Interview with ...
We know you since you won the 2010 Digicel Rising Stars competition. You were 16 years old at that time. Could you tell us more about your performance during this contest and how did you like the experience ?
My performances during that time were choreographed and as such the only thing I did for myself was to feel the songs. The experience was a great one nonetheless. Bright lights and a massive audience.
During this competition, you sang on different musical styles (reggae, ska, R&B, ballads...). Was it a personal choice ?
None of the songs I sang were personal choices but I could relate to them. The songs for me were chosen by the producer of the show.
Due to winning the Digicel Rising Stars competition you received $1,000,000 Jamaican dollars. How did you spend this money ?
That money was never spent on one thing but was mainly invested in my education, cause as musicians we need to equip ourselves for the world to understand and so the world can in turn understand us. I also helped my family.
What are your main musical influences ?
My main musical influences are different sounds, different techniques of singing - soft, ballad, hardcore, reggae, singjay, DJ...I try to commit myself to the music in that I research. I study and listen different types of music for hours at a time, everyday. Like this i learn. There are a number of artists and genres that influence my technique and gift in music.
Who are the jamaican and non-jamaican artists who influenced you ?
The jamaican artists who influenced me are Busy Signal the boss, Romain Virgo, Buju Banton, Beres Hammond and Tony Rebel. The non-jamaican artistes are Chris Brown, Chris Daughtry, Michael Bolton, Lionel Richie. I research tones and techniques quite often but those are the most influencial on my music.
Donovan Germain released your first song for Penthouse 2 years ago. How and when did you get connected ?
I was introduced to Donovan Germain through Headline Entertainment. I heard he was interested in working with me. We met and from this time we are working togethter. We started in early 2011.
The most of the new Penthouse artists Successfully participated to national talent contests like Romain Virgo (2007 Digicel Rising Stars winner), Shuga (2009 Digicel Rising Stars winner), RC (2009 finalist of Magnum Kings & Queens of Dancehall) or you. What do you think of this new generation of artists ?
I think it is just the music recreating itself and it targets fresh but authentic with high quality ideas. Thats the evolution of music. I always say there can never be another Bob Marley but there can always be other great contributors to the music industry.
I read an article about you in the Jamaican Observer. It said that you used to live in poverty after winning rising stars, you stayed alone in a home without running water and electricity. How are and will these difficult moments in your life influence your musical career ?
Just for clarity, that was before the competition. So that was an inaccurate statement, but I grew up in a dwelling that was bereft of certain amenities like electricity and running water. I think it influenced my career in the sense that it made me appreciate what I have now and it grants wisdom as well. So I use that in writing and its developmental rewards helps being a better person and that too is a great thing.
Tell us more about the 3 singles already released by Penthouse.
"Finally" (2011 - No Money riddim) :
It was my first song. The song speaks of a man losing his woman due to ignorance as he goes out every night to bars everywhere returning at late hours. And so she decides to fill the void of loneliness and as such, finally gets the love of a lifetime from me.
"Gi Mi That Whine" (2012 Sweet Ride riddim) :
It was just me thinking young but I think those songs helped me grow as a writer. "Pauper" my current single recorded for Vikings Production which is creating massive waves across the island is a more accurate depiction of my writing ability. "Gi Mi That Wine" is basically talking about a nights experience that has been brought over into the next day as a guy goes out with his friend, meets a girl and the get together and the passion of the night leaves the guy wanted to experience it again and so he want to be with her again for good.
"You will know" (2013) :
I went to the studio one day in the summer of 2012 and Donovan Germain just basically gave me the song. He knows me and what I have been through and knew i could relate to the song. I learned to sing it that night and voiced it the next morning. This song is a testament basically as it is me encouraging people, having been through struggles and that better days will come. Use me as an example.
"You will know" appears on the VP compilation Strictly The Best vol. 48. It is an big opportunity to reach a larger audience.
The song will also be on the Penthouse 25th anniversary compilation. So that to me was expected but I am happy at least somebody at VP knows about me now. But to reach a mainstream audience it would require much promotion. A lot more than a feature, but I am honored that VP chose to put the song on their compilation.
During the golden years of Penthouse records, which songs left most memories in you ?
Iím a big fan of Buju Banton. "Destiny" is my favourite song.
Donovan Germain is maybe more than a simple manager and producer for you. Could you tell us about your professional collaboration and relationship ?
Donovan Germain is like a mentor to me, he gives advices on certain decisions and the whole works. Professionally we work together good in terms of the production of music and the delivery.
To conclude, what are your plans ?
Honestly I am not involved in the process of song choosing, but one thing is that the songs are high in quality. But I only sing and that's it. I'm not involved in it. Its almost like once I am finished voicing my job or the need for me is done. But the production behind the songs are wonderful. I am targeting a local market now. Though if a song relatable to them could be released next that would be marvelous but I don't have a say.
DISCOGRAPHY ON PENTHOUSE RECORDS : |
- Finally (2011 - No Money riddim)
- Gi Mi That Whine (2012 Sweet Ride riddim)
- You will know (2013)
listen to these singles :