Having amassed success spanning over three decades for his pioneering milestones and culturally-shaping achievements in the space of Dancehall, Reggae, Hip Hop, and more, Cham (p.k.a Baby Cham) has crafted an undisputable legacy that remains peerless to the greatest in class. Today the multi Grammy Award-nominated, internationally acclaimed artist unleashes the highly anticipated visual to his fiery single “Lock Down.” Lock Down takes on its masterful flare from the Clockwork Riddim, which is produced by eight-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt. Bolt, in a few short years, has shown that there is nothing off the table for him, and that success follows in every endeavor as long as passion is upheld.
“Lock Down” find the dancehall legend in his element, spitting fiery, conscious-rooted lyrics over iconic bass-knocking beats made to uplift and rejoice. Cham encapsulates what life has been like in Jamaica for almost two years in a cinematically emotive way, using the extraordinary natives of Jamacia as leading stars for his genius real & raw storytelling.
For Cham, it’s all about bringing voice to the voiceless.
“Lock Down” means everything to me,” Chams says. The song reflects the past year and a half navigating through the covid pandemic. It’s a hopeful song with the vision of a future where this (Covid-19) is over, and we can get together again and celebrate.”
Usain Bolt shares, “Cham is one of Jamaica’s finest lyricists who have championed dancehall/ reggae both locally and internationally for many years. Producing such an anthem with Cham in these times is a humbling feeling. Lock Down epitomizes the mood of the people, and I look forward to working with Cham on many more projects.”
The rich, bass-laced, fast-paced world of dancehall music means only the best of the best survive. Not many can go through a name change and still remain relevant. Many would say that even less can manage to take a break, tour the world and return to the scene to command an audience like never before.
Clearly, you’ve never met the Grammy-nominated dancehall-superstar that is Cham.
Having started in the music business by watching artists like John Wayne and Super Cat rehearse on his uncle’s Waterhouse-based sound system, Studio Mix, Cham doesn’t look at his musical career as a ‘job’. He has all right to, though. With his unmistakable voice and remarkable stage presence, Cham has made his name in dancehall all over the world.
He first emerged on the dancehall kaleidoscope in the mid-1990s, making tracks on various juggling riddims including the immortal Showtime Riddim which spawned his hit Galang Gal. Then, in 2000, under the moniker Baby Cham, gave the world his debut album Wow: The Story, and hits such as Many Many, Boom Tune, Man & Man and more. The formula of Cham’s deep baritone voice and rustic, lyrically lethal tracks made sure that he would stake his claim in the annals of music history.
While musical naysayers continued yapping about the limited potential of dancehall, Cham’s crossover hit Vitamin Sstruck a nerve… with the world. The song was perfect. Vitamin S racked up uncountable hours on disc jock turntables around the world, and led the artiste, whose real name is Damian Beckett, to a deal with Atlantic Records, where he joined fellow Jamaican Sean Paul and American rap stars like Lil’ Kim and Fat Joe.
His loyalty to Jamaica and Jamaica’s culture never faded, and his goal was always to bring dancehall music to international ears. In fact, Cham can be quoted as saying, many years ago, that he wants Madhouse Productions to be an international household name.
It came as no surprise when Cham and Madhouse worked together to produce Ghetto Story, his biggest hit to date. The song hit at the end of 2005, and again, Cham took over the world. The song was a narrative of the rough and rugged life Cham overcame to become the man he is today, through the thick and thin of some of Jamaica’s toughest garrison communities and streets.
“You can’t escape the fact that every country has these kinds of problems. We only talk about it in patois, but check New York, LA, the UK, Canada. In every country, there’s a ghetto and we all go through similar experiences and realities. We might speak in different ways, but our stories are remarkably similar and everyone can relate to what Ghetto Story talks about and relays,” he says.
Having put the song into perspective and silencing all naysayers yet again, Cham went a step further and attracted none other than Alicia Keys to remix the now worldwide hit single. The world waited on bated breath for the release of Ghetto Story’s official video, and again the world watched in awe as Cham sent dancehall music to new heights, shattering glass ceilings on the way to the top.
But that wasn’t the first time Cham’s unmistakable style and voice ended up on a track with an international artist. His list of collaborations includes Foxy Brown, M.I.A., Nina Sky, Mario and more. But for Cham, it’s not about the accolades and the egos.
Having amassed many more international smash singles over the year such as the high-tempo, club-rocking hits Wine, That Way and Tun Up, Back Way and more places Cham’s versatility as an artist on display for the world to see across an array of generations.
What’s next for Cham? Continued global domination.