Special Features

Legacy Series: Tryumf – Fast Facts

The ‘Legacy’ series is part of the content migration programme from earlier versions of UKGospel.com, ensuring the history and evolution of the UK Gospel music scene is publicly accessible

  • Original publication date: 05 May 2005
  • Written and edited by: Yinka Awojobi

The ‘Fast Fact’ series was a workstream I used to introduce artists I saw doing exciting things on the UK Gospel scene back in the day.

It also quietly signalled that the artists were worth keeping an eye on, and in almost every case they went on to be featured several more times as their career progressed.

UKGospel.com Fast Facts presents: Tryumf

Chances are you’ve heard a track that Dwayne ‘Tryumf’ Shorter has either produced, remixed or engineered as himself or as one-half of the production/remix outfit ‘Brimstone and Fire‘.

Prodigal Son‘s ‘Things People Do For Money‘ remix, Wariyah‘s classic Hip-hop/Soul evangelistic joint ‘Heart of an Intercessor‘, Zion Noiz‘s huge debut single ‘& WHAT‘, various tracks by Greenjade, ‘Favour‘ by Dwayne Lanks, music for Jahaziel and many more.

2005 will most definitely see the release of his debut album, and we’ve been very privileged to hear a lot of work-in-progress cuts. 

A piece of advice: GET THAT ALBUM AT ALL COSTS!!!  Just in case you’re still wondering why: remember the Incense Rhythm?  It sold 3000 copies for label Jet Star in its first three months of release.

…Yes, it WAS his track! 

UKG Spin! BioChannel*, (the interview channel of our online radio station), has a 35 minute interview, complete with a few tracks from his production and engineering past, as well as music from his forthcoming album.  

But – just ahead of the station launch – Fast Facts brings you just that: a quick introduction to one of UK Gospel’s hot production, songwriting, engineering and vocal talents…

Introduction

There’s no need to spend a lot of time talking about your background and history as quite a bit of it has been covered on the UKG Spin! BioChannel*, but seeing as the interview isn’t live yet, let’s just go through some of the basics:

Name: Dwayne Shorter
Better known as: Tryumf
You’re a: Producer, Vocalist, Songwriter, Business Entrepreneur

How did you get into the Hip-hop game?
The first record that got me into Hip-hop was ‘The Show’ by Doug E Fresh and Slick rick. On the B side was ‘Lah-Di-Dah-Di’.  That was my favourite out of the two tracks.

And how did you become a Christian…?
I saw something on TV in August 1999 about the book of Revelation. I was so intrigued by this short film that it made me want to read the book of Revelation. 

As I started reading I got hooked into the words, it was like I could not stop reading.

I then went on to see books in the bible I had never heard of like 1st Peter, 1st Thessalonians, and they were all talking about the last days and that this world as we know it would one day be destroyed, and thus began my quest to know Christ…

Your production work has been strong on the underground and very influential in recent years, particularly through the mid 90s to date.

The first I heard of your work was on what I consider to be one of the most slept-on UK Gospel Hip-Hop releases, Wariyah’s EP, ‘Stand Up And Be Counted

More recently, you’ve done work with key UK Gospel Hip-Hop players from Zion Noiz to Prodigal Son.  What’s that been like…?

ZI is my family!   We all share a common goal, so being in ZI is a privilege as all the members have developed in the character of Christ, and to add to that we all got MAAAAD SKILLZ so we are a force to be reckoned with. 

When I did the remix for Prodigal Son, the timing was just right.

I had a lot to express and the lyrics on that track was similar to a situation that I was going through at the time. 

Working with the man himself was a privilege, and when I went up to Nottingham Prodigal and the family looked after me well, so BIG UP Prodigal Son!!

And then you were contracted to the label Jet Star as a producer…
It was a good time for me to learn more about the music industry and also set up my own studio and company Tryumf Productions.

We have to talk about the ‘Incense Rhythm’…
Boy, I was going through hell on earth at the time the idea came to me.

I had so many fears and issues between me and God that I thought it was all over for me, even as a Christian! 

But that was the time the Incense Rhythm was birthed. I remember going into the studio feeling like I could do nothing in my own strength.

Sometimes when a big tune comes to me it’s like I know where every instrument should go.

Why did you mix secular artists with Gospel artists on the album…?
I wanted to bring the Gospel punch to the secular community.  So many times we put God in a box, but I have found that when I would put God in a box He would jump right out of it. 

The devil has put a separation between the believers and the unbelievers, so I wanted to bring the truth to the unbelievers.

To do this I put some well-known secular artists on the album and only by God’s grace the vision of the album was accomplished.

Now secular DJ’s across England are playing the gospel cuts on their shows and the truth is reaching the ghettos, night clubs and beyond.

How did you decide what artists to put on the album?
I didn’t just pick the first artist that came along. There were about 6 other versions recorded that did not make the album, some of which I regret even recording… But God is good! 

On one side I listened to what my heart was saying and on the other side some artists were sent to me and I watched God put the album together.

I learned that ‘God is in control’ in the midst of chaos and confusion.

What problems did you encounter when making the album?
Boy… I had plenty of opposition. I was told the album would not be released, I was told my records could not sell.  

When they told me that a word rose up out of my spirit and I said ‘The stone that the builders rejected shall become the Chief Cornerstone’ (at the time of this interview the Incense Rhythm album was at number 1 in the Jet Star sales charts!)

I was told that I had over mixed the album and lost the flavour.I nearly got into a fight while recording ‘That Feelin’ Again‘.  Pac Deep lost his voice while we were recording ‘School Holiday‘. 

When I finally finished the album I was told that they did not have a good enough response from the DJ’s so they were not sure if they would release the album.

In all this I knew that God would take care of it. He told me not to pressure the company to release the album as He was IN CONTROL!! 

What has happened since?
About 7 of the tracks from the album have gone on other separate albums, the Incense Rhythm is getting acclaim in various parts of the world from Philadelphia to Toronto to the Caribbean.

On just its second week of release the album went to number 1 in the Jet Star sales charts and sold 3000 copies in the space of 3 months between August and October 2004. 

What’s your take on the Gospel scene at the moment?
I’m liking what’s coming out of the States at the moment.  I heard a mix CD from DJ Official of Cross Movement and they’ve got some HOT MC’s on the Hip-Hop side. 

On the RnB side they are still the reigning champions. 

The US market is just getting hotter and hotter with artists like Tonex, Kierra Sheard, Shei Atkins among others but on the UK side we are starting to give them a run for their money with groups like Raymond & Co, Siani, Four Kornerz and The Company.

What do you reckon is the most exciting project that you’re involved in pushing at the moment?

My album; it’s where I truly get to express where I want to go musically without having to change what’s in my heart. I’m taking you right ‘Back to Eden’

What else is coming out of the Tryumf beat kitchen…?

Look out for the Four Kornerz tracks, one is a Brimstone & Fire production and the other is a Tryumf production and they are both blazing!!

And finally – what more can we expect from you in 2005…?

Brimstone & Fire will drop a single, Tryumf will drop an album and will be looking to sign HOT new producers to my production company (there’s one I’ve got my eye on at the moment so watch this space!!!)

  • Notes
  • *UKGSpin! was an experimental audio project (think of it as UKGospel.com’s in-house radio station), that I never really launched
  • It was supposed to have themed channels, dedicated to specific genres
  • As you can probably guess, the BioChannel was the Biography channel, dedicated to profile interviews in a format that we would now consider podcasts
  • You can listen to the UKGSpin! promo here

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