Radam – Complicated, Controversial & Committed to the Cold Hard Truth

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RadamYardFlexB.jpgRadam is a nightmare for potential managers and potential A & R representatives alike. He is fiery, cocksure, brash and has a quiet intensity that makes you want to take a step back.

But Radam has been raising eyebrows in dancehall circles for his catchy street anthem, 'Dam Dam', which is set to propel him into the Dancehall Game in a big way. But it has been a hard road to get to the point where he is now, all grown up and on the verge of stardom.

As a toddler, Radam's parents left him in the care of his grandmother who found that she couldn't manage to properly discipline the hell-raising teen who gave no end of trouble while attending Hope Bay All Age school in St. Mary.

"She couldn't control me, I had no father figure and I usually give her pure problem to the point where I ended up in reformatory school. I don't regret it though, if it wasn't for that, mi woulda dead already, Sister Mary Ignatius reach me as a mother, she was the boss," the man born Lincoln Dwight Hamilton said, smiling.

After leaving Alpha Boys Home, he landed a job at a coffee plantation for two years, and it was during this time, he was turned onto dancehall music by one of his friends, Daniel, the son of radio personality and former Member of Parliament Ronnie Thwaites, who used to sneak out to go deejay at the Guava Ridge club, not far from the Thwaites home.

"He was the one who made me start deejaying. In fact, it was his sister, Anne, who took me to my first stage show at Cinema II because she was a big Pinchers fan," he said.

After leaving the coffee plantation, he worked at various companies because he believed he was too feisty to join the long queue of other artistes begging for a chance to record.

"I don't like the begging ting, so mi just work straight, I never thought you could mix the two because if you deejay on the job, your employers might fire you because your mind's not there," he said.

However, before he could pursue his recording dreams, he migrated to England in 2001.

But the siren call of the music haunted him still.

"My friends kept telling me to be a deejay. Blacka Dread who owns one of the biggest record stores on Cold Harbour Lane, pressured me to return to Jamaica to do music the way he believed in me," he said.

So he obliged. In 2003, he returned to Jamaica to focus all his creative energies on his music.

"I believe that once you have talent, honesty and manners, then you deserve to get the break. Some producers want to use you, have you wash dem car, and mi no join dem ting de, king," he said. "When I meet a producer, I tell him to punch me like ajuke box, tell me what you want to hear and I can deliver. I know I can do this."

Confidence is not a commodity in short supply when it comes to Radam.

"When mi go to Buju studio, or Annx on Dunrobin, the man dem hail mi like Hitler. Radam-dam-dam," he said. "People flock me like mi buss at Payne Avenue, anywhere I go, people rate me, so much people caan tell lie. Mi no normal."

He has not pierced his ears, and sports a single gold tooth. Up close, he is a cauldron of smoldering intensity. You can see it in his eyes, and the way the creases in his forehead form like small hills, and tendons in his neck stand out like a nest of snakes whenever he deejays a song. He puts his entire being into his delivery, and you can't help but watch him do his thing. He has recently hooked up with music producer Courtney Laing of Hemp Higher Records, and his latest single, 'Dam Dam', is already a favourite at stage shows across the island. He recently shot a video for the single, a move that has upped his profile, and introduced him to a legion of new fans. Other follow-up singles include 'Dog', 'Shaggin' and 'Glass'. Radam is capable of cutting social commentary as well as evidenced by lines like: have people inna bondage/in a two slice of bread like egg sandwich.

"I have to make it, too much people believe in me, I was born to do this," he said.

We believe you. Radam. Just shine and do the damn thing.