I recently shared the hit music video, ‘On and On’ by Don Husky, a vibrant new comer from DownSound Records it the feedback on twitter and Facebook was good so I decided to have a quick follow-up interview with him as well. The song, ‘On and On’ takes jabs at the artistes who have already seen success, the competitive music industry and encourages new talents to take their own slice of the pie. In the following interview Don Husky talks about his journey into music, his inspiration, and his plans for Africa among other things.
Note that some of his responses are in Jamaican patois.
Im good mi deh yah
What is your name and how old are you?
Roshane Brown, I am twenty-one
What is your DJ name?
How long have you been doing music?
I have been doing music all my life. There was a studio in Whitehall where I live, Ninja man and Luciano used to visit. I was always there. I was clashing when I was in Primary school, in High School it was the same. I started recording professionally when I came to DownSound Records
How did you come by that name?
I was the youngest artiste out of the artistes who were at a studio in portmore and Captain Barkey’s nephew told me change the name I had then to Don Husky. Also the fact that I always had 3-4 boys my age with me whenever I traveled.
What high school did you attend?
Holy Trinity High
What influences your music?
Who do you feel is the most motivating artiste and has that artiste also earned your respect?
Sizzla and Buju Banton are the two most motivating artistes to me. Sizzla puts his words together intelligently , I learn a lot of things from his songs. If I don’t read the bible , I can always learn about God through Sizzla’s music. You can see that he also does a lot of research
What did your parents want you to be when you grow up?
My parents wanted me to do the best in school but they did not force me to do what they wanted me to do. They made sure I went to school and did my work but gave me the choice to do what I wanted to do. I always loved the arts, drawing and architecture sculpting was what I liked to do. I like the arts
If you were not doing music what do you think you would have been doing?
Well if I was not doing music I would be selling clothes, hustling. I tried to find many jobs after I left school and was unable to because I didn’t have credentials for most of the jobs. I would travel to Falmouth to the buy the clothes then return to sell them in Kingston. I don’t believe in sitting back doing nothing, I am a hustler.
What do you think would have made you do better in school or what do you feel would have helped you to be motivated enough to do better in school, what could have been different?
Right now I don’t think no one can make anyone better in school, it is your mind and what is in your frame of mind. You have to be focused and put interest in what you are doing, if you are doing other things , you will not achieve what you are supposed to do. For me, I would have to focus so that is what would have to change, pray to keep focus because the more you put interest into something the more rewarding it will be.
Your song On and On is it about your personal struggle as an artiste?
It is about my personal struggle but I know a lot of artistes can relate.
What motivated the words?
It is something I have seen happen over the years. The song is a release of what is inside. You have to be strong in this business to hold it. There are always people trying to break your confidence. Everything that is happening now it was what I dreamed of years before. I used to do dubs to take home and play for myself and one day I told myself I wanted to make a real record. All of that is happening now
What are the people in the street saying about the song?
The streets are saying that my sound is unique, the words of the song are real and many people can relate. Many young artistes have told me that the words of the song are similar to what they are going through.
How many hours do you spend in the studio each day?
Most of the time I sleep in the studio, I sleep on the floor sometimes right here in the studio. I want to make it so I am putting in the work. On Sundays I go home to see my family.
In the song you refer to wanting a piece of a stale piece of pie why you term the industry as this?
The other day Dancehall fell into a hole, it seemed as if no young artiste was bussing as big as Mavado and the other artiste who made it big, it is getting harder and harder. I was just saying that although Dancehall seemed as if it was going down, I still wanted a piece of it.
As you mentioned , took a dive and some people may agree that Dancehall has taken a blow, how do you feel about this?
Well, I agree because the music they are doing nowadays , they are like ring tones. The music is not the authentic Dancehall music. I used to be around older Dancehall artistes and although I am young I know what real Dancehall music is .Many of them have not been doing Dancehall music, they are following Hip Hop. It is the real Dancehall that people love, the Rappers, the people overseas, love the real Dancehall. It would seem as if Jamaicans have dropped the real Dancehall and the foreigners have taken it up..It is because that is what they love. The rhythms that they make sometimes are like fruit loops , people want the real music. Dancehall music lasts long, the songs on those kinds of rhythms people forget them after a while.
What does the industry need to do to get back on top?
The industry needs to do more authentic Dancehall music and people need to support the more. Bring a new generation into the music. It needs to go back to the days where you don’t have to pay for your music to be played on the radio. It should go back to the days where songs are played because Disk Jockeys like it. Now they are playing music because they are paid and sometimes they are not good songs. That is one of the main things that has destroyed the music. Right now , even if they like your music they still want to be paid to play your song.
What would you say to fans, selectors and disk jockeys out there that are hesitant to play or listen to new artistes?
I would tell them to give everyone a chance, there are many good artistes out there. And to the new artistes I would say never give up, keep on trying, someone will play your song.
How do you feel about the progress you have made so far?
I feel great, DownSound is the greatest thing that has ever happened in my life. If not for DownSound I would be still on the street struggling. DownSound has really given me the opportunity to uplift my life and family . I love the music but I am also the financial benefits. DownSound is doing what no one else out there is doing, I have been through a lot roaming the streets, only Jah knows what I have been through. Maybe I would be in jail if I didn’t get this opportunity. Joe has everything here, all you have to worry about is your music. I have been to a lot of studios, and what Joe does at DownSound, I can say that no studio in Jamaica does that. Maybe in America, but not here in Jamaica.I can tell you one thing about Joe, he loves music, maybe more than us, that is the reason why he does what he does. If he is here he will call me in a corner just to reason, giving me directions about my career. He loves music, I don’t think we could find anyone else like him. I am a ghetto youth who knows the struggle , that is why I have to make it because of the interest Joe shows and the respect I have for him. The other day I went to get a tattoo with the name DownSound and the tattoo artiste asked me why I would do that, what should happen if DownSound and I should fall out. I told him that even if that should happen, I would always respect DownSound because of where I was coming from.
Who is your biggest supporter right now?
I would say Joe , he is my biggest supporter. Joe, makes sure my music is out there. He supports me in every way. If I need clothes, I get it, sheet, advice, he supports me in every kind of way.Also Skatta and Foota Hype.
What continent are you interested in really working on?
Why is that, and what peeks your interest about Africa?
It is the motherland and where it all started. Even if we try to shift away from what we are, everything began there. I would love to go there and perform for my people.I would like also to dedicate my new song Jah Send Mi come to them.
How you think their response will be to your music?
They will love it of course, I am a good artiste and I look forward to hearing from them.
Do you have any words for your fans?
I want to tell them to hold the faith, I’m coming up and will see them soon