Usain Bolt tells the Topple Uncaged podcast ‘Marley is my hero’

Usain Bolt with Topple Uncaged
Steve Topple


Welcome to series two of #ToppleUncaged!

Every week, The Canary will be bringing you an innovative podcast for the media landscape; hosted by me, Steve Topple.

In a special episode, I feature the first move into music by a global athletics superstar, record breaker, and now record producer: Usain Bolt.

Mr Topple meets Usain Bolt

I had the chance to fire some questions at the legendary Bolt. He’s just released his debut music production Olympe Rosé, an instrumental track known as a “riddim”. As describes, a riddim is:

A rhythm – or ‘riddim’ – is an instrumental track created by a producer or label that’s given to vocalists to create their own versions. In the early days of dancehall, each version was released as a separate single, but since the early 2000s a batch of versions will usually be released as a digital album. The beauty of this format is that it allows for a method of genre development based on iteration; the pressure is not only to innovate, but to improve. You can have multiple great songs with the same rhythm, ensuring that no vocal idea remains undeveloped.

Olympe Rosé is in partnership with champagne brand G.H. Mumm, which has released a special edition rosé featuring Bolt’s name inscribed on the bottle.

Five artists, all big names in the dancehall genre, have put their own interpretations across Olympe Rosé: These very different tracks come from Dexta Daps, Christopher Martin, Ricardo “Bibi” Gardner, Ding Dong, and Munga Honorable. Alongside Bolt on production duties was Rajah Karanja Nelson.

The riddim is grounded in dancehall, but has distinct afrobeat vibes. The artists’ interpretations vary, from Gardner’s use of a combination of intricate rhyming patterns across both vocals and singjay (a combination of singing and rapping), to Martin’s multi-layered, full-on production.

‘Marley is my hero’

Overall, Bolt has created a fresh, intricate and exciting package. As he told me:

Bob Marley is my musical hero. His music is timeless and still relevant today.

If the legendary artist were still alive, it would be fascinating to hear his thoughts on another legend’s first steps into the music world.

Listen below to hear Bolt’s answers, read by me, to my questions. He told me about his thoughts on the reggae scene, how his athletic skills crossed over into the music industry, and whether we’re going to be seeing more tracks from this global star.


CanaryPod: #ToppleUncaged meets… Usain Bolt show notes:

Presented, produced and edited by Steve Topple.

Sound engineering by Gav Pauze.

Olympe Rosé track listing:

Olympe Rosé intro by Usain Bolt.

Top A Di Top by Ding Dong.

Mount A Gyal by Bibi Gardner.

Dweet by Christopher Martin.

Weekend by Munga Honorable.

Big Moves by Dexta Daps.

Olympe Rosé riddim (Instrumental) by Rajah Karanja Nelson.

Olympe Rosé (Medley Mix) by all artists.

Download all the tracks on your preferred platform here.

Follow Usain Bolt, Ding Dong Ravers, Bibi Gardner, Christopher Martin, Munga Honorable, and Dexta Daps on Insta.

Find out more about Bolt and support his charitable foundation. Also read about his partnership with G.H. Mumm.

Follow on Twitter:

Steve Topple @MrTopple; The Canary @TheCanaryUK; Usain Bolt @usainbolt; Nicola Jeffery @NicolaCJeffery; Gav Pauze @PauzeRadio; Rai Star Music @rai_star113

Use the hashtags #ToppleUncaged #CanaryPod

Find out more about Gav Pauze.

Topple Uncaged Theme Music: Lost Souls by Lee Wrizzle.

All other tracks via Usain Bolt and Rajah Karanja Nelson.

Featured image via Steve Topple, Maurice – Wikimedia and Usain Bolt

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