Shalkal shares the inspiration behind his viral new single “Ghetto Party” with Epixode.
So how do you know when you are in attendance at a ghetto party? Just ask dancehall artiste Shalkal since he has a lot to say on the matter. According to the “Put God First” entertainer, you have not really partied until you have been to one. For starters, you know exactly where you are at when the vibes are intense, the music is extra, bad men are milling around, thousands of dollars are in circulation between the bar and the weed man, and the ratio for attendance is one man to twenty women.
All of this insight and pearls of wisdom he dropped in his latest track, “Ghetto Party”, which features Epixode out of Ghana. The song was released on March 31st, and fans are raving about the single. Produced by Jusa Dementor and distributed by Marvment, the three-minute track hits the right spot with listeners as it bears more than an air of authenticity. Add to this the fact that the rhythm is catchy, the flow is tight, and the content relevant hence Shalkal should have a certified hit on his hand going into spring and maybe onto summer, especially as there are no more restrictions on the entertainment industry and people are allowed to be ‘outside’ again once they self-regulate and act responsibly.
Born Shalkal Carty, the “Envious So” artiste, is a local reggae dancehall singjay known for fusing Jamaican metaphors into his lyrics. Urban Islandz caught up with Shalkal, who shared some insight into the concept behind this recent track “Ghetto Party” and his recording process.
Shalkal shared the inspiration behind the catchy single telling Urban Islandz, “The inspiration came from both artists comparing the dancehall party events in their countries. The similarities are uncanny. In either country, Ghetto parties are social events where people culminate to celebrate their artistic talents.”
He also shared how he linked with Epixode on the single. “We talked about the similarities and creativity of ghetto party functions,” Shalkal said. “We decided to do a collaboration because it was basically the same type of entertainment except in two different countries.”
Who is Shalkal?
Some dancehall fans may be wondering who is Shalkal in light of the growing popularity of the single.
“I’ve been doing music since my childhood days, but strayed away for years to pursue other dreams,” the artiste told Urban Islandz. “Then it seem like I got that calling again to come back to music. I had lyrics that were playing over and over in my mind. They would not go away until I put pen to paper and took the mic. When you come back to music, all the stars are aligned and somehow all the contacts are there to push you in the right direction.”
A worthy wordsmith out of Runaway Bay, St. Ann, Shalkal has over the years been both busy making music as well as sharing his opinion on issues pertaining to the dancehall fraternity and its many, often controversial players. In 2020, he spoke out about the drama surrounding psychic RT Boss being dancehall queen Spice’s ‘spiritual healer’ as he felt it was a dark stain on the genre and painted it in a negative light.
He stated, “A lot of my US friends are asking me what is this obeah business? The thing is embarrassing as a Jamaican. Investors in the music who perhaps see dancehall as an international genre with great potential must have been shocked and disappointed with all the chatter about obeah, negativity, and nastiness. The industry is already undercapitalized as it is and when people are not talking about hit songs and streaming numbers but about milk baths, black magic, and mix-up around its biggest stars, then the industry is in trouble.”
In late 2020, to combat much of the negativity surrounding dancehall as well as to share how God has truly blessed his life and his journey so far in the industry, the York Castle High School graduate released “Put God First.” The song was released on Spotify and other platforms on October 25 via the Shalkal Music Production Label and according to the artiste, putting God first requires one to live subscribing to a specific plan that will work wonders in your life.
“I feel like I’ve been guided through life by putting God first and many of the things I’ve acquired is because of consistently putting God first in every phase of my life,” he divulged.
Those who do not subscribe to having a personal relationship with God, he believes, suffer from a strong dose of ingratitude, and that ingratitude he feels leads to domestic violence and conflict that saturates our society. This inspired him to pen the single “Ungrateful Mawga Dog”. Being ungrateful, he emphasized, plays out daily and can even be found in the music business between artistes and their managers.
“A lot of people come from poverty, ask for help and often take that help for granted, especially in a male-female relationship. And when things sour it ends in tragedy, in newspaper headlines, and ended friendships. People are grateful but once they become independent then they show their true colors and that leads to violence which is a large part of our culture. It happens over and over,” expressed the singer.
Now based in the United States, Shalkal has done several collaborations with exciting artistes, including Ghanaian Epixode as well as Ninja Lipsy and Bazooker from Zimbabwe. Always one to share his wisdom and insight with the world at large, the 37-year-old penned his book ‘Put God First’ in 2021, which is now available for sale on Amazon.