Roatan’s Beauty, Truth & Wisdom

Drizzle ‘The RoadRanna’

Darson Benner, AKA Drizzle at Sandy Bay beach.

An original Reggae Dancehall Artist on Roatan

When it comes to making dancehall reggae hits that rock the Island, Central America, and stand the test of time, nobody does it better than 29-year-old entrepreneur ‘Drizzle’ known as Darson Bennet from Sandy Bay.

A charming and charismatic singer/songwriter and producer of his own music who doesn’t run away scared from anything.

His RoadRanna name refers to his favorite cartoon, Road Runner. In each episode, the Coyote repeatedly attempts to catch and subsequently eat Road Runner, a fast-running terrestrial bird, but is never successful. Road runner runs down the road all day long, faster than the anvils falling from the sky, dynamite exploding and the ever-present predator “the fox” as Drizzle calls him. “The RoadRanna is in charge,” Drizzle explains.

“It wasn’t me”, the biggest-selling collaboration in UK chart history, by Shaggy, paved the way for the likes of Drake, Rihanna and Major Lazer to launch their respective careers. “I was here before Drake” says former cook Drizzle with a smile. Last April, Drizzle released a dancehall reggae song called Tun up , in collaboration with Rambo Style and Elly Yung.

Slang expressions are used to describe something that is wonderful, exciting, spectacular or a great deal of fun. The literal translation of “tun up” is “turned up”. In Patois (Patwa): Di party tonite ago tun up. In English: The party tonight is going to be off the chain. His lyrics use the different influences and mixes of “Patwa” and Island Creole English.

“My gyal come tun up and wine for the dread
 Mi love the way how yo wine feh me pretty gyal
 Tun up bust a split pan yo head
 Mi love d how yo wine fehdehgenneral
 Come wine feh me pretty gyal
 Come wine feh the general
 Wine feh di general
 Wine feh di general.”

Chorus from “Tun Up”

Nine-year-old Drizzle fell in love with singing, an inheritance from his mother and grandmother. His mother, Miss Mazy Raymond, used to sing at church. At nine-years-old she sent him to Belize to live with his aunt and attend school there. There he studied architecture and developed his skills for writing songs. At the age of 18 he moved back to Roatan, to his hometown Sandy Bay as Belize City became too corrupt and dangerous to live in.

Love is the theme for all his lyrics. Drizzle encourages people to stay together in their relationships and hopes they learn something positive out of his lyrics. “One Love,” he expresses on a regular basis, is an expression of unity. One love refers to universal love and respect for all people, social status, regardless of race, or any other defining characteristics. Bob Marley is his hero, as for many islanders, and his source of inspiration.

Grip me is his favorite single, which was released four years ago. Grip me is a metaphor between twerking and a jump. Twerking is a dance move that involves a “gal” shaking her hips and bottom in a bouncy up and down motion causing it to shake, wobble, and jiggle. “The bumper grips me,” Drizzle explains.

Drizzle is building his own studio in Sandy Bay, which takes a lot of time, effort and money. In the meantime, he records his songs in Coxen Hole, where he works together with another producer.

The studio is very small, but that is all they need. The ceiling is covered by empty egg cartons to mute the sound outside. The group writes their own lyrics but use no instruments. Their rapping technique uses beats from the computer. It still ends up sounding cool, especially in the “The RoadRanna” YouTube videos.

Drizzle plays gigs at island festivals, clubs and will soon perform at the first Roatan Carnival on July 19 as well as another performance in September in Mexico.

Artist Drizzle is a brave and strong soldier fighting towards a better future. He performs a lot at concerts where they raise funds for school fees for children and projects to make a better life for the kids.