Interview with ...
Mikeylous, please introduce yourself to those reggae fans who don't know you. How did you start your musical career ?
I am a hardcore reggae artist, brown and grow up in the parish of St Ann, Jamaica, in a community called Lime Hall. I started when I was in primary school, doing school concerts, and church.
Can you explain the choice of your first artist's name Nigger Mikey ?
It was given to me by a promoter name Sassafrass, in 1983 after I win a DJ contest in my community, with I enter with 14 contestants. I used to name Mikey Irie at the time, but there was too much Irie in the buiness at the time, like Welton Irie, Clement Irie, and Michael Irie, and more so he decided to change it from Mikey Irie.
Were you influenced by other artists ?
I was inspired by king Yellowman and Peter Metro.
You were resident deejay on the popular Jack Ruby Hi-Power and Metro Media sound systems. What do you remember about that time ?
I remember performing for the first time beside Yellowman and Peter Metro, as they were my idols.
You recorded your first song for Donovan Germain's Penthouse label in 1989. How did you get connected ?
I get connected to Penthouse by Peter Metro.
Can you tell us more about your first hit for Penthouse "Ting Deh" ?
It was recorded by Dave Kelly. It was the first song to record on that riddim as Chaka Demus and Scotty were on that riddim too with "Bring It To Me".
You recorded 3 other songs for Penthouse : "Man Thief", "Charge Fe Rape" and "Can't Rule Me". Could you tell us more about these songs ?
These songs was written by me and recorded by Dave Kelly. "Can't Rule Me" on Taxi riddim was big, when it come out as Wayne Wonder was on the riddim also.
You recorded for many labels. What is Donovan Germain's singularity comparing to other producers ?
Germain push the songs that he produces, and promotes the artists in those days.
Why you did not record any more for Germain since ?
I record at least 15 songs for Penthouse, but after started recording for Shocking Vibes, Germain did not like it. So, he doesn't put out any more songs with me, so I move on.
Among all your singles for Penthouse, which songs left you most memories ?
The song that left me the most memories is "Ting Deh", because it went to the top of the chart. It was my first hit.
Why did you change your artist's name in 2002 ?
I changed my name from Nigger Mikey because some radio stations over seas find the nigga thing offensive and don't want to use the word, so I decided to change it, and it was a good move.
Who are your favorite artists among the current generation ?
My favorite artists off nowadays are Assassin and Busy Signal.
Is your record label Champagne Records, created in 1992, still active ?
Yes my label Champagne is still active. I just put out a song on it "Campaign against badmind" with me and Charly Blacks in combination about to shoot the video on saturday, it looks promising.
Do you earn a living with music or you have another job ?
I never work another job from 1987. Music is what I live off I just come back from Europe was touring, as the name Mikeylous is doing me some justice with some songs I have doing good over there.
To conclude, what are your plans ? I've heard your album is due to be out soon.
My plan is just to keep doing more songs and keep performing across the world, as I always doing. I now team up with Charly Blacks as I am the first to record him and send him out there, he just nominates for new artist for 2k8 and he is doing good. Blessed love.
DISCOGRAPHY ON PENTHOUSE RECORDS : |
- Can't Rule Me (1989, Taxi riddim)
- Charge Fe Rape (1990)
- Man Thief (1989)
- Ting Deh (1989)
listen to some of these singles :