Intellect balancing music and medicine

February 23, 2023

According to 22-year-old deejay, Romain Bryan, when he just began pursing music in sixth form at Jamaica College, it was odd seeing a science student who had an interest in music.

Now pursing a medical science degree at The University of the West Indies, the youngster is even more sure that he wants to rise on the dancehall scene while pursuing his studies.

He explained that this dream is the story behind his stage name, Intellect.

"I got it [the name] from one of my teachers who passed away recently. It was due to my awareness and academic brilliance. The genesis of the whole pursuit really started in Arnett Gardens, also known as Jungle. I am from the destitute parts of the community and I saw music as like a way to not only express myself, but also ... unite people. My brother, who is also a musician, brought me to the studio and I started releasing music," he shared.

Intellect is currently in his second year of studying radiography, also known as diagnostic and medical imaging. But while in high school, he could not ignore his love for writing music and about age 16, he realised he also loved being on stage.

"I was always a writer because in my spare time I enjoy writing and reading books. But while in Jungle, I was there with my cousin and my team Barcode at the time, and someone said I should spit some lyrics and I started singing one of my earlier songs, Ghetto A Guh Rise, and since then I knew I could perform," he said.

"I write music based on how I feel and my surroundings. In earlier songs I spoke about coming up and getting a fight as a young artiste wanting to do music. But my recent song, Maradona, is a vibes song. So the music is catering to everybody and it is dancehall and reggae, so everybody who loves the genres are satisfied," Intellect continued.

Though he had the support of his brother, it was difficult to convince his parents that the 'music thing' was not just a game to him. Nevertheless, as they began to see his passion and push in his studies, now four years later, they are his support system. As it stands, the most important thing for Intellect is ensuring that he strikes the right balance between music and school.

"To be honest, it is very hard so I guess that is why the name Intellect is even so fitting. I don't know where I find the time but I do because music is my passion. So during my spare time I always write and I try to make use of the 24 hours, whether that is going to studio right after classes or making time for studies. Education is extremely important so I definitely try my best to get the career and the degree as well. My view on education or schooling on a whole is just the ability to adopt to changes so definitely education and the pursuit of the career is quite important- balancing my goals and fulfilling my musical journey," he said.

Inspired by artistes such as Tupac, 50 Cent, Chronic Law and Masicka, Intellect said that getting to the top is not about how fast you rise, but the lessons along the journey.

"As a young artiste you must believe ... It is not talent alone that does it, you have to put in the work just like other young artistes who want to emerge on the scene. You have to be consistent. Additionally, when you put out a song and it is a really good song but does not get the kind of recognition you desire, you still have to continue put in the work and keep focused," he said.

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