As you probably have noticed, this February 17th, the new Jah Cure album ‘Undeniable‘ will be released on VP Records. The red album cover is all over the “Reggae social media”. In my soon-to-be-released reasoning with Jah Cure, the singer told me that this album was fully produced by one producer from Sweden. This was enough reason for us to link up with the man behind the album: Mr. Hamed ”K-One” Pirouzpanah.
Danny: First of all thank you for being willing to answer my questions.
K-One: Im glad you reached out, and I’m happy to answer your questions.
D: Can you please tell us a bit more about yourself and your work?
K1: My name is Hamed “K-One” Pirouzpanah, born in Iran but moved to Sweden at the age of 6. I have been interested in music since I was a kid, but my real passion and interest in music production started in the middle of the 90s through my childhood friends 2 brothers Cribe & Tito who produced Hip-hop, R&B, and Reggae, they were also part of a sound system (Topaz Sound) I produced hip-hop at the time but my first “dancehall” songs were recorded with my good friend Million Stylez, he told me already from the 90’s that I should produce Dancehall and those Jamaican artists would love my sound but that was not in my interest at the time.
Sometime later in 2006, I was part of a hip-hop collective RMH which Started by handing out mixtapes. and about 2 years later being nominated for a Grammy, we won the album of the year and became one of the biggest influences in Scandinavia, I was signed to Universal Publishing at the same time. We went to NY & LA amongst other things when Interscope was interested in signing and working with us.
We also connected with QD3 (who worked with Snoop Dogg, 2Pac, Lil Wayne to name a few). They introduced us to people in the music industry in the US. There, my interest in working with music internationally was awakened.
At the same time, I worked in the UK and Asia where I produced (K-Pop & J-Pop) songs. A few years later around 2014, I was involved in producing and writing songs for the Eurovision Song Contest. During that time I was involved in winning the Swedish Eurovision song twice. Once with Sanna Nielsen – Undo & 2 years later Robin Bengtson – I can’t go on. I also represented Sweden in the European Eurovision Song Contest.
In general, I hadn’t been very aware of Reggae & Dancehall music. In 2019 I found out that an artist (Christopher Martin) was in Stockholm and I wanted to work with him. Million Stylez was able to link me with Christopher and I recorded a song with them together. This was my first official dancehall song.
About a month later, another friend of mine heard Danja (also a reggae Artist) and introduced me to Jah Cure. I knew I had very little time left to capture Cure’s interest, so I made a beat, found one of his old songs on Youtube, and with the help of a program, I extracted his acapella, and made it fit into my beat arrangement. When he came in he was very nice and humble but was on his phone… I needed to catch his interest quickly so I played my beat with his old acapella on, and that’s when he dropped everything and got up from his chair “wait what’s this.. bombocl… I recognize it” from there it became a few hours to a few days in the studio. We managed to make 2-3 songs that he was very interested in.
D: How was it to spend almost a year in Jamaica with Jah Cure working on the new album? Can you tell us a bit about the chemistry you had together?
K1: My plan was to go there for a 2-week holiday with a friend of mine, I called Jah Cure to get tips on a good accommodation but he replied we were welcome to stay with him. I got to know his family and close friends, and that’s when I was also introduced to his Mentor Bobby “the General” Kangol who had built a studio complex in Mobay just for Cure. He too was very passionate about music and accepted me as one of the family, a very humble and caring man.
I went back to Stockholm after 2 weeks but after about 3 weeks they contacted me and they had already bought a plane ticket to Mobay (I found out the same night I was supposed to fly) and this time I was ready to make 10-20 songs in 2-3 weeks.
I’ve always been a workaholic and could work for 1-2 days without sleep but Cure really wanted me to enjoy life at the same time. We used to tag along from Mobay to Kingston as he showed me around everything from Uptown Mondays to fishing, BBQ by the beach, and going to different rivers. We visited the area where he was raised, and he taught me a lot about Jamaican culture. For me it was very rare that someone you hardly knew could open up the doors to his home and welcome you with open arms as he did, he was very worried about me all the time and made sure I slept, ate right & was in a good mood.
The culture clash was there too, “Me soon come” can be anything from 30 minutes to 12 hours later, in Sweden on the other hand we meet at 9:00 dot, work, and finish at 17:00, but over time I was able to adapt, now I have a culture clash in Sweden instead… Me soon come!
With every song we did, I learned more about Reggae & Dancehall and got better at it.
We had already linked up in Stockholm and done 2-3 songs so I already knew it would be a positive Vibe.. we have always had a driven inspiring chemistry, and he is one of the few artists I have worked with who really appreciated my sound, production and he trusts my way of working (recording and arranging his vocals, etc.), he really lets me do my thing without getting involved until I’m done, then sometimes Cure could give useful inputs to improve the sound, since I wasn’t 100 % familiar with reggae music.
He was also one of the first to persuade me to sing melodies/toplines and also to record backing vocals, which I was always a bit unsure about before.
D: Could you elaborate a bit on your share of the album from a production perspective?
K1: This album is a creation we did together, I produced the beats and at the same time got the input and ideas from Cure to get the perfect reggae sound. Me coming from a hip-hop/pop culture background with a more European sound, while Cure has an ear for authentic Reggae & Caribbean sound and together we were able to create this amazing “Reggae Fusion” album.
I also was so fortunate to get input from legendary producer Clive Hunt to record the live instruments and to get a more authentic reggae sound. I have contributed toplines/melodies and supervised the mixing as best I could, also did backing vocals on some of the songs, which was a first for me.
Overall I’m extremely grateful to have had the chance to work with so many amazing musicians.
D: Is there a track (or more) on the album that you can call a personal favorite?
K1: Undeniable, I liked it from the beginning but when Clive Hunt added his touch with the live instrument, the feeling, the sound and the energy in the studio can’t be explained.. it was real MUSIC, moments like that make me want to sit in the studio fighting and sweating 24/7.
Think About it, the melodies, the choruses, and how Cure sings it from the heart. I get goosebumps every time I listen to it.
One more time is also a favorite because of the melodies and the way Cure performed it. It’s a mix of Reggae, R&B, and a little Spanish sprinkled on it
D: Now that the release of the album is being released this February 17, have you spoken to Jah Cure about it?
K1: Yes, from time to time and he’s looking forward to the album release too.
D: Thank you very much for your time. I have listened to the album. It has become a great body of work with some real hit songs on it.