He made his name in the world of reggae and dancehall as Baby Cham, but you will not find him calling himself “Baby” anymore. Cham is one of the few reggae artists to experience mainstream success with hits like “Ghetto Story” and “Vitamin S,” but he remains true to his reggae roots. The Grammy Award-nominated artist graced the stage (wearing his Lawless apparel shirt) at the Guinness “Live it Up” Festival, giving fans a little taste of Jamaican dancehall in Brooklyn, N.Y. Rollling out sat down with Cham to discuss his career, dancehall, and, of course, Miley Cyrus.
What do you think of today’s dancehall music compared to the dancehall of the early ’90s?
To me it is unfair to compare the artists of the ’90s to the artists of today. During the ’90s you had more authentic producers. Now you just have some kids with a laptop. The music of the ’90s had more longevity and structure. We have to give the artists now time to develop, mature, and become what reggae of the ’90s was.
What made you drop “Baby” from your name?
Well, we didn’t really drop the “Baby.” I was working on a project and I was telling my producer, Dave Kelly, there’s really nothing baby about my music. But I still let the female fans call me Baby.
Do you feel that you have had to change your style up to keep up with the new generation of reggae artists?
You have to. You have to evolve, be creative so that the younger kids feel the vibe and get what you’re saying. It’s a challenge as an artist. You do not want to sound the same way you did three-four years ago. You listen to “Ghetto Story” then “Wine” and “Tun up,” 9and0 you see an evolution of sound.
How do you feel about mainstream artists using reggae and Jamaican terminology? Like Miley Cyrus using “we run things, things don’t run we.”
You have to love it! As dancehall artists, that’s why we fight. You fight for [the music] to go mainstream. You don’t want the newer generations to have to fight, as we had to fight to get to [become] mainstream.
How do you think that you have managed to remain relevant?
The music. Making good music. I have a good team. Dave Kelly, my producer, good management and most importantly, support from the fans who keep listening to my music.
Check out Cham’s clothing line and upcoming projects at www.chamworld.com