Everyone had a great fall during the pandemic and ‘Humpty Dumpty’ is to inspire people: Sasi The Don

“Everyone had a great fall during the pandemic and ‘Humpty Dumpty’ is to inspire people to put themselves back. My Second Wave is all about bringing that magic into your life and living your dreams, making the impossible possible and become more vigilant, brave and sure about everything around us,’ says popular Malaysian reggae artist, Sasi The Don who recently released first song from his much-anticipated album My Second Wave. Sasi has spent 20 years of his golden music career promoting reggae and has collaborated with global artists. He is the Asian ambassador for Reggae music. His album is a hope for people to recreate life after the pandemic again. In an exclusive interview with Music Beat, Sasi The Don talks about My Second Wave, Humpty Dumpty, Reggae, journey, and his recent nomination at the Caribbean Afro Music Awards (CAMA) 2020.

Let’s talk about your upcoming album ‘My Second Wave’ that has a message on the ongoing coronavirus pandemic

My new album is titled My Second Wave and has a message on the ongoing corona pandemic. It’s not normal for people saying first wave, or second or third wave, the only time I heard this word was whenever I was by the beach. The pandemic was quite stressful and I was wondering, how I could give meaning to this. What if we could put our past behind and learn from it and improve the future? Everyone has a phase in life and probably before the pandemic, it was an early phase and after the pandemic, it's the next phase. In my first wave of being in the music business for 20 years, I have learnt as well as travelled a lot. I have collaborated with so many artists, have been able to visit India so many times, had spent a lot of time in Bombay with friends, at a music studio, etc. And now in my Second Wave, everything just changed and I don’t know when I am going to get to travel next. But the most beautiful thing in this second wave, which I call it My Second Wave, is that I am able to look at everything with a bit of a dream. I tell myself that there is so much we can do with the help of technology; internet and they are constantly connecting us with the world. We are not alone; we are in touch with the world. The world just needs a break, but we humans can’t, we need to progress and prep ourselves for every next big thing. We can’t give up as we got a generation to look out for. So, what we do today with our lives is going to be reflected back for them in the future.

So, My Second Wave is all about bringing that magic into your life and living your dreams, making the impossible possible, and become more vigilant, brave, and sure about everything around us. I think it would become greater once we will be able to have more control over the ongoing pandemic.

Can you tell us more about the very first track from the album, Humpty Dumpty?

My first track is called Humpty Dumpty and has a very special reason for it. When I was working on this album, I thought that I need to create songs that would matter to people. I come from a very creative background and run my own ad agency apart from making music. I was thinking about this whole idea of nursery rhymes and how they have been connecting with people from generation to generation, I wondered about Humpty Dumpty who always had a story that was incomplete. He fell down broke himself and nobody was able to put him back again and nobody told us more about Humpty Dumpty. I then realized if this happened to all of us during the heat of the pandemic in the world today where everyone had a great fall like Humpty Dumpty. While some could put themselves back again, some couldn’t. Looking from a bird side view, I felt that we could probably look ahead of this situation. Hence, I thought of relating our lives today with Humpty Dumpty and let’s inspire people by saying that Humpty Dumpty could find himself back again because he had music as a catalyst to keep him positive. He made as well as listened to music. He spoke to people through songs. He preached about good things and offerings that music brings to people. With this Humpty Dumpty realized that we could make the world a better place.

So, that’ the story about Humpty Dumpty – the magic he creates when he decides to put himself back because when the king's men tried, they failed. What we did not realise that the only way, Humpty Dumpty could come back to the top was by himself. So, the whole story is about inspiring people in the world today especially my fans and my music listeners, maybe they could share this with one another and understand that the Humpty Dumpty song is about you and me and everyone. It is important that we look out for one another.

Reggae music has been a tool for self-expression and spreading love. How do you think ‘My Second Wave will make a difference during this pandemic?

I totally agree with this, My My Second Wave is a full lengthy reggae dance on raga. It has the whole mix of the reggae experience and modern reggae sounds. I have been working on this album for a couple of months and I believe that there is a purpose for this album to go out. Reggae is all about self-expression and spreading love and that’s what I am doing with this album, as well as have done the same with my other songs because I am a reggae artist myself. The objective is always to put love in every song and vibe; we create our sound and its title too.

Which other songs are a part of ‘My My Second Wave’?

Just like Humpty Dumpty, I have great songs. I have got a song Come Follow Me, which is a song about where people connect with one another mentally. If you look at the world today, people are going through various difficulties in life and it’s important that people create opportunities by opening doors and tell others – Come Follow Me. The idea of the song was to ask people – Come Follow Me to a better place from the darkness to where you find some brightness and hope. During this pandemic, some people have lost their way while some could find theirs and some are still searching. I believe that those people always have their way. So me and my team promise that trying to stay positive and spreading love is the ultimate objective of my album. If you will listen to the album, you will have an understanding of it.

Having sold over 100,000 copies and holding a record of maximum collaborations, your journey is indeed inspiring. Is there anything you are yet to explore?

Being able to sell copies is one thing and being able to collaborate with artists, I grew up listening to is another thing. I think at the end-of-the-day, selling music is all about determination and hard work and making sure that you put yourself out there, people know about you. The entire music eco-system is different these days. Today, it is all about streaming and not about sales anymore. I am not sure if it has got easier or tougher, but I just know that the whole music eco-system has got far more complicated. Every day some platforms are changing/introducing something. So, as they improve and innovate, things get more complicated. Back in the days, it was just about putting a CD or cassette out, but today, as an artist and as a musician, you need to think of so many things especially when it comes to distributing your music, but one thing that never changed is the media and is always there to show love and support. I think supporting artists and looking out for all these creative people out there is important because we need you guys very much as our fans need our music. I definitely want to say a big thank you to media platforms including Music Beat.

As an artist who has collaborated with many names, I think collaboration is the sense of bringing two worlds together, bringing differences together, making a promise, bringing hope that’s the power of collaboration, some artists don’t understand the magic behind it. They just want to work with an artist because he or she is a big name. There is so much more than being a huge or a small name. Proving yourself makes for a good collaboration.

How excited are you about being nominated for the Caribbean Afro Music Awards (CAMA)? Did you see this coming?

To be very honest, I am very excited about CAMA awards. Stuff like this doesn’t happen every day and when I got an email about my nomination, I thought it was a joke or some sort of a scam. But, when I read and saw the links shared and checked the website, I found it was legit. I thanked them and wrote that I am acknowledging this and asked them what next? They reverted with a mail and wanted all the promotional stuff from me. The award ceremony is in London next year. So, I am just going with the flow. Of course, it gives me a sense of pride and I feel appreciated as it’s not easy being an Asian to be on this global stage and represent Caribbean music. But I feel everyone is somehow connected in this world and it doesn’t matter where you come from and who you are as long you believe that we share a common goal. So, we have to be in that commonplace. CAMA awards is the new beginning, a new door opened for me during my Second Wave. I am going to be positive and if all goes well, then some fans from India can also vote for me.

Lastly, any message you want to give to your global fans?

To my global fans, I just want to say take care of yourself, don’t give up on anything, be creative, research, and try to do more than one thing that you do every day. Try to keep yourself going, look out for one another, collaborate with friends, and make the best out of your life. Make music your catalyst. There are a lot of songs out there better than drugs and medicine; you can listen to these songs to get you high and happy, to walk you out of depression. There are songs for everything. There a lot of music streaming platforms that will help you to change your priorities. Go get out on your feet and make the best of your life and also look out for Sashi – The Don‘s brand new album, I got some great new songs, and hope I am able to make you happy!