Singer, songwriter, producer, and rapper Capella Grey says he is over the moon to be in Jamaica for his very first visit.
The artiste will be performing at Sunday night's staging of the Chris Brown Under the Influence concert, which is slated for the National Stadium.
"It's been good, great energy, great vibe. I'm enjoying it here in Jamaica," Capella Grey said in an interview with the Jamaica Observer on Friday inside the lobby of the Courtyard Marriott in New Kingston.
Capella Grey, whose grandmother is from St Catherine, says his mother is originally from Bishop Avenue in Waterhouse. He also has relatives in St Mary and in other parts of the island.
"Yow, it's my first time here in Jamaica. This is like a real homecoming. I'm getting to really connect with my family and roots," said Capella Grey.
Since arriving, he has been making the rounds soaking up the culture and vibe.
"I have been to the Bob Marley Museum and its definitely been inspiring and motivational," he shared.
Capella Grey exploded onto the musical scene in 2021 with the inescapable hit Gyalis which he wrote and produced. The song which was hailed by several publications including Billboard magazine as the Song of the Summer for 2021, peaked at #10 on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, #35 on the Billboard Hot 100, #84 on the Canadian Hot 100, and #65 on the UK Singles chart.
He later followed up with songs including Sas Crise with Alayzha Sky and his brother Ghost, OT featuring Ty Dolla $ign, Welcome Back with Joey Badass and Chris Brown (featuring on Joey's album 2000), and Till the Wheels Fall Off (with Brown and featured on the R&B singer's album Breezy).
Brown is featured on a remix of Gyalis with dancehall artiste Popcaan.
He said the affiliation with Brown contributed to his appearance at the Under the Influence concert.
"We got to collaborate on a couple of joints even before Gyalis. It was due [performing with Brown] and the songs have been going crazy. I've never hit the stage with Chris and this is going to be a huge experience," Capella Grey explained.
He shared how the remix of Gyalis with Popcaan came about.
"I woke up to a Popcaan remix. He just liked the music and because he appreciated it and supported it he got on it. That was huge for me. God bless Popcaan. He did his thing and it helped the record a lot. I went to the UK and he was in the UK as well and we got to link up," Capella Grey disclosed.
Born in New Rochelle, New York, Capella Grey grew up in the Bronx.
"Growing up in a Jamaican household it just impacted how I talk, how I move, and even the music. I feel like Jamaicans are smoother than anyone else," said the 28-year-old whose given name Curtis Anthony Jackson II.
Prior to the success of Gyalis, Capella Grey was writing songs for other artistes.
Still, he grew up in the church where he learnt to play a few instruments.
"I been kinda been doing music forever. I was a church musician first and then a jazz musician. I played the organ, guitar and the drums. I'm a well-rounded entertainer. I'm a musician before anything else,' he said.
His mixtape Vibe Responsibly is scheduled for release between later this year. Jamaican acts are featured.
"I'm singing, I'm showing versatility, I did some ballads, R&B, reggae, hip hop on the mixtape. I have collaborations with Popcaan, Jada Kingdom, Chris Brown, Skillibeng, and French Montana. We kinda went crazy with this mixtape. We're shooting for late October to early November at least," said Capella Grey.
Asked of plans to working with other local acts, he said: "Stalk Ashley is one of the artistes I like, and there are a couple of dancehall acts that I have worked with so far before coming here."
Gyalis, his breakthrough hit, has been certified platinum in the United States for sales exceeding one million units.
"Going platinum is huge. That's kinda the record that changed my life. That's huge for me," he said.