Directed by Alicia G. Edwards.
Filmmaker Alicia G. Edwards provides an intimate look into the life and work of Walshy Fire, a Grammy Award-nominated music producer and DJ. From his Caribbean-tinged childhood, where he first experienced the dancehall and reggae music scenes, to his current work as an electrifying producer and performer, discover why audiences pull up whenever and wherever Walshy Fire takes the stage.
While performing on some of the world’s most prestigious stages and contributing production to Major Lazer’s albums (Free the Universe, Peace is the Mission, Music is the Weapon), Walshy Fire has used his platform to shed light on rising talents within the Caribbean, helping to launch the careers of rising stars like Chronixx and Koffee. Walshy also released his first solo album, ABENG (licensed to Mad Decent Records/Because Music) – a first-of-its-kind conversation between Africa and the Caribbean, pairing artists from both regions on tracks spanning afrobeats, dancehall, reggae, soca and EDM.
The intention with ABENG was to “make Caribbean and Africa have a conversation that is louder, and in the same studio or the same stage, at the same time”. As for how the songs come together Walshy notes, “The beats (Afrobeats & Dancehall) can be very similar, any African artist has no problem riding a soca or dancehall riddim.” As the airhorn sound punctuates the dancehall mix to highlight its impact as a current hit song, the abeng is the sound that echoes the pairing of African and Caribbean artists on these tracks.
Raised between Jamaica and Florida, Walshy was a long-time member of Black Chiney, a Miami DJ crew known for innovative, trailblazing mixtapes blending R&B and hip-hop with reggae/dancehall. Diplo, citing Black Chiney as a major influence in forming Major Lazer, tapped Walshy to join him as Major Lazer’s MC and member of the group in 2012. Walshy Fire cowrote and produced on Rapture by Koffee which took home the GRAMMY award for Best Reggae Album at the 2020 ceremony in February 2020.
Original production funding for In the Making is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the National Endowment for the Arts.
American Masters series production funding is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, The Rosalind P. Walter Foundation, AARP, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, Judith and Burton Resnick, Koo and Patricia Yuen, Seton J. Melvin, Lillian Goldman Programming Endowment, The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, Thea Petschek Iervolino Foundation, The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, Vital Projects Fund, The Marc Haas Foundation, Ellen and James S. Marcus, The Ambrose Monell Foundation, The André and Elizabeth Kertész Foundation and public television viewers.
For the digital series, Michael Kantor is the Executive Producer for American Masters. Stanley Nelson, Marcia Smith and Monika Navarro are the Executive Producers for Firelight Media. Major support for the In the Making digital series is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Additional funding provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, The Rosalind P. Walter Foundation, Anderson Family Charitable Fund, The Marc Haas Foundation, The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation and Edgar Wachenheim III.