Teejay's Drift
Summer hit gets good traction; EP coming
TEEJAY...mi feel like mi come out ah mi lane pon dah one deh (Photo: Naphtali Junior)

Dancehall artiste Teejay has captured the masses with what has already proved to be one of the biggest hits of the summer.

Titled Drift, the official music video for the catchy new tune, which has an accompanying dance, has already racked up over 1.2 million views on YouTube in a matter of days.

Although the "Uptop Boss" has been enjoying the glory, he did not foresee this momentum of success.

"To be honest, it's my biggest reaction from doing music from dem time 'til now," he told the Jamaica Observer's Splash during an exclusive sitdown on Wednesday.

Teejay (Photo: Naphtali Junior)

"Maybe because mi neva feel like ah my style dat. Mi feel like mi come out ah mi lane pon dah one deh. It work same way; di people dem like it — 'cause wi haffi try tings when it come on to music, try new stuff," he added.

Production credits for Drift are owed to DJ Mac, Panda, and, of course, Top Braff Music. Meanwhile, the music video was directed by Lagikz.

The track came about through seamless teamwork, according to Teejay, whose given is name Timoy Jones.

One fun fact is that the dance was created before the track was even recorded.

"Drift is a dance created by Gabbidon, and Gabbidon reach out to mi and seh, 'Yo, mi wah yuh bring dis to life.' 'Cause yuh know music a art weh yuh paint to people, suh yuh can get di true vision of it. Mi get di rhythm from Panda. I was really the producer for the track, but yuh know DJ Mac have di streets right now as a producer. So mi seh, 'Mac, produce dah song yah,' and wi just create a chemistry as producer and artiste and wi just mek it work," Teejay explained.

With the momentum around his newfound hit, it would be remiss of the entertainer to exclude it from his forthcoming I Am Chippy EP. The icing on the cake for that project is that music lovers all around the world will get to experience Teejay's vocals being complemented by other dancehall favourites on some of the tracks.

"Drift is already the number one song on the EP. Is a bad EP dat! Big EP! It consists of eight songs. We have some nice collab pon it…some nice features wid even our own, weh me consider an international artiste same way — Shaggy. Yuh have Skillibeng pon it same way," Teejay said alluding to the fact that there will be even more surprise collaborations.

On the home front, Teejay is also a father, and with the fast pace of his career he sometimes has to make hard decisions to fulfil his musical obligations with home/work balance. He shared an example during Wednesday's chat.

"It kinda hard still, 'cause right now mi promise mi daughter seh me and her aguh watch Little Mermaid, and mi actually trick her seh di movie theatre sold out just suh mi can come here fi do dis. It rough sometime, and yuh know mi suppose to fly out tomorrow [Thursday] suh yuh know dah promise deh now, mi actually haffi go break it, but ah suh it guh. Mi aguh mek she good," he said.

From Glendevon in Montego Bay, Teejay broke onto the scene in 2018. A former member of the Romeich Entertainment camp, the artiste is now with Solid Agency and has so far been singing praises of the team at the entity.

"It is a great experience. All di time, as an artiste, mi always haffi manage miself…mi nah seh mi neva have a good manager. Mi woulda be ah wicked if mi seh dat…Working with Sharon [Burke] it good still. Sharon kinda call yuh 4 o'clock ah morning but ah just fi mek better," Teejay said.

Meanwhile, Teejay said he remains committed to his authenticity and refuses to adopt the unconventional changes that dancehall has undertaken as of late.

"Mi haffi stay inna mi owna lane. Not because di other yute dem ah seh dis and dat mi haffi follow and dweet. Yuh still have people weh believe inna rooted music and substance music same way. Most ah weh a gwaan inna Jamaica yuh nah really hear it out inna di world. Yuh might get weh one or two time, but when mi go out inna di world ah di nice music dem a pree same way…di Beenie Man, Wayne Wonder, Sean Paul, Shaggy. Yuh will hear two of the new artistes sometimes, but not everywhere," he said.

He is known for other tracks such as Uptop Boss, From Rags to Riches, Attention and Unfaithful Games.

The seasoned entertainer is also imploring emerging acts to be intentional in producing quality songs.

"Focus pon yuhself. Believe inna yuhself, find a good team and just promote yuh song dem and sing good music. Don't feel like the two-month music alone aguh last. Sing music wid substance," Teejay said.

BY KEDIESHA PERRY Observer writer entertainment@jamaicaobserver.com

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