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  • Writer's pictureKobe K. Bryan

Delving into Diplomats: G.I. Discusses Music Production, Event Management, and More

A glimpse behind the scenes with Valiant, event planning, fatherhood, and beyond. insights from Diplomats' G.I.

G.I. and Valiant, childhood friends turned business partners

Delving deeper into the Diplomats camp, we encounter an emerging producer who boasts the distinction of being one of the longest-serving members of the collective, as well as a cherished childhood friend of Valiant. G.I, an abbreviation for 'Girlz Ingredients,' originates from Manning’s Hill, St. Andrew. Besides his role as a talented producer, G.I also shines as an adept Event Manager/Coordinator. Among his noteworthy productions are tracks like 'This Could Be Us,' a collaboration between Valiant and Leaha, and 'Greatness' by Laden.

Shawn Hickey, better known as ‘G.I’ said that his biggest influence to get into music was Valiant. At the beginning of the musician’s career, G.I would accompany him to music video shoots and song recordings.

"I didn’t have much knowledge of the entire music industry. I was having a chit-chat with Valiant and he was telling me that getting into music wasn’t that hard, there’s the artiste and then there’s the producer, and I could be his producer," G.I. told Kaboom Magazine.

From Mannings Hill to the World

He instantly started organizing different resources, accounts, and equipment needed to tackle this new found journey in becoming a music producer.

Along this road, there’s definitely many challenges especially as an up and comer. G.I. shared his views of music production, "Having a really good instrumental and finding the right artiste to record on it is really tough. But usually stuff like that can work out when it’s a new artiste and the pressure to deliver is not so much."

G.I has also established a significant presence in the event management arena, solidifying his reputation as a versatile and accomplished professional beyond his musical endeavors. He held his first event at sixteen, where he did a fish fry within his community. Noticing that people actually came out to support him, really pushed the young creative to take it further.

Hickey alongside Valiany's personal DJ, Biigy

Flash forward to recent events, G.I. would organize Diplomats' first Infinity Event in St. Elizabeth last December.

In trying to understand what it takes to have a successful event, G.I. explained, "First thing first, you need a solid team, nothing doesn’t beat that. From you have a solid team, the event has to work as well as having a well detailed plan."

He expounded by saying, "If it’s a case where it’s an event with Valiant, I have to take the time out to think and organize it with him. After some deliberation, we come to a final agreement on how to execute the idea. In trying to gain more wisdom, I get guidance from top promoters - Romeich and PJ Wright."

He also added, “After finalising our plan, we organise the budget, seek sponsorships and then we move on to marketing the event.”

"In trying to gain more wisdom, I get guidance from top promoters - Romeich and PJ Wright."

The Diplomats' collective has undeniably surged to the forefront of the Dancehall music scene. While Valiant shines as the primary figurehead, the cohesive camaraderie within the group is palpable to outsiders. Whether commanding the stage during performances or sharing glimpses through their blog and YouTube channel, the atmosphere exudes an infectious sense of unity and enjoyment among all members.

To explain the synergy within the camp, G.I. stated that “It’s just wonderful to see some young group of individuals just having fun while working to be their best selves.

Everyone has the same dreams, goals, and objectives. Everyone puts a hand in and we just work, work, work. The energy in the camp is just pure and electrifying.”

G.I shared that being a father is a key driving force for him to achieve his goals. His son plays a big role in his life and he affirms that all his time and energy goes into making his son’s life better. "Being a father means so much to me, especially knowing that I grew up with a single mom so I know what it is like not having a father figure present," he said.

He continued by saying, "I try to spoil him while at the same time growing him the right way. When I’m travelling it can be difficult but I try to make it up when I’m there by spending as much time with him as possible. It’s just a sacrifice that I have to make to better his life."

Speaking on one of his most memorable productions, G.I. went into how he was able to get the incarcerated Laden on his record. "It was a case where Laden was just being released and I thought about who best would fit this instrumental, and Laden came to mind. I DM’d him on Instagram and he reached out with a video of him vibing to the rhythm.”

G.I, Wants to become one of the best music producers in Jamaica

"I was able to get an engineer to assist me in the process. The song was recorded, mixed and mastered and we also ended up doing a music video for it. It got a huge response from the fans, very great feeling."

Moving forward, G.I. affirmed that he wants to excel in his department, becoming one of the best music producers in Jamaica, having local and international records.

He also wants to continue doing event management. He also says he has a plethora of unreleased songs coming to shake up Dancehall music.


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