By Joan Wilson
Vegas has been in the business for twenty years now and there seem to be no stopping this talented, versatile performer.
Ever since he impacted big time on the scene with 'Heads High' that's just what he has been doing holding his head high above the rest of the pack.
Yardflex caught up with the busy singjay who is now in New York promoting his latest album 'Hot It Up' and in particular the single 'Teck Weh Yuhself'.
"Well I am doing a lot of radio and newsprint interviews, the vibe is just right and everything is going great," Vegas shared.
But even with all that positive energy surrounding him, there are still a lot of challenges the singjay has to deal with – his major headache being working on track.
"Promoter want you to do a full 40 minute show on tracks and it's a different thing from bands. It's even harder for you when big named artistes are doing it, so some of the promoters will ask "who are you to insist on a band?"
Vegas went on to talk about his kind of songs being enhanced with a good band and on the other hand being hampered when he works on tracks.
"I have to turn down some shows cause I don't want to short change the fans. That's the biggest obstacle in the biz, plan on doing less shows, less work and less money fi government tax," he joked.
Clifford Smith aka Vegas describes himself as a humble, hardworking performer who just loves music. And there is no doubt about his love affair with it as he has had to overcome a lot of obstacles to make it in the very competitive industry.
His first hurdle came when he went to a local producer's house to acquire a master tape he felt was rightfully his, the producer was ready for Vegas, with a crowbar. One hit to the jaw meant Vegas was sipping food through a straw for six weeks.
Hearing Beenie Man's "Who Am I" one day during his recovery made Vegas head to the doctor and demand all his facial hardware be removed immediately. It freed his jaw somewhat, but when Vegas arrived at producer Jeremy Harding's studio to demand a chance at the riddim Beenie had used, he still wasn't able to fully open his mouth.
Using the same Playground riddim Beenie used for "Who Am I", Vegas recorded the hectic 'Nike Air', an instant hit in Jamaican. As soon as 'Nike Air' hit the top of the charts, 'Heads High' was issued and became a smash not only on the island but the U.K. as well.
Vegas has not looked back releasing winners such as 'Hot Gal' with Sean Paul, 'Taxi Fare', 'Lean Wid It', 'Hot Wuk' and one of his biggest anthem in Jamaica 'Do You Know'.
Since he dropped the album 'Hot It Up' it has been doing well. 'Hot Wuk' a track off the album made its way on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip Hop chart.
Among the tracks on the album are 'Teck Weh Yuhself', 'You Gonna Need Me', 'Sitting On Me Corner' and 'Tambourine'.
The album which is independently done feature song familiar to Jamaica which according to Vegas is why focus is on promoting it overseas.
Hot It Up is a mixture of dancing tunes, lovers rock and gangsa tune "it's a rounded album," Vegas quipped.