well on the lovers rock and new roots productions of the label as on the dancehall riddims, such as his international hit "Everyone Falls In Love" recorded in 1998 with his partner Tanto Metro.
A career marked by talent and humility.

(May 2009 - penthouserecords.free.fr)

You recorded your first single, the cover "To Love to a Stranger", for King Jammy in 1993 under your real name Wayne Passley. Can you explain the choice of your artist name ?
Yes, I recorded my first single for King Jammy’s in 1993 under my real name. It was the only name I found to be suitable for me at the time. After meeting up with Dave Kelly in 1995, I recorded a song called “Fire Burn”, he then pondered over the name Wayne Passley and said he didn’t like the name for the artist it sounded too much like an alto boy. So he went in search of a name to suit the character and found “Devonte” which is known today.

You have a certain silky smooth singing style. Were you influenced by other singers ?
I am said to have a certain silky smooth singing style that I am grateful for. Some of my main influences came from first and most of all God. I use to love listening to my mother sing whenever she did the laundry, I listened to a lot of Bob Marley, Beres Hammond and Dennis Brown. My international influences were Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie and Donny Hattoway. They could do no wrong for me.

Your collaboration with Tanto Metro began in the mid 90s. Tell us of how you go about complimenting each other concerning the writing of your lyrics and the way of singing together.
After passing through Mad House, I then started doing some recording for Penthouse Records owned by Donovan Germain and Andre “Rookie” Tyrell of Rookie Production. Raymond Ledgister also guided me whenever he recorded me; he helped me find my way to Shocking Vibes where I recorded my first hit single “Bashment Sitt’n”. Raymond saw my talent and thought it should be nurtured, he then told Tanto Metro about me saying "this singer has a lot of ideas he just need to know the way of the road". Tanto then agreed to and took me up as a “paaring pee” we became good friends and have remained so ever since. Being good friends led to us writing with each other and writing lead to Recording (that was in 1997). We recorded our first single together in 1997 it was called “Living In Style” however, it was never released, the second was “She Gone” and the third was called “Everyone Falls In Love” which became a monster hit for us and the birth of a new duo.

We can think that you lead two careers in parallel. A solo career with lovers rock and roots lyrics and your career with Tanto Metro with "entertainment lyrics". Is this a personal choice or is it aimed at reaching a larger audience ?
Today, I have both a solo and a duo career. The reason for this is I find myself still wanting to get the cultural and the lovers rock side of me out which is a more reality side and when I need that hardcore party, gangster side then I go straight dancehall which includes Tanto Metro. I think of it as me being versatile musically and I am also able to reach larger audiences.

You have been in the reggae industry since more than 20 years. What is your opinion about the evolution of the jamaican music during these years ?
2009 makes 21 years in the business and I ‘ve seen it change a few times. I think it is wonderful because it shows growth and growth in almost any form is good . I think the lyrical content can be shaved down at times, but other than that it shows that the younger minds are thinking and doing so enables me to advance .

You recorded your first song for Donovan Germain's Penthouse label in 1996. How did you get connected ?
It was the affiliation with Dave Kelly why I got introduced to Donovan Germain and Penthouse Records. Germain who is a pioneer in the music business encouraged me to do more recording and provided me with the necessary riddims.

You recorded in Penthouse studios with some greats riddims makers like Dave Kelly, his brother Tony Kelly and Steven "Lenky" Marsden. Can you tell us a little more about them and their ways of working ?
I’ve recorded hits at the Penthouse recording studios with hitmaking producers, musicians, song writers Dave Kelly, Tony Kelly and Lenky. They are all geniuses in there own way. Dave Kelly has a hardcore dancehall hitmaking side that keeps the dancehall moving at an exciting pace while Tony “CD” Kelly captivates the international audience with his easy and smooth commercial flows. Both brothers are very talented and have the right attitude towards the music which makes them exceptional in what they do. On another note, working with Lenky was a great experience. He is a talented musician, exceptional one would say, that is why we call him “Reggae Jesus”. Yeah man this man creates phrase around any riddim yuh gi him, yep bad to th - Penthouse Records Website


"Tanto Metro & Devonte The right formula for blazing success"

When it comes to staying current and having the right formula for success dancehall duo Tanto Metro and Devonte has it down to a science.
Tanto Metro (right) & Devonte

The group having blasted their way onto the scene in the late '90s, they were able to pave the way for many reggae artistes. They tapped into the international mainstream markets during a time when it was unheard of for a Jamaican artiste to reach the charts outside of their home country.

