Stephen ‘Di Genius’ McGregor details how he recorded Jada Kingdom’s hit “GPP” and dispels rumors the song is a sample.
The dancehall producer recently teamed up with Jada Kingdom on what turned out to be a masterpiece. The track got positive feedback from fans and even some big names in the industry like Bounty Killer and Shaggy, who called the track the best song this year.
Stephen ‘Di Genius’ McGregor recently shared a video on his YouTube channel giving dancehall fans some insight into his creative process and how the Motown era of the 70s and 80s inspired the overall sound of “GPP.” The producer also dispels assumptions that the song is a sample from that era, but it’s not, and you will find out just that when he breaks down the recording process from him voicing the demo down to Jada Kingdom laying down her vocals.
“Kinda had the concept in my head like I was listening to a lot of like Motown that kinda vibe like 60s, 70s, older American music,” Di Genius said. “Why that music feels a certain way and invokes a certain emotion. I just had a crazy idea of what if you had a song that does just that, but lyrically it’s saying something crazy that evokes a different type a emotion.”
McGregor attributes the feel of that timeline of music as the central focus of where he wanted to take the song “GPP.”
Stephen ‘Di Genius’ McGregor
“Dancehall and reggae is the same things, it’s like the music is heavily driven by the feel of it, like those little pockets,” he said. “For this particular song I was looking for like organic sounds. Just trying to emulate that sound of like Motown and like the sixties that kind of vibes.”
Stephen’ Di Genius’ McGregor says he was initially trying to find a song that he could sample but ended up voicing the demo of the intro himself.
“I was trying to find a song that I could sample that would kinda relate to what our song is saying,” Di Genius said. “I just… couldn’t think of a song, so I just started like putting something together vocally, where I could sample myself and make it sound old school.”
Since dropping the song with Jada Kingdom over the summer, folks have been searching for what they thought was the original sample from that era of music. Di Genius has now put that to bed; you will not find anything that this track sampled.
It’s also interesting to see a producer of Di Genius’ stature sharing his creative process of how he put a song like this together.
Di Genius is the son of reggae legend Freddie McGregor and the brother of dancehall star Chino McGregor. Unlike his sibling and his father who are well known Jamaica artists, Stephen instead gets into production from a young age.
Over the years he has worked with some of the biggest names in dancehall including Vybz Kartel, Mavado, Elephant Man, Govana, Wayne Marshall, Bounty Killer, and more. He also worked with international artistes like Drake and John Legend.
Stephen ‘Di Genius’ McGregor even produced a 25-track album for Vybz Kartel, The Teacher’s Back, released on November 21, 2008. He and the incarcerated dancehall star would later fallout leading him to release the infamous diss track in 2010 “Cyaan Friend Again.” Di Genius and Kartel have not spoken to each other since their falling out.
After over a decade in the game, Di Genius took a hiatus from dancehall to focus on other projects.