#UpNext: From high school dropout to rising artiste
-1Speech determined not to sing about scamming, guns

KINGSTON, Jamaica — After dropping out of high school in the 11th grade, emerging artiste 1Speech said he realised he had a natural talent for music when he went to a studio for the first time in 2015 and recorded his first song.

Describing the experience as “feeling just right”, he decided To pursue this as a full-time career.

“Me realise school never did a work for me, so me just stop. This yute take me up and decide that we a go studio. The first time me go studio was 2015 and me reach in the booth and build me first track,” 1Speech told OBSERVER ONLINE.

The artiste, given name Jaleel Nugent, said his mother encouraged him to pursue his dream of being an artiste.

Though he may not have gotten an ideal start in the industry, the artiste believes he has improved in song delivery, lyrics and production quality.

As a result, the 26-year-old has created a niche of what he describes as “original raw dancehall” and has not subscribed to what has become common and popular in the music industry.

“Since recently, me kinda stop write gun song because anybody can just sit down and put two gun lyrics together, even if a foolishness. Me a try go a different direction from the others,” 1Speech explained.

“Me don’t sing bout trap song, me don’t sing bout scamming. Me just stick to the original raw dancehall from day one — like bout girl, and party and making money — and me will give a soft side where me sing bout people reality,” he added.


Describing himself as a self-made artiste, 1Speech told OBSERVER ONLINE that he has no formal training nor did he do any research on how to become an artiste.

“People continue to tell me that me sound like Mavado and Chronic Law, but within myself, me know that me sound like me; me don’t sound like nobody,” he said.

“Me like them, me listen various artistes but when it comes to writing my songs, me lock off from the world and focus on myself so whatever I deliver, you have to feel it same time or you have to meds it first and once you do that you feel it after,” he added.

The feedback and encouragement he has received, along with the inspiration from his mom, continue to motivate the artiste.

“My mother inspires me to keep moving forward because every time me see she play one of my songs, it is like a joy to see her, my own mother, singing along, and that motivates me and pushes me further so she can really see what I am doing and what I have become,” the artiste said.

1Speech’s short-term goal is to get his music playing on the radio, especially with his EP set to be released in December. For now, however, his songs can be found on streaming platforms and on YouTube.

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