Our latest inteview comes with Jhaytea, a dancehall artist that grew up in Roatan Island, now residing in New York, who has his eyes set on success in Jamaica. Coming of a big collaboration with Vershon and Jovi Di Pree, Jhaytea is looking to continue to grow his name in the home of dancehall.
Check out what he had to say about his background, his aspirations and Roatan Island in our latest interview below.
How did growing up on Roatan Island effect your upbringing and early life as an artist?
Jhaytea: “Roatan Island is ex-British and governed by the Honduras. It is a former UK territory. Our culture and language is much like a lot of the Caribbean”
What is the Reggae and Dancehall scene like on Roatan Island?
Jhaytea: “They go hard for Caribbean music. Soca, Dancehall and Reggae are very big”
Is there an established scene of artists on Roatan Island?
Jhaytea: “I would say I am the biggest artist. I have toured with Shaggy and Mavado. Produced for Gyptian, so I would say my music has reached the farthest. I have done sold out shows in America”
What impact does being from Roatan Island have on an emerging artist?
Jhaytea: “It makes it much harder. Roatan Island is barely known to the world, but we are just getting out there with dancehall and soca. We are cut from the same cloth as much of the rest of the Caribbean. But the world does not know Roatan and they definitely do not expect music coming out of here”
How has your music been received away from Roatan?
Jhaytea: “Right now I’m getting very good recognition. Interviews on radio and TV; and I have a few more places that are expecting me”
When did you really first start to get into music and produce your own music?
Jhaytea: “I first produced my own track on cassette in 1997. I always produced and wrote my own songs”
Have you made sure to keep connected to Jamaica?
Jhaytea: “In 2009 I first went to Jamaica to perform and link with producers, that is when I first made the link with Gyptian”
What are some of the techniques that you had to use to promote your music coming out of a small island like Roatan?
Jhaytea: “I tried to keep my name relevant on the streets. The streets buss me first through my mixtapes. I want to use the same strategy in Jamaica. But to push a song to the correct level you need a budget. I know the importance of building a mixtape, printing the CDs and distributing them to the taxism, the bus drivers.
The streets govern dancehall, so I make sure I stay relevant on the streets of Jamaica. I go back every couple of months to do my ground work”
Earlier you spoke about the need to produce and write your own songs, what other effects does coming from Roatan Island have on an emerging artist?
Jhaytea: “I had to force myself to learn with producing, composing, DJing my own music. Roatan Island does not have some of the facilities that Jamaica does. There isn’t the investment in video equipment, studio equipment. I want to show the kids how to do it”
Where are some of the places that you have seen your music reach that you would have never expected it to reach?
Jhaytea: “I have seen my music grow from Roatan to Jamaica to Japan to Africa. The internet has helped to push my music out across the world”
What is your main focus for the rest of 2019?
Jhaytea: “My main focus is Jamaica, before this year is over I want to be known in Jamaica. I want to buss in Jamacia. I want to reach that next level.
I have learnt to do things differently. I have added management, instead of me being my own manager. I have added to support to take care of the business. It helps with the professionalism and adding their experience to my team.