Floydwest Will Certainly Be One of The Best


Photos By: Warlington

FloydwestB.jpgFloydwest is not your typical garden-variety singer. He is a charismatic firebrand who is unafraid to speak his mind, even if it means that he might offend you. In fact, he is defined by one primary mission in his life, and that is to make music that speaks to the hearts of men.

"Right now, I believe that Jah ordain it for me to sing and perform for people, and I have a message that has to get out there to the people," he said.

West has packed a hectic full life in 25 short years. During his youth, he was a whiz at performing poetry and short narrative pieces, winning several medals in the annual Jamaica Cultural Development Commission's (JCDC) competitions.

At one time, while attending Bridgeport High, he won a Colgate song contest under the name 'Rapper Kid'. In his late adolescence, acquired skills as a woodworker (learning from his father, Owen Fitzroy West), before going into music, later becoming disenchanted. After that, he began studying at Portmore Community College before leaving that to enjoy a brief stint in the army!

Now, that's a lot to pack into 25 years.

But recently, Floyd West has returned to his first true love -- music, and he's doing so with a bang as his latest singles, especially, 'Confession', have been generating a lot of attention in music circles.

Born December 13, 1980, Floyd West grew up in the Lincoln Crescent area of East Kingston before moving to Portmore at the age of four.

Floyd's mother, Vancile Nembhard-West, was a member of the Adventist church choir, which led to his having a background rooted in the Adventist church. He sang on the choir, and at one time, he was even a youth preacher. It is these early church-influenced experiences that fired his interest in English Literature even to this day because his older sister would often make a habit of reading biblical texts to him.

"I would say that I am heavily spiritual still, growing up in that environment, it expose me to certain questions about creation, and my role inna the universe, mek yu tink deep," he said.
He attended Independence City All Age and then Bridgeport High school for a few years, before his subsequent expulsion for a fight where a knife was brought into play.

"We not so violent, but we can be violent. That situation came out of the mixing of the intelligent with the not-so-intelligent, when those two people bounce together, a clash is almost inevitable, and in that, I was forced to become unintelligent...to defend myself," he said.

After that, he admitted that he 'drifted a bit', but his parents stood by him in this dark hour. Eventually, he finished his secondary education at Kingston Technical where he sat and gained four subjects including Mathematics and Physics. Having done so well, it seemed that Mrs. West's dreams that her son might become a preacher/engineer would be realized. His sister, Sophia Parkes is presently employed as an engineer at Kaiser Jamaica Bauxite Company.

However, Mrs. West's dreams were dashed because of the call of the music. Even while he was at KT, he had formed a group called the 'Gremlins', auditioning for Penthouse Records, and even Sly and Robbie. So upon graduating, he threw all his energy in that direction.

"From a youth growing up, me know that me abnormal, me can remember things at an early age, my mother told me that I started talking quite early, and my singing ability started to show early so much so that teachers used to put me on the desk and instruct me to sing…mi did always find myself in the spotlight," he said.

At age 18 when he began to record at Arrows but a few years later, became disenchanted when his songs were never released. Frustrated and angry, he decided to attend Portmore Community College to do a few courses.

"They have five tunes up there for me and when I return there, I am going with a lawyer…me did a leggo music through them...but music call me back, there's something special about music, and even as a youth, people clearly see me a singer, even in the army Rear Admiral Lewin used to call me Buju and even encourage me to go studio, so this is the path me a pursue fully," he said.

Now that he is back on the musical path, Floyd West has become a bit of an insider sensation, raising eyebrows with his brilliant vocals during performances at clubs like Asylum in New Kingston, and stage shows across Jamaica.

Recently, he did a song called 'Dance' with his brother, Damian 'Jerimyah' West for Christopher Cort, aka 'CK' of 'Infahred Records'. The recording eventually caught the ears of DJ Sunshine from IRIE FM, and DJ Chill of HOT 102, and this development has opened up vistas of opportunities for the young singer.

"Right now, this is a transition period for me, and Shine's (Sunshine's) influence allow me to mek whole heap of changes in my life, women represent a change, and she is doing that for me now," he said.

Other noteworthy singles which have been getting favourable airplay include 'Let Down Your Hair' and 'These Days', both combinations with 'Jerimyah'.

However, the single which is making FM radio sit up and pay attention is the smooth silky 'Confession'. A video was recently shot to promote this single, and it premiered on local TV and cable stations recently.