Dyson Knight of the Baha Men Talks “Ride with Me”
You might be a fan of the Baha Men. They are major players in the industry; their music is on TV and film soundtracks including “Miss Congeniality”, “Rat Race”, “Scooby Doo” and “Shrek”—the list goes on. In 2000, the Baha Men topped the billboard charts with their hit cover of “Who Let the Dogs Out”. Now, with the release of their new album titled “Ride With Me”, the Baha Men are back to making that festive music we are all so familiar with!
“We want people to reconnect. We want people to know that we are still here and that the dogs are still out!”
The Baha Men have a long musical history even before their hit song “Who Let the Dogs Out?” I was fortunate enough to have a chat with Dyson Knight about the Baha Men’s full list of animated songs. Their first of a three record deal with Sony Music Latin featured tracks by Jennifer Lopez, Pitbull, Santana and Shakira. Now the Baha Men have released another wonderful collection of feel good junkanoo with the release of their new album “Ride with Me”.
College News: How did you involve yourself with the Baha Men?
Dyson Knight: I got a call in 2004. I joined the Baha Men when they were planning an Asian tour, a long time after they had brought the band together. One of the members was ill and couldn’t make it so they brought me in. I was rushed in and I had to learn a whole lot of stuff within a matter of a couple of weeks and that was my introduction to the band. The person I replaced wasn’t able to come back to the band, so I ended up replacing him.
It was a sad situation because he died from his health complications, God rest his soul. He did a lot for the band. We all miss him, but it opened a door for me to come in and bring a new dimension to the Baha Men. So I’m sure he’s looking down on us from heaven saying “good job”. The Baha Men has a lot of history considering all the people we have performed alongside with and collaborated with for many years.
CN: What gives the Baha Men that satisfying sound that we are so familiar with?
DK: It is the island! The Bahamas! Junkanoo is our native sound here; it is feel good music; celebration music. Celebration music is its proper definition. It’s giving-thanks type music. It’s music that can be used for a parade, during Boxing Day (the day after Christmas) and then the New Year! Just bringing in the new year! It is a party that goes on all through the night and that’s the foundation of our music. Even if we slow it down to a mid-tempo jam, it’s going to have a good feel. So it’s feel-good music all around! That has been the Baha Men formula and it has been working for us.
CN: Now you have a new album called “Ride with Me”. What can you tell me about that?
DK: The World Cup compilation album, “One love, One Rhythm”, featured the song “Night and Day” which is also on our new album “Ride with Me”. It wasn’t an easy task getting on a World Cup compilation album. The World Cup is like the biggest sporting event worldwide with soccer being huge in all parts of the world. So I think we won a spot on the list because of our secret formula; that Junkanoo flavor. It’s similar to Latin styles of music and we tied the two styles together for a remix of “Night and Day”. It is a song about living life, having a good time with friends and having a big party. Pretty much what sportsmanship is all about.
We are fortunate enough to be with Sony Music Latin. However, “Ride with Me” wasn’t an easy task. It is the third song we wrote just to find the right balance between a simple message and wit without a watered down, gimmicky feeling to it. That is something we want to stay far away from considering that people know of “Who Let the Dogs Out” more than they know of the Baha Men.
With this new album, “Ride with Me”, we wanted to give our fans as much music as possible. One strength of the Baha Men is the fact that we are real-life musicians with experience and an education. We also play our own instruments. So to hear us live is a totally different sound to that which you hear on the record—our live performance is turned up! We wanted to get that flavor with “Night and Day”, I think we accomplished that and really scored big.
CN: When does the Baha Men go on tour?
DK: We don’t have a set tour date as we have just been going through promotion [of the album]. In promotion, whatever door opens you walk through. It’s been a nice journey! We would like to go on tour more but it has been 12 or 13 years since our last album and it has taken some time to reconnect with our families. It’s still a work in progress but it’s coming along. We should have a set tour anytime now!
CN: Dyson, is there anything that you want your fans to know about your new album “Ride with Me”?
DK: Yeah, absolutely! Just go ahead and take a listen and let your friends listen to it! I’m not even going to say it’s the greatest album you’ve ever heard—that is not my place as an artist to say. I want people to have the opportunity to hear it so they can make their own opinion on how great the album is. It has feeling, it has soul and it will make you feel good, so we want people to reconnect [with us].
We want people to know that we are still here and that the dogs are still out! We still perform that song and there is a song on “Ride with Me” that is an ode to “Who Let the Dogs Out” called “Off the Leash”. It’s another fun song and we threw it in there for all of our fans. Make sure to follow our social media and our website for updates and take a listen. Our social media stays lit, from Instagram to Snapchat! It is a good way to keep in touch with us and to learn more about “Ride with Me”.cn