Chris Gayle

Retired cricketer-turned-recording artiste Chris Gayle spends much of his time in the Middle East for the sole purpose of promoting Jamaican culture. This is a practise he is encouraging his compatriots to adopt in order to broaden their fan base.

"I run into Sean Paul and Shaggy a lot on my travels between Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and they are doing a great job promoting the Jamaican culture. I think more Jamaican entertainers can market their music in these territories so they can travel there for shows and do collabs with their artistes. However, the music must be clean and uplifting," he told the Jamaica Observer.

Gayle recently wrapped shooting a music video with Indian singer Arko for a track called Fatima set to be released in April.

Back in 2021, the renowned batsman collaborated with Indian rap artiste Emiway Bantai on the track Jamaica To India, which has accumulated over 68 million views on YouTube.

Arko is a singer-songwriter and music composer who has worked in the Bollywood film industry since 2012. Jism 2 was his début film as a music composer and lyricist.

According to Gayle, their collaboration came about after the Indian artiste saw the strides he was making in his career.

"Because of my social media posts of the success of the album I headlined, Tropical House Cruises to Jamaica: The Asian Edition, a lot of artistes and producers are reaching out to me. When Arko reached out to me I checked out his extensive work in Bollywood and I moved at the opportunity to record the song and video with him," he explained.

Tropical House Cruises To Jamaica: The Asian Edition was released in December 2022 and also featured Lauryn Hill, Capleton, Sizzla, Morgan Heritage, Shav A, Camar, Backpack Shawty, Stamma Kid, Cyanide OFTM, All Star, Melodiq, and 10th Wonder.

Last year, Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett lauded Gayle for championing the Jamaican culture in Asia.

"Chris Gayle is certainly a huge asset to Jamaica and a central figure in the engagement of Asians, particularly Indians," Bartlett said.

"When you call his name in India it is magic, so whatever important values he brings to this engagement... it can enhance Jamaica's presence in that market; that is something we are not about to pass on. I want to say that Asia is the next frontier for us, and we have already started working in India, and we have an agent in India. We will be calling on Chris, as we know that he is an icon in the cricket space in that beautiful country," he added.

In the meantime, Gayle has his eyes set on some big prizes for the rest of this year.

"This year I will be completing my solo album and looking to record with Sean Paul and Shaggy. I also want to.push this album I headlined for Contractor Music to the Grammys," he said.

BY KEDIESHA PERRY Observer writer

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