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Nike, Jamaican Olympic Sprinter Asafa Powell And VP Records Join Forces

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NIKE and Olympic sprinter Asafa Powell have teamed up with Reggae label VP Records to create a Nike Sport Music workout featuring the exclusive track, “On The Go (Faster Than Bullet),” by one of the athlete’s favorite artists, Mavado. Called Asafa Powell: Train for Speed, the 35-minute interval workout is coached by Asafa over a reggae/dancehall soundtrack. Among the genre-defining songs included on the mix are some of reggae’s greatest artists of the past, present, and future, providing a musical backdrop for running that is both unique and effective. After all, two of Jamaica’s greatest exports are music and sprinters—it was only a matter of time before they came together in one pulse-pounding project.
The only athlete to have run the 100-meter dash in under 9.8 seconds more than once (he did it five times), Asafa Powell knows speed. He has distinguished himself as one of the world’s fastest humans, having held the world record in the 100 for three years, from 2005-2008. In the Asafa Powell: Train for Speed workout, Asafa coaches runners through a 35-minute training session with four high-speed intervals that descend in length. The goal of the workout is to increase an athlete’s endurance and speed, with musical motivation coming from the athlete’s homeland.

Reggae music is often associated with laid-back island rhythms, but there are several subgenres that up the tempo to a runner’s pace, including dancehall, a style that has been influential on hip-hop since its inception. VP Records has been one of reggae’s most fervent advocates since 1979, becoming the world’s largest independent Caribbean music label. The tracks selected for Asafa Powell: Train for Speed run the gamut of what VP has to offer, mixing in classic dancehall cuts like Shaggy’s early hit, “Big Up,” and pioneering ragamuffin tunes like Half Pint’s “Greetings,” with newer songs like Sean Paul’s “Deport Them” and “Hyperventilating” by up-and-comer Tami Chynn. The playlist peaks with an exclusive track recorded by one of Asafa’s favorite VP artists, Mavado, appropriately titled “On The Go (Faster Than Bullet).”

Nike selected Mavado for the project based on Asafa Powell’s respect for the emerging dancehall artist’s music. One of the hottest new voices to hit the international reggae scene, Mavado recorded “On The Go (Faster Than Bullet)”as an homage to the sprinter, as well as an inspirational anthem celebrating the island of Jamaica and its music. “It’s a great honor to be recognized as one of Jamaica’s top entertainers and to be a part of this project with Nike,” says Mavado. “It’s a responsibility I take very seriously. I wanted to put out a very positive message on the track as it would be representing not only myself, but Asafa Powell and Jamaica.”

“Mavado is one of the leading voices of the Jamaican youth,” stated Olivier Chastan, Vice-President of VP Records. “He is a source of inspiration to them by exemplifying that they too can achieve great things despite life’s hardships. Music can help your dreams come true in the same way that sports can. This is the message that Mavado and Asafa carry to the world over on behalf of Jamaica and its people.”

The track, which includes the lyrics, “Jamaica/The greatest thing inna life/Our music and sports fi try,” has a galvanizing message that will no doubt be adopted as a patriotic anthem for Jamaica’s supporters around the world as the Olympic Games approach this summer “On The Go (Faster Than Bullet)” was produced by Shane Brown for Juke Boxx Productions.

The latest installment in the Nike+ training series, Asafa Powell: Train for Speed is available exclusively in the Nike Sport Music section of the iTunes Store for $9.99.

About Nike Sport Music Launched on June 29, 2006 by Nike, the Nike Sport Music store on iTunes is the definitive source of musical inspiration and audio coaching for athletes. Nike+ Coaching Workouts feature star athletes like Lance Armstrong, Serena Williams, and artists like OKGO guiding you through a run or an exercise session while engineered powersongs rev you up. Also available in the Nike Sport Music store, Nike+ Original Runs are fresh, drive-you-forward original compositions crafted by cutting-edge artists exclusively for Nike.

About Nike+ With Nike+, runners never have train alone again. Nike+ enables footwear to talk to an iPod Nano or Nike+ Sportsband, giving instant performance information and real-time feedback during a run. Like a personal coach or training partner, Nike+ has put this information at runners’ fingertips, in the process creating a Nike+ revolution. As of February, 2008, Nike+ members have run over 40,000,000 miles, logged over 12,000,000 and issued over 300,000 challenges. Nike+ has also created the world’s largest running club at nikeplus.com, a global running community where Nike+ members can log their run data, track their progress, utilize training tools, and connect with other members all over the world.

About Asafa Powell Twenty-five-year-old Asafa Powell, though no longer the 100 m world record holder, is still considered by many to be the world’s fastest man. The Jamaican sprinter has run 100 m in under 10 seconds 33 times, a record to date bettered only by Maurice Greene. Among his other accomplishments, Asafa won two gold medals in the 2006 Commonwealth Games and is the only man to have run legally under 10.00 seconds 12 times in a single season.

About Mavado Dancehall artist Mavado, aka David Brooks, was raised in Kingston, Jamaica’s notoriously rough “Cassava Piece” ghetto. His 2004 debut single, “The Real McKoy” made him an instant star in Jamaica, while 2006’s “Weh Dem a Do” brought him international fame. In 2007, he released his debut album, “Gangsta for Life” on VP Records.

About VP Records VP Records started as a small record store in Kingston, Jamaica in 1958 before moving to its current location in New York in 1979. From there the label grew to become the world’s largest and most authentic independent Caribbean music label. From roots reggae and dancehall to soca, VP is the only record label that represents the myriad flavors of true Caribbean music. Among the VP artists featured on Asafa Powell: Train for Speed are Sean Paul, Wayne Wonder, Barrington Levy, Sister Nancy, Tami Chynn, and Mavado.

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