It’s been quite a year for Jamaican musician and songwriter, Vision Alexander. We first highlighted him last year for his collaboration with Jesse Royal on Right Now. Since then, he’s gone on to collaborate with Jesse several more times, including multiple Sean Alaric-produced features on the Royal album.
The 2x Billboard songwriter and artist has a No. 5 Hot Single under his belt and a Top 40 hit on UK’s Weekly Pop Charts. One of his more recent and most notable accolades, however, comes with his independent single Birkin, which landed on the musical score for the film Catch A Fair One.
DancehallMag sat down to talk more about Vision’s recent success and future plans.
You’re Jamaican by birth but grew up in South Florida. How have those two cultures influenced your sound?
Being born in Jamaica and growing up in Birmingham England, and South Florida has definitely had a major influence on my sound. By being exposed to different cultures, genres of music. It has forced me to think outside the box when it comes to my songwriting and to appreciate different sounds of the world and what works and doesn’t on an international scale.
How did you first get your start in dancehall?
My first start in the industry was with Reggae Music. I was signed to Record Label called Key Note Records based in South Florida and Jamaica. I owe alot to Warren Bloise who was my manager at the time. I recorded my first song called We Jammin which was produced by Warren and JonFx. The song caught the attention of Mojo Morgan of Morgan Heritage. He blessed the remix and the rest was history. I got the opportunity to tour with Morgan Heritage for the first time. And I’m so grateful for the opportunity. Thank you to Mojo, Jemere, and Morgan Heritage for all the strength they have given me all these years. With that knowledge and encouragement, I’ve used it to now be a 3x recording billboard songwriter /artist, also a top 40 weekly Pop chart recording artist /songwriter in the UK and recently earned my first motion picture movie music score here in the US. And I’m just getting warmed up for the second half of my career with God’s help.
What was it like writing on “Switch It Up” with Protoje and Koffee?
I met Protoje at a writing camp in LA which Jesse Royal had invited me to be apart of for his upcoming album. I remember it like it was yesterday, myself Jesse and Sean had just returned from a last night studio session. This was around 5am Protoje was on his way to start his studio session. He invited me to be apart of it. That was when he played this amazing beat produced by Winter James. He told me “Vision this one is going to be epic its my secret weapon for his album”. This was way before Koffee had graced the track with her amazing verse of magic.
When Protoje played the record for me he had already written about four amazing bars that started the song. I remember when first hearing his delivery and lyrics. That’s when I knew that Protoje was the real genius everybody talked about. And I knew that I had to step my game up.
He told me he needed an epic hook for this song. So we both went through some melodies and ideas and in no time we found the hook that worked and the rest is history. Bless up Protoje anywhere him deh inna the world.
Out of all the songs you worked on with Sean Alaric for Jesse Royal’s “Royal” project, which is your favorite and why?
Out of the six songs that myself, Sean Alaric and Jesse Royal collaborated on for the Royal album, I would have to say Lion Order is my favorite because, it was the first song that Jesse heard from me and Sean.
That song brought three us together including Protoje to work on Jesse’s album. Lion Order was the genesis that set the pace, vibe, energy, synergy and overall lead single that rasied the bar for the other songs and gave the direction to where the album should go in a musical sense.
To date, I would honestly say its one of the best songs I’ve ever written. And there’s nobody in the world that could have delivered the song better than Jesse Royal. He’s an amazing artist and person. Sean Alaric is a musical genius for creating that beat and many more of that album. I’m lucky to share a time in music history with those three geniuses on that song. Bless up Sean, Jesse and Protoje.
Your recent release ‘Birkin’ was featured in a film premiere at Tribeca Film Festival. What inspired that song? Did you expect to see your music going that far?
Birkin was a song that myself and Sean Alaric had started before we worked on the Royal album. After working with Jesse on the project, we went back to fine tuning unfinished songs Birkin being one of them.
With the help of Lesile reggae music pioneer from Delicious Vinyl Records and Dina Juntila Music Supervisor for placing many songs in motion pictures. Birkin was the song that caught everybody’s attention and then was chosen to be the song in the motion picture “Catch A Fair One,” directed by Josef Kubota Wladyka, who’s the award-winning director of the popular Netflix series Narcos.
The movie then was premiered at Tribeca Film Festival. To myself and Sean surprise we had one idea that our song would get so much exposure much less to be in a motion picture movie. I can honestly say the song was inspired by my local strip club and all the amazing dancers that took my money that night. Lol
Where would you like to see dancehall and Jamaican music go in the future?
I would love to see Reggae/Dancehall music be more a part of the conversation when it comes to talking about which genre controls a huge piece on the market share in the music industry. Right now Jamaican music is not in the conversation like other genres that we influenced such as Reggaeton, Afrobeats, hip hop just to name a few.
We need to change our approach when it comes to the music industry and I mean all of us including myself. I’m now a part of this genre representing Jamaican Music to the fullest. We need to overstand that this game is a numbers game and division keeps numbers in the red. We need our numbers to be green and unified. We need to stop saturating the marketplace with so many songs that don’t do numbers. And concentrate on improving our business understanding of the industry. I want us to remember that this game is 90% business and 10% talent. Our business outlook has to improve and with that so will our music approach.