Heavyweight Rockaz, the Drum ‘n’ Bass duo, comprising Wayne “Unga Barunga” Thompson and Jason “Welsh Bass” Welsh, have released their long-awaited debut album dubbed Heavyweight Rockaz.
The project which was released on October 8, debuting at number 5 on the iTunes Reggae Album Chart in its first week. The duo made the announcement via their official Instagram page.
According to the duo, the 10-track compilation has been a work in progress for the past seven years and is an ode to their creativity. In a release, the pair said artistically, the album saw them utilising their wealth of experience as musicians and producers.
Comparing their transition from musicians to producers to that of the transformation caterpillars go through to get to their ‘butterfly-stage’, the pair said it was “very slow, exciting, at times painful, but throughout, comes strength and even wings allowing us to transcend beyond defined boundaries.”
Music critics have so far described the album as “a sonically pleasing, feel-good compendium.” According to the release, ‘Heavyweight Rockaz’ is infused with sprinklings of other genres. To avoid being relegated to a particular genre, the duo disclosed that they don’t subscribe to labels, instead, exercising genre fluidity.
“We stay clear of labels as it relates to our style of music, but in truth, our representation could be considered a blend of dub, dubstep, dancehall, rootz, rock and reggae, tightly knit into a single presentation,” they shared.
Heavyweight Rockaz boasts several featured acts, including Ding Dong, Jesse Royal, Vanessa Bongo, Imeru Tafari, Big Ras, Riff Raff and Bay-C, formerly of TOK.
When asked about their collaborators, the Rastafarian crooners said they were very meticulous in the selection process, citing energy and sound compatibility as major factors in their decisions.
Heavyweight Rockaz expressed optimism regarding fan reception of the album stating that the project is “something fresh and we maintain a positive outlook that the fans and music lovers worldwide will appreciate the effort in this latest offering”.
The album is accompanied by several visuals with distribution courtesy of Zojak Worldwide. Throughout their career, the duo has worked with some of the industry’s most noted luminaries, including Jimmy Cliff, Beres Hammond, Stephen Marley, Mavado, Tanya Stephens, Jesse Royal, Jah Cure, Bounty Killer, and Iba Mahr, among others.