Music

Malaysian reggae artist Sasi the Don talks about his Father’s Day single ‘Daddy Don’

Sasi also talks about fatherhood, single parents, his close association with India and more

It has been a year since Sasi The Don came up with the idea for his new single, ‘Daddy Don’. He took a year to write, record, and fine-tune it. He wanted to release it on February 6 (Bob Marley’s birthday). Then, he dropped the plan. He wanted some more time, perhaps a month longer, he thought, to make some last-minute tweaks before showing it to the world.

A month later, the world stopped.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced countries, including Malaysia — where Sasi is from, into lockdown. Sasi felt the song about fathers needed more changes. “It was inspired by the many single fathers and mothers I’d met. After the lockdown, I wanted to add a few lines to appreciate the many papa dons, nana dons and baba dons who are out there, saving lives,” he says.

The song video – portions of which were shot during the lockdown – is finally ready to be launched on June 19, two days before Father’s Day. Malaysian's Gayathri Vadivel and Nigeria's Ibkinx have sung the song with Sasi.

Ahead of its release, the Malaysian reggae artist speaks to MetroPlus about his stage name, fatherhood, his association with India and more.

Excerpts:-

How did the name Sasi The Don come about?

I wanted to be a DJ in my college days, back in 1996. I used to frequent nightclubs and met this popular DJ at the time, Hakim. I had no knowledge of DJ-ing. He told me he or any professional DJ will not have the time to teach me. So, I joined the club as a waiter. The club had this big DJ console and vinyls. It used to play remixes of the tracks I used to listen to on cassettes. I picked up the music. Once DJ Hakim called me to assist him during a big party. Later, impressed with my rapping skills, he told me, “With this kind of skills, you’ll be the Don of Malaysian rapping scene.” I liked that he called me the Don. It had a nice ring to it when I added it to my name.

What prompted you to write this song?

There are a lot of parents who are lonely. Single moms and dads, especially, go through a lot of struggles. I wanted to put out a message celebrating parents. It was emotional. But I am a reggae artist. So, I wanted the song to be in my style. It is not just a party song.

We read that you got the title ‘Daddy Don’ from your seven-year-old daughter.

(Laughs) Oh yes, she, like many children do, calls me Daddy. And, sometimes, Daddy Don. In fact, I was struggling to find the right title for my song. And, when she called me that, I thought it sounded right. It is a three-syllable word. And, you can put a tune around it.

Can you talk about your experience as a father and the relationship with your father?

I can see two different generations of fathers. My father, due to the circumstances then, had to work a lot. So, I didn’t get to spend a lot of time with him as my daughter does with me. What is inspiring about him was the way he kept the family together. For him, family came first.

The world has changed a lot in the last 20-30 years. Being a father now is very different. I spend a lot of time with my daughter. We paint together. She teaches me about today’s songs on the iPad. And, I show her the songs I listened to while growing up.

My mom used to make a new photo album every six months so that we can reminisce about our early days in the future. Despite today’s digital technologies, I still print these albums of my daughter believing she will go through it when she gets older.

Can you talk about your association with India?

I am not a stranger to India. My grandparents are from South India. I grew up listening to Tamil film music. I remember my journey to India for the first time as an adult. It was in 2009-10. I met (playback singer) Harish Raghavendra in Chennai. Also, in 2001, when singer Anuradha Sriram had come to Malaysia, I had shared the stage with her. We kept in touch. And, in 2018, when I asked her to work on a song (‘ABCD’) with me, she readily agreed. That was a really big moment in my career. I also know a few music producers, media people in Bombay. So, I am blessed with some good friends in India.

 

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Printable version | Jul 16, 2020 7:34:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/malaysian-reggae-artist-sasi-the-don-talks-about-his-fathers-day-single-daddy-don/article31813633.ece

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