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EastSyde’s Skillibeng Partners With RCA Records – DancehallMag

Rebel Nation | October 24, 2021

Dancehall artist Skillibeng, who is signed to EastSyde Records, has joined the RCA Records roster in a new deal, amid a resurgence of interest in Jamaican music among major labels in recent years.

The Crocodile Teeth deejay’s music will now be licensed under RCA Records—an American label under the Sony Music Entertainment group, according to Romaine ‘Stan’ McFarlane, the Chief Executive Officer of EastSyde Records.

“The deal is a major one for Dancehall music as it is a production and distribution deal for Skillibeng and this can push him on the international stage, allowing him to tap into music distribution markets worldwide,” McFarlane exclusively told DancehallMag.

International artists such as A$AP Rocky, Alicia Keys, Britney Spears, Chris Brown, Doja Cat, H.E.R., SZA, Shakira, Usher and Wizkid are listed among RCA’s extensive roster of talent.

McFarlane did not disclose more details about the RCA partnership, but he did add that his label, which includes rising star Rytikal, has also secured a distribution deal through The Orchard for all artists on the EastSyde Records roster. The Orchard, also a subsidiary of the Sony Music group, is a New York-based music and entertainment company, specializing in media distribution, marketing, and sales.

“This is major for Dancehall as a whole because it gives the genre access to the global music community in real terms and more importantly, we are connected to serious people who are willing to work with us as part of their team,” McFarlane added.

The St. Thomas native recently—and independently—released his 12 track debut, the Crocodile Teeth LP, which was executive produced by industry veteran Johnny Wonder.

In an invited comment, Wonder expressed his optimism about Skillibeng’s crossover potential. “Skillibeng is a great artist that can bridge the gap between dancehall and hip hop,” he told DanechallMag.

The deal comes after it was announced in December 2020 that the 24-year-old deejay had signed a worldwide publishing agreement with Sony/ATV Publishing UK, which is also part of the Sony Music group.

Several other Jamaican artists have snagged international deals over the last three years, in a frenzy not seen since Shaggy and Sean Paul scored big hits in the late 90s and early 2000s.

At RCA Records, Skillibeng will join Protoje, Lila Iké, Sevana, and Jaz Elise (all under an In.Digg.Nation partnership with Six Course Records signed last year), and Koffee, who is signed to Columbia Records UK with RCA as her U.S. licensee.

In June 2021, Dancehall songstress Jada Kingdom announced that she had signed with Republic Records after parting ways with previous management. In 2020, almost a year after he was released, Buju Banton announced his partnership with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation under which he later released his first post-prison album.

In May 2019, Shenseea signed with Interscope Records, while Popcaan signed with Drake’s OVO Sound in late 2018.

Skillibeng, whose real name is Emwah Warmington, emerged under EastSyde Records in 2019 with the hit song Brik Pan Brik and has continued his musical prowess since then with popular songs such as Coke, 50 Bag, and Mr. Universe, which was later interpolated into a dubplate for Prime Minister Andrew Holness during the 2020 Jamaican General Election campaign.

In May of this year, Skillibeng became the first Jamaican Reggae/Dancehall artist to enter the Billboard Hot 100 chart in four years after his Crocodile Teeth (Remix) with Nicki Minaj debuted at No. 100.  The last Jamaican entry before that was Sean Paul on Enrique Iglesias’ Subeme La Radio which had peaked at No. 81 in 2017.  Shenseea has since kept the ball rolling with her two features on Kanye West’s DONDA album, OK OK Pt. 2 and Pure Souls, which peaked at No. 12 and No. 52, respectively, in August of this year.

Skillibeng’s Crocodile Teeth LP, which featured Bobby Shmurda, Rich the Kid, Lil Zack, Stefflon Don, Popcaan, Spice, and Davianah, was released to mixed reviews on October 15 but may make its debut on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart next week.

Written by Rebel Nation


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