Jamaica Observer / JAMAICAN producer Xavier “Lenky 5 Star” Hassard’s experiment with soca has paid big dividends. His Upendo rhythm drove Year Of Love by Aaron “The Voice” St Louis to victory in the 2018 Soca Monarch, at Queens Park Savannah in Trinidad and Tobago last Friday. St Louis’s victory is his third in as many years. The Jamaica Observer spoke with Hassard yesterday.
“I am very proud; The Voice was the defending champion and my rhythm helped him to notch the hat-trick of wins.
I put in a lot of hard work and sleepless nights to mix it. I love to know that the people love and appreciate my production.
When The Voice heard the rhythm for the first time he loved it, and we made the link through that — and ah just magic,” said the 23-year-old. St Louis, who was the evening’s 11th performer, took home TT$300,000.
Dexter Blaxx Stewart placed second, with third place going to Orlando Octave. Hassard said he spent six months in the twin-island republic between November 2016 and April 2017, living in a tough community called Morvant in Port of Spain, where he immersed himself in the soca culture.
The Upendo also features songs by Machel Montana, I-Octane, M1, and Turner. Turner is signed to Lenky Records, which works very closely with Nine Mind Entertainment.
Hassard produced She Bad, Turner’s breakout song this year. The song has been remixed and features Machel and a Nigerian rapper called Mr Flavour.
Hassard, who hails from Spanish Town in St Catherine, attended Old Harbour High School. Last year he produced Vybz Kartel’s hit song, Mmmhhh.