February 9, 2024
Dancehall artiste Iwaata remembers when things were not so good for him financially. But he never gave up hoping that one day the massive breakthrough hit that he craved would one day turn things around.
“When the song Tall Clip came out in 2021 mi son did just born. It did rough dem time deh, and mi ask Fahda Gad to show mi a sign inna music and him just gimmi da song deh. It wasn’t a happy moment dem time deh. A trust mi did all haffi a trust a flask a rum and some orange juice. Di likkle money mi did have at the time mi use it fi deal wid mi son,” Iwaata disclosed in an interview with the Jamaica Observer at his Portmore-based studio Crash Play Music recently.
Tall Clip, which was produced by Dethwrld Records, has to date racked up more than 12 million views on YouTube. The song was quite popular within the underground dancehall circles, but it wasn’t until Tun Di Ada Way was released late last year that he finally scored a massive hit that topped the charts.
“I always believed it would happen. There was never a time weh mi feel like giving up. Once yuh believe, yuh haffi receive,” said Iwaata.
Tun Di Ada Way, a co-production between Dethwrld Records and his Cash Weh Play Music label, has earned great traction on social media platform TikTok.
“Yuh haffi use all a dem platform deh. All a dem generate da same force deh. Yuh have TV, CD, and radio, and yuh caan lef dem out.
TikTok carry yuh very far, but mi haffi inna di road a promote same way, get radio inna di promotion and social media. All a dem work,” Iwaata confided.
Iwaata started his Crash Weh Play label to do things independently.
“We have some young artistes that we a push pon di label and we have some producers as well. In the past we co-produced songs like Foot Play and Whisper. We a give the young artiste dem the strength so them can get the opportunities weh mi did get when mi just come pon di scene,” Iwaata shared.
He credits dancehall artiste Agent Sasco, aka Assassin, for taking a chance on him when he just started out.
“Big up Assassin a him did voice mi pon one a him rhythm dem and embrace mi. I grew up on 90s dancehall and the artistes from that era really influenced me and my sound. People like Beenie Man, Shabba Ranks, and even Aidonia and Mavado inna di 2000s”, Iwaata reasoned.
Iwaata is originally from the Kintyre area of Kingston 6. He grew up in a community where several musicians originated, including Round Head and Capleton.
“Kintyre was like a musical environment, a whole heap a artiste forward from roun’ deh. But my interest in music really started from primary school weh mi used to play drums. Then when mi start go Papine High mi start write songs from first form. Mi used to play football and dem ting deh, ‘cause yuh done know wi grow rough,” Iwaata shared.
He credits his mother for making him the man that he is today, explaining that his father wasn’t present for most of his childhood years.
“My mother is very important inna mi life. I used to help her sell a Half-Way-Tree and dem ting deh give yuh the drive to go for what yuh want. Mummy was the breadwinner, she dweet fi mi and mi bredda dem. From dem time deh, mi get the courage to go after what mi did want. She a mi fahda from dem time deh till now,” he said.
As it relates to new music, Iwaata is getting ready to release his EP, titled Fresh Cut as well as songs with producers Notnice, Bell Bell Entertainment, among others.
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