Baby Cham visits Centennial College on Sept. 28 and delivers an awesome performance.
Geoffrey Mosher and Arooj Yaqub Editor-in-Chief and Courier Contributor
Success, his love for our home, and all things “crazy” are what Baby Cham reveals in his interview with the Courier’s Geoffrey Mosher. Oh, And flat tires. And loops. And some red lights too.
Friday September 28th, early evening at Centennial’s progress Campus, in the Student Centre. Mosher and Cham sat facing on a couch.
GM: You’ve been to Toronto many times, what keeps bringing you back?
BC: Just the fans, the love from the fans. The city’s been a place; Toronto is basically one of the first, North American (cities) that I went to outside of Jamaica. The second place I ever travelled to outside of Jamaica, the first was Barbados. It’s always been special to me, I came here my first time in 1995, and ever since then, the fans embrace me and if they want us performin’ here, I’m ‘gonna be here.
GM: Cool, you’re playing for students all across the city tonight, what does it mean to you to get to play for students and entertain them?
BC: It’s a good vibe, a good vibe. You find that when we perform our concerts. You’re not sure of the audience and what you’re targeting at the time. At that time on stage, whether it’s hard-core, whether it’s laid back, whether it’s over 30, whether it’s under 30, under 18, you understand? At a college you know exactly who you’re targeting, you know who you’re performin’ for, you know that they are the future and if they are listening to your music, it’s only good.
GM: And, as an icon of dancehall and reggae, who were your inspirations growing up?
BC: Ah, growin’ up I used to listen to a lot of different genres of music, Shabba Ranks, Bob Marley, SuperKat, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, you name it. Celine Dion. Crazy. We just love music.
GM: You’ve done so many collaborations, can you pick one as one of your favourites?
BC: I would have to say, as far as within my genre of music – I’d have to say it’s “Joy Ride” featuring Wayne Wonder. As far as like collaboration with hip hop, I’d have to say between “This Is Why I’m Hot” [Mims feat. Junior Reed and Baby Cham] and “Ghetto Story” with Alicia [Keys].
GM: There’s a lot of students tonight who are working, trying to better themselves, trying to reach the top of their game. Do you have any advice for them?
BC: The road to success, always stick by this, the road to success is not straight. There’s a curve called failure loops called confusions, speed bumps called friends, red lights called enemies, caution signs called family and flat tires called jobs, but if you have a spare called determination, and an engine called perseverance, with insurance called faith, and the drive to make it, you’ll reach a place called success.
The second part of the Baby Cham interview, conducted by Arooj Yaqub.
AY: “Ghetto Story” it really hits home, even growing up you can still relate back to it, is there truth to that if that’s where you came from?
BC: Yeah, “Ghetto Story” is 70% of my personal life; the other 30% is what we have made.
AY: Originating from a conflicted area myself, Pakistan, even I was able to connect to Ghetto story, what are your thoughts on this?
BC: Do you keep in touch with people over there? With what’s going on? It’s rough, man.
AY: It is rough but, I think now I have more of a connection because I’m growing up, and becoming more aware.
BC: More aware of stuff, that’s what I’m sayin’, it’s rough that when we are watching the news and you see what’s going on over there you see “yo, that’s hard” because we can relate back to Jamaica, but when it hits you that that’s your country and your blood and your family over there, that’s rough. That’s hard.
AY: How would you say your experiences in Jamaica helped you write your music?
BC: Like, we couldn’t write about ghetto stories by writing or reading a book, or watching movies, it wouldn’t come out so real…Yeah, it’s raw where you can feel it, you understand? You can watch movies, but, for you to like, tell a story, you can’t just watch a movie and tell a story from it, like, telling it how you feel it. And I think that’s how it can help you even, within journalism because you can basically touch base with home, feel what they feel, and reflect it back on this side whether it’s writing a piece or whether it’s writing an article or whatever.
A lot of people, they just, they’re just watching the news, but they don’t really go deep in it. That’s why me, I love Al Jazeera. When I watch it, they keep it real. They don’t put a curtain over it, they don’t sugar coat it, they just, (let) you know what’s going on. And that’s why I like watching it.
AY: I was just watching Al Jazeera last night, but even though I’m going into journalism, I’ve never grown up actually listening to the news very adamantly.
BC: You can’t do it like for everyday…I just started watching the news, probably 2 weeks ago because I’ve been so busy, when you’re so busy and you’re working you try to keep your head clear and sometimes it’s just depressing, by next time I’ll see something in the paper and read it or whatever but to stick to it, I can’t do it.
You know what I like doing? I like picking brains. Like if I’m in Germany, we read a lot of books about Hitler and all this thing that you know, when I’m in Germany, I will sit with like, an elder, and just pick his brain, so you get the real thing that used to go on. And I met someone from Israel, on the plane, and she’s on the plane and she came from Israel, and I just picked her brain for the whole 3 hours, because I love history like that. I picked her brain and just find out everything about everything. You read the bible, and hear “them in Palestine will never, like, it’s coming from them” but why is it? Like, don’t tell me about Kane and Abel, tell me the real thing, don’t tell me about Isa and Jacob, and two brothers separated, tell me the real thing, that’s why I love it.
AY: Yeah, it’s good because you’re keeping yourself aware. Would you say that’s one of the hardest things in stardom?
BC: Yeah, sometimes you lose it, because you’re going so fast, things happen so fast, and you have so much things going on around you, but as long as you have good people around you and, you come out of a good home, you make sure you still keep in touch with what’s real.
AY: Thank you so much for your time, it was great speaking with you.
Did you miss these awesome events and wish there were more just like it? Well look no further, Centennial has got you covered!
Tony lee ultimate hypnotist show
Friday October 26, 2012
Progress Campus Student Centre – Main Events Hall
Doors Open @ 8:00pm
Tons of door prizes will be available