She told DancehallMag that she loved working with Stephens, who is known for her creative writing skills and her revolutionary stance on push-button topics that affect society.
“It was great working with Tanya, we had two records in mind for her to feature on and I’m glad she chose this one because her lyrics are perfect fit,” Khalia said.
Known more for her polished R&B-flavoured songs, Khalia said that she felt ‘almost compelled’ to do such an empowering song because of the message that it delivers on behalf of that segment of society who are still struggling under an oppressive economic system and who are demanding real change in their daily lives.
“Unfortunately protest music is something that has to happen because music is a reflection of reality and this is a part of real life. I would prefer to not have to sing these songs but it’s a message that’s needed. We have to challenge the system and demand change,” she said.
The song was recorded over slick production from Grammy award-winning producer Tony “CD” Kelly and Lionel De La O.
Tanya Stephens belts out her questions with searing clarity about the ineffectiveness of economic plans by the political hierarchy to address the needs of the youths.
She blasts: “When crime de pon top of yu and stay ahead of yu/how yu can call yuself leader?/It seems the master plan/Is to censor opposition/Think yu can fight crime inna the media….so why dem investing inna crime and ignoring education/Khalia, ask dem with wah now.”
Then Khalia chimes in with a haunting allegation on the chorus, asking pointedly: “we no get no answer to this yo/And we no get no answer that yea/we no get no answer to this yo.”
Khalia has her own probing questions about the proliferation of small arms on the island because of the porous nature of the country’s borders.
She deejays: “Auntie send a barrel fulla rice and it no touch down/so tell me how so much weapon a clear ah Custom/whoi….man still ah get gun down/if yu waan to even save your life, yu better run now/politician only care when election ah come ‘roun.”
This is the first single off of Khalia’s upcoming Stay True EP, executive produced by Tony “CD” Kelly.
“The upcoming EP has songs that talk about a wide range of life topics. I’m really excited for people to hear my first body of work! All the collaborations on it happened by fate. Just meant to be,” Khalia said.
The EP will be released via Ineffable Records on October 27th and includes additional features from Shaggy, Mortimer, and Blvk H3ro.
Khalia is signed to K-Licious Music, an independent label run by prolific music producer Tony Kelly, based in Jamaica.
Khalia (full name Khaila Million) was born in Westmoreland, but migrated to London, England, when she was six years old. She returned to the island in 2016 to pursue music, which she described as her passion.
She has previously done collaborations with the likes of Tifa, Busy Signal, Stonebwoy, and I-Octane.
Khalia captured the Breakthrough Artiste of the Year Award from the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA) in 2021.