Collin Demar Edwards, better known by his stage name Demarco, represents the refined cream of modern crop of Jamaica’s most skilled and talented music practitioners.
He embodies a new age of cutting-edge artistes, whose ability to intertwine song writing with music production, engineering, performing and whose capacity to use these skills seamlessly between Dancehall, Roots Reggae, Hip Hop, and R&B, makes him in constant demand in one role or another.
He spoke to Nairobi News on the sidelines of his performance at the launch of Redsan’s fifth studio album, Baddest. Excerpts:
1. Four years ago you said that in Jamaica no one knows East African music, has that changed now?
Of course the music has changed and I know more about the East African musicians, I love it. They play Redsan over there, its growing and it is going to get there.
2. You signed with Akon, how was it working with him?
It was great and a pleasure working with him because I’m also a fan and I grew up listening to him. It is a privilege to be on the same truck with him. I’m just happy man, I’m just fulfilling my dream.
3. Describe your music style and why you think it is unique.
I don’t think I have a musical style because I love every genre of music. I love to fuse the music, you will hear a dancehall mixed and fused with Afro beats or electro sound. I just love music. I really don’t have a style. You can hear me singing on a track and then I’m chanting on another track. I just go to all the beats.
4. You have been in and out of Africa several times, how can you say you have impacted the continent?
I have this song called I Love My Life and when I did it everyone thought I was an African, they thought I was from Nigeria. That song changed a lot of people’s lives. A lot of people come to me and say that the song has inspired them to do better and love their lives. Music is the healing of the nation.
5. You went from a DJ, producer to a singer, why the switch?
It was a change. When I was deejaying, I loved music, I was always listening to music and wanted to make music. I learned how to deejay first. You have to know the beats per minute so I learned that.
Later when I mastered that I needed to learn how to create beats and stuff, so I went to America from Jamaica got a job and my mother helped me buy a keyboard. From there it is how it began.
Every time I put my mind into something and why I do that is because if you want to have beats and do a song no would help me. So I decided to teach myself in house and decided to learn everything and be a one-man band.
6. Why did you change your stage name from Cautious to Demarco?
It was a label decision because somebody else had the name and it was a great decision, gladly.
7. What memories do you have for visiting Kenya and what keeps you coming back?
I love the people, the energy and you feel at home and you can just walk anywhere. It’s the love man, I love this place.