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  • Writer's pictureSavannah Robinson

J'calm: The Young Sensation Creating A New Sound In Dancehall

Interview: Rising Jamaican Sensation discusses diverse skills, unique sound infusing dancehall and R&B blend, Sean Paul's Advice, emerging career, and exciting upcoming projects

J'Calm in action, showcasing his talent

Emerging onto the music scene with a vibrant fusion of dancehall, reggae, and R&B, J'Calm, the young Jamaican sensation, is rapidly gaining popularity in the music scene in Jamaica and worldwide. At the tender age of 18, he is already making waves, capturing the attention of industry professionals and artists alike.

Jovane Gayle, better known as J'calm, is an 18-year-old singer, songwriter, producer, and choreographer born and raised in Clarendon. He gained recognition after his 2023 hit “Tempted”, hich caught the attention of none other than former US President Barack Obama, earning a spot on his 2023 Summer Playlist. With a massive following of over 450k on Instagram and 400k on TikTok, social media has been instrumental in propelling his artistry onto the global stage.

JCalm sat down with Kaboom Magazine to delve into his burgeoning music career and share insights into his upcoming projects.

Starting professionally just nine months ago, he has ripened into his talents. In April, a video of him singing W.Y.N blew up on Instagram, showing his astonishing vocal range, sound, and lyrics. Gayle received love and support from across the globe from this video, which is evidently shown in the comments. Looking back on it, he states, “It feels unexpected, as always, but it feels amazing at the same time. You know what I mean? Hearing from industry legends and them having an eye on me and saying “Yo, you are different. What you are doing is unique, you know, keep it up” It really means a lot to me; it feels amazing.”

J'Calm's distinctive voice and style have garnered admiration from industry titans like Sean Paul and American recording producer Troy Taylor, who have both shown their love and support for the burgeoning artist. Reflecting on their influence, J'Calm remarked, "Sean Paul, to me, is the godfather of dancehall. Troy Taylor is an industry legend in R&B."

Boasting a collaboration with Sean Paul, J'Calm recently released a song titled "Sweet Love" under Sean Paul's record label, Dutty Rock Productions. This track serves as a remarkable showcase of his vocal prowess and versatility. J'Calm's ability to convey the essence of Jamaican love through his powerful voice is truly remarkable. Additionally, his rendition of "Easy" on the "Street Vybz" remake by renowned producer Notnice garnered widespread acclaim and went viral, further solidifying his position as a rising star in the music industry.

Speaking on his experience creating the song with him, he said Sean invited him over to his place in the studio, and they got to talking.

“We were talking about work, and they mentioned they had a juggling riddim called brimstone riddim, and as I heard it, the flavour is rich in this instrumental, and I decided to jump on it. The same day I got home recorded the song, and showed it to them, and they said, “yo we putting this out,” and that is how it came to be.”

Sweet Love is the birth of reggae and R&B combined, utilizing that vibrant Caribbean sound with the sensual attitude of R&B. There's that creative lyricism pulled from dancehall that J'calm has perfectly crafted. In describing sweet love, he enthusiastically says “The song is really two things. One, the message is just being in love but acknowledging that you are a Jamaican man in love; you know, that’s the whole vibe of it. Secondly, the reggae aspect of it is a worldwide genre, something I'm always listening to.”

One of J'calm’s defining features is his versatility. His range is impeccable, allowing him to reach those gospel-like high notes and simultaneously quickly switch to a low note, changing the song's ambience. He credits listening to various genres, including 2000s R&B, reggae, and dancehall, from which he continuously pulls to create his unique sound.

"I would like to think that J'calm is his own person. I understand why people say that, but it would be more respectful if it’s like J'calm is his own sound, something new, something different”

“When I started recording, I was doing a lot of reggae at first and a lot of dancehall, and I honestly got more infused and more drawn to singing and singing for me is something I always do every single day, so by the time I reach 14 years of age I started fusing that experience I have with dancehall and reggae with R&B and pop.”

He says these strings from R&B and pop can be traced back to legends in the game, such as Rihanna, Usher, Chris Brown, and Alicia Keys.

"There was a lot of Alicia Keys. Rihanna is my mom’s artist, so there was a lot of Rihanna playing in my childhood—Usher, as well as Chris Brown. Chris Brown is my inspiration. Those four are the main people.”

The parallels between Chris Brown and J'calm are striking, and some have even dubbed him the “Jamaican Chris Brown,” but he wants to deflect from that label. "I would like to think that J'calm is his own person. I understand why people say that, but it would be more respectful if it’s like J'calm is his own sound, something new, something different”.

J'calm, wants to forge his own identity

Nevertheless, J'calm sees the reasoning behind the comparison and still eagerly wishes to collaborate with Brown one day. "Chris and I, you know, are similar. We have a similar vibe and similar sound."

Gayle’s talents transcend music, as he possesses impressive skills as a dancer. Often seen freestyling to his own tracks, he proves himself not just as a singer but also as a captivating performer. His dance routines are captivating, demonstrating his exceptional body control.

Reflecting on his influences, he shared, "Step Up and that whole franchise, you know, I grew up mimicking everything they do, and over time, it formulated into something I love, and people love to see me do."

In addition to his dancing prowess, Gayle also choreographs his music videos, including the much-anticipated "Call Me Name" video set to release on Saturday, May 4th, coinciding with his birthday.

J'calm’s list of talents is tremendous and extends beyond music

Discussing his future plans with Kaboom Magazine, he expressed enthusiasm for a "Call My Name" remix featuring Sean Paul and an upcoming single titled “Distance,” produced by R&B maestro Troy Taylor, slated for release soon.

“Distance is about a long-distance relationship. I'm excited for that, and I think everyone can relate to it,” young J'can talent concluded.


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