Fire Child stays in the know

Fire Child stays in the know

Observer senior writer

Monday, January 04, 2021

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Collaborations are a big part of contemporary music. Making the right link can result in the big breakthrough for an emerging artiste. It's a strategy Toronto-based singer Fire Child is aware.

Know Yourself, a song he did with Iba Mahr, is his latest effort with a Jamaican act. Last year, Fire Child recorded Badmind with Busy Signal.

“Whatever genre of music one chooses, working with the elite of that industry is always a major plus towards an artiste being noticed and seen. However, for me it's much bigger than that. For me, working with artistes from Jamaica is both a privilege and an honour. I am an artiste and I'm pleased to have my work recognised in such a manner that people who did not have to give me a strength, did so and recognised in me something worthy of their time and expertise.”

Fire Child has more collaborations in the bag with I-Octane, Jesse Royal, Vaughn Benjamin, and Samory I. Over the years, he developed ties with these artistes moving in Toronto reggae circles, which included opening shows for Capleton, Elephant Man, General Trees, Luciano, and Sizzla when they performed in that city.

Born in apartheid-era South Africa, Fire Child moved with his family to Canada at age four. Growing up in a racially-tolerant country allowed him to appreciate Toronto's eclectic music scene, with hip hop being the first genre he embraced.

After a steady diet of Red Man, Digital Underground, Sean Price, Heavy D, Busta Rhymes, Mobb Deep Eric B and Rakim, NWA and Public Enemy, he got into Caribbean culture.

“I grew up in the 80s/90s in Toronto where most everyone I know is Jamaican and from other Islands such as Trinidad or Guyana, etc. So, going to dance, eating island food, and listening to island music was just life,” Fire Child explained. “In my late teens I decided to trod Earth as Rastafari which gave me a further love for Jamaica, its people and culture as well as a love for my place of birth which sometimes gets lost living in a place where you see very few people that come from where you are from.”

Kicking off his collaborations with artistes he admires is important.

“Busy Signal is definitely one of those artistes that has had a high impact on me from those times till now and getting to work with people you have seen on TV screens and have had such an effect on the culture was truly amazing. Likewise with Iba Mahr; when I heard G reat is H.I.M. for the first time I felt the power in the brother's energy and meditation, and I knew from that I would be a fan for life,” said Fire Child.

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