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!
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!!"
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!!!.
COME: Baby Cham - da interview!
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