Tanto Metro and Devonte's instant chemistry and talent led them beyond Jamaica and into the US Top 40 Billboard chart not once, but twice. Their first hit, Everyone Falls in Love, swept up several major awards in 1998, including the Tamika and South Florida Reggae Soca Awards. The single hit the top 40 R&B and pop US billboard charts and aired on radio across the globe. The subsequent album, bearing the same name, featured a number of body-moving tracks like Say Whoee and She Gone.

The duo has not performed for a while on the local scene, but according to them it's all because they are very busy on the international circuit.

"We are fully booked for the rest of the year," they informed, adding that they have shows confirmed in Africa, Japan, Europe, the Caribbean and some in the States.

Tanto and Devonte hastened to point out that they miss performing in their homeland... "but it's just how it is right now".

"Jamaica is a place we always love to perform, but for now most of our schedules are booked for overseas," Tanto Metro pointed out.

The duo who is now under the management of Dimmie Joe Music, is celebrating 10 years in recording. Their recent releases include the Sly & Robbie-produced Anytime and Are You Ready. Both are receiving good rotation on the international circuit and on the local scene.

In between honouring their contractual engagements, the duo is laying tracks from which to choose for their upcoming album which they say is expected to be completed and released by the end of this year. One track which is already earmarked for the album, is Touch You, a song they say will definitely be for the ladies.

"It's a mixture of R&B, with a touch of pop. It has a catchy beat and we know it will
drive listeners crazy," the duo proudly claimed. - The Jamaica Observer


"Tanto Metro and Devonte have news for you"

Everyone falls in love sometime, I don’t know bout you but it ain’t a crime… Well, well, it seems all of you can sing the song but what do you know about its singers Tanto Metro and Devonte? RAFSANJAN ABBEY TATYA spoke to the duo ahead of their concert with Joe and Tanya Stephens at Lugogo Cricket Oval tomorrow:

For how long have you guys been in music?
We’ve been doing music for the whole of our lives but we started serious music over 20 years ago. Tanto started in 1982 and I (Devonte) started in 1988. We came together in 1995 and released our first collaboration work in 1996. Our first album Everyone Falls In Love came out in 1999. We also have two other albums titled The Beat Goes On and Musically Inclined.

Where else in Africa have you performed?
This is our first time in Africa. Uganda is like Jamaica, it’s beautiful. People give you a warm welcome.

So what should Ugandans expect from you?
Expect nothing but the best! We’ll give them a show to remember. We want to come back here so we have to give them a splendid show.

Are you married?
We’re both single and will marry at the right time. I am (Tanto) 39 and Devonte is 35 but we’re not rushing things.

Have you met some Ugandan girls already?
No, we’ve just been chilling at the hotel. And we’re having a good time here.

How do you manage to maintain your youthful look?
It’s a blessing from God. But we also keep clean.

As Jamaican artistes, what do you think of marijuana?
Some people smoke it because an artiste smokes it and others smoke it for medication. It also gives you the vibe to do more music and feel the energy. It’s not allowed but everybody smokes it. To us, it’s not a drug, it’s a herb. It’s like a teabag. It’s a healing herb and people in Jamaica use it a lot. It’s not legal but the doctors and policemen who would have arrested people also smoke it.

So, is Uganda better than Jamaica?
Uganda is the same as Jamaica, I mean, people here are on bikes and there are ghettos here just like Jamaica.

Who is the biggest artiste in Jamaica at the moment?
The biggest artiste in Jamaica currently is called Mvado but Bob Marley is the greatest of all time.

What is new about Tanto and Devonte?
Right now we’re working on a new album, which we’re yet to give a title. We have singles with the potential to become the next big thing.

Why is it that most Jamaican songs have the same instrumental?
It’s the producers who decide. We like juggling to keep the groove. And there’s no problem as long as you credit the person who made the original beat.

What do you say about parents refuse their children to do music?
That thing happens everywhere but as long as you have a dream and the drive to do it nobody should stop you. What parents need to do is to support and guide the talented young ones; for instance, my parents supported me (Devonte) by paying my studio fees at the beginning.

ARTICLE TAKEN FROM MONITOR ONLINE - Monitor Online Interview With Tanto Metro And Devonte In Africa


"Peppa Pot Interview"

Two of the major pioneering forces of the recent dancehall movement are Tanto Metro and Devonte. In the late 90s, they were able to pave the way for many reggae artists. They were tapping into the international mainstream markets during a time when it was unheard of for a Jamaican artist to reach the charts outside of their home country. Peppa Pot sits with Tanto Metro And Devonte (TMD) and talks about their new album Musically Inclined and more.

