Every now and then, an up-and-coming artiste scores a hit song which seemingly catapults him or her from the novice stage to mastery. But then after a few months or year, the name becomes a distant memory and the hype subsides.
The year 2019 saw a flood of acts getting their big break. The Squash-led 6IXX clique was up to close Night One of Reggae Sumfest; Kemar Highcon finally got his big break with So Saucy; Teejay found his footing in the Romeich Entertainment camp; and Intence ignited flames that sparked beyond the summer.
But not everyone has maintained their steam. Here are some hot names of 2019 that you don’t hear of anymore.
He turned heads as a Tommy Lee Sparta-soundalike, but he wasn’t one to acknowledge his musical influences. The trappy number Mark X & Axio was his claim to fame, but also accompanied controversy because of its glorifying of fast money and guard rings. The controversy grew like a cloud around the artiste, who was soon accused of disrespecting veteran artistes. Though he sought to dispel this and continued to release songs like Knocka, his spectacle grew dim. Today, the artiste goes by the name “AceGwad LodgeCult” on Instagram, a seemingly desperate attempt to reignite interest in his career.
Hot Frass and TakeOva
No, they weren’t a duo, but they found national popularity and lost it together. Their Polo collaboration was the catalyst behind their breakout, though they both had solo releases prior to the track. In the midst of the song’s trending status early last year came a sudden feud between the acts, with claims of double-dealing and “badmind” spewing left and right. “Hot” Frass is cold lately, with 2020 YouTube streaming numbers as low as 66, his highest being just above 100,000 for the single Transition. TakeOva is faring better, with his May release Alien Mode racking up more than one million YouTube streams.
He was the hyped youngster of the 6IXX, who stood out on Hemton Music’s 1Option rhythm with Anthem. Truth is, he has not wavered where consistency is concerned. He has built a loyal fanbase which keeps most of his monthly releases above the 100,000 streaming bracket. But his hype and shouting spectacle have faded. He released the Bro Gad EP during quarantine which made no buzz, and his ‘A Taste of Reggae Sumfest’ performance left no impact.
He impressed with Gone Sleep, but Shane E wasn’t new to the scene in 2019. He had yielded favour years prior with songs like Hundred Duppy, No Trust Dem and The Dream, featuring Chronic Law. But he became a conversation topic last year with the takeover of Western acts, which introduced him to new audiences. The deejay has lost momentum in 2020, making more headlines for his personal life than his music.
One of the constantly changing “leading lady” title-holders of Downsound Records, Controlla grew in popularity in 2019 for her music. Before that, she was only talked about if it was Gully Bop-related, or if the luxury doll phenomenon was the discourse.
She made her major debut on Reggae Sumfest with an elaborate production that needed vocal work, but slayed where costumes and dancers were concerned. But after a page-hacker forced her to rebuild her social media following, there hasn’t been much buzz surrounding Controlla. She recently raised eyebrows with mask-inspired lingerie, but the music has been a miss.