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T.O.K.’s Bay-C Wants To Be The Greatest Dancehall Artist Ever

May 16th, 2024

Bay-C, formerly of the group T.O.K., has his sights set on becoming the best Dancehall artist ever as he continues his musical career as a solo artist. While acknowledging the challenge, Bay-C told DancehallMag that his ultimate goal was to be “the number one dancehall artist in the world.”

“To be the greatest dancehall artist ever is a tall task, it is a matter of longevity and impact over decades,” admitted Bay-C, whose deep-toned voice stood out in the 4 member group before their split in 2015.

“Some artists were great, but their music (old hits) has not sustained over time.  If your music lives on, like Bob Marley, then there’s room for that GOAT convo. That’s different from being the number one dancehall artist for a specific time, for example, an amazing year-long run. To do that your music and brand has to resonate locally and internationally in such a magnitude that literally the whole world is saying that you are the number one artiste at that moment,” he reasoned.

Bay-C said he aspires to be remembered for his exceptional voice, genre-blending skills, and overall success. He acknowledged the work ahead but remains enthusiastic. “I have a lot more to do to prove this to people and this is why I’m so excited to continue putting out music. T.O.K. has ‘zeroed’ the game more than once, now I’m on that journey as a solo act but also really taking time to understand that the joy is more in the journey than the destination and having fun along the way,” he said.

Bay-C

Driven by both the industry’s evolving sounds and his desire to match T.O.K.’s accomplishments, Bay-C finds constant motivation. “I’m motivated every day by two main things: the great music that other artists put out pushes me to go harder to show that I am just as good or better than what’s out there and to achieve individual success that is comparable to the immensely successful achievements of TOK,” he explained.

“The music and the industry have changed so much since I started,” he continued. “Social media is a big change now, as well as the democratization of productions. Both points have erased the barriers to entry to music; anyone can make music, drop a video and reach the world. It’s a mixture of more opportunity to get out there, and more competition in the market. For me, I look at it more like an opportunity that can be leveraged. Plus a lot of the huge stars now were fans of T.O.K. before, so this gives me a competitive advantage over newcomers.”

“The main focus now is on the Flawless Victory EP.  It’s a 5 tracked joint project between Bay-C and Xyclone that’s already hit number one on the USA and UK Reggae iTunes Charts. We just did the launch in Jamaica and are gearing up to take the tour to Europe.”

 Since moving on from the group, Bay-C explained that he has grown artistically.

“I’ve been able to explore more tones of my voice, doing more than just the bass voice. Also, my performances have improved since I now have to work the entire stage myself,” he said.

“My musical roots are very diverse, spanning dancehall and Hip Hop, to R&B and Rock, and touching every other style in between. This was one of the secrets to TOK success and it’s also a key thing for me. I am adaptable to every style of music out there and as a bad DJ I think you must always be able to ride any riddim, no matter the genre, tempo or musical style,” he added.

As his solo journey continues, he is more interested in building his musical legacy. “I’m more focused on building new fans than leveraging TOK fans, to be honest. In my solo concerts, I do drop one and two TOK classics, to pay homage to my brothers and our legacy but I try not to lean too much on the group’s catalog. My main mission is to create a new movement with new people that feel Bay-C’s music while carrying the Bay-C fans from TOK with me as well,” he said.

Bay-C said he is also receptive to criticism as no artist is exempt, no matter how talented.

“I always welcome constructive criticism. I’m not so egotistical to let good advice pass me by, even if I don’t wanna hear it. However, the negativity like hate comments on social, I stay far from. I don’t read stuff because I’m more of the belief that most times people are reacting to a headline out of context with the actual information. so I ignore most negative feedback, stay in my mountains, make my music and then when I’m out in the streets if I’m approached by someone I am willing to have a conversation which most times changes the other person’s perspective. It’s all about standing by your truth and eventually people will respect you, even if they don’t agree with you,” he said.

“I think there are varying metrics of success and it’s relative. For some its accolades, charts or how much they can charge for a show, for me it’s a mixture of popularity and global reach. In terms of popularity, the acid test is the kids; if any random child in any part of Jamaica is singing your song “yuh buss!” Regarding global reach, if you’re able to break new markets, as well as maintain your traditional diaspora and Caribbean markets then you’re 1) stamping a great impact by carrying your music to new fans as well as 2) able to tour for a longer period between the new and traditional markets.”

He sees the potential for Dancehall to rival Hip-Hop’s financial success.

“Similar to Hip Hop growing to a multi-billion dollar industry, I see the same for dancehall. The digital world now allows for us to be on the same platform as any other genre. So whether it’s Nikki Minaj, Burna Boy, Drake or Tyla, all are tapping in to our culture. I have consistently been leveraging these opportunities, mainly in Latin America and Europe which is how I landed my first plaque as a solo artiste last year. Now I have my eyes on doing more of that and attacking other markets such Africa, UK and Brazil.”

This content was originally sourced and posted at DancehallMag »
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