Mr Killa on a roll
BEFORE this Carnival season, not many soca fans were familiar with Mr Killa. That changed a few months ago, with the release of his infectious hit song Rolly Polly.
On the single, the Grenadian singer, whose real name is Hollice Jonah Mapp, unabashedly expresses his affection for the 'fat gyals'.
In an interview with the Jamaica Observer, the 29-year-old Mr Killa spoke about his passion for reggae/dancehall music. He said he started out as a dancehall act at age 10.
In 1999, at age 15, he won Grenada's Teen Talent Search Competition performing original dancehall pieces.
"When I was a kid, almost every barbershop played dancehall music. Beenie Man, Bounty Killer and Super Cat were just a few of the favourites. I used to run away from home after school just to listen to the music," he stated.
"One of the days I was there listening, some guys lift me up and place me on an old refrigerator and I gave them a lyrical show and that's where I got the name Mr Killa."
But when he was 17, Mr Killa turned to soca even though dancehall music remained close to his heart.
"It was harder to break out as a dancehall artiste in Grenada as Jamaica is the breeding ground for the genre. Soca music was a bit more dominating so I diverted to that field," he said.
His first single, Gouyave Alone, is an ode to Carnival in his hometown. Other songs, like Thunder Rags, Gyal Whine if you Whining, The Wood Can't Done and Turn it Up, followed. In 2004, 2006 and 2009, he won the National Soca Monarch title in Grenada.
Rolly Polly, however, is his breakthrough hit. It has introduced him to 'socaphiles' throughout the Caribbean.
Tonight, Mr Killa performs in Jamaica for the first time at the soca party Pandemonium at LIME Golf Academy in New Kingston. Shaggy, Machel Montano and the HD Band are headliners.
"It will be just greatness. I am an entertainer and the stage is the place where I release everything. Be it anger, happiness or love, the stage is where it is all poured out," he said.