The BP Sits Down with Jamaican Dancehall Artist Mr. Vegas

BY: KIARRA DELOUIS

Jamaican dancehall artist Mr. Vegas came to party with American University and friends on Saturday at the Welcome Back BBQ and Concert. Hosted by AU’s Caribbean Circle, the event was full of excitement and island pride.

Black and brown brothers and sisters gathered in groups, cheering and dancing to music played by the DJs, one of which was Mr. Vegas’ own, DJ Star.

A few dance groups performed as plates of macaroni, jerk chicken, beef patties and plantains were served.

Before his performance, The Blackprint had the opportunity to interview Mr. Vegas, who has been gracing stages since 1997. The Kingston-native is famous for hits like “Bruk it Down” and “Tamale”; his 1998 debut album “Heads High” made it to #5 on the U.S. Reggae Chart. Here’s what Mr. Vegas had to say about the music industry, success and pursuing music.

On competition in the music industry

Mr. Vegas: “It’s a lot of competition. It is apart of the culture. Sometimes there's five, six, seven artists on the same beat and then artists try to have the best song. It was a big deal to have a genuine number one song.”

On how he got his clout:

Mr. Vegas: “I was going to school and then I started singing during break time, and of course that would attract the ladies. And when something attracts the girls, then you want to do it more. Those were like my first fans.”

“I got my break in 1997 by singing, and doing a track with Sean Paul”

That track was called “Hot Gal Today,” which Vibe Magazine named one of the best collaborations of all time after the track came out in 2000.

On advice for students who are balancing academics with music

Mr. Vegas: “You have to make sure that [music is] what you want to do because it can be a long process. You have to genuinely love music… you have to stay with it.”

“If you're a singer, rapper or producer, you got to make music that in 20 years time, 30 years [time] people can listen to that song still. It can cross the generation gap.”