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  • Writer's pictureSade Carthy

Making lemonade from lemons: Kemar Highcon appeared on the 'Reasoning Jamaica’ podcast

Watch the interview: The dancehall artiste shared the story of his recent arrest for grand theft auto, major success with hit single, 'So Saucy', being consistent to reap success, while aiming for timeless music

Kemar Highcon, turns recent Run-in with law into positive outcome (Jamar Cleary)

Dancehall entertainer Kemar Highcon is a familiar name in the dancehall space. His viral hit single 'So Saucy' from 2019, gave him the breakthrough in his early career, after only 5 years of doing music.

After the single garnered millions of listeners and viewership across the dancehall space, Kemar continued to further establish himself in the industry with follow up singles as well as association with mega stars like Shaggy and Beenie Man. Recently, in the most publicized & controversial fashion, he made all the major headlines after he was arrested for a grand theft auto in the USA. It’s customary for musicians to creatively use public misfortunes as a means of producing music; after his quick release from custody, he teamed up with super producer, Rvssian and dancehall star, Teejay to release a new single titled 'Grand Theft Auto', which redirected the situation to a form of comedic entertainment.

Recently, Kemar Highcon joined 'The Reasoning Jamaica' hosted by Jamar Cleary in association with Kaboom Magazine to discuss the incident, his major successes with 'So Saucy' and the numerous opportunities received in his career: "Me recently get arrested for grand theft auto, it's the topic, it's the conversation now. I had a disconnect from 2020, so I'm a conversation because of this. Is really a civil matter, it's not as serious like everybody make it seems. I have a co-signed car, the person report the car is stolen and mi get locked up. It's nothing like wah people say - as mi get arrested, mi go face a 5 years inna jail, or deportation. It's not like I broke something and stole somebody car. None at all. But this is Jamaica, we all love a piece of story and everybody have their own version, this is my version and the version that you should go with it. Grand theft inna Us, it's a common thing, you can get picked up for grand theft for anything at all".

The entertainer detailed his upbringing and what inspired him to pursue music. "Music was always a part of my life", the entertainer affectionately expressed. “My friend always saw me as a star and someone that people were interested in. He encouraged me telling me I should pursue music. I created my first song in 2014 and even though it was not my best, I still believed in myself that I could be something. I had strong popularity and was always seen as a star. I found music as I got older but in terms of popularity and being a star that started very young”, he passionately added.

Kemar Highcon, "I was always seen as a star" (Jamar Cleary)

Known for his success with 'So Saucy', the Us-based Kingston native unveiled the creation of the song and opportunities gained from its success. “The song came about late 2018 entering 2019. I have to give special thanks to Trackstarr, the producer that gave me a sound and identity”, the dancehall artiste courteously reflected. “He was the only producer who took the time and patience to help me. Along the way I met a lot of people but even before I gained popularity in music, I had a lot of supporters such as Shaggy, Assassin, Chris Martin and Konshens who have really helped push my musical career”, Highcon added.

Highlighting his role models, Kemar names Jamaican phenomenon Shaggy and one of dancehall’s biggest contenders Bounty Killer, as well as the dancehall king Beenie Man as his main role models within the music industry. “My mentor is Shaggy. He does it for dancehall, made everyone cross over for it. That’s honestly what I’d want to be like. I look up to Beenie Man and Bounty Killa simply because without them dancehall really was nothing”, he modestly explained.

Describing his music style as, "creating happy music", the St .Jago alumni expressed the desire for the direction of his career while imploring artistes to make more conscious and positive music. "My direction is just to give timeless music, music that the world can recieved”, the entertainer expressed. "The music has changed a lot since the 90's, it's evolved, but we deh inna Jamaica, not in the world. If we think about afrobeats and dancehall, we haffi think on what it has done inna short space and what it will do in a long period a time. We need fi make music more fun, it's something that supposed to speak to you", he echoed.

On the topic of inspiring young artistes, Highcon revealed the pros and cons of growing in the music industry. “I am still a young artist myself, however what I can say is when you do music make sure you enjoy it and it's your passion”, the dancehall artiste humbly explained. “Do music from a place of purity and the money will come after. It takes dedication, sweat and tears. Pay isn't always money; you can be paid through experience and opportunities”, he added.

"Do music from a place of purity and the money will come after"

Reminding artistes of the key importance of remaining consistent, the Kemar Highcon reflected on his own experience and how it propelled his career. “I believed in 'So Saucy'. I have had deals with Digicel and Pizza Hut since its release", he said. “I gained another with Maggie in 2023. I say this to say I promoted this song for over a year and it worked. I'm still living off of them today. It takes a lot to believe in something but it takes even more to be consistent”, Highcon gratefully added.

While revealing that he has some unreleased singles with Shaggy, Highcon expressed his ultimate desire to work with everyone, highlighting Bounty Killer and Beenie Man at the top of his list. "As it relates to music I don't sit and dream a lot", he jokingly expressed. "I believe no matter the collab it's always worth getting. I wish I could do music with everyone but for now at the top of my list are definitely Bounty and Beenie”, the entertainer added.

Offering his last words to his fans, Kemar advised his audience to be passionate in all they do in order to gain peace. “Do what you love to do, not what you'll profit from. Doing what you love will still give you money. As you love what you do, it will bring you ultimate peace”, he concluded.

The full interview is now available via ‘Reasoning Jamaica’ on the various digital platforms worldwide.


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