Friday, June 11, 2010

Interview with Vybz Kartel

Real name: Adidja Palmer
Birth month: January
How did you get started in the business?
Kartel: Professional wise, through my former manager, Rohan Butle, who introduced me to Bounty Killer. Before that, I was always the king of Portmore, locking down stage shows and concerts from in the '90s. Back then, there were three members of 'Vybz Kartel' - Escobar, Mr Lee and Addi Banton (me). Even before that, I was in my yard in Waterford honing my craft by listening to Ninja Man tapes and watching my uncles deejay.

What has been your greatest challenge in the business yet?
Kartel: My greatest challenge was establishing the Portmore Empire as a force to be reckoned with, especially after my Alliance departure and all the flack that came with it, you know. But, as with all other challenges, it was fun to overcome and destroy.

What have you been up to lately?
Kartel: Well, I just finished three collabs. The first with Russian, yes the producer, called Straight Jeans and Fitted. The second with Notnice, yes the producer, called How Yuh Fi Love Me Girl and the third is with Popcaan called Hotgrabba.
 Do you look up to any specific artiste and why?
Kartel: I have a lot of artistes I look up to, like Buju Banton, Ninja and Shabba. Buju Banton influenced me profoundly and made me aware that dancehall music is a world genre, like reggae music. Buju brought intellect to dancehall and made hardcore dancehall commercial, without losing its raw appeal.
Are you happy with the way things are going for your musical career right now?
Kartel: Elated.

Do you have any advice for young artistes coming up in the business?
Kartel: As with all other endeavours, focus is key. As is determination and persistence and, most importantly, if you wanna stamp your class in music, be original.

Where do you see yourself in the future?
Kartel: In movies, both in front and beyond the camera, production and directing, etc.

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