Watch our interviewInterview - on 04/13/2020
Interview with Kevin Hamil, CEO of KevWreck Records
On Monday, April 13rd, 2020, we interviewed Kevin Hamil, CEO and founder of KevWreck Records. Before starting the interview, he gave thanks to Holy Love Ministry, Pastor Burton, Pastor Macky, and all the readers.
Where do you come from?
I was born in St Mary. Jamaica, St Mary. I was born in Port Maria, I am from St Mary, you know.
Where did you grow up?
I spent… I was born in St Mary, and I moved to Kingston 13, I was in the third grade. What age is that? About 10 or 11, or maybe younger. I remember going to Kingston at a young age., and I went to St Peter Claver. There, I joined the Boy Scouts. I was a Boy Scout, from, you know, St Peter Claver. After, I leave St Peter Claver. St Peter Claver is located off of Waltham Park Road. I went to Norman Manley from there, and at 16 years old, I came to America, to New York.
How did you feel when you moved from Jamaica to New York during the 90’s?
Oh well, it was a little transitional movement there, because when you have a heavy accent, and the way you dress. Every body knew I was Jamaican, ‘cause I used to wear those cut off jeans with the number “8” on them, and the big jean suit, and stuff like that. As you saw me back then, you knew exactly that I was Jamaican. But it was a transitional thing that I slowly got adapt to, you know, in the US.
Did you get involved in any violence in Kingston, back then?
No, no. I have always been a person who avoid, you know, trouble, getting in trouble. I just was into music, at a very tender age. I remember I had an uncle, you know, rest his soul, Spider Black, used to come every year, and he used to keep a dance in House of Leo, Cali Cali or California California, with Stone Love, Metromedia. I used to go to that dance at a very young age. I was exposed to music real early. I used to go to House of Leo, and be in the dancehall at a very young age. But I always stay out of trouble. I have never been in any kind of trouble like that.
What was your favorite sound system at the time?
Stone Love used to be very dominant, you know. Stone Love, and Metromedia, still. They had so many but, Stone Love. Yeah.
Before producing music, Kevin Hamil was a dancer. He also considered ghostwriting before turning to music production.
Which artists, and/or producers influenced you?
Well, I would say like maybe Dave Kelly, and so many producers. They have, say like hmm, you know, we have Di Genius, hmm, Don Corleon, hmm, Not Nice, a whole bunch of producer influenced us natural from just being in music, you know. From birth, I have been exposed to music, you know. I have grew up with the love of music still, you know what I mean.
What motivated you to make music professionally?
Yes. Well, in 2014, I used to work in this hospital Kingsbrook Jewish hospital in Brooklyn, and I met a young lady. Her name is Chrisandra. You know, she add me on to her credit card as a co-signer. So she gave me her credit card with, I think, almost 8,000 dollars, and I went to Sam Ash across from King’s Plaza, and I maxed that credit card immediately. I bought a drum machine, a MPC 4000, I bought a keyboard. I just went crazy in there, and I got all the equipment that I need.
Then me, and a young man by the name of Lush, you know, we started a studio in the junction by Flat Bush area, where we used to charge studio time. That’s how I started getting involved with music from 2004, when I officially got a tax ID number. That’s how I started doing music business from that time.
The very first time we had heard aboutKevWreck Records, he was promoting an artist called Mongoose.
Do you still keep in touch with Mongoose?
Oh yes! Mongoose is a very talented artist. That CD that I sent you was “Gal Haffi Send On.” I’m still in communication with Mongoose, you know, on WhatsApp, and Mongoose was also featured on another CD that I put out called “Have To Survive.” Me and Mongoose we have history. Mongoose is one of the first Reggae artist, Dancehall artist, to record music for my label, because he did a couple things. We did “Protect My Soul.” We did “Mama You Bless.” We did a number of singles together. So, yeah, Mongoose…I still talk to Mongoose on WhatsApp. That was the first official project that I started was with Mongoose.
Since the beginning of the year, KevWreck Records has released a few singles recorded by Chezidek, such as “Still Standing,” which was featured on our selection of March 2020 releases.
How did you get to work with Chezidek?
Well, I started working with Chezidek through a publishing company in Jamaica called Diamond Reggae. Diamond Reggae does all of my business as it relates to music in general. Because she reach out to like the radio stations for me, and she reach out to the engineer. Before I start working with Chezidek,I did music with Young Kush, Mongoose, Bamma, and a number of artists.
I did ask her, I was like, you know, can you get work to Chezidek for me that I would like him to record a single. And the first official single that Chezidek record for me is a single titled “Stronger.” “Stronger,” you know, you could tell your followers or the people viewing this to go to Youtube, type “Chezidek Stronger,” that was the first song. After that we did “Prayers Me Pray,” with Chezidek. We did “Still Standing.” And we have a song out now called “Babylon Virus,” which just came out like going on about a week or two now.
He’s in the studio now working on a fifth project for me that is on the “Nyahbinghi Man Riddim.” I have Luciano recording a single for me also, and Bamma who is also recording a single for me also.
When is the “Nyahbinghi Man Riddim” due to be released?
Well, we’re going toput it out as soon as the single is ready with Chezidek, and Luciano. Then, we’re going to introduce it out there, and see if other artists would like to get on it, or, you know, whoever want to get on it, they could reach me at kevwreckrecords[@]gmail.com. Send me a message, and we could take it from there. But, I do want to let your viewers know that I’m a working person, you know.
I’m not doing music full time. I work two jobs. I work ina hospital, and do taxi work, I’m a TLC driver. So, I have to workwith how things fit with my finance, and how I could afford to put out music. So, you know, just bear with me if things are slow, or not coming out fast enough. But it’s because I’m doing the best that I can financially, you know what I mean.
