Bling Dawg has revealed that his long-awaited one-drop debut album, which he has titled Elev8, will be released on December 17, more than a year after he announced that it had been completed, mixed and mastered.
Last weekend, Bling Dawg released the first single from the album, a collab with his compatriot Christopher Martin titled YO, which has so far made it to number three on the iTunes Top 200 Swedish Charts. YO was produced by Damian “Junior Gong” Marley.
According to Bling Dawg’s description of the song on his YouTube channel, YO summarizes his “elevation with a mental state of positivity, health journey and lyrical gems to life for all listeners to take heed”.
“Yo with Christopher Martin is like the vibes was natural; everything just flow easy and the vibes was nice. And for me, when I was around Gong, working on the album, it was like a college fi me. Suh me grasp everything inna dat moment and try capitalize pon what me learn,” he said in an interview with Press Kay.
“The album Elev8 is not really something that you used to from Bling Dawg. Is a challenge and growth, you can hear it. So you looking at a release date for the album on December 17, you know. Powered by Creative Titans,” he revealed.
While Speaking on Television Jamaica’s entertainment programme, Intense, in July 2020, the Portlander had said the album, which was already mixed and mastered, was concomitant with his new holistic lifestyle. However, he did not give an exact release date for the production.
He had also told the interviewer that Marley was the producer of two of the tracks on the album, which also features the likes of his mentor Bounty Killer, the Unruly Boss Popcaan, Tanya Stephens, Busy Signal, Morgan Heritage, Christopher Martin, and Romain Virgo.
“Why I chose these artistes, these artistes are embedded in that culture of one drop. It (one drop) is more technical… It is overwhelming to get them on it because even my manager was asking me how I get all these artistes on one album,” he had explained at the time.
Bling Dawg is known for songs such as Kiss My Baby Good Morning, Phone Call a collab with Vybz Kartel, Shotta Ting, Floss Like We Do, and Tweeta as well as Kreech and Aji Bounce.
Among his other tracks are Say My Name, Perfect Lady, Johnny, Dignitary, Pass Dem Remarks, Give Thanks, Father And Son with Captain Barkey and Let It Be Me with Sanchez.
Formerly known as Ricky Rudy, Bling Dawg was a part of the Bounty Killer-founded Dancehall collective known as The Alliance, which also included Kartel, Mavado, Aidonia, as well as Busy Signal and Wayne Marshall.
Bling Dawg, whose given name is Marlon Ricardo Williams was born in Kingston, but spent his childhood years between Portland and Miami. The 39-year-old got his musical break in Miami when he met, Dugsy Ranks, who along with Bounty Killer recruited him to be a part of Shocking Vibes where he worked with and wrote tracks for some of Dancehall’s biggest names, according to his Spotify bio.
Bling Dawg had started a fitness journey eight years ago after his weight made it increasingly difficult for him to perform on stage without running out of breath. Encouraged by acclaimed veteran saxophonist, Dean Frazer, he began undertaking some physical activities, and continued until he reached his optimal level of fitness.
Bling had told The Gleaner newspaper a few years ago, that he had since become a vegan, as it was a critical part of his weight-loss journey. He went on to lose more than 140 of the 350 pounds he once weighed and has maintained his now-muscular frame, over the past four years.