Masicka On His Influences And Pursuit Of Dancehall Greatness

Dancehall artist Masicka has set a ten-year goal for himself: to become one of the greatest artists in the genre.

Speaking with MajorStage, a US music media company that showcases emerging talents, the Jamaican artist opened up about his influences and motivations and was clear about his future aspirations: “[In] 10 years time, [I see myself] as one of the greatest Dancehall artists.”

He added: “Just doing what me love, continuing the work, continue making progress in the music but just crossing over, making it big, just doing the same music, just pushing on – yeah one of the greatest Dancehall artists in history.”

Decked out in full black and eye-catching chains, the 29-year-old gave MajorStage a live studio performance of his latest hit Tyrant, a track that similarly showcased his ambitions. It was his second single released under a new contract with Def Jam Recordings and it’s expected to feature on his forthcoming sophomore album.

His debut independent album, 438, had earned critical acclaim for its artful mix of lyricism and street savvy. Featuring tracks like Pain, Suicide Note, Moments with Stefflon Don, and They Don’t Know, the album remained on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart for seven weeks, peaking at No. 2.

Behind the catchy beats and lyrical brilliance, Masicka is deeply motivated by family. “Trying to be a better person and creating a better way for my family drives me 100%,” he confessed. When questioned about the person who inspires him the most, he replied, “A lot of persons but I think my father… yeah definitely.”

The artist also credited his upbringing in Portmore, Kingston, as a major influence on his musical approach.

“…A lot of talented artists come from Portmore, Vybz Kartel, Gyptian … a lot of bad artists. So definitely coming from Portmore [like] a lot of lyrical artists, that shape how me put together mi metaphors and similes, the wordplay everything, cause Portmore just represent the lyrics on a whole different level,” he explained.

Musical inspiration also comes from industry giants. When asked, he gave a nod to Bounty Killer: “Me grow up ah listen Bounty Killer. Bounty Killer ah one ah dem person weh mi really emulate in ah di early part of mi career … just the aggressiveness, just the drive … dat sound deh, dat power deh.”

Bounty Killer, Masicka at Reggae Sumfest 2017.

“Bounty Killer is just a force to be reckoned with and mi just always like that. Him nuh easily moved, him nuh easily intimidated, so definitely,” he added.

“I started music from High School … like a little before High School,” he recounted. “So it was like a community ting, [I] grow up knocking desk[s] and stuff like dat. Just chilling with my friends dem playing old Dancehall music and stuff like that. Cause we grow up listening to a lot of Dancehall, you know like Bounty Killer, Beenie Man so it was always a part of me. Then High School now was where mi start fi really venture out and pursue music the real way.”

Masicka, whose hits include Stay Strong, Top Form, Image, and Different Type, was also open about the song that he feels encapsulates his journey so far.

They Dont Know, definitely,” he replied.

“[The song is about] where mi coming from and where mi reach. Mi might nuh reach the full potential or the full heights of where we destined to be but it also shows that we nah come from a smooth road and we appreciate the journey each and every step of the way.”

During a lightning round of questions, Masicka also shared a few facts about himself:

  • Favorite Jamaican food? Fried fish 
  • Go-to dance move? Whackie Dip 
  • Are you a party person? Occasionally 
  • What’s your go-to pickup line? What’s up? 
  • What’s your happy place? Music 
  • Favorite movie? Scarface 
  • Would you ever go skydiving? Yeah definitely 
  • What would you tell your younger self? Everything ah go be alright … worry less.
  • Describe yourself in one word. A genius
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