LU: Kartel’s working relationships are known for ending in a dramatic fashion… in a really bad way. Yet you’ve stayed working with him for a few years.
Rvssian: I have been one of the guys who have been around Kartel the longest because I understand the business of it… being a business first. I mean, yeah him and I are friends and we do business but you have to know where to separate both [sides] of him, and a lot of people don’t know how to do that. It might mess up their relationship. But I think if everybody wants something to work, you can make it work.
LU: You’ve done vocals on songs with Kartel and other artists. Do you desire to be an artist on your own?
Rvssian: Every day people message me on Twitter, saying ‘Do a mixtape of solo music’ — people [are] asking for it. It’s just about time because I also have a label to run. Also, it’s just me developing even the confidence to go on stage. I just did an island tour in Jamaica for a certain brand and that made me conquer some fears of performing on stage. I’m working on it so people can look out for that in the future.
LU: Kartel is controversial, he has allies, he has enemies. Does that come into play when you are working on creating a rhythm release? Say someone fell out with Kartel, does that create problems for you in releasing music by them?
Rvssian: A lot of the artists that separated themselves with Kartel, after [that] they were so angry about the situation they did something different than before. That’s probably why I wasn’t so interested in what they were coming up with next. I wouldn’t record a song dissing Vybz Kartel because, for one, I don’t record dis songs towards anybody because that’s just a waste of time to me. Also, I wouldn’t [voice a song that] dis him because he is the one who gave me [my] break in music, so there has to be some form of loyalty where that is concerned.
LU: One thing the public doesn’t know about dancehall is: how do you end up choosing an artist for a particular rhythm? Is it just all about timing and who is around at the given time?
Rvssian: Sometime I waan do some some work with some artist and you call them and they might be on tour and you have a deadline for the project and they don’t make it. Sometime you can help out some artist but at the end of the day you can only help so much on one project, because you can’t put 10 new artists on one riddim. It’s going to overshadow the project, yuh know? If you have a riddim with 10 people, you can probably put six hot artists and then four upcoming or four [veterans] to bring back.