If you don’t know the name Kiprich, you can’t have been paying attention to dancehall for the last two decades. We recently had the pleasure of having a conversation with Kiprich to discuss his career, his experiences and his aspirations for 2019.
Having been active on the scene since 1999, Kiprich began his career whilst still at high school under the name Crazy Kid. Looking back on his early experiences in the industry, Kiprich remembers the feeling of getting that first hit record at a young age, developing his “love for the music” and seeing it happen “at the right time, when (he) was just about leaving school”. Developing his “inborn talent” and love to “write poems and rhymes” into a career in the music industry.
Music had long been an important part of Kiprich’s life, recalling the days he would see “(his) grandfather playing his one string guitar“. Kiprich sees his love for music as an “inborn thing” which has developed as he has grown up, “loving it more and more“.
Kiprich sees his upbringing in Waterhouse as an a very important part in the development of his love for music. Growing up near the legendary King Jammy’s studio, Kiprich describes Waterhouse as a “vibe community” with “parties almost every night“. Music is an important part of the community, Kiprich remembers “a lot of the hottest artists were coming around King Jammy’s studio which was the hottest studio at that time. With the studio being there it inspired others in the community to get into music, a lot of artists that make it big and get out there are from Waterhouse”.
Around this time Kiprich was still performing under the name Crazy Kid which came from his “high energy” during his schools days always “giving some jokes” and just having fun whilst at school. As he began to break out as an artist with tracks like ‘Leggo Di Bwoy , Kiprich realised a name change was in order, “the inspiration was keeping rich, rich in talent“, with the name originally being suggested by his manager.
Kiprich’s early career saw him feature as a member of The Alliance working alongside some of the greatest artists in dancehall, including Vybz Kartel, Mavado, Elephant Man and Wayne Marshall, not to mention that the group was founded by the legendary Bounty Killer. Being a member of the Alliance stressed the importance of hard work to Kiprich, as “when (he) was around talents like that it made (him) work harder, (he) would see them putting in the work and (he) knew (he) had to push myself harder”.
During and following his time in The Alliance, Kiprich worked closely with Elephant Man, featuring on the hit record ‘Jook Gal’ with Elephant Man acting as a mentor to the upcoming deejay.
Looking at his time working with Elephant Man, Kiprich saw the importance of working for the fans. “There is nothing too good to do for the fans“, learning from Elephant Man’s performances , seeing him “do anything to please the people“. Following his experience working with Elephant Man, Kiprich really focused on his aim of “just wanting to please the fans“.
Looking back on his career so far, Kiprich has learnt some important lessons: “you have to always put the fans first“,”be creative with your work“; and “keep writing“.
Kiprich looks to be creative with his music and “tend to not follow the trend that is out there” looking to “go in the opposite direction” using his “writing skill that (he) learnt from (his) school days“.
As for the future Kiprich has an EP coming in 2019, the EP was originally intended for 2018 but unfortunately time ran out on the 2018 release. Kiprich is looking very hopefully towards the future and his new EP with “some more exciting stuff coming through with some bright looking songs“. Looking at the current success of his new single ‘Call Me’ which has over 1 million views on YouTube, Kiprich is very hopeful about the release of his EP, with some very big collaborations promised.
Kiprich left us with some important advice for upcoming artists that are just starting out in the industry. “I’ll tell artists to be humble, always try to create a new vibe and don’t have limits to your career, don’t think of limits to your career, just do it. Don’t get ahead of yourself, always remember where you are coming from”.