He may not enjoy quite the recall of the 60s TV series stars, but for dancehall fans in the US, selector-turned-deejay Tony Matterhorn may well be their favourite martian.
|Selector-turned-DJ Tony Matterhorn returns to the US soon after a three-year absence.|
Matterhorn, who shook the dancehall last year with the sizeable hits Dutty Wine and Goodas Fi Dem, enjoys watching cartoons and playing his PST games. "I love the PST games. I have six of them since they came out", he confided in an interview with this writer on Friday night.
Currently in London, Matterhorn recently obtained a work permit, allowing him to travel to and perform in the United States, his first visit since 2003.
In another week's time, his fans, specially invited guests, top hip-hop and R&B stars and the media, will get a chance to meet and greet the self-styled 'Man From Mars ' at a big celebration scheduled to take place at - where else? - MARS 2112, a trendy hot spot in Times Square, New York.
"I didn't get to travel the US for three years. I went in to the US embassy in Jamaica and they cancelled my visa. I have never had a police record in Jamaica or in any other country for that matter," Matterhorn explained. He said that contrary to rumours, he was never involved in any illegal or criminal activity that resulted in the cancellation of his US visa in 2003.
Matterhorn said travelling to the US again will give him the opportunity to rekindle with fans from his sound system days on the Addies disco. "I can now reach out to my extended fans, the real Matterhorn fans. It feels good to be able to reunite with them, but in some ways I have been interacting with them on myspace a lot," said Matterhorn. He added: "Having your own page on myspace.com has given me the ability to link with my fans."
Julie Lexy Brooks, CEO of VIP Connected Entertainment, the agency that handles management, bookings and promotions for Matterhorn, was very instrumental in helping the artiste regain his travel/working privileges to the US. She commented, "First, let me say how really excited I am that Tony now can travel and work in the USA again. I know it was a very, very long wait but fans Stateside will soon be graced with his presence and the opportunity to see him perform live."
Asked how difficult it was to secure Matterhorn's US visa, Ms Brooks said, "It was quite a long and at times tedious task to secure his visa. At times it seemed almost impossible, but we kept the faith. My company first started working with his immigration case a little over 3 years ago. We brought the attorney's office of Spar and Bernstein on board to assist us. They worked hard and for this we would like to thank them for their kind assistance.
We would also like to thank the office of Congressman Gary L Ackerman and the Jamaican Consulate for the role they played as well. But just to be clear, at the end of the day the reality of what Tony has been preaching all this time came to pass, and that is, he has done nothing wrong and he stuck to his argument."
After the New York party, Matterhorn will head back to London to fulfill performance obligations, returning to Jamaica in time for a guest shot on the Jim Brown Memorial dance. His birthday celebrations in March will see him throwing parties in several Caribbean countries. The following month, he commences a tour of Europe, with the. trek culminating with several dates in the US in May.
Asked what became of the publicised interest that Atlantic Records had shown in signing him during the height of the Dutty Wine craze, Matterhorn (real name Dufton Taylor) said, "It was pure politics when it came to my career. I was supposed to do an album but someone foiled the attempt. The delay in Atlantic Records working with me was basically because I didn't have a US visa. But for now, I am only concerned about making hit singles."
Matterhorn recently hit the charts with Man From Mars and Wickedest Ride (featuring Mr. Easy). He is currently working on a slate of singles. He predicts a collaboration with singer Alaine, titled On Your Knees, will be a big hit over the summer. "The song is like a man and woman fuss. It was produced by Daseca.
I also have a song on the Pepper Spray rhythm from DJ Karim. I have always thought about things in a futuristic way. Look at the song Man From Mars. Everything that I said in that song is coming to pass," Matterhorn concluded.