Krueshef: St Croix's dancehall representative

The United States Virgin Islands (USVI) have produced a number of reggae acts who made an impact in the US and Europe. Best known of that batch are the band Midnite and roots singer Pressure.

Krueshef is a deejay from St Croix, which is arguably the most active of the territories in terms of dancehall/reggae. His latest song, God Woman, was released in December and produced by Raymond Johnson.

It has a Bounty Killer/Merciless vibe.

"They both played a major part in my style growing up as a kid back in the 90s, then as I got older I developed my own style," said the California-based Krueshef.

As a youth in tiny St Croix (population of just over 41,000), there was no shortage of reggae on the radio and throughout the USVI. The influence of traditional acts like Bob Marley, Burning Spear, and Steel Pulse ignited acts like Midnite, led by the Benjamin brothers, Vaughn and Ron.

Dancehall music, which began making inroads in the 1990s, was more appealing to Krueshef (real name Clarence Joseph). He said it was the genre's raw energy that drew his interest.

"The most attractive thing about dancehall music is seeing the deejays and sound systems clash, and the whole dancehall vibes with the food and extra things like custom lighters, flags, etc," he said.

St Croix has become the hub for dancehall/reggae in the USVI. Several popular artistes including Jada Kingdom, Elephant Man, and Pressure.

From the island of Saint Thomas, Pressure is best known of the acts from the US-owned territories. He hit it big in Jamaica in 2007 with the Don Corleon-produced Love And Affection.

Krueshef is keen to emulate him with God Woman.

"I would love to get a hit song in Jamaica and all over the world! And honestly, I know I got what it takes," he said.

— Howard Campbell

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