Reggae crooner Maxi Priest has been belting out his hits for over three decades. The British native has been thrilling his fans with his raspy vocals and recently announced that he’s looking to drop another of his famous covers for his fans.
He’s teamed up with versatile soca star Teddyson John to do a cover of the R&B single “Leave the Door Open,” which was released earlier this year by Silk Sonic. The reimagined track was produced by Taddy P. and Dwight ‘DollaCham’ Yearwood.
In a recent interview with the Gleaner, Maxi Priest admitted that he was a bit rebellious at the beginning of his career. Luckily that has paid for him as he’s transitioned from that phase of his career into a widely successful one. He also shared that the rebelliousness came from him simply wanting to do things his own way.
In fact, Priest revealed he didn’t even want to record one of his most successful tracks, “Wild World.” It’s a good thing that he was convinced to do so as the 1988 hit, which was a Cat Stevens original, became one of his biggest hits.
The “Close to You” singer thanked his manager at the time, Erskine Thompson, along with Sly Dunbar, Robbie Shakespeare, and Willie Lindo, for convincing him to do the song. He added that without their guidance and persuasion, “Wild World” would never have been done. That track was an eye-opener for him.
It helped him to realize that he had a talent for covers and would spur on his career as he successfully recorded many more classics like “Message in a Bottle” by The Police, which he did in 1996, and Stevie Wonder’s “Golden Lady” in 1999.
He’s done so much covers over the span of his career that he no longer has an actual count. The 60-year-old added that some were his personal favorites and were songs that he grew up listening to, and he wanted to show an appreciation for them.
“For me, it was all about enjoying, appreciating, and honoring my inner feelings as I connected emotionally to the lyrical content of great songs,” he added.
Maxi Priest said he jumped at the opportunity to join Teddyson John on this latest track because these types of remixes can become a great marketing tool that can possibly bring awareness to artists.
Cover songs have helped many artists to build strong careers and he believes the remake could be a monster hit for both men involved.
“I have not officially met Teddyson John as yet, but when Taddy P played me the reggae beat, I instantly thought ‘This could work, this could work.’ I approached this song in the spirit of friendship and good fun. Every song I sing I have to connect with on an emotional plane, it was no different with Leave The Door Open, and it’s really not that difficult when it’s a labor of love,” he continued.
Meanwhile, Teddyson John spoke with the Star and said that he was truly honored to be working with such a veteran in the game. He said that Maxi Priest is one of the persons from the reggae genre with one of the biggest songs as a cover, Wild World.
He added that it was amazing to get to do something with someone that he looks up to in the reggae field.
“I know sometimes veterans are careful of who they work with because of the standard they want to maintain, and I have to thank DollaCham and Taddy P for making that connection,” John added.
One of the producers of the track, Taddy P, chimed in saying, “It’s definitely a Caribbean fusion with these artistes and the team. We wanted to ensure that the reggae cover did justice to the original track, and with Teddyson and Maxi Priest’s vocals, it’s a slam dunk and we are very proud of the finished product,” added.