Demarco’s musical evolution in a ‘different category’
Demarco’s influence lies not only in the fact that he has made an unforgettable mark on a generation of recording artistes, penning, performing and producing songs, but also because he has managed to maintain his relevance with an audience known to be fickle.
Surviving the entertainment industry for a decade and a half, the 39-year-old ‘quadruple threat’ says, was mostly possible because he had the greatest teacher – “the business itself”.
“The way one artiste breaks into the music industry and finds success is not going to be the same for another. The business is a permanent classroom and I definitely wasn’t knowledgeable about anything. YouTube turned out to be a college for any research about publishing and copyright,” Demarco told The Sunday Gleaner.
“Though I started out as a selector before I became a recording artiste, and would have had several teachers in different areas of the industry – Bounty Killer, Dave Kelly and Mix Master Marvin – from the earlier stages of my career I became tied up in a contract with a US record label,” explained Demarco, who only last year released a long-awaited debut album, titled Melody, after achieving independence.
With over 100 albums shelved since, the entertainer was determined to have a constant stream of music and committed to releasing singles until what he called “the right time”. Every move he has made has been guided by time. At the same time, he invested in another passion of his, which was to become a music video and film director and the owner of a multifunctional studio.
“I had the concept of a ‘one-stop shop’ for music production, and I made it happen. Directing was always an interest, so I familiarised myself with the technology and the practical side of things, from production to lighting and editing, purchased the necessary equipment and then went to Edna Manley to recruit the people with the know-how,” he shared.
The studio closed in 2017 and he migrated to Atlanta, which had a large dancehall enclave of event promoters and fans. The relocation propelled the entertainer’s perspective, as he is currently looking into transitioning into making documentaries, short films and movies.
“There is a lot of money in production and when it comes to documentaries within the dancehall, a lot is missing. Dancehall needs good equipment to make our productions coming out of Jamaica more pleasing to the international markets who are ahead. People also need to hear the stories behind the music documented. It comes naturally to me to be in front of, and behind the camera directing as I even perform my own music, so it goes without saying that I would want to do more.”
Demarco, whose real name is Collin Demar Edwards, has writing credits for the likes of Rihanna and has mastered the art of building rhythms like the Jambe An’ with the hit recording Party Animal by Charly Black, which he said has served as an anchor financially.
Not one for all the fanfare or the floodlights, the Love My Life entertainer’s idea of celebrating 15 years of evolution in the music business is stepping into his home studio and stepping out with a new track, or having conceptualised a storyboard for a music video and bringing it to completion. Humbled by his many achievements, Demarco, though boasting the subtitle ‘Da Don’, finds it difficult to boast that he is one of few Jamaican recording artistes to have hits across the scope of production. Spice, with whom he recently collaborated and also directed the video for one of her singles, has told him that this is not always the best trait.
Putting it bluntly, he said; “Spice tell me say me wukless and that nobody will know about my capabilities, unless I speak about them.
“I don’t want to have people saying I talk about myself too much. This milestone is best celebrated by me just keep on do the music and do, the do. For me, it’s about making the music and video productions people can appreciate. It is a lot of work, along with being a father of five – the youngest who is only a year and seven months old and whose name is the same as my album – but I know I am doing what I love,” Demarco declared.