St. Thomas-born Dancehall artist Java is urging Jamaicans to wear their masks, but he does not support mandatory vaccination.
“I am urging Jamaicans to practice social distancing and wear masks, but I don’t think it is right for the government to force people to take the vaccine. It should not be mandatory because there are obviously issues with the vaccine. As such, I am not forcing anyone to take it, I have no problem with it, but the government believes it is something to help you, so I leave people to make their personal decision,” Java told DancehallMag.
Jamaica recorded 752 new COVID-19 cases and 15 deaths on Monday, bringing the infection total to 63,464, and virus death toll to 1,417.
The Ministry of Health and Wellness reported that the new cases comprise 450 females and 302 males with ages ranging from 12 days to 98 years.
Mandatory vaccination has become a hot-button issue in the Caribbean with some Caribbean governments facing serious pushback from organized citizens groups. , with fairly large numbers of citizens taking to the streets in protests demanding their right to choose whether to take the jab or not.
Last week, police in tourist paradise Antigua, fired tear gas canisters at protestors who were railing against a government decision to immunize frontline workers from the COVID-19 virus, but authorities would have none of it and moved to break up the demonstration in the city.
Two weeks ago, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves of St. Vincent,74, was airlifted to hospital in neighboring Barbados after being hit by a rock thrown by demonstrators during an anti-vaccine protest on the island.
In Barbados, about 2,000 people took to the streets at the weekend with similar concerns to counterparts in Antigua and St. Vincent. Police there were also forced to break up the demonstration without any serious violence. The so-called Freedom Fighters for Antigua and Barbuda have also organized protests.
Signed to the New Wavez Entertainment label, Java is an emerging dancehall star in his own right, having gained a big underground following with the trigger-pulling ‘Badness’ in late 2020 which was produced by The 6ixreal Records. The track amassed over 50,000 views on Youtube, and over 15,000 views on Audiomack.
Java followed up that effort with the get-money anthem ‘Zelle Transaction’ which was released with vibesy visuals over five months ago.
He is presently promoting the risque Bad Girl, which was released on the New Wavez Entertainment label, on August 13th.
“People love the flavour, the girls are blowing my DM saying that this is their summer anthem, bad girl, that ah my type,” he said, laughing.
He grew up in the York Hill district which is in the community of Seaforth. He attended the St. Thomas Technical High School before moving on to the Seaforth High School. His stage name, given to him by his friends, is an acronym that means: jovial, adventurous, versatile and ambitious.
He recorded his first song, “Turn Up the Radio”, which was produced by Flydiewise Production, in 2014.
He has performed at several community stage shows, including Popcaan’s annual Back to School give away concert where he has gained a repuation for his powerful onstage presence.
“I would describe my music as motivational, soulful, unique, modern and authentic. Mi ah come fi take my place inna dancehall,” the confident 22 year-old said.