UK-based deejay Dertee dreams of Jamaica

May 03, 2021
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Recording artiste Dertee is looking to sweep up opportunities as he prepares to make a move from Birmingham to London in the coming weeks.

Exploring dancehall professionally for more than five years, Dertee has managed to build a reputation as a deejay and songwriter working with artistes like Stylo G, Bramma, KipRich and Masicka.

However, living in the UK doesn't give him the equal chance of a dancehall entertainer who is based in Jamaica.

"The community is small and there's not much airplay unless an artiste is making extremely big moves. On mainstream radio, there are basically two shows, Seanie B on BBC 1Xtra on a Thursday and Ras Kwame on Capital Xtra on a Sunday night that give dancehall the attention," Dertee said. "People hardly give love to dancehall unless it's coming directly out of Jamaica, but I have been encouraged to get to London, where the buzz around the genre is louder, so I can spread more roots."

He is also looking forward to making the journey to Jamaica, where he migrated from at the age of 14 with his family.

Dertee, whose given name is Narada Rose, said "The first time I returned home was eight years after I left. The place looked different and also a lot smaller."

Now, Jamaica is looking bigger to the Zoom Zoom artiste, and he is dreaming of the day he can take a trip and spend a few months working with local talent.

He said "When this pandemic is over, I'll definitely be back and I don't plan to spend any less than six months. I've connected with a few producers; Dane Ray is one of them ... I'm just looking forward to being there and releasing music from the source."

With his latest production, the deejay collaborated with Ghanaian artiste Kophy Nelly to tap into the Afrobeat market. He described the genre as "having the biggest and busiest scene."

"It was inspired by the people. At the end of the day I am making music for the people, so I channelled some of the energy from that space and it mixed well with my sound," said Dertee.

The artiste, whose single Fight For Survival charted at number one on the iTunes Reggae Charts, said he is aiming to be an inspiration to his listeners.

"Money and fame will come, the true reward is reaching the people who need to be inspired most," he said. "From a child growing up in Standpipe, St Andrew, I have always seen how great the role of a musician or a recording artiste was and it is what got me interested in the first place."

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