MONTEGO Bay-based DJ and producer Neil "Crazy Neil' Barnes was recently recognised by Spotify for his contribution to the single Rick and Morty by American rapper Soulja Boy, which amassed more than 23 million streams on the platform.
Crazy Neil shared how the association with Soulja Boy began.
"I met Soulja Boy 15 years ago when he performed at Barefoot in Montego Bay and later met his Manager Theo Brown in 2020. However, I was a fan of his music before and his songs have always been on my playlist. When Soulja Boy did the Rick and Morty song I liked it, especially because it had a cool dance that they did to it. So, I ran with it and they noticed. Little did I know I was helping to spread the word," the DJ told the Jamaica Observer.
"My involvement is on different levels with several artistes but often there's no recognition given for your contribution when a track or artiste you helped promote becomes a success. It's almost never any recognition on this level â€“ not an official plaque from the artiste and the streaming platform. This recognition though was a welcomed surprise. Brown called me and indicated he was on the island and wanted to speak to me in person. When I met up with him, he caught me offguard with the presentation of this amazing multi-platinum plaque. It feels great to be recognised as a DJ all the way in Montego Bay by Soulja Boy, a big international rap superstar, and a steaming company like Spotify for my input. I just want to say a big thank you to Soulja Boy, Spotify, and Theo Brown and, of course, God for this blessing, he added.
Crazy Neil said he and Theo Brown are also involved in other projects.
"I also worked with Brown as part of the original crew of DJs from Jamaica that pushed Skillibeng's smash hit Whap Whap and Don't Play by now deceased American rapper King Von as well as Fire Boy featuring Ed Sheeran's big hit in Peru," he said.
Crazy Neil also expressed that assisting artistes with getting promotion for their music has always been something he's involved with as he is a genuine lover of music.
"I have helped in getting several artistes attention. I post them all over social media, get the spots on shows, put them on beats I produce or by major producers I'm connected with. I risk playing their music at some big events, where the chance of persons hearing of them before are slim but they will get noticed by patrons as the songs sound great and hold their attention," said Crazy Neil.
"I get them on popular Spotify playlists, radio, introduce them to other DJs and arrange interviews to help boost their music and introduce them to the public. There are so many ways I promote who I like their music and decide to run with their songs. I get them noticed or in the same room with the right people. Mostly though, I get excited over new songs. If I love it, I play them and then some others will hear it and start playing it too. I play in different party scenes locally and internationally. Thankfully, I'm versatile enough to play in the dancehall to hip hop clubs to soca fetes and even dance music festivals. So, I get the music out to different scenes," Crazy Neil added.