In his new music video, Journey, dancehall newcomer 450 shares his state of mind and rocky past with his ever-increasing fan base. The song chronicles his gritty come-up and is as raw and relatable as his previous hit, Imperfection that launched him into the limelight. But 450’s honesty and prowess is only half of the formula for his success. The other part comes from his relentless hustle and vigilant management team, Syndicate, that stays busy pushing the 21-year-old’s brand.
It also helps that 450, born Tristen Escoffery, “grew up round a likkle music”.
450 was encouraged from day one to develop his impressive skills by relatives who’d dabbled in the business. “My father was a artist, mother was a producer same way, have uncle that did do music, so is more of a bloodline thing,” he told DancehallMag.
The RD Studios directed visuals, currently at No. 2 on YouTube trending, forecasts the success 450 earned combining slick confessionals and compelling flows.
The Top Balla deejay shares more about his Journey, from his schoolboy start to his current impact and what the future holds for the only dancehall act with a numerical name.
When did you first know that you wanted to be an artist?
That was like at the age of I would say 15, mi early years dem at high school. I had a friend that did music and just being around him, I started to experiment with it and jus grew a love fi it really. People tell mi seh ‘Yo, you actually have talent,” yuh get mi. So is after that mi really start pressure it di real way. It was just writing songs, never have access to a studio at the time based on the location I was at. It was by 2019 that I started my actual career, professionally start recording and releasing songs.
You’re the first dancehall artist to use a number (your birthdate, April 5th 2000) as your stage name. What else about you puts you in your own lane in dancehall?
My uniqueness, my style of music, my lyrical content. Those are some of the stuff that mek me standout apart from the crowd. That’s what the people love and appreciate my music for.
You’ve performed at a few gigs like Boom Sundays and Marco Polo where fans were singing along to every line of Imperfection. As a newcomer, what’s that feeling like?
Is a good feeling enuh. Big up to mi management, the whole team, Syndicate. We been putting in the work, pressuring di streets fi mek di streets know di song di real way so getting an opportunity to perform at those places and see how di crowd react was a very good feeling especially since we just ah jump out enuh, and ah like wi first big show. Powerful man.
In Journey’s lyrics, you recall your mother’s wise words (“Save yourself because nobody nah go save yuh”) and surprise her with a new house in the music video. What’s the response to your success been like from your family?
I’ve always had the support of my mother and my father, yuh zimmi, mi always ah big dem up fi dat. Dem definitely proud ah dem son and mi plan fi continue mek dem proud. Di rest of family members kinda distant still, but mi ah get one and two feedback from couple cousins and uncle and dem way deh. So yeah man dem proud to say the least.
Any comments or rumors you’ve read about yourself on social media that stayed with you?
Ah nuff ah dem enuh. Mi really appreciate mi fans a lot! Like everyday my DM’s have been flooded with people ah tell mi seh yo, mi change dem life, yuh zimmi. People ah have suicidal thoughts, and ah my music dem use fi cope or dem ting deh. It mek mi feel good fi know seh mi have a impact like that. Jus fi know seh mi ah help somebody wid dem day to day life, and help dem fi push forward.
What’s your dream collaboration both in dancehall and on the international scene?
I’d rather not jinx it at the moment so I just look forward to seeing what the future holds. What is to be will be, doh?
What’s the emoji you use the most?
I would say the fire emoji. Bere bun we ah bun dung di place from wah day so me use the fire emoji a lot!
Where will 450 be in 5 years?
Dominating and ah win some Grammy. Dat is the pree wah me and mi team have right now. Doing some music weh relatable to all people, some music fi di females, music fi di streets, some international sounding ting. Some tings weh can put we pon di map, Jamaica and dancehall pon di map as well. So that’s where mi see miself, at the top.
What’s next from 450 to close 2021? Any more singles/ videos fans can look forward to?
Definitely. We have couple tracks lined up from Tru Ambassador and Talk Of The Town. Some powerful ting ah forward up so dem can look out fi dat. Some visuals same way. Right now we ah focus pon di streets and fi di females, so look out fi dem type ah song deh right now.
Press play on Journey above.