If you are into hip-hop music, you surely must know one of its brightest stars and author of a hit Ray Charles, Third World Don. ONN Magazine had the pleasure to talk with him in one to one interview and ask him about his inspiration, love of music and also who he would like to collaborate in future!
Third World Don, where does that name come from?
I’m from Jamaica where it is considered a third world country. Don means the head of the community, so I was given that name.
Before we get into you making serious music, what got you into the music itself, has it always been rap?
My dad is a legendary vinyl collector from Jamaica, he is currently on the radio, I grew up watching him collect it and do DJ events, he was also a promoter, did a lot of big stage shows with a lot of legendary Jamaican artists, it had an impact on me subconsciously. I wouldn’t say my first inspiration was rap. The first type of music I remember liking was 70’s soul. But all the music I listened to, I heard hip-hop in it. So I heard the old soul songs and I was wondering like “damn, how could I flip this”, but I didn’t know how. I remember people like Kanye West, when he first came out, I knew that was what I wanted to do, like the kind of took a lot of the soul samples and flipped them.
To follow up the previous question, how and where did your music career start, what triggered you wanting to make music?
It started at my dad’s house. In the back room on my computer, downloading programs and figuring out how to actually make beats and record myself and pretty much I started linking up with guys from my community and started playing around and, I guess once you start doing that, your name kind of spreads around and I started getting bigger and bigger in Jamaica, before I moved to America.
What does your music represent?
My music represents inspiration, motivation, whether it’s inspiring you to get through a rough time in your life or inspiring you to get up and go get some money, to push yourself to your limit, that is what it represents to me. I also go through ups and downs so I use it to motivate myself as well.
For people out there that have never been part of the music industry, never researched music or the business associated with music, how hard and what do you think is important in order to make successful music?
Stay true to yourself. Figure out who you are musically and become the best version of that. You could copy others or try to follow a blueprint, but the best thing you can do is be the best version of yourself.
Your single Ray Charles, as of now has almost 200 thousand views, 1.3 million streams on SoundCloud, and just like some of your previous songs, it’s been featured on popular rap/trap youtube channels, what does that song talk about?
The hook says it all. I’m saying “talk behind your back, but they smile in your face”, it’s pretty much self-explanatory, I’ve dealt with people that smile in my face by talking behind my back. I’ve dealt with issues I didn’t think I could pass through, I’ve dealt with people who wanted to see my career die, who wanted to see me locked up, not wanting me to see the light of the day. But once again, it’s like a triumphant moment, as I say, I can’t see these haters, I’m staying real and pushing through.
Talking of songs, what’s the process of writing when it comes to you? Where do they come from, what does it look like in the studio?
I used to write, I don’t write anymore. All my songs are recorded on the spot. I don’t necessarily know where am I going to start or finish, I try to find inspiration from above and tap in. All the songs you hear, they’re not written, not fabricated, it’s all just raw emotion that I’m feeling in that moment.
What other artists would I find in your playlists right now, who do you listen to?
Definitely a lot of 90s RnB, a lot of 70s soul, as far as rap goes, I listen to everything, right now there are some pretty amazing albums out, Drake’s got some pretty dope music, Kendrick Lamar, J.Cole, Future, pretty much anything if its dope and it’s got good vibes, I’ll listen to it.
If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be?
I got a few trusts. Off top… Alicia Keys, Damian Marley, Jay-z, Drake R Kelly, Donell Jones. There’s also a whole bunch of producers that are on my bucket list. My presence on a track is so strong, that not a lot of artists can keep up so I’ve learned to work with artists who can contrast my style.
Where do you see yourself in five to ten years?
Doing the same thing I do now but on a bigger level. Hopefully got some kids by then, family. I do this to inspire the next generation, so hopefully, I will have done a lot of things that inspire future generations and people where I am from, get them to believe that anything is possible, hopefully, those things will be in place by then.