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Dalton Harris eyes int'l market

By Sade Gardner
Observer writer

Thursday, January 04, 2018

FORMER Digicel Rising Stars winner Dalton Harris is encouraging young artistes to aim for the international market.

The singer was speaking to the Jamaica Observer from his base in the United States.

“I decided to pursue my career outside of Jamaica because overseas people respect you more. In Jamaica, you have to talk foolishness and do dah deejay something deh. There's a celebrity game you have to play. You have to act cool, go to every event, follow and subscribe to the way of life of corporate Jamaica or weh kids a do now. You have to act like you like people fi dem pay you, ignore your beliefs whether right or wrong; you have to have beef or be in competition — mi nuh inna dat,” said Harris.

The 23-year-old singer who migrated to the States five years ago said his scope has widened.

“I mean the local presence is there 'cause radio always play my music. Is it necessary right now? No. If my music can garner a local presence it is an incentive. Jamaica a mi yaad and I'm grateful to be a product a dem, but you can do the same reggae songs outside of Jamaica,” he said.

The singer, who won the televised talent show Digicel Rising Stars in 2010, started the new year on a high after his song Perilous Times made the Zona Reggae Magazine Top 100 Reggae Songs of 2017 in Romania. The track, produced by his mentor Donovan Germain of Penthouse Records last August, was written when he was in grade 10.

“I wrote it after I saw a video of a yute stabbing another yute in a classroom. Based on weh mi see a gwaan in schools now, it's a song that's still relevant,” he said.

The former Kingston College and Edwin Allen High student said he hopes to pursue a college education in the future. But now he is focused on an album being produced by Penthouse Records.

“It's going to be based on classics; so we're choosing some of the biggest songs by artistes like Buju Banton, Marcia Griffiths and Beres Hammond and putting our own musical interpretation on the songs. The name we're thinking of is Penthouse Classics, and it should be out by the end of next year,” Harris said.