Peppa: Where are you from:

TMD: Kingston, Jamaica! [laughs]

Peppa: How did you first get started in the business?

Devonte: Well I started out back in High School. My friend had a sound system and everywhere his sound went I would go. After leaving High School I went into professional recording with King Jammys. I got my first break as a solo act in 1997 with Bashment Ting. After that I kept on singing; met Tanto. Shortly after that we collaborated, did everyone falls in love and from there it's history.

Tanto Metro In 1982 I used to DJ on Metro Media sound system with Peter Metro. He was the man who brought me into the business. I recorded my first song with Peter Metro in 84 or 85 named "We Are Professional". From there non stop straight recording and do mi ting. Then Devonte came into the picture and everything shot off from there big time.

Peppa: Speaking of sound systems - clash is not as big as it was in 80 s early 90 s ......

Tanto Metro It no nice like dem time again. Clash still going on you know but they take it more personal now. Back in the days when selector and selector clash and deejay deejaying a clash when sound string up and sound string down and everybody gone a dem yaad. Everybody come together and talk and say "Last night a mi win dat one deh" and a next man say "No - a mi win rah rah rah". But now they take it more personal - this man don t talk to this man and this one carrying a feud against this one.

Peppa: So who was your favorite clash sound system?

Devonte: My favorite was Silver Hawk and Stereo One.

Tanto Metro Body Guard. Body Guard a boom in dem times deh. Metromedia we nah ramp man. You dun know mi nah lef out mi sound. Dem sound was the big sound dem time. When you had clash and you had Kilimanjaro and dem sound dem.

Devonte: Kilimanjaro - How could I forget Kilimanjaro?

Peppa: Cyan forget Kilimanjaro with Ricky Trooper - Stan Guard! [laughs]

Peppa: How did the link of Tanto Metro and Devonte come about?

Devonte: Ah the people put we together.

Peppa: How did TMD get linked up with Shocking Vibes?

Tanto Metro I was one of the founders of the company. At the time it was Little Lenny, me, Beenie Man, Little Kirk, and Patrick. Lenny did the "Healthy Body" tune and the "Gun Inna Baggy" tune. Little Lenny eventually left the company. The four of us were there still doing our thing. Then Beenie made it big in 1993 when him and Bounty Killer kick off.

We always welcomed anybody who is really interested in music. This is how we set up the camp: Any new member who comes, Beenie will take the responsibility and say mi you a make di link, mi ah go show you how the whole organization run. Then Kirk and I will do the same thing.

Devonte came to Shocking Vibes though a friend, Raymond Legister. Me and Devonte used to par. So it was a brethren ting before we started recording songs together. Dat a from 1995.

Devonte: Crazy Years. Nuthin nuh change.

Tanto Metro Only the weather.

Tanto Metro Me and him was brethren, par together, hold vibes and make some songs together. When we did "Everyone Falls In Love", we went back and did "She Gone" and "Say Woie."

Peppa: When you recorded Everyone Falls In Love - Did you know it was going to be a hit?

Devonte: Actually no you know because you never know what s going to be a hit. But everything you do, every song you do you do it to the best of your ability. So you do it and expect the best.


Peppa: When did you know it was a hit?

Tanto Metro We knew it was a hit in Jamaica when we did a show in Ochie (Ocho Rios). When mi and Devonte take the stage and sing that song, the response was huge. It was surprising to me. When I get off the stage I said to Devonte "You know dat song gone!" It eventually it went number 1.

Internationally we didn t know it was going to take off. We got a call from Florida saying "Yo the song, Everyone Falls in Love, ah play pon mainstream radio station" Mi seh "Yeah". Mi know it was a big song, number 1 in Jamaica, but when we went to Florida performed and saw the response then we knew it was more serious than we thought.

Peppa: Tell us about the album, Musically Inclined.

Devonte: Musically Inclined. There are 17 tracks. We have a couple of collaborations: Morgan Heritage, Courtney Melody, a female singer from Philadelphia named Lady Rue. There s some crazy tracks on it - bad tracks.

Peppa: On the album, is "Cross The Border", a throw back to your sound system days?

