From the Block Debuts in Jamaica: Showcasing a Diverse Array of Island Talent
Exclusive Interview: Zae Williams, Founder of 'From the Block' Expresses His Affection for Jamaica's Abundant Talent and Vows to Return Next Year
Zae Williams and Jacob Creed during their session with recording artiste Big Zeeks (Photo: Shot By Deth)
The renowned platform known as "From the Block" recently made its debut in Jamaica, providing a stage for Jamaican artistes of all levels, from established stars to emerging talents, to showcase their skills to a global audience.
This initiative was spearheaded by Zae Williams of Azae Productions and Jacob Creed & Aicha Jacas of Creed Music Global, who embarked on an intensive journey to the Caribbean island. During their visit, they unveiled the rich tapestry of Jamaican music, featuring legends like Buju Benton and Sean Paul, current dancehall luminaries like Munga, Teejay, Jah Vinci, Jahshii, as well as upcoming talents like Najeeriii, Bayka, RajahWild, Topmann, and many others. They recorded a total of 60 captivating sessions, all expertly captured with the signature microphone of From the Block, even highlighting female artists such as Macka Diamond, Pampuatee and Monifa, allowing their talents to shine, if only for a moment.
We had the opportunity to catch up with Zae to discuss the diverse talent pool on this Caribbean island, which serves as a gateway to the global music market. In a jovial tone, Zae expressed his fondness for Jamaica, saying, "Man, I loved it. I love everything about Jamaica. I might even consider getting a place out there, lol." He continued, "But we definitely obtained some outstanding content and collaborated with many brilliant artists."
Zae Williams, the founder of this platform, which he operates in collaboration with '4 Shooters Only', found that no special preparations were needed for this island venture, as he is accustomed to conducting similar sessions in the United States. He has previously worked with up-and-coming rappers like Fridayy and Afrobeat artists like Rotimi, always providing a platform for emerging talents. He explained, "I've worked with a few Jamaican and Caribbean artists before, including Byron Messia, Kranium, and Prince Swanny. I visit Jamaica annually for vacation, and I've always wanted to do a From The Block series there. When Jacob proposed the idea, I was all in, and we made it happen."
L-R: Najeeriii, Jahshiii, Jquan (Photo: Shotbydeth)
The dedicated duo tirelessly shuttled between Montego Bay, Kingston, and Portmore to capture 60 sessions, which will form a complete series. Zae was thoroughly impressed with the island's talent, saying, "There are so many to name, but in today's internet-driven age, with platforms like TikTok and Instagram, everyone has a chance, honestly. The top-tier talent is impressive, but there are also many remarkable underground artists that the world has yet to discover."
In an iconic session, the pair managed to bring together two of the most prolific artists in the history of Jamaican music, Sean Paul and Buju Banton, offering a glimpse into their impressive musical legacies. Zae Williams described their interaction, saying, "Sean Paul hung out with us and had a cool chat. With Buju, it was a hit, so we quickly recorded the session and left. It was an amazing experience."
As they plan another visit to the island in 2024, Zae added, "I’m happy with the 60 we got, but we’ll definitely be back next year to add a few more we didn’t manage to get". with plans to capture a few more talents we might have missed. It's an exciting time for young artists to prepare and shine.