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Mavado, aka Real McKoy, stamped an indelible mark on the dancehall scene since his hit single, also called Real McKoy, took off.
Recorded on Daseca’s hugely popular Anger Management riddim, Real McKoy hit it big last year and launched the career of dancehall’s Gangsta fi Life singer.
Born David Constantine Brooks at the Victoria Jubilee Hospital, Mavado has lived in the ghetto all his life. Growing up in Cassava Piece was never easy for Mavado or his family, with his grandmother often playing the maternal role. It was in the church that Mavado was first given a microphone to sing by his granny at age four. From then, Mavado was a permanent fixture at every church function and rally.
He attended Charlie Smith High School in Arnett Gardens, from where his father hailed. As the teacher left the room, the desk top would be beaten and Mavado would deejay the lyrics of Cutty Ranks and Bounty Killer. Upon leaving school, Mavado found work at a liquor store, but lasted just one day as he always knew music would provide for him.
Close friend Flex, recognising Mavado’s singing ability and unique way of composing lyrics, encouraged Mavado to visit recording studios in Kingston. Flex used to ride from Grants Pen and pick up Mavado on his bicycle every morning and on to Junior Reid’s studio, which at the time was a haunt of Bounty Killer who quickly recognised Mavado’s talent.
Unfortunately, issues in the community meant Mavado couldn’t leave home as often as he once did, and the link weakened. A couple of years passed and fellow Cassava Piece resident and close friend Foota Hype introduced Mavado to another Kingston studio and as fate would have it, also a haunt of Bounty Killer. It was there that Mavado began to voice on riddims and hooked up with Predator, whose career was also rising.
Artist/producer Bucanneer recorded Mavado on his Middle East riddim and has also played an integral part in Mavado’s development. Mavado’s talent was also instantly recognised by his manager Julian, who took Mavado to record for Sly and Robbie, DJ Karim and others. His real break came in 2004 when he was introduced to talented production trio Daseca and recorded Real McKoy once again. The chemistry was perfect and has gone from strength to strength since. Mavado laced the Red Bull and Guiness riddim with the anthem Wha Dem a Do? and the momentum has shown no signs of slowing, with follow ups like Dreaming and Bawl Dem a Bawl.
Tragedy struck Mavado’s life last year when his Rastafarian father, to whom he was very close, was murdered overseas in Switzerland. After much haggling with the Swiss authorities, his father’s body was sent to Jamaica early this year where he was laid to rest. Mavado has composed a moving tribute to his much-loved father called Sadness.
Mavado’s non-compromising lyrics reflect the environment he grew up in and as his logo suggests, he is a Gangsta Fi Life. With the absence of a hardcore singer in the dancehall business, the public has quickly taken to this young ghetto youth, who has some of the biggest songs playing in any dance right now. With demands coming in for overseas shows, Mavado is on the verge of major things.
Courtesy: The Jamaica Star
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