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Devin heads Downtown

BY BRIAN BONITTO
Associate Editor —
Auto & Entertainment
bonittob@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

DEVIN Di Dakta has joined the roster of New York-based independent label Downtown Records.

In an exclusive interview with Jamaica Observer yesterday, the dancehall deejay revealed the contract with the American company was signed last Friday.

“The deal was inked on 20th October, but we were going over papers with our lawyers and their lawyers from summer,” he told Observer.

Devin Di Dakta said with the resources and connections of Downtown Records, it was definitely a fillip to his career.

“Well, I look at it as an opportunity to make my music reach other territories that, especially Jamaicans, don't really get the chance to be in. So I think this is a great opportunity for me. It's like a stepping stone to propel my career... It's a great look for dancehall. Sean Paul has done it, Shaggy has done it, Charly Black is now doing it and now Devin Di Dakta time,” he said.

Started in 2006, Downtown Records is home to acts including Major Lazer, Cold War Kids, Gnarls Barkley, Mos Def, and Electric Guest.

In July, Devin Di Dakta was featured on the latter's single Oh Devil, which debuted at number 47 on the Billboard Hot Rock Songs chart.

The dancehall act said the label reached out to him and were impressed with his work ethic and professionalism.

“Before that, they saw my works on YouTube, then they link for the collaboration with Electric Guest. After I went to LA (Los Angeles) for the music video, just the way I carried myself, especially as a Jamaican. The first thing they said a lot of Jamaicans are not like that... the shoot was like 11:00 am and I was there from about 6:00 am. They really felt the energy and the communication with them, my manager, Shelly-Ann Curran — the way how she dealt with them at that time, they really loved that. From that, they decided to just test the waters with the song ( Oh Devil) and they really loved the reception,” he said.

“Professionalism will take you places, simple... so just be professional at whatever you do,” he continued.

Devin Di Dakta, given name Anthony Clarke, hails from Highgate in St Mary. He came to national prominence by winning the male segment of televised talent competition Magnum Kings and Queens of the Dancehall in 2015.

The former St Mary High student was recently featured on Sly and Robbie's Grammy-nominated set, Sly & Robbie Presents... Reggae For Her – Devin Di Dakta & JL.

“Travelling to the Grammy Awards show in February and just being in that space and playing my music for just regular people... that influences how I write nowadays,” he said.

He is known for tracks including Rrri Bam Bi Deng Deng, Run Mi Down, Beautiful, and Inna Earth.