Updated: Jul 14
Dancehall artist Rohan da Great recently announced his upcoming EP, Relations, and embarked on the Namesake Relations Tour to promote the project. His most recent release “Fallin” debuted at #1 on the iTunes Reggae Singles chart and also charted in 69 countries on Apple Music. Although the song was Rohan’s first #1, he’s no stranger to charting. His EP 6 Love debuted at #5 on the iTunes Reggae Album Chart and the physical sales-driven Current Reggae Album chart, and “Unfair Games” made it to the Top 100 on the Urban Radio Charts. Rohan’s had great success so far and likes to pay it forward. Throughout his career, Rohan has tried his best to help others through his Be Great and Inspire Nonprofit organization. Now’s no different. He plans on donating the proceeds from the Relations Tour and EP to help Be Great’s efforts to help families in Jamaica. We sat down with the “Chart Boss” for an in-depth interview and here’s what he had to say about life and his success.
Firstly, Congratulations on your continued charting success. It seems like you’ve cracked the code. How does it feel to have your music chart on so many platforms all over the world?
It feels great! It’s an amazing feeling, honestly. I make music for the fans and the charts are a good indication that they are really enjoying the music. Although it’s not the reason I create music, I really do appreciate the chart placements. Especially the sales-driven charts like the iTunes sales chart and the physical album sales chart. Those mean a lot to me because people don’t really buy music today. Streaming is the main source of music consumption, so someone must really like your music to purchase a download let alone buy a cd. It’s amazing to know that people will really spend money on something they won’t use just to support me. That’s love! and I’m forever grateful for that.
Yeah, that's true. Streaming is currently the main source of consumption and as a result downloads and sales have really diminished across the industry. Most artists aren’t selling downloads and there are barely any artists that still sell physical copies as well. You said people will buy downloads and CDs which they may never use. Why is that? Why do you think your fans still purchase your music?
I think it’s because they connect with me and genuinely support me. They relate to me. Watching someone build something from the ground up and seeing it flourish is inspiring. My core fans and followers have watched me grow as an artist. Matter of fact we’ve grown together, and we’ve congratulated each other along the way. I’m not one of those artists that are too good to engage with their fans. Sometimes it’s bigger than the music. When people like the music they’ll stream, but when they connect with an artist they’ll buy songs, albums, merch, and tickets.
That’s a Gem!! It’s wonderful to have fans that still purchase music. So glad that you can flourish in that area, but I’d like to also focus on your streaming and radio success. You’ve also charted in 69 countries on Apple Music’s streaming chart and Made the Top 100 on the Mediabase Urban Radio Chart. How did that feel?
That was amazing as well! The Mediabase Urban radio chart meant a lot to me as well, being that it wasn’t just a reggae or Dancehall chart. We were up there with the big “mainstream” artists and getting more spins than them. And we did it without a major budget either and 100% independent. We even made it to #7 in the country on the Indie Label Mediabase charts. Which I’m very proud of. It also felt great to chart on Apple Music, especially in so many countries. These are countries that I didn’t even know liked reggae music. Countries I can't even pronounce properly. Nonetheless, they are streaming my music. I feel honored to spread the sound.
You have a very welcoming sound that hardcore dancehall fans, casuals, R&B fan’s and music lovers can appreciate. It's a perfect blend. When creating music do you purposely try to blend those sounds? Is it something that comes naturally?
When I create music I just go with the flow. There is no premeditated thinking. I don’t go in with the mindset of “hey let’s make something that will play in Jamaica, or on Urban Radio in the states or on the international market”, I just follow my vibes. Being that I grew up in a Jamaican household in Brooklyn, with a father who’s a recording artist, an Uncle who’s a DJ and Hip Hop head, and moved to the south, I’ve been introduced to so many styles of music. So naturally, my music would be a blend of all those influences.
Speaking of influences, your father Curry Don is a well-respected Artist and your uncle DJ SupaDane is a well-respected DJ. How did having those 2 influence your career?
