Chronixx’s ‘Smile Jamaica’ was a lucky encounter - Producer celebrates big hit’s 10-year anniversary

April 27, 2023

The year was 2013 and it was almost impossible to enter any business place, taxicab, or walk down any street on the island without hearing the tune Smile Jamaica by Chronixx.

In fact, its infectiousness makes it hard to believe it was released all of 10 years ago. The tune helped to catapult the reggae singer to stardom and is still a crowd favourite today, never failing to get people to sing along.

But how did this timeless bop come about? Producer Oliver Schrader, half of the pair that makes up Silly Walks Discotheque with Joscha Hoffman, told THE STAR that while some may expect that it took weeks of planning, writing and working, everything pretty simply just came down to luck.

"It's a once in a lifetime experience really, like catching the momentum right on the spot like we did with Smile Jamaica. When we met Chronixx it was around the time when he did They Don't Know. That song was done by a Swedish producer we know and we really loved that song. So when we touched Jamaica, we asked around for Chronixx and somebody gave us a link. So we were just lucky!" Schrader said.

Smile Jamaica was on the 'Honey Pot' rhythm which marked the beginning of Silly Walks Discotheque's journey as an independent digital label imprint. This year, they also commemorate that anniversary. Other tracks on the popular beat included Brothers by Jah9, Sweet Killer by Ginjah, Lonesome Soldier by Lutan Fyah, and Strive by Exco Levi and Kabaka Pyramid.

Still, Smile Jamaica was the smash hit of them all and even went number one on BBC Radio 1's Xtra Charts. The video currently has 52 million views on YouTube and for Schrader it was almost as if Chronixx knew it would be big.

"We played him a couple of riddims first and then just from the drum roll of Honey Pot riddim, he said 'ahh a your riddim this, I was already wondering a whose riddim'. He was there when Luthan Fyah voiced his cut of the riddim in Spanish Town and he initially had the idea for Smile Jamaica but he forgot who made the riddim. Then he met us and was just ready to go and his management was like 'no let us negotiate' and he just wanted to skip that and told them he was going to do it tomorrow and we went to the studio and cried tears of joy seeing the wonderful young raw talent work," he reflected.

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