Who would you like to work with in the future?
You know what, that’s a good question. I’m so new in the business that I want to work with people who are putting out positive energyinthe world you know, like maybe Capleton, and so much people. It’s hard to really sit here, and call names, you know.
I want to work with people who respect where I’m at in music, and understand that this where I’m at. You know, my budget probably couldn’t reach about so much. And people who do want to work with me too, I want to work with them. So, yeah, I would say anybody who’s willing to really work with me so much, I’m not going to sit here, and call names, because I do plan to be around for some time to put out more music, and see where it goes from there.
Do you ever reach out to other music professionals?
Yes, I do. I ask for through Diamond Reggae. Diamond Reggae hook me up with a lot of engineers in Jamaica. I work through them to get out my music, and my label. I must give them the credit, and say thanks to them that we’re able to work together.
I also want to take this time out to big up who made it so easiest for us, because before, when we didn’t have no Internet, and we didn’t saw developing technology, you know, people used to have to walk to give their music to people, and stuff like that. So, I want to big up the elders, big up to every body who came before me, and big up to the people who is doing that now. I just want to say thank you.
What impact does the corona virus crisis has on your music business at the time?
The corona virus has affected us all, you know. Because, we got to make sure we’re protecting ourselves. See, I’m in my cab right now, this is what I wear when I’m driving taxi. I wear a mask over my face, you know, regular mask, I wear it over my face. I put this on, and when I’m at work, because I work in a hospital where I work as assisting nurses, and doctors, with the corona patients. I tell you, it’s a job in itself to protect yourself from the virus.
But as far as the music is concerned, I did have a lot planned for 2020 before the epidemic, and the virus came out. I want to say it’s not affecting my music because I have two essential jobs, TLC driver, and I work in a hospital. So, financially it’s not so much affecting me, besides the necessary precautions that I have to take to protect myself.
I’m still continuing my plan to put out music for 2020, see if I could get more notoriety as a producer, and as a label owner. I’m still trying to reach out to the public, and get people to support me. You could go to Amazon, iTunes, and support our music, not just my label, but continue to support Reggae music in general, you know. Thank you.
During the 2000’s, the music industry suffered severe loss of incomes because of the development of the Internet, which led to piracy…
Did the development of technology had an important impact on your music business?
I would say that the technology has affected my label positively. It has a positive impact on my label, because before I used to walk to barber shops. I used to stand by the subways. I used to walk, and sell CDs, up and down, you know, in the streets, and so forth. So, it has affected me positively, because since I started working with Chezidek, you know, and a few other artists, I noticed that I’m receiving a little tiny tip of money from the sales of downloads, and streaming, and stuff like that, online. You know what I mean. So, it’s a good impact.
Did the East-Coast Hip Hop scene influenced your music career in any way?
I would say I’m a fan of music in general, ‘cause I love Hip Hop. I listen to Jay-Z, I listen to DMX, and to whatever is hot, whatever is out. I wouldn’t say it impacted me in any way, you know. I embrace it, if anything. I embrace the music that we put out. It’s kind of go on and on, so much with my culture as far as Reggae music is concerned, and I keep my ears open. I enjoy listening to Hip Hop music and R’n’B.
Have you ever worked with a Hip Hop artist?
The first official mix CD that KevWreck Records was on was with Links MN. He had put out a mixtape “Street Fame.” I think he did a “Street Fame Volume 1,” and then I link up, and I asked him if I could get on “Street Fame Volume 2.” Links MN was a Rap artist, and I reached out to him, and he put a single out there for me, back in the days. That was the first official music that I put out. It was on a Rap CD.
What do you think of the current Reggae scene?
I love what’s going on. I love the Reggae scene right now. You know, it really gives everyone an opportunity to come out with your talent. Whatever talent you have, now is the time to bring it to the forefront, wether if you’re producing music or you’re an artist yourself. You know, I love the music scene. It’s awesome. It’s good music.
I listen to Chronixx, Protoje, and I listen to everything that’s going on, ‘cause, you know, I drive a cab, so. On a Saturday for example, I work a lot of hours. I go on to Youtube, and while I’m picking up/dropping off passengers, I listen to Youtube sometimes for like 9-10 hours for theday. I love the music scene where we at right now.
What are you 3 top Reggae/Dancehall songs of all time, and why?
Well, there’s so many. I’m going to start off why. ‘Cause me, I started out dancing. I was a dancer before I formed my label KevWreck Records.
So the first song that I remember dancing to as a kid was “Dela Move,” when Admiral Bailey put out: “Dela move, Dela move, mek we do the Dela move” [singing].That song, I was dancing off, and I grew up listening to Barry G in Jamaica.
Moving forward, Beenie Man “World A Dance,” you know. I moved to California like in the mid-90’s, where I was just dancing up a storm in a club called 105. You know, big up to the Sutherland family, big up to the Hamil family too. You know, a lot of us we used to go to those clubs, and that’s where I used to do a lot of dancing in 105, and you know, I started doing that.
Then, the third song maybe Elephant Man with “Log On.” Yeah, I did a lot of dancing too to that song.
Those are my favorite growing up, you know, when I was into a lot of dancing. So yeah, that’s it.
What else would you like to say?
I just want to thank the viewers, I want to say thank you. Hopefully, sooner or later, we all could get through this corona virus. I want to send you love, to your family, and I want to say thank you Jamworld for the interview. Big up your viewers, and your followers. I just want to say to everybody, may God continue being with us. Thank you very much for the interview. One Love.