As an upcoming Jamaican artiste living in the United States, Leoo Prince had many genres to choose from to kickstart his career.
The 27-year-old bypassed the hip hop and rap influences that surround him and any dancehall and reggae connections to pursue afrobeats.
“Afrobeats speak to my soul; it’s something I love which is why I went that direction,” Prince told BUZZ.
“Afrobeats is more genuine and diverse – not saying I don’t like hip hop or dancehall. I don’t see myself doing the entire full-length dancehall. I’d do a crossover like Jamaican patois on an afrobeats rhythm. I don’t wanna forget where I originate from. We all originate from Africa. Afrobeats have a big future,” he added.
Leoo Prince made his entry into the afrobeats genre more than a year ago with Need Your Body, his debut single with recently-released visuals.
The track was inspired by a Nigerian belle and Prince recruited one of the nation’s own (Ace) to produce it.
Prince explained the reason for the long wait for the music video.
“I’m not gonna say fully COVID but it kinda slow it down cause the video was actually shot during the pandemic,” he said.
“I was on Instagram promoting it and hoping to have the video released long before the release date that is there now. I also paid for a lot of promo and to have the song published six months ago but it didn’t so it kinda dropped most of the views that I was going to even get for the song,” he added.
The visuals have attracted under 300 views since its premiere two weeks ago, but Prince is determined to garner more attention for the project through press-runs across Jamaica and Nigeria.
Though the reception has been underwhelming, he is grateful for the lessons along the way.
“I was literally in the studio for the first time scared but I just know that I had to do it and it was something I liked and I wanted to put it out there,” he said. “Comparing that song to my other song that’s gonna come out you can definitely see the big difference… I feel like consistency makes a big difference especially whenever I post. The next project I do and publish will have a better outcome.”
The upcoming song is called Fire, produced by Nigeria’s Mykah. His other release is In My Bed which features Nigerian singer Sheyyzee.
Given name Kedish Leonardo Slater, Prince derived his moniker from his middle name and belief that those of African heritage are royalty.
The St Andrew native has always been involved in music. He recalled singing in church with his brother and uncle, and getting into trouble with the elders for singing love songs on the church compound. While he says he hasn’t neglected gospel music, he prefers to sing about things that best reflect his daily life.
Prince cited Tarrus Riley and The Backstreet Boys as early musical influences, and said his exposure to afrobeats acts like Davido came later in his 20s.