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Footsteps tramples on racism

Observer writer

Friday, September 25, 2020

BRITISH-JAMAICAN singjay Footsteps has teamed up with UK-based dancehall artiste Big Zeeks to tackle the issue of racial discrimination with the track Bad Breed (Afro/Caro).

Footsteps, 32, explained that the track was inspired by his own personal experiences.

“Mostly when I was younger, whilst playing outside, some people would call me and my friends names [racial slurs and other typical, ignorant words). We would be playing football or riding our bikes and that would happen. Growing up [and] being a tall black man comes with a lot, especially being stereotyped, unfortunately. This [results in] lots of police stops, denied entry to certain clubs, the list goes on,” the singjay, whose given name is Coryell Hyatt, told the Jamaica Observer.

Written and produced by Footsteps, Bad Breed (Afro/Caro) was released on July 10.

Footsteps added that the collaboration was smooth sailing.

“I sent him [Big Zeeks] some of my beats on Instagram and we got talking. We have mutual friends, so that also helped. I sent him the Bad Breed song with just the beat and the hook and he liked it,” he said.

Although he resides abroad, Footsteps said dancehall was an integral part of his upbringing.

“Growing up I listened to artistes like Sean Paul, Mavado, Beenie Man, Vybz Kartel, Sizzla [Kalonji], and more. Growing up in East London, Hackney, dancehall was massive! In the 90s/2000s dancehall and the Caribbean culture was everywhere. It had [a] huge impact on who I am and the music I make and made,” he added.

Since his career as an artiste began in 2018 he has published songs like Maxi Dress featuring Ycee, Shakka and Moelogo, Real One and Do Me Something.

The singjay said his latest track has been well received.

“The feedback has been amazing. A lot of people love the song, love the video, and find the concept funny,” said Footsteps.

He has big hopes for the future.

“Firstly, I see myself growing as an artiste; being able to create and express myself through my music, which could lead to my music on charts in various countries. Secondly, I see myself owning more music and multimedia studios, giving me the opportunity to meet all types of creatives working towards their dreams,” Footsteps said.