Bringin ‘it Backwards: Interview with Cham
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We had the pleasure of interviewing Cham in Zoom video!
Having racked up success over more than three decades for its pioneering milestones and cultural achievements in the space of Dancehall, Reggae, Hip Hop, and more, Cham (pka Baby Cham) has created an indisputable legacy that remains unmatched for the greats in its class. Today, the internationally acclaimed, Grammy-nominated and internationally renowned artist releases the highly anticipated visual of his fiery single “Confinement. Lock Down gets his masterful brilliance from Clockwork Riddim, produced by eight-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt. Bolt, in just a few short years, has shown that there is nothing going for him, and success follows in every effort as long as the passion is maintained.
WATCH “LOCK” HERE
“Lock Down” finds the dancehall legend in its element, spewing fiery and conscious lyrics over iconic bass beats designed to uplift and rejoice. Cham encapsulates what life in Jamaica has been like for almost two years in a cinematically emotional way, using the extraordinary natives of Jamacia as the leading stars for his real, raw storytelling genius.
The rich, bass-rich, fast-paced world of dancehall music means only the best of the best survive. Few people can go through a name change and still remain relevant. Many would say that even fewer manage to take a break, tour the world and come back on stage to command an audience like never before.
Obviously you’ve never met Grammy nominated dancehall superstar Cham.
Having started out in the music business watching artists like John Wayne and Super Cat rehearse on his uncle’s Waterhouse-based sound system, Studio Mix, Cham does not consider his music career to be “work.” Yet he has the right to do so. With his incomparable voice and remarkable stage presence, Cham has made a name for himself in dancehall around the world.
He first appeared on the dancehall kaleidoscope in the mid-1990s, doing tracks on various juggling riddims, including the immortal. Showtime Riddim who spawned his blow Galang gal. Then, in 2000, under the nickname Baby Cham, offered the world his first album Wow: the story, and hits such as A lot a lot, Boom tune, Man & Man and more. Cham’s formula of deep baritone voice and deadly rustic and lyrical pieces have allowed him to claim his place in the annals of musical history.
As musical opponents continued to bark about dancehall’s limited potential, Cham’s crossover success Vitamin S touched a nerve… with the world. The song was perfect. Vitamin S accumulated countless hours on disc jock decks around the world and led the artist, real name Damian Beckett, to a deal with Atlantic Records, where he joined fellow Jamaican Sean Paul and American rap stars like Lil ‘Kim and Fat Joe.
His loyalty to Jamaica and Jamaican culture has never wavered, and his goal has always been to bring dancehall music to international ears. In fact, Cham can be cited as having said many years ago that he wanted Madhouse Productions to become an internationally known name.
It’s no surprise when Cham and Madhouse worked together to produce History of the ghetto, his biggest success to date. The song hit at the end of 2005, and again, Cham took the world by storm. The song was a tale of the rough and rough life Cham overcame to become the man he is today, through the thick, thin walls of some of Jamaica’s toughest communities and garrison streets. .
After putting the song into perspective and once again silencing all naysayers, Cham took it one step further and attracted none other than Alicia Keys to remix the now world-famous single. The world has been eagerly awaiting the release of the official Ghetto Story video, and once again the world watched in awe as Cham send dancehall music to new heights, shattering glass ceilings on the way to the top.
But this was not the first time that Cham’s unmistakable style and voice were found on a track with an international artist. Her list of collaborations includes Foxy Brown, MIA, Nina Sky, Mario and more. But for Cham, it’s not about praise and ego.
Having amassed many other international hit singles during the year such as the high tempo hits that rock the clubs Wine over there and Focus, rollback and more exhibits Cham’s versatility as an artist to the world across a range of generations.
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