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  • Writer's pictureSade Carthy

The MIA: Unveiling the Most Improved Artists in the Dancehall Game of 2023

Valiant solidified his brand, Skeng and 450 captivated their fanbase, and Malie, Pablo YG, and Kraff continued to evolve. This kicks off our review for 2023

Most Improved Artistes of 2023

As 2023 draws to a close and Christmas approaches, Kaboom reflects on another prosperous year in the music industry, particularly in Jamaica.

The musical landscape in Jamaica remains fertile, nurturing both emerging talent and trendsetting endeavors. This year's overview zeroes in on rising stars, some establishing enduring prominence, while others explore and refine new sounds. Esteemed figures in the current dancehall scene, including Valiant, Skeng, and 450, have successfully amassed viral hits, cementing their influence locally and globally.

Simultaneously, other artists are actively fortifying their positions in the competitive field, with potential features in additional year-end categories. The question remains: Who has exhibited the most notable improvement in 2023?

Who has made the most improvement in 2023?

  • Valiant

  • Skeng

  • Kraff

  • 450

Valiant In just one year, Valiant has transformed from a breakout artist into a standout star in the dancehall scene. At 25, he has not only maintained but elevated his brand, known for the viral slang 'Kotch Eh Hat.' With a remarkable 250% growth in followers on both Instagram and YouTube, Valiant's online presence has become a thriving hub for his expanding fan base.

His musical repertoire, featuring hits like 'Mad Out,' 'Glock 40,' and 'Rasta,' has garnered millions of views in 2023, complemented by the release of his debut project, the '4:14' mixtape. Valiant strategically nurtured his brand, capitalizing on the increasing demand for his performances, leading to opportunities abroad, including a standout performance in Greece and his debut in the United States.

In essence, Valiant, also known as 'Fada Dipo,' has perfected a winning formula, and his journey continues to unfold triumphantly in the dynamic world of dancehall.

Skeng Since his debut in 2021, Skeng has demonstrated an exceptional talent for delivering unmatched energetic performances and singles. This momentum continued into 2023 with overseas shows, including in England, expanding his fan base to the hundreds of thousands. Notably, he gained support from Nicki Minaj and secured the 'Collaboration of the Year' award at the Caribbean Music Awards.

In parallel with his live performances, Skeng enriched his catalog with hits like 'Sha La La,' 'Smooth Wid It,' and 'Loyal Gyal' featuring Valiant, each accumulating millions of views and solidifying his presence in the music scene. Skeng's unwavering commitment to improvement is evident as he continues to evolve and refine his craft.

Malie Donn Malie Donn's ascent in the industry, initiated by hits like 'Crook' and 'Bank' in 2022, has evolved into a prominent force in dancehall. His viral single 'V6,' boasting 20 million YouTube views to date, remains a significant influence on dance floors and stands out as one of the standout songs of the year. Born Kimalie Hylton, the artist continues to gather momentum, known for his robust lyrical prowess and provocative lyrics. He solidified his presence in the dancehall scene with a surprise set at Teejay's Reggae Sumfest performance and secured bookings in the US after obtaining the long-awaited visa.

450 450, known for his smooth voice, has become an undeniable favorite, especially among female fans, in the two years since his breakout single. In the current year, he achieved even greater heights by dominating the YouTube trending charts and accumulating millions of views.

His deep melodic singles, including 'Live N Learn,' 'Cold Streets,' and the latest release, 'Wild N Rich,' claimed top positions on the YouTube charts. Heartfelt ballads like 'Crawsis' with Shaneil Muir also struck a chord with audiences. With a growing fan base, 450 secured numerous overseas gigs, performing in Canada, various U.S. cities, and most recently, in England. The singer's trajectory is marked by undeniable success and a global footprint in the music industry.

Pablo YG The emerging talent from St. Ann's has been making waves since his breakthrough last year, and in 2023, he has demonstrated significant growth in the music industry. His infectious flow and unwavering consistency led to his debut on the Sumfest reggae stage, coinciding with the release of his inaugural project 'Bad Juvi.' This debut featured several notable collaborations, including the track 'Galore' with Skillibeng. With an impressive collection of music, including the standout single 'Richer & Rich,' which has garnered an impressive 5 million YouTube views for its official video, this budding teenage is undeniably on the path to embodying exceptional talent.

Kraff As a leading force in the popular trap dancehall genre, Kraff has persistently solidified his position in the industry. Hailing from the picturesque north coast of Jamaica, the young artist, renowned for his smash hits 'Dinero,' 'OG Bobby Johnson,' and 'Calm C,' has enriched his repertoire with catchy singles like 'Audi' and 'Rum Behavior.' These tracks have amassed millions of views on YouTube, setting a higher standard for his own accomplishments.

Presently engrossed in the development of a forthcoming project on the verge of launch, Kraff remains committed to building and refining his distinctive brand within the music landscape.

Other noteworthy individuals include Bayka, whose strong voice continues to develop splendidly. Roze Don, privileged to perform for the first time at Sumfest, presented catchy singles that amassed millions of views. In Jamaica's rich musical landscape, we can't highlight every talent, but these artists have undoubtedly elevated their personal brands this year.


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