Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Road To Stardom - A story of persistence drive and building a music career

"It's amazing how people hate or look down on others like me but yet almost daily I encounter youths who refuse to do 'dem work yah' shamelessly ask me 'fi a ting' (money) to sustain their smoking/drinking habit"

The official name of one of the most stigmatized jobs in Jamaica is landscaping, also known as gardening or 'gardener work' pronounced, 'giadna werk' in the Jamaican language. The skill of tending plants and maintaining lawns or simply undertaking the responsibility of keeping someones yard in 'tip top shape' is an unlikely job especially among young adults. But the craft provides income for many including upcoming reggae/dancehall artist Papi Kat and he is proud of the fact that his job has made him independent being able to provide for his family and invest in his music career. 

Young and ambitious, persistent, focus and hard working best describes Papi Kat a 'giadna' by day and aspired artist by night putting in some 18 hours of work, six days per week and seven days in the studio.  He compose and produces his own music, consistently making amends with each song in his drive to strive for perfection, "Its amazing how people hate or look down on others like me but yet almost daily I encounter youths who refuse to do 'dem work yah' shamelessly ask me 'fi a ting' (money) to sustain their smoking/drinking habit."  However being Anthony Simmonds, the son of Lurline Barnett and Roman Simmonds and remembering some dark days in his own life, Papi Kat confessed, "mi gi dem still cause the struggle is real but while stretching mi hand to give I never miss an opportunity to encourage dem same way to go do something. Leave the street, get a likkle job!" Papi Kat advised his peers.

Within two years of working on one set of songs, Papi Kat has moved on from more than five young producers in search of the right formula for his music, "I have people who critique my music and if they can't give it a pass I'm back in studio doing my homework" he said. "I've released these songs because I have a lot more to work on but the experience this far has been self assuring." A responsible individual Papi is known among his peers to keep working toward his goals relentlessly. After-all, he grew up in a rural coffee farming community about 10 miles north east of Kingston called Content Valley District and became popular in school from winning 'dj clash' competitions when his motive had always been a way of earning money to buy himself lunch.

Papi Kat's music takes listeners on his hard fought journey. Each track tell its own story both lyrically and musically which makes Papi's career path rather interesting to follow.  This artiste is transforming himself and his career into a social media character. His first official track called 'Hush Mama' is a chilling rendition of a heartbreaking moment in in his life. An unforgettable day he recalled going home to find his mother in tears and discovered his brother and eldest sibling was killed by the police in a case of mistaken identity (click to listen Hush Mama). The track is the creation of Papi Kat who collaborated on it with his compatriot and upcoming artiste Renzo. Although not perfectly crafted, 'Hush Mama' is relatable where even today, innocent black men are still being murdered at the hands of the police whose job is to serve and protect.

Unrelenting Papi Kat released his second official single, 'Pot A Goal' (Black Woman) with
noticeably much more improvement when compared to his first and took a step further on his musical mission by releasing a follow up video to go with it.  The music is about his life and with no bars held when it gets personal. The 'juice' in a nutshell is about a heartbroken woman, lost, confused and facing rejection by her spouse, found true love at the pinnacle of her dilemma, her love interest turn out to be a praying Papi Kat


Not afraid of taking bold steps and channeling his dream to reality, Papi vouch to do things differently, his way, "Usain Bolt, Shellyann Fraser-Pryce and Elaine Thompson have all come from humble beginnings" he said. "I feel like success taste better when you achieve it out of nothing and I want to be a standard bearer of this trait in my community because I know those athletes have inspired many young athletes across Jamaica and brought hope for many young people on the corner. Education is a must but if you just have talent alone you can get somewhere too. Just use your talent to get enough money even and then send yourself back to school" said Papi Kat. The story continues in the music, follow, watch, listen.

#NIPnews