Nickname inspires deejay's career

February 23, 2018
I Waata

If you are a male with a nickname like I Waata, chances are you will be the centre of jokes and good-natured teasing in your community. However, it takes a lot of inner strength to take a name like that and transform it into a message of hope, dignity, and perseverance. Yet, that is exactly what dancehall artiste Jason 'I Waata' Bailey did.

The deejay, who fell in love with music at an early age, said that he has been getting recognition for his latest single, Pat A Shake. He also said that his high-energy performances at community events and school fÍtes have gained him a legion of young, loyal fans.

"I used to go Mona Primary, where I used to beat conga drum. And when I went to Papine High, I used to build lyrics in first form. I used to watch my bredrin father, Kootan, from my community, deejay, and then I build my first song, I O'Clock," I Waata said.

As for his name, he explained that it was given to him by his grandfather.

"I got the name I Waata from my grandfather because I was allergic to a plant in my yard, and when I looked at it, it always used to make my eyes run waata. So him say, 'eye water yuh fi name', so when mi start to do music in second form, mi decide to use the name my grandfather give me 'eye waata', and change the meaning, because mi come from the inner city, and I Waata is the signature of the poor," he said.

These days, I Waata is eyeing other things.

In recent months, he has released songs such as Launch An Attack and Wanna Be Gyalis. He has also seen his stocks rise after inking an official recording and booking deal with Papine-based Boyzie Records.

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