Jahvante Campbell: Solid As A Rock Part 1
Jahvante Campbell, born Marvil Campbell, is a Rastafarian conscious reggae singer known for his original “Mama I Love You,” the cover version of “Slow Down,” and his debut performance at Sting 2000.
He has performed on the twin island of Trinidad and Tobago. His latest songs “Cry Peace” and “Hot Pon Dem And Those” are expected to help to ring in his first Grammy-nominated EP, produced by Thug Chemist.
Reggae-Vibes, known for exclusive stories, will take you down memory lane when Jahvante’s bell began to ring in Samerton, St. James.
Part one of an eight-part series.
Jahvante’s early life.
“I was first known by the stage name Whappalous, a bad little deejay who could win any clash.
Samerton, where I lived, is a small rural community about 15 to 20 minutes drive from Montego Bay, the second city. It became popular because this was where Jamaican actor, singer, and songwriter Jimmy Cliff lived.”
“We were neighbours and he was a friend of my family. Raphell, my dad, would tell me about Jimmy Cliff being his schoolmate and how much he was a great singer and a leader. Nadine my mom, also knew him well because she went to the same school which was Samerton All-Age.”
“My school was a small concrete building holding some five classrooms but I cannot recall the student population.”
“My favourite teacher was Miss Mack. She treated all her students with love and became not only our mother but grandmother. She wanted to find out each of our problems and took pains in meeting our parents.
“My favourite subjects were Mathematics and English because I wanted to write good music and count well when I begin to make money.”
“I began to think about music from an early age because Grandpa was the type of person who kept scores of records from the catalogue of artistes including Bob Marley, Gregory Isaacs, Alton Ellis, and Dennis Brown. And he would play these on his small record-changer for hours on Sundays, sitting quietly on his verandah.”
“My father too enjoyed music because he would not miss whenever a sound system came to play at a lawn next to our home.”
One night, Jahvante followed his father to the sound. He had decided to perform and was given the opportunity to do so. Unaware, his mom, who heard his voice, rushed to the stage demanding that they remove him immediately.”
“It was dad who begged for me. Despite everything, I was very happy I performed that night and I got a lot of compliments.”
Be sure to read part two: Jahvante influenced by Jimmy Cliff. Only on the Reggae-Vibes site.
(Photo by Delroy Ledgister | videos contributed by Jahvante Campbell & edited by Teacher)