Thursday, August 30, 2007

WE Spotlight - Da’Ville

by Cheryl Nneka Uzoamaka Hazell

Jamaica's "Big Bad Singer" Da'Ville, has been relishing in his success all while keeping it real and down to earth. The response to his rise on the Jamaican music scene has been tremendous. He says, "people have been really supportive of the whole vibe right now, ya know. In terms of every dance you go, every party you go, you have to hear a Da'Ville tune. If you turn on the television or watching the music channels or go up on Tempo ( you're gonna see two or three videos." And the exposure doesn't end there. Taking their cue from the people who are interested in terms of what is going on with Da'Ville's career, all of Jamaica's mainstream newspapers have made room for this songwriter, composer and producer amid their pages.

As a new artist based in Jamaica the lure of living abroad full time has not captivated this
singer as yet and he just doesn't think he would be able to bring the same vibe and energy to his music if his base was abroad.
"Jamaica is home. No matter which part the world you go. If you have house in NY,
house in Canada or house in Europe, Jamaica a home. You haffi have a base here so. Here so a de root. A here so every ting stem from. Exactly here you need fi have your base. You need fi know which part your roots dey man and de roots is in Jamaica, nowhere else."

If Jamaica is the root, then Japan was like the water that helped with its growth. “Japan was like the beginning for me. At the time, in 2005, I had a single that was doing pretty well, called "In Heaven". It was tearing up the charts and mashing up Japan and I didn't even know that. I was over here in Jamaica doing my ting same way and I got a call from a promoter over dey who wanted me come do two club shows. I wanted to have the experience. Before I had an album from any other company, Avex Entertainment Group in Japan gave me an opportunity to make my first album "In Heaven". After I got more established, I was invited to perform in Japan last year at the Mighty Crown anniversary show in front of 35000 people. I did a three-album deal with Avex. I did two albums for them already - "In Heaven" (2005) and "Can't Get Over You"(2006) - even before this new album “On My Mind."

2006 was a stellar year for Da'Ville with his smash hit singles "Can't Get over You”, the soulful “On My Mind”, and “This Time I Promise” topping the charts. “I really just wanted to get my break from standing on my own two feet and not through a collaboration. I was fortunate to have been able to break out on my own with a solo effort.”

Riding the wave of this success was eased along by a profile in the New York Times and being honoured as Singer of the Year by the renowned sound crew Stone Love. A personal touch had a hand to play in it as well. Da'Ville evolved in terms of his musical and personal growth and tapped into the spirits past and present of Bob Marley, Freddie Macgregor, Dennis Brown, Maxi Priest, and Beres Hammond for some inspiration. “I came to realize that the world I'm living in is not a picture painted one. Before I always tried to do a song from my imaginary aspect and now I'm doing my songs from a personal experience point. So I was able to be real in terms of what I said and the emotions coming out of me into the songs. The people on a whole heard it and connected to it because of that. It's so easy for me to tap into that energy dey.”

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