Tanto Metro Yeah we just a remi - Peppa Pot Magazine


"Nowadayz Dancehall Interview"

Tanto Metro & Devonte : Keep Them Talking


Tuesday, March 07 - Nowadayzdancehall.com and WhereItzat magazine are now gettin’ down at the headquarters of world renowned reggae music distribution heavyweight, VP Records. Big L and I took a ride out to Queens to get to this hub of music commerce. After buzzing up and down Jamaica Ave, it took us more precious minutes to find the exact location for us to get to our objective. We are seeking an interview with one of the more appreciated of dancehall reggae’s two-man teams. For the last decade, these two cats have run the place red with seriously bangin’ radio-dominating hits. They have placed their indelible mark on the musical map with memorable songs like “Everyone Falls in Love” and “Give It to Her”. These songs landed them in the ranks of the U.S.’s Billboard Top 40 chart not just once, but twice. Their mainstream appeal has afforded them recognition in Europe, Japan, Canada, the U.S., and of course, the Caribbean.

Of course, the partners in rhythm and rhyme we are referring to are none other than Tanto Metro and Devonte. Their powerful creative chemistry has made them immune to the failure and breakdown of partnership that we have seen in the music industry over the years. These two gentlemen have remained bonded by their collaborative success and motivated by the love for the fans that they create their trend-setting songs for.

And let’s not get it twisted. These two are real veterans. You know how long these two have been doing their thing? Tanto Metro, born Mark Wolfe, was introduced to Metro Media sound-system owner Jimmy Metro by Tanto’s long time mentor and associate Peter Metro. He began performing in and around Kingston where you have to be nice to gain acceptance in the dancehalls. Tanto’s first single “We Are Professional”, bust into parties and dances in 1986. Soon after, Tanto met up with Patrick Roberts of the Shocking Vibes record label. These two had worked together to put out more singles, including “Tink Mi Did Dead” and Tantro Metro’s debut hit “Stop It” , an appeal against the prevalence of drugs in Jamaica.

Devonte has also put in much work throughout the years. His first big show was at Kingston’s Ghetto Splash ’96. Born as Wayne Passley, Devonte went on to rock other venues and major music festivals, such as Reggae Sumfest in Montego Bay. Devonte then began recording songs on both Madhouse and Penthouse record labels. His first hit though, came after being introduced to the influential Patrick Roberts (sound familiar?). Together the released the track “Bashment Sitt’n”

And the rest became dancehall music history. The two artists made flexes together until they came out with the two bomb singles that we all know did very well on the radio and music charts. On their first album, also named Everyone Falls In Love, also came two more hot songs; “Say Woee” and “She Is Gone”. But the second album , The Beat Goes On, contained a smash song that would put them over the top. “Give It To Her” really blew things up for Tanto Metro and Devonte. They gained so much attention from this contagious hit, that they were asked to perform at big deal events like a New York pop radio authority Z100FM’s birthday bash at Giants stadium, alongside big-namers like Mariah Carey. And of course the two didn’t stop there. Their musical partnership has taken them on tours all over the globe and introduced them to greater heights of professional recognition.

So perhaps you understand why it is important that we chose to reason with them. Their impressive catalogue and career is worthy of investigation. But perhaps more intriguing, we have caught whiffs of startling rumors that the duo might disband. How can this be with murmurs about the production of another (third) album? We had to hit up VP Records and get this whole thing straightened out and tightened up, kna’ mean?

We arrived at VP around 3pm, and quickly discovered how immense the place really is. The core of VP operations is concealed within a sprawling warehouse. Endless mazes of separating machines, boxes, and crates were confined within walls smothered by posters. Various workers scurried back and forth with paperwork, electronics equipment, records and other items, while they communicated on two-way phones. This is life at the American center of dancehall reggae music distribution operations.

It was around 3:20 by the time we bucked up on Tiffany, who is Tanto Metro and Devonte’s publicist. She invited us upstairs so we could get situated and conduct our interview with the two stars. When Big L and I got into the room we were met by the road manager. He said , “Which one of you know Tanya ?” For those whom don’t know, Tanya is nowadayzdancehall.com’s own “Ms. General”. This made us more comfortable within this busy setting to find out we had mutual friend with Tanto Metro and Devonte’s entertainment personnel. One half of the dynamic duo was already sitting in the room. Devonte s - Nowadayzdancehall.com


Discography

Discography
ALBUMS
Everyone Falls In Love (1998)
The Beat Goes On (2001)
Musically Inclined (2006)

Tanto Metro & Devonte Most Wanted (2009)

Sly & Robbie Presents Tanto Metro & Devonte (2015)

LATEST SINGLES: MY LOVE (2016)

PRETTY LOVE (2017)

BANGING( 2017)

JUST TO NAME A FEW.

