Dancehall artist Topmann will pay his final respects to his father, reggae singer Iyah Syte this Saturday, during a funeral service at The Catherine Hall Deliverance Center in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
Iyah Syte died on October 5 when the bus he was traveling in plunged into a ravine off the Long Hill main road in St. James. A postmortem revealed that he died from a broken neck.
“So far mi still in disbelief but I’m the one who had to go to the autopsy and identify him but me just haffi just tek it as a process and mek it gwaan run through mi head but mi naw go feel 100 a the end of the day cause he was the closer person I had,” Topmann told DancehallMag.
The Running deejay who has three younger siblings on his father’s side of the family reasoned that he now has to be more than a big brother to them and fill the void left by his father’s passing.
“Breaking down the news to my siblings, my sister was one of the most difficult because she was waiting on him so when she called me I had already heard the news and identified him at the hospital already but she didn’t know so she called asking me if I heard from daddy because there was an accident on Long Hill and she doesn’t know what to do so she want to call and ask him what she must do so it was difficult telling her that it was daddy who actually died in the accident,” Topmann shared.
He revealed that his dad was integral in his musical journey, especially in his formative years.
“Him was the foundation. From mi likkle mi deh round him a studio to be honest but one thing him never really pressure me to do something if mi never comfortable with it but mi did have a passion for the music but mi never tek up it like she mi ago be a recording artiste, mi first love was football and him support me right through,” he said.
“From a tender age mi been to music videos and studios. All a dem part deh a the music caused me to have a love for the music. Me father was a good artiste and good writer for his genre(reggae) so a me now just haffi follow through,” Topmann admitted.
He has also recorded multiple tracks expressing his pain and grief following his father’s death. One of those, which is still untitled, was inspired by a voice note his dad sent to him at least an hour before he died. He has plans to release the track imminently.
“The last voice note him send to me was like an hour before the accident. Him send me the message and say deejay link me as soon as you get this. Mi a wonder what and what him wudda say to me now if he got the chance to call me,” Topmann reasoned.
As he reminisced on special moments he shared with his dad, he recollected two etched in his memory.
“Mi never grow wid mi mada, a mi fada me grow wid. Mi have so much memories, at this point every one just seem so special, the good and the bad times though me and him never have bad times but me member days when we use to walk because we couldn’t get no drive and we a walk and talk and mi share mi dreams with him,” he said.
“One of his proudest moments was when I appeared on my first Reggae Sumfest when Govana called me out on the stage. That was one of his proudest moments. He was also very proud when I graduated from Cormwall College,” he said.
Topmann also shared plans on how he will honor his dad’s memory.
“I will just be strong right now and play a father role and that is one of the ways that I will honour his memory. He also had an Iyah Syte foundation whereby syte stands for Saving Youths Through Entertainment so I will keep that alive,” he said.