Dancehall / Feature

Dancehall Legend Demarco Talks ‘Melody’ His Debut Album & Drops First Single ‘Mover’

Demarco reveals his debut album, Melody, arriving later this year.

The dancehall legend has been around for more than a decade, cleverly weaving his talents into the very fabric of Jamaica’s music from multi-angles, such as production, singing/deejaying, promoting, and videography.

Demarco is now looking to bundle his talents to provide fans with his debut album titled Melody, set to be released under the Oakland-based Ineffable Records on October 22, 2021. The deejay has decided to whet the appetite of his fans who have been longing for an album for more than a decade with a brand new single titled “Mover,” which features Konshens, who is also set to drop his album Red Reign with Ineffable Records.

A debut album 13 years in the game is certainly not a common practice, yet Demarco explains that this is the right time for a number of reasons. Before delving into how his musical knowledge has grown in stature over the years, Marco opened up to Urban Islandz just how he got started in the music business and the persons who inspired him the most throughout his decorated career as a singer/songwriter/producer.

“I started out in music as a selector,” he said while emphasizing the various elements of the craft, which he perfected while mixing with vinyl records. He attributed his love for the world of selecting and turntablism to the likes of famed Fame FM deejay Collin Hinds; Alric & Boyd, the duo that helped to shine a light on the necessity for house music in Jamaica; Leftside, the genius behind the Dr. Evil character and 1 part of the duo that formed Leftside and Esco; and Mix Master Marvin for his impeccable skills behind not one, not two, but three wheels of steel.

His passion for spinning records was vast but not enough to keep him from his main callings of deejaying and producing music. His main source of inspiration behind his quest to take on that daunting side of music is a man who dominated the 90s music scene with a larger-than-life stage persona, a full rowdy voice in the recording booth, and biting/aggressive lyrics none other than Bounty Killer.

“As a youth wa love music, like Bounty Killer was my idol inna music. So when me a select and all these things me used to turn over the record pon the version and start sound like Bounty and start deejay. Me just did have the love for the artiste side as well,” Marco explained about the entertainer with whom he would land his first official release, a single title “Chap.”

The multifaceted entertainer has managed to secure his spot as a member of the illustrious club of singers/deejays who also produce records. One of the most respected producers in dancehall is no doubt Dave Kelly, who has produced riddims such as the Joyride, Showtime, Fiesta, and 85. Demarco lists Kelly as one of his main motivators as far as production goes, and when the opportunity to learn the core functions of the drum machine presented itself years when he moved to the United States, he jumped on it.

Before that move, the figure fans around the world now know as Demarco would test his strength as a deejay at the then-popular Cactus Nightclub in his community of Portmore. On one faithful night in 1999, the teen was summoned on stage by the comedic duo of Ity & Fancy Cat to perform an original song. The history-making moment not only earned him a bevy of forwards from the crowd but also helped in him “getting a girl,” the singer joyfully recalled.

“Me a say no, a so artiste thing stay, from now me a artiste them can’t tell me nothing,” he said.

His time in the States saw him securing his own music equipment by all means. The move paid off since before long, he was signed to Star Kutt Music, where he wrote and produced hits for top-class acts such as Styles P, Missy Elliot, Foxy Brown, Kat Deluna, Olivia, among others. Demarco would eventually break into Jamaica’s music scene, where he worked with Sizzla on a conscious, uplifting reggae track. A slew of hits would follow, beginning with yet another conscious number titled “Falling Soldiers.” “Standing Soldier,” “True Friend,” as well as the gritty numbers “Sort Dem Out” and “Duppy Know Who Fi Frighten” also followed. Tracks with Busy Signal and Da’Ville also made their mark on the local scene and helped to cement his place as a recording artist. Demarco was also working tirelessly behind the scenes, creating some of the most cherished riddims released in dancehall within the last two decades.

“Most a the riddim them wa me did hit pon a me did build dem. Fallin Soldier, Duppy Know Who Fi Frighten, Shoot Out Riddim a me build it. Mission Riddim. Busy Signal song “Whine Pon Di Edge,” me build that. Busy Signal, “Unknown Number.”.TJ Riddim weh Popcaan a say, ‘Me rather dead before me take a box TJ’, me build that. Charly Black “Party Animal” me build that,” he listed, as he wheeled out the plethora of hits under his belt.