Photos

Bio

Tanto Metro and Devonte

Tanto Metro and Devonte, a major pioneering force of the dancehall movement, has been creating hits for almost over a decade now. In the late '90s, they were able to pave the way for many reggae artistes. They tapped into the international mainstream markets during a time when it was unheard of for a Jamaican artiste to reach the charts outside of their home country. Tanto and Devonte's instant chemistry and talent led them beyond Jamaica and into the U.S. Top 40 Billboard chart not once, but twice. Their first hit, "Everyone Falls in Love," swept up several major awards in 1998 including the Tamika and South Florida Reggae Soca Awards. The single hit the top 40 R&B and pop U.S. billboard charts and aired on radio throughout the globe. The subsequent album, bearing the same name, featured a number of body-moving tracks like "Say Whoee" and "She Gone."

Following up on the strength of their debut album, Tanto Metro and Devonte came out with their second release The Beat Goes On in 2001. The album contained the hit single "Give It to Her" that provoked the same contagious vibe and spread throughout the Jamaican and U.S. dancehalls, as well as mainstream pop culture. With "Give It to Her" in such heavy rotation and rampant demand, the duo performed alongside acts, like Mariah Carey to a capacity crowd for the Top 40 Powerhouse Z100's 20th birthday bash at the Giants stadium. Their impressive catalogue of material was matched by the scope of their touring; fans in the USA, Canada, the Caribbean, Europe and Japan have all reveled in their energetic performances.

Musically Inclined was the group's third release on VP Records in March 2006, with the single "Good or Bad Times" along with many other solid tracks. "We are trying to get across to the people that we are still here and still making good music," says singer Devonte. "The album is blending all sorts of music. It shows our versatility. During the recording process, the vibe in the studio was good, it took a while to put together, all our energy was focused and we put a lot of work into the album. It is a healthy mix of singles and tracks recorded specifically for the album," Devonte went on to explain.

Collaborations with artistes on the album include: Morgan Heritage on the upbeat "Time to Party," Courtney Melody on "Cross the Border," and Lady Ru on "The Only One." Also included in the set are the dancehall standards, "Hey Girl" and "Burn," which have kept the DJ and singer in the mix since the release of their last album and the hit single "I've Got News for You," produced by Ryan Leslie, a Bad Boy Entertainment affiliate. Since then the duo has released singles such as “Shotta” and “Bad Man a Go Fi Dat”, which has enjoyed heavy rotation on video shows in the U.S. and Caribbean. “How You Like It” – featuring Bridgez, on Rohan ‘Sno Cone’ Fuller’s new Cheerful riddim. Also held fans captive and did well in Jamaica, USA, Europe the Caribbean and Internet radio.

“Sly & Robbie Presents Tanto Metro & Devonte” is the Duo’s long awaited album which was released on June 30, 2015; Featuring collabs with upcoming star Yellostone on "Hey Ya Hey" and Veteran singer Bunny Brown from The Chosen Few fame on "There's a Reward"

Even though the two have experienced immense success as a team, both have enjoyed their own popularity as solo artists.

Together, Tanto Metro and Devonte continue to make an impact on fans and the history of dancehall. "There is chemistry between us and the fans. They participate in our energy," says Devonte. "We are doing our thing with vibes and happiness, not really worrying about the success of it," adds Tanto. Along with their humble approach, the striking contrast of Devonte's silky smooth tenor and Tanto Metro's hard-hitting swaggering rhymes provides the perfect balance to breed their widespread success even further. The Duo is featured on Freddy Fresh 2015 Album "Play The Music" which was named from one of the duo’s three tracks on his album, namely : “Hump”, “Hardcore Rocka” and of course “Play the Music”. “Hardcore Rocka” received widespread rotation on stations such as, BBC1 EXTA and MTV…

Today, the veteran hit makers and creators of two of dancehall's biggest radio records, "Everyone Falls In Love" and "Give It To Her," continues to add magic to the music industry with their usual mixture of melodic hooks, humorous rhymes and catchy rhythms; performing in Jamaica for the first time in over 5 years at Sweatfest 2015 dubbed “Keith Sweat celebrating 25 years in the business” they performed alongside: Joe, Keith Sweat, 112, Genuine, SWV, Silk, Teddy Riley, Tank, and Dru Hill to start off their album tour.

Keep listening as they continue to put out good music.