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Dancehall’s New School – 10 Jamaican Dancehall Artistes Making Waves Right Now
by Kay Grant | Associate Writer
Dancehall is enjoying a welcomed resurgence in the music industry, and the new school of the genre is leading the way. The sharper, edgier brother genre to Reggae, continues to become more and more recognized. With stalwarts such as Beenie Man, Bounty Killa, Spice and so many others, it’s no surprise that the genre is witnessing a groundswell of popularity. It is one of the most sampled genres of music right now, and many are taking notice of its potency.
There is now a new crop of dancehall stars rising to the occasion to take on the task of spreading the word about the amazing genre. Here, in no particular order, are 10 of the new school dancehall artistes carrying the dancehall flag right now.
- Shenseea – When you hear ‘Ah Shenseea’, you know the song is going to be a banger. The Princess of Dancehall is taking over, she is one of the leaders of the new school. From her appearances on Kanye West’s hit album ‘Donda’ (she was featured on TWO songs!) namely ‘Ok Ok pt 2’ and ‘Pure Souls’, to her now sharing a manager with R&B superstar, the Weeknd, Shenseea is well on her way to superstardom. The deejay also has a slew of hits such as the ‘Side Chick Song’, ‘Shenyeng Anthem’, ‘Rebel’, ‘Unconditional Love’ and many others which are dominating the airwaves both locally and overseas. Her stage presence isn’t anything to sneeze at either, performing her medley of mega-hits all over the world.
- Jada Kingdom – Her sharp, spitfire lyrics and sassy personality has always made Jada Kingdom stand out, and now that she is on the upward trajectory to superstardom, the shapely Portlander is taking the world by storm. With a slew of international performances under her belt, and hits such as ‘Heavy’, ‘Banana’, ‘Budum’ and ‘Win’, you know she is coming for everything.
- Skillibeng – This artiste embodies everything that dancehall was founded on, sharp lyrics, the sound of the streets, and overall talent. Since Skillibeng arrived on the scene, he has been making an impact as local and international fans alike cannot get enough of the young star. His songs ‘Crocodile Teeth’ (which has a remix featuring, wait for it…... NICKI MINAJ!), ‘Brick Pan Brick’ and many others get constant airplay globally, there is no telling how far this up-and-coming star will reach with his career.
- Govanna – YES! ‘Govy Govy’ is one of our favs! His stage presence and the storytelling in his music has garnered fans all over the world, who look forward to everything this young man puts out. From hits such as ‘Likkle Bit a Money’ and his ‘Hamat’s Convo’ series which is, if you ask us, one of the best pieces of storytelling in dancehall, he is well on his way!
- Intence – This up and coming artiste’s fanbase grows larger by the day and his music is being played all over the world. With hits such as ‘Be Careful’, ‘Go Hard’, and most recently ‘Yahoo Boyz’, he is well on his way to solidifying his place in dancehall.
- I-Waata – Another unique up and comer in dancehall, with hits such as ‘Yeng Badness’, ‘Money Ambassador’ and many others, with consistency, he will be dominating in the industry.
- Nation Boss - In just a few months this artiste went from being virtually unknown to being the voice behind one of the most popular songs of 2021! Humans speaks about his past hurt by people he cared about and how difficult it is to just again, a theme many can relate to as well. He has also released songs such as Faith and Airplane Mode a collaboration with fellow up and comer Chronic Law. Nation Boss shows signs of a promising career and is definitely one to watch!
- Masicka – This dynamic artiste is as good as they come in dancehall, from songs about street life to songs of hope, Masicka continues to impress with his catalogue. From hits such as ‘Stay Strong’, ‘Blessing Affi Flow’, to ‘I am a King’, Masicka enjoys an equal share of male and female fans who cannot get enough of his delivery and stage presence all over the world.
- Dexta Daps – Hear that screaming? That’s a Dexta Daps show! There is nowhere in Jamaica that you can go and not hear a Dexta Daps song. With a slew of hits such as 7Eleven, ‘Bring it to the Owna’, ‘Call Me If’, ‘Breaking News’,’ Morning Love’ and many, many others. While he is known for his lyricism, his music videos are always a hit. There is always a storyline to follow which is a testament to the love he has for music and entertainment in general. Dexta is a bonafide dancehall star making his way closer to the super stratosphere every day.
- Chronic Law – His track ‘Hillside’ still has the island in a chokehold, it is everywhere. With many other hits in his arsenal and many collaborations under his belt, this deejay has only just begun to let his star shine.
These are just some of the up and comers in the genre, who are your favourites? Who did you want to add to the list?
I also recommend you read, Popular Jamaican Dance Steps & Dance Moves
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