Dami D banks on Love and Unity

Saturday, July 07, 2018

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Harrisville, West Virginia, is a totally different scene from Cassia Park, Kingston, where singjay Dami D grew up, but that has not stopped him from holding on to his Jamaican roots vibe.

Dami D has lived in the small West Virginia town (population under 2,000) for five years, recording a number of songs that blend reggae with dancehall and hip-hop. His latest songs, 25 and Love and Unity, are collaborations with Snyd, a West Virginian rapper.

“Wi not looking at getting a lot of airplay right now. Wi focusing on getting things right in terms of marketing before reaching out to places like college radio,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

Harrisville, which is located in a remote section of West Virginia, is a two-hour drive from Columbus, Ohio which has a vibrant dancehall/reggae scene. Dami D and Snyd, who met while working at a petrol station, travel to that city regularly to take in some of the Jamaican acts who pass through, such as Spice, Chronixx, Morgan Heritage, Cham and I-Octane.

Love and Unity and 25 are produced by Dami D for his Dami D Entertainment label. He has been guiding his own songs for close to a decade, after “bad experiences” with producers he worked with in Jamaica. Taking control, he noted, is the best thing that happened to his career.

“In Jamaica when yuh work with some producers yuh don't feel a sense of security. Sometimes they release a song an' put it out in Europe an' there's no release date, no information, so you are exploited,” Dami D reasoned.

His career started in Kingston with M-Phatic Records in 2000, shortly after leaving St George's College. He recorded one song ( Dun Wid Dem) for that label and another ( No More War) for Ashquad Records which was run by Asher T Davis, whom he considers his musical mentor.

From there, he co-founded the production company Multicast with Makonnen Blake Hannah. He recorded several songs for that entity including the ballad, The One.

The 36-year-old artiste migrated to the United States 10 years ago, living initially in New Jersey and Connecticut before settling in hilly West Virginia. Love and Unity and 25 were recorded in his home studio, something that gives Dami D enormous satisfaction.

“I have management of my product which makes me more self-reliant. The truth is, independent productions and producers are more respected by big companies, so what I try and do is put out the best music possible,” he said.

— Howard Campbell

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