BABY CHAM

Don't be mislead by his cherubic looks and beatific smile: deejay (rapper) Baby Cham's rapid fire baritone and hard-core lyrical delivery, punctuated by his signature phrase "wow-wow", has yielded an awesome succession of dancehall boom shots. Incorporating the individuality of the late deejay Major Worries, the explicit chat of Shabba Ranks, Bounty Killer's dread serious, commanding delivery and the dazzle of Beenie Man's live performances, Baby Cham's innovate fusion heralds the arrival of Dancehall - on another level!

The deejay's ambitious debut album "Wow…. The story" (Madhouse) presents two distinctive CD's: "The Beginning", compiling Cham's best selling singles and "Another Level", featuring new tracks utilizing varied musical influences, courtesy of trend setting producer Dave Kelly. "It's not just putting lyrics on Hip Hop or Rock rhythms", explains Kelly - founder of Madhouse Records, "it's keeping the form in terms of what makes Dancehall DANCEHALL, through what we say and how we say it. We make it understandable so you can be from any culture and feelthe same Dancehall vibes we feel". With the release of "Wow…. The story", music fans worldwide will realize what Dancehall devotees already know: the Baby Cham/Kelly combination is one of the most formidable Jamaica has ever seen; in other words - "Wow Wow!!"

Born Dameon Dean Beckett in Kingston, Jamaica on February 24th, 1977 at just age seven years old he bagn watching established deejays of the day honing their skill on the mic while sharpening his own deejaying abilities at school. "I was a good student, I wasn't focused on deejaying just yet", Cham recalls. "But you just develop the idea of being a deejay, holding the mic and rocking the crowd." One of nine children whose father died in1991, Dameon put aside his childhood aspirations of becoming polite because it would have been a financial burden for his mother, "so I found another way out," he says.

While attending high school Dameon and friends would lyrically freestyle, receiving enthusiastic responses from their fellow students. Dameon was asked to perform at a talent show in Kingston, (Where he first adopted the moniker Baby Cham) for which he wrote several original songs, surprising many in the community with his skills. With his friends encouragement he began visiting Kingston's recording studios where young hopefuls and already established artists spends hours each day waiting for an opportunity to "voice", that is, record their vocals over a producer's pre-exisiting rhythm ("riddim") track. "Nothing started to happen for me until about age 15, that's when I voiced my first song," Cham recalls. "A year later, I voiced a song that got a little recognition in Jamaica, "One Bag of Hotness". Then sound systems started looking for me in the community to do dub plate specials (custom made acetate recordings lauding a specific sound system)" In 1995 Baby Cham met popular deejay Spragga Benz who took him to Donovan Germain's Penthouse studios. Spragga and Cham recorded "No Coco Mania" which rocketed to number one throughout the Caribbean, earning Baby Cham an opportunity to perform in Barbados, his first trip outside of Jamaica.

As a result of his numerous visits to Penthouse, Baby Cham formed an alliance with Dave Kelly who was at the time the studio resident task master (engineer, producer, etc). When Kelly opened THE BOXX studio facility, Cham continued to call on him seeking an opportunity to record. "I always liked how Dave did his work," Cham remarks, "how his product sounded: him nah rush it, just one or two rhythms a year and they always last." Kelly, however, insisted the promising young artist finish school before he would record him. Since Baby Cham completed high school, his dynamic deejay style in combination with Kelly's impeccable sense of rhythms has forged an indomitable Dancehall combination.

Kelly's JOYRIDE rhythm released in late 1996 dominated the Dancehalls and radio airwaves for most of 1997, yielding two hits for Baby Cham: "Funny Man" with singer Mr. Easy and "Joyride" with singer Wayne Wonder. As the rhythm's popularity traveled outside of Jamaica, Baby Cham hit the road on a four week Joyride Tour of the US along with Frisco Kid, Alley Cat, Wayne Wonder and Mr. Easy. Under the guidance of the tour more established artists, Cham gained confidence and developed the powerful delivery which now trademarks his live performances.

In 1998, the Dancehall celebrity spotlight shone even brighter on Baby Cham when he recorded "Que Sera (Bumper Cart)" over Kelly's RAE RAE rhythm. The song's popularity earned Cham his first advertised appearance on Jamaica's Reggae Sumfest - The island's most important Reggae Festival. The RAE RAE rumblings escalated to seismic proportion when Kelly released the SHOWTIME rhythm featuring one of Cham's best selling single "Gallong Yah Gal". Cham returned to Sumfest 1999, his dazzling performance rated among the finest of the festival.

In July 1999, Kelly's much anticipated BUG rhythm began it's Dancehall infestation and with it arrived Cham's anthem "Ghetto Pledge". As the year ended the BUG refused to be exterminated spawning, instead Kelly's CLONE rhythm and another Cham's chart topper "Another Level" featuring Bounty Killer.

Baby Cham's music indeed raises Dancehall to another level - after listening to "Wow…. The Story", it's certain longtime fans and recent Dancehall converts will have a unanimous response: Wow Wow!!!!.

 

****SOON COME: Baby Cham - da interview!

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