A conversation with Jamaican star: Vershon

Rehana Harmony

By Rehana Harmony

Rehana Harmony

30 Sep 2020

Catching his big break back in 2015 with hit dancehall banger “Inna Real Life,” 29-year-old, Kingston-hailing crooner found himself living out his dreams inna real life — thanks to the song garnering over 8 million views making it one of the top 10 songs for that year. With his debut project “Nah Stop Hustle” and follow up EP titled “One More Day” earning him a legion of supporters; stacked on top of his loyal fanbase who have hopped from track to track through his lengthy catalogue.

Now a staple in every dancehall playlist, Vershon’s ready to give us another one with his latest single “Reality” featuring scene veteran Chip. The track is a celebration of women who “look good in reality,” backed by a breezy island riddim that is sure to have you swaying. Mixtape Madness caught up the artisté to chop it up about his journey so far, the importance of knowing what sound works for you, collabs and his upcoming project!

Could you tell us about life growing up, knowing that you started writing at age Nine – What sparked your desire to become an artist?

My mother told me that I started singing before I could even talk properly and for as long as I can remember I was always singing. People even started calling me Sanchez at a point and I honestly cannot think of a time in my life where I was not singing and making music. I am music and music is me, it just made sense. The desire to become an artist has been there for as long as my memory serves me.

I read that you went to the same school as Vybz Kartel, that’s pretty cool! Do you ever feel any pressure to live up to his legacy?

Well that’s is not so accurate, Vybz Kartel went to Calabar High School and I went to Greater Portmore High School. However, as for pressure, I don’t feel pressured because Vybz Kartel is an amazing artist with his own unique voice and that voice can never be replicated. I also have my own unique voice and I think the world needs to hear both our voices.

I heard that you were making quite hard-hitting music predominantly at the start of your journey and some advice from your producer changed your sound and your life – for upcoming artists could talk to us about importance of finding the right sound for your image?

Your sound in music is your voice and it is very important to know what you want the world to hear you say. As artists, we need to understand that it is not just putting pen to paper or lyrics to a beat but it is about finding your own unique way of telling your truth. Finding the right sound for your image can completely transcend your music and define you as an artist; because where I come from if you look like a gangster the more hard-hitting music is more receptive coming from you. While, if you look a little more on the handsome side the hard-hitting music might not be as receptive coming from you. So, as for upcoming artists, they need to understand this dynamic and use it to their advantage.

The first time I heard of you was in 2015 because of your hit single “Inna Real Life,” how has life changed since then?

While I have been doing music long before 2015, “Inna Real Life” was the song that really gave me the break I needed. To say this song changed my life drastically is an understatement. “Inna Real Life” opened many doors for me to travel all around the world to places I could only dream of as a child, it allowed me to own things that I never could have owned before and it also allowed me to move my family out of the ghetto and into a better life where I could provide for them. “Inna Real Life” also gave me so much perspective and it made me an even harder worker because I wanted to truly live up to the respect and love shown to me all around the world.

So you just released a collab with Chip called ‘Reality.’ How did that collaboration come about?  

Initially, ‘Reality’ was intended to be a single but after listening to the finished product it felt like there was something missing from the track. That is when Fanatix suggested having Chip on the track and that turned out to be what the song really needed.

Recently you dropped off “Original,” which sees you tackle a darker atmosphere sonically – what was the inspiration behind this?

This song was inspired by the need to show the world my versatility. This song was to prove that Vershon can make music for everyone and can adapt to any musical environment.

I have to applaud you for the versatility you’ve shown across your catalogue, how and why do you keep reinventing your sound?

My sound is how I express my emotions and truth to the world. With each record based on what I am singing about my emotions and truth will vary hence, my sound will also vary. I have to keep reinventing my sound so that my music can truly connect with people and when they hear it all my emotions will flow through them and make them feel me.

You have a project coming soon, can we expect a diverse range of sounds on that? And what direction are you taking it?

Yes, diversity is definitely expected. The aim of this project is to have a little something for everyone therefore, there is something for my ladies, something for the men and also for the older population.

If you could pick an artist from two different countries to form the ultimate international collaboration – who would it be?

I would definitely want to do a collab with Chris Brown and Bad Bunny.

What has been your proudest achievement so far?

I have to say finding a hit song, ‘Inna Real Life’ was my greatest achievement.