Naturally, you are going to want to be like your father and the male role models in your life. My father got me started in reggae dancehall music. I wanted to be great like him. He trained me to be a great artist and performer from a young age. Supadane introduced me to Hip Hop music and the technical side of music. They both got me started and their lessons stick with me to this day. When I’m performing, I can hear my father’s voice in the back of my head saying. “Stop Cupping the mic” and Supadane is right there with me on tour as my DJ making sure the performances go as smooth as possible.
That’s amazing! It’s really great that they continue to inspire and nurture you to this day. Speaking of performances. You recently kicked off the Relations Tour, How’s that going?
Man, the tour is going amazing. This is my first time being back on the road since the pandemic. It’s great to get out there and touch the people. It’s also very different this time around. I’ve been touring since 2015, but during the pandemic, I had a couple of songs really take off and impact, gaining me lot’s of new fans, so this time around I’ve performed to crowds full of people that are singing the songs back to me word for word which is amazing and new. I also put a lot more into my show. I try to make sure that I give the fans a show! I want my show to be an experience for the fans and I also want the promoters to feel like they are getting their money's worth for booking me. The price went up so, I want to make sure everyone’s satisfied.
I believe they are. I’ve seen some of the show footage and it looks amazing!! The crowd is interacting, there are background dancers, and Jamaican DHQ’s and one of my favorite parts of the show is when you pay homage to your favorite dancehall artists. Why do you feel the need to pay homage?
Yeah, there’s a lot going on during the show, but I always pay homage to the songs that shaped me and dancehall because I feel it’s my duty. These songs literally pushed dancehall to a higher level and provided a soundtrack to my life. When I cover or play the song I’m helping to push the song even further. When the crowd hears these songs it brings back memories and creates a vibe that may not be able to be replicated with the new era of music. Those people in the crowd may go back and start streaming that song again or perhaps a younger person who’s not familiar with the song may be exposed to it. It also gives the original artists content to share on their end and in this era content is king. But most importantly it’s about spreading love and showing the original artists of these songs that we love them and appreciate their contribution.
Love that you are paying it forward, but I read somewhere that you are also giving back with this tour. Can you tell us about that?
Yes, I’m donating 15% of my tour profits to Be Great and Inspire Inc. a Non Profit that I started to help Jamaicans throughout Jamaica and the diaspora as well as families in North Carolina and Brooklyn, NY. This donation is going directly to the Sitcheron family of Westmoreland, Jamaica. The Sitcheron family is made up of a disabled mother and her 3 kids. She has aspirations of being an entrepreneur shop owner but due to her disability, job security, and food scarcity, she’s having a tough time and living in less than favorable conditions. My late Grandfather would assist the family and I felt like I need to take up the mantle because I’ve raised funds and provided clothing and food for the family but I’m hoping to make a more life-changing impact this time around, that’s why I’ve decided to donate a percentage of the tour and of my upcoming EP Relations. My projects sell very well and giving a percentage of those sales can make a huge difference.
I definitely commend you for paying it forward in this manner. So tell us about this new EP Relations, which I’m sure will also climb up the charts since you have the magic touch!
Nah lie this EP is amazing! I’m very proud of it. Relations is like a more mature version of 6 Love. The production is amazing. I'm working with DJ Ashani, Sena Beats, and ZJ Ice on this one. It’s some of the best songwriting I've done so far. I show a little more range and the songs are more mature and still focus on true events. It’s a vibe. Relations has an uptempo track with the lead single being “Fallin,” and some nice songs to wine up on, Afrobeat elements, slow songs, and, even an old-school 2-step kinda vibe on one of the tracks. Ladies all over the world are going to love it and men are going to love listening to it with their ladies as well. I can’t wait for you guys to hear it. I do not have a date yet but we are shooting for the 3rd quarter.
I can’t wait to hear it! You are doing amazing things and your fans definitely have a lot to look forward to, but you are also an inspiration for other upcoming artists. Before you go, would you mind giving them some advice?
Sure. My advice would be to educate yourself on the artistic and business side of your craft. Once you understand, fully create a plan of attack and stick with it. Make sure you stick with it. You’re going to want to quit, people may belittle you, and you may feel like you’re not getting the results you want but stick with it. You will succeed but honestly, this isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s going to take huge investments in yourself and huge sacrifices, but if you can do that you’ll make it!
Follow Rohan da Great on instagram @rohandagreatmc
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