The coveted list includes Stress Free Riddim, Top Speed Riddim, Butta Riddim, Side Walk University, Virus, Gang War, Z-March, Splash Out, Chemistry Riddim, Warning Riddim, and numerous others. He has also worked with a number of entertainers to craft singles and full-length projects, as he did with reggae superstar Mykal Rose. Fans were able to witness his genius when he worked with Spice on her recent hit “I Feel A Way,” which was crafted after the Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta star revealed she was profiled at a Walmart store.

When questioned about why his name is not listed as the producer on many of his hit projects, he explained that the local way of labeling shines little light on the actual musician who crafted the riddim.

“In Jamaica I am considered as the musician for the riddim but is not me put out the riddim, me build the riddim for somebody. In America now I would be the producer and the person that put out the riddim would be the executive producer,” he said while hinting that it is what is.

Demarco on his new album Melody.

With hits to rival Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, one wonders about Demarco’s reason for releasing an album after over a decade and a half in the music business.

“It’s just the right time for me now. It’s like the right set a people are very passionate about this album as well, the right things are put in place right now and I feel comfortable putting out this album because before I didn’t know the business,” the deejay told Urban Islandz from his home studio.

While stressing the hours of studying he has put into learning the business side of music since returning to America in 2017, the Atlanta resident urged young entertainers to become verse in publishing, royalties, sound exchange and to secure an entertainment lawyer to go through all documents. Demarco, who remains an independent artiste, has teamed up with Ineffable Records in the bid to release the much-anticipated body of work.

Ineffable Music Group co-founder Igor Katz explained that he stands behind the project wholeheartedly. “He is responsible for helping create some of the biggest dancehall records of all time for others, and we feel like it’s time to spotlight his music on an album, “Katz commented about the project that should feature roughly 15-16 tracks of melodic ecstasy.

With a name fashioned off that of his youngest child Melody, Demarco explains that the album will no doubt center around, you guessed it, melodies. One of his most recent releases is a fresh reggae anthem titled “Stuck On You,” produced by Collie Buddz. The song could also find its way onto the upcoming album and should also get his followers accustomed to the reggae sounds they will hear more of when the follow-up to Melody is released.

“Me have about 2 or 3 reggae tracks on the album but after this album me wa do a full reggae album too. Me go just start put out the album dem now,” he told us.

Also featured on the album is Ghanaian music “Artiste Of The Decade” winner Sarkodie. Over the years, Demarco has managed to remain fluid, possessing the ability to craft sounds to match different genres of music. His 2017 smash hit “No Wahala” picked up features from Senegalese hitmaker Akon and Nigerian singer Runtown. He continues to tap into the sounds of the motherland with songs such as 2020’s “Fix Tings” and “Loco.”

Demarco on having a big fanbase in Africa

“My biggest fanbase is over in the African region de. I’m known for “I Love My Life,” which is a massive hit over Africa. Everybody a Africa know that song,” he affirmed. “A really me just rate Sarkodie and reach out to him and just like right away let’s do it me send him the track and the rest was history. Runtown now a me friend. We even talk about a joint album one of these days you know.”

Other features to look out for on Melody will come from Sean Paul, Shaggy, Stephen Marley, and Ky-mani Marley. The “Lazy Body” deejay had nothing but praises for the likes of Sean Paul, whose contribution to dancehall is well noted.

“Dem man de inspire me because the way how him do the dancehall thing him do it pon another level,” Demarco said before dropping a nugget to upcoming entertainers. “Try to branch out and get them craft to another level by doing song in English. If you nah go sing English inna you verses make sure you sing it inna your chorus so that people can understand, who don’t understand patois. That is the formula that Sean Paul has been using for years and he’s still winning.”

Demarco is set to produce all but 4 tracks from his project. The leading track titled “Mover,” which was produced by Australian producer WILL K hit streaming services on Friday, June 04, 2021.

“That song is a nice song for the ladies, energetic fi the girls dem shake and jiggle you know,” the deejay chuckled. The track will feature Latin elements alongside dancehall and is a subtle attempt to capture one of the biggest and most lucrative music markets in the world. The fresh concept of the video is textbook Demarco and shows just what a visionary the entertainer is.

Hellbent on not leaving out his core dancehall fans, Marco also promises a handful of hard-hitting beats to properly contrast the melodic blends on Melody.

“The album is great! One of the greatest album dem! Go and support it when it come out, October 22, 2021!” Demarco urged in closing while singing praises to his loyal fans and, of course, the creator up above. “Thank God Fi Everything.”

Watch the music video for the first single off Dem