Despite working several jobs before he got signed to a major label, music was always the first love for King Cruff. After all, he has music in his DNA.
King Cruff (real name Solomon Marley-Spence) is the son of Stephanie Marley, the daughter of Bob and Rita Marley.
On Thursday he released his latest single, the cross-over nugget Shedoeneed (Universal Music Canada/Tuff Gong Collective), which features Afrobeats and dancehall artiste Stonebwoy and Jag.Huligin.
The official music video, which was directed by Kit Weyman, was shot on location in Kingston.
The Canada-based King Cruff was born in Kingston, where he attended Sts Peter and Paul Preparatory and Hillel Academy. He shared his musical journey in an interview with the Jamaica Observer's Splash on Thursday.
"There are a lot of different jobs on my resume. I've been a dishwasher and a sound technician at a music venue, but right before I got signed I worked in demolition and construction. It was tough work, but I was at a phase where I had to take these kinds of jobs to fuel my music career. I was doing that for about eight months before this massive opportunity came in," King Cruff disclosed.
Last year he signed with Universal Music Canada.
Asked why he chose music as a career, he said: "It's all about the creative rush for me. The idea of taking an idea from my imagination and putting it on wax. I love experimenting in the studio with pieces of my story, seeing what lyrics and melodies work, sharing pieces of wisdom in different ways that people can digest and interpret it, and then releasing it and having it receive by a community that can relate and appreciate it. It wasn't always the path I was on, but it's become an integral part of my life now. I couldn't imagine not having it be a part of my existence," he shared.
King Cruff continued: "My journey in music has been exhilarating and turbulent. It's brought out the best and worst in me. It's given me incredible moments that I get to share with my friends and family but the thing that excites me the most, are the moments of growth. When I can actually feel that I've become a stronger musician than I was the day before."
King Cruff's uncles include Grammy-winning musicians Stephen, Ziggy, Stephen Marley, while his aunts are Cedella and Sharon Marley, former members of the Grammy-winning and platinum-selling group Ziggy Marley & the Melody Makers.
Asked what kind of advice he has received from his family as it relates to music, he said: "I think the best advice has always been to have positive intent behind whatever you do. Even if the theme of the music is a bit darker and outlandish, the intent must always be to help and uplift. It's something that's stuck with me ever since I was told."
He shared what makes him stand out from the pack, musically.
"I bring what I feel like music has been missing â€” experimentation. I was never afraid to be the outlier. I've lived a life challenging the norms and I feel it shows in my music. I like taking the risk of fusing different genres together and seeing if it works. I enjoy using wordplay and lyricism to say things people have never heard before. I want to be the flag-bearer for this generation of new artistes who respect the past but look to the future."
Last year, King Cruff won the Forest City London Music Award for Best Hip Hop Artiste. It's an accolade of which he is proud.
"It was a great moment. I was surrounded by my friends and peers in the music industry. It also had happened at a time when the news hadn't come out that I was signed yet, so it felt like this moment of celebration amongst my team in a year where there was a lot to celebrate. It signified me achieving my goal in London, Ontario, as a musician and community leader and it inspired me to move outwards of London to take over the rest of the world," said King Cruff.
The artiste spoke about Shedoeneed and working with Stonebwoy and Jag.Huligin.
"The song started from a songwriting camp in Toronto, where the seeds for the idea were first planted. Jag.Huligin is one of my closest collaborators, so it felt perfect to have him on a track with such massive potential. Stonebwoy later heard the song and loved it and we were able to recruit him onto it as well so there are three artistes, one from Jamaica, Ghana and the Bahamas on one track. The track was produced by Pops, Olivr and Loris," King Cruff stated.
He said he's always working towards a body of work while collaborating with producers including LordQuest, Eestbound, Just Ideas, Junia-T, and Banx & Ranx.
"The music will cover so many different styles and patterns, I cannot wait to share it with everyone," said he.