Bursting onto the global radar with his international breakthrough “Inna Real Life”, Vershon is a Jamaican artist with a solid affinity to the UK scene. Committing to immersing himself in Black music and UK culture, Vershon has enlisted the help of production trio The FaNaTiX (David Guetta, Nicki Minaj, Popcaan, Vybz Kartel, Giggs, and Stylo G) for the curation of his brand new EP. Boasting features with an impressive roster of talent including the likes of Chip and Trillary Banks the project sees the singer take his music in a whole new direction.
Vershon sat down with us to discuss where this love for the UK first began, his music, and more.
For the global audience, the first introduction to you would most likely have been “Inna Real Life” which is now regarded by many to be your breakout single. Did you know at the time of making it that it was going to be a hit?
No. At that time I was just gambling with music and I think it just connected with the people in a real way.
So, for you what makes a song a hit?
I don’t know you know. I don’t know how to answer that question because artists mix up a hit song with a popular song. Some will ask me “well how do you know the difference?” –
-that was going to be my next question
I don’t know the answer to that (laughs).
You recently signed your deal with Paralphone records-
Why was it important for you [as a Jamaican artist] to have a base here in the UK?
Um I mean it’s international. I am trying something new. From the day I came out I have not been with any labels or managers, I was just an independent artist so it’s something new, so I just made up my mind to try it.
You clearly have a love for the UK. Where did your connection to the UK first begin?
Um…the first time I went there was 2016 or 2017 and I am in love with the UK accent so…(laughs) I think that’s it.
The EP is in fact executively produced by UK trio the FaNaTiX. First of all how did you guys meet?
They were in Jamaica in 2019. They hit me up and said, “Yo we wanna do some music”. So I went to Montego Bay to link up with them. At the time Plan B was there with them. You know probably know Plan B?
Yes, I most definitely do!
[At the time] I didn’t know who he was but the FaNaTiX introduced me to him. I invited him to the session and that’s how we came up with “Stick By Me”, so he was a part of that.
What was the vibe in the studio like because at that point none of you had met before?
I mean the vibe felt like we’d known each other for years you know. It was just a real moment. Everybody was real, calm, humble, and just doing this for the love and the fun of it. It was a real moment.
I love that! So how did things go from that session to the FaNaTiX executively producing the EP?
It was a vibe, an energy…I was like “I like working with these guys, they’re young like myself, they understand me, we have chemistry and we also have a young mind”. We both wanted the same thing – success. So we said, let’s just make an EP.
The EP itself has 6 songs, which isn’t actually that many in the grand scheme of things, so tell me how did you decide which ones would make the cut?
As I said before, we’re just gambling in music because you never know what will work and what wont
What do you want fans to take away from listening to the music?
I just want people to be happy and accept the music, that’s it. I want them to hold a vibe and be able to relate to what I’m saying. My music is all about a moment, a fun movement, and energy.
And what inspired the music would you say?
The FaNaTiX make nice beats and I was thinking more internationally because I’ve been doing Reggae/Dancehall from the day I came out and I wanted to try something new, like a Jamaica-UK link up to see how it turned out.
That actually leads me nicely into my next question on the EP. Having previously described it as a UK-Jamaica link-up, is it important to you that the EP is well received by the fans here?
Yes, I am looking forward to it because I love the UK and the UK has been supporting me for quite some time now.
I know that the EP has a number of UK features, but I’d be interested to hear which UK artists you’ve been listening to at the moment.
Chip of course, Ed Sheeran, Stormzy…there’s a whole bunch of them. Trillary Banks…there’s a lot of them. I’m getting into the UK spirit now and loving the UK music…so I’m the reppin’ the UK (laughs).
Love that! I heard you mention Ed Sheeran, any plans for a Collab in the near future?
That would be lovely!
We’ve gotta put it out there – speak that into existence!
Yes, that would be lovely!
Is there anyone else from the UK that you would like to work with that you haven’t had a chance to yet?
No-one specific. I am all about making music so, as long as it sounds good and it makes sense I am ready to work.
Another thing I wanted to get into was something you mentioned in a previous interview where you discussed how the pandemic taught you about the importance of saving. Do you think finances are something that artists think enough about?
Some of them do. I think artists should venture more into business because music is not really forever. You might be the artist today and then tomorrow somebody else is running things. At the time when you’re in your moment and making money try to save and invest in business so in the future, you’ll be alright.
What track from the EP are you most looking forward to performing when we finally leave this pandemic?
“Stick by Me”! I want to see how the people react to it because that’s a different type of Vershon. I wanna see how the people accept it and how I can bring it to the people outside of making it the studio and sending it out into the world.
If you had to describe your sound in just three words what would they be?
Unique, different, Fresh
That was very quick, was that pre-planned?
(laughs) I just thought about that, trust me.
Finally, what can we expect from you for the remainder of 2021?
You know last year I had an interview and they asked what people could expect from me for 2020. But I mean the entire year was pandemic (laughs). The fact that COVID is still here I can’t really tell you much because we don’t know if we are going to be on Lockdown for the rest of the year. The only mission I have right now is the EP.
That’s fair, let me switch the question then. What do you hope will happen in 2021?
Okay, I am very optimistic about this EP. I am looking forward to it blowing up and taking me into a different dimension.