Exclusive: Jaicko Speaks to UrbanBridgez.com

17-year-old Jaicko [pronounced Jay-ko], has long been the author of his own destiny. Though he’s matter-of-fact about his forthcoming album on Capitol Records –”It’s life through the eyes of a 17-year-old”– this is an artist with a lot to say.

In looking at Jaicko, doubt seems a foreign concept. In hearing his music, it’s a word utterly stricken from the lexicon. He’s concocted an intoxicating island brew that washes over the listener as readily as a Caribbean swell. Leading the charge is “Oh Yeah,” an effervescent anthem boasting an infectious hook and Jaicko’s tongue-in-cheek sensibilities. The bouncing beat + Jaicko’s lightly-lilted vocals = this song is a no-doubter.

Indeed, Jaicko personifies harmony: between cultures, genres, ages, genders. His particular brand of music is set to shove aside the driftwood on American airwaves. “My lane,” he grins, “is wide open. This is something that I have been trying to do for years, to break out internationally. I built a fanbase back in Barbados so it’s a good feeling to take to the States and the rest of the world now.” Soon, the rest of the world will know that very good feeling, too.

In this exclusive interview with UrbanBridgez.com, as apart of our anniversary interview series! Jaicko talked to Aries about his debut album, growing up in Barbados, originally wanting to be a rapper and much more!
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UrbanBridgez.com: Tell me about your debut Capitol release?
Jaicko: It’s called “Can I,” it’s coming out January 26th the tentative date. We got a bunch of A class producers on the album. Jim Johnson, Rico Love, Claude Kelly and some other producers. Me and my dad got a chance to write and produce four tracks on the album, along with my cousin Shane Foster. So yeah we got a great album in store for you guys. From the album you’ll get a clear understanding of who I am as a person. It’s a good description of me just coming from the Caribbean you know just takin from Barbados what’s mine and making a great fusion of music.

UrbanBridgez.com: “Oh Yeah” is blowing up for you, will you release another single before your album drops?
Jaicko: Oh definitely, I’m trying to be a couple singles deep man. Thank you for that, it’s a big motivation to hear people saying it’s blowing up.


UrbanBridgez.com: When did you realize music was the path you wanted to take?

Jaicko: I always knew I had a passion for music, as early as nine years old I was into music. Like my dad is a bass player and use to play in club bands in Barbados. When I was younger during my summer vacations I would just go out and watch him perform and jump on stage. I kind of just took it from there. You know it’s funny because when I was nine years old, nobody really knows what they want to do in their life at that point. But I always had the idea to be something in music. You know when you’re young you have these little fantasies like I wanna be a Pirate (laughs). I was like I wanna be involved in music some how.

UrbanBridgez.com: Not being from the US, was it hard for you to adapt the US music scene?
Jaicko: Well you know in Barbados we’re very influenced by the American music industry. But you’ll never be able to experience it first hand unless you’re there. I’ve been coming to America since I was nine years old. From then I’ve just been learning the American music industry. It was a little intimidating at first, but as I grew older I understood it better. And I learned that it doesn’t bite (laughs).

UrbanBridgez.com: Tell me the story about you getting expelled from school because of your hair?
Jaicko: Going to school in Barbados, the rules are very strict. They don’t allow you to grow your hair. Females can’t wear their hair past their shoulders. You have to wear uniforms and stuff because we were once a British colony. My hair was always apart of who I was as a person, even before music. So when I started going to high school and at the same time I was gaining alot of popularity there. I released a bunch of music on the radio and stuff. It was excepted for me to grow my hair for awhile, as they excepted that’s what I wanted to do. As I grew older I started to get alot of complaints from the school and stuff. So they said if I didn’t cut it they would have to take me out. So I decided to do home schooling. So I could continue to pursue a career in music.

UrbanBridgez.com: Who are some of your influences?
Jaicko: I’ve always had alot of influences and listened to alot of different types of music. Like Reggae, Bob Marley. I listened to alot of Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder. And also country music, so I grew up with alot of different type of music. I think that’s what hapled to create such a different style for me. I was inspired by alot of different types of artists.

UrbanBridgez.com: You use to rap I hear, what made you go from rapper to singer?
Jaicko: That’s funny (laughs). When I started rapping, I mentioned being nine and wanting to be an artist. Well at that age my biggest and I mean biggest inspiration was Lil Bow Wow, At that time he was like 13 and like the youngest doing it. So I would be like I wanna be like Bow Wow (laughs). And that’s what inspired me to start rapping. But I always knew I could sing, but back then the lines between rapping and singing were very thick. So if you were a rapper you couldn’t be a singer. So as I grew older I started to pay closer attention to my natural talent which was singing. So I just grew out of that faze of wanting to be a rapper.

UrbanBridgez.com: As a songwriter where do you draw most of your inspiration when you start on a new song?
Jaicko: From anywhere man. I feel that music is so diverse that I get inspiration from any and everywhere. It’s funny because the other day I was in the booth right. And I kept messing up so I kept telling the engineer to come again, like come again. So that’s a song right there, I actually started writing (laughs). Alot of crazy things, I like to find music.

UrbanBridgez.com: What other things are you working on outside of music?
Jaicko: Right now I’m just focused on this, I want to get this off the ground before I start cooking alot of hamburgers. I just wanna get this one seasoned right, you know. So as soon as I do I will most definitely start doing alot of other things. I’m interested in acting and doing a bunch of charities. I wanna go back home and help kids in Barbados, specially the school systems.

UrbanBridgez.com: Any last words for fans?
Jaicko: Thank you for supporting me so far, I have alot in store for y’all. Make sure you come check me out on Twitter www.twitter.com/jaicko or on MySpace www.myspace.com/jaicko. www.jaickomusic.com and keep supporting, you won’t regret it! Jaicko in the building, oh yeah…

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