Near-death experiences inspire singjay
After losing his father and several friends to gun violence, 21-year-old Checkario 'Checky' Haughton is now using music to heal and inspire others to keep out of trouble.
The up-and-coming singjay, who hails from Craig Town in Kingston, has been making steady strides musically with the release of Nuh Real on March 10. The song has become a mainstay on the playlists of several street selectors and radio disc jockeys.
"A my reality inspired it, the track is about wah me live and see every day. The violence has a lot to do with my music. The song is about the many near-death experiences I have had where a couple of my friends lose dem lives. A di pain from those things draw the lyrics outta me in this song," he said.
Haughton told THE STAR that he believed that he would have been a victim of violence if it weren't for his love for music and his mother, Aneisha Grant.
"And it is not because mi deh yah a do badness. Nothing like that, but when yuh live certain places, at any given time you can lose your life for nothing. My mother has been there for me from the start," Haughton declared. Grant, whose father died when he was four year old, said that this had a big effect on him.
"Sometimes mi no really try fi think 'bout it because a no like mi live two lives, one with him and one without him. But I do think about what would have happened to me with him around," he said.
Nuh Real was produced on the Krayv Music record label, which is owned and operated by police inspector Horatio Rowe. He said that Haughton, who is a former student of Excelsior High School in St Andrew, was a shining example in the often volatile Craig Town.
"There were two compelling factors that initiated the interest towards Checky. Firstly, a young man nicknamed 'Game Fowl' always told me about him stating that he has the talent to showcase the community of Craig Town. Also, (recording artistes) Laa Lee and Hard Fi Deal Wid introduced me to him whilst he was freestyling at a studio recently. It was evidence that this type of talent needs the help to go mainstream," he said.
Rowe said he learned about Haughton's background, particularly how despite his losses, he stayed Humble and focused about getting himself and his mother out of the rut.
"That drew me on to him to invest my time and other resources behind his career," said Rowe, who has been a music producer for eight years. He has worked with established acts such as Fantan Mojah, Nesbeth and Tommy Lee Sparta.
Haughton, who graduated high school with four subjects, said he is hoping to have a similar impact on the industry with the releases of Fake Love and Me & Mi Crew.
"Mi never go no weh yet and open me mouth to sing and get a bad comment. So I know the buss will come, I am really confident about my slice of the cake in music. It put down fi me," he said.