Friday 25 September, 2020

Bobby Digital had 'just completed home studio at time of death'

Bobby Digital

Bobby Digital

Martin Mitchell, a production engineer who was in the process of completing a studio for the late producer Robert 'Bobby Digital' Dixon at the time of his death, believes that the music industry has lost not only a technical genius, but a great musical icon. 

"I miss Bobby, he was a great man. He wasn't just a technical genius, he had a level of charisma that translated into respect all over the world. Anywhere I go and say I associate with Bobby Digital, I am welcomed with open arms," Mitchell said. 

Mitchell also "serviced the equipment" and "assisted with electronics and processing" at Dixon's famous studio off Molynes Road in St Andrew.

"Bobby wired that studio (Molynes Road) himself, I just did maintenance on it, but he wanted me to do an exclusive project for him at his home, and we started that six months ago. The studio is now working. I worked for him for years, he was a good client and friend, I never exchanged a heated word with him," Mitchell said. 

Dixon, one of dancehall/reggae's most successful music producers, died on Thursday at age 59. He reportedly succumbed to a kidney-related illness after he had gone to do his weekly dialysis treatment at the hospital. 

Originally from Olympic Gardens in Kingston, Dixon was a protege of engineer/producer Lloyd "King Jammy" James with whom he started his career as an audio engineer.

In the 1980s, Dixon helped stylize the computerized phase of Jamaican music, as an accomplished digital engineer.

Dixon established himself as a top flight producer with a barrage of hit songs by Shabba Ranks starting in the late 1980s with 'Peenie Peenie', and followed up that with a veritable tsunami of dancehall anthems such as  'Just Reality', 'Live Blanket' and 'Wicked In A Bed'.

Other hit songs produced by Dixon were 'Till I'm Laid to Rest' by Buju Banton, Cocoa Tea and Admiral Tibet's 'Serious Times', Garnet Silk's 'It's Growing' and Sizzla's 'Black Woman and Child'.

In the late 1990s he began to work with Rastafarian reggae artistes such as Morgan Heritage, Sizzla, Anthony B and Richie Spice. He was the producer of Sizzla's critically acclaimed 'Black Woman and Child' album of the late 1990s and then delivered more hits again with 'Da Real Thing'. He also did Morgan Heritage's breakthrough album, 'Protect Us Jah', as well as the band's chart-topper  'Don't Haffi Dread'. 

Robert "Bobby Digital" Dixon is survived by his wife Merva, three children, two grandchildren, a sister and two brothers.

---Claude Mills

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