Jamaican reggae artiste Dillgin talks his experiences and inspirations
California-based Jamaican reggae artiste Robert Bailey aka Dillgin is one of the most revered musicians of his age. With plans in top gear to embark on an African music tour, he chats with Jasmine Atieno on his life experiences, dynamism, emotions and talent
Tell us a bit about yourself
I was born and raised in Jamaica, but relocated to California in 2010. I started my career in reggae music from a tender age.
Throughout the years, I have pursued my career as a singer, deejay, songwriter and producer on my own label, Wall Streetz Records.
As a producer, I have produced many celebrated reggae artistes including Luciano, Capleton, Beenie Man, Mighty Diamonds, Sizzla Kalonje and Anthony B.
How did you journey in music begin, and what inspires your creation?
My musical journey started one day at a dance and my friend gave me the microphone and said “go”.
It has never stopped since that very moment. My music speaks to my goal of being an agent of change, using my music to spread a message of love, tolerance, peace, inspiration and the support of others.
I am also comfortable with doing cover versions of songs that speak to me on a spiritual and emotional level adding my own unique flavour.
My creation is inspired by strong perseverance, commitment, and truth to what I’m doing with my craft.
Who has been your greatest support in your career?
When it comes to my craft, I would say I am my greatest supporter! I also have family and friends that also support me unreservedly.
I am constantly tirelessly pushing myself to evolve as a person and as a musician.
I can be found almost always in rehearsals or in the studio when I am not writing or performing.
You have released many songs. Which one was your breakthrough hit?
My breakthrough song was Cuss Cuss. The 2001 self-produced single featuring Mark Ice was featured on VP Records Strictly The Best 27 and has taken me to tours throughout Europe, the Caribbean, Canada and across the USA.
Share your experience during the Chris Martin Show in Kenya in 2019.
Well the show with Chris Martin in Nairobi was great. The best! I had fun gracing the night and the love was real.
I’m looking forward to return to Kenya soon. I loved the people and love they showed me.
Also, the Kenyan reggae scene is lit. I love how the people take on the reggae music.
I also loved the welcoming nature of the Kenyan people and their acceptance of the Jamaicans. I loved the support.
Do you have plans to work with Kenyan artistes?
I am yet to work with any Kenyan artiste, but it’s in the pipeline. I will not want to reveal any details as at now, but it will surely happen. Where there’s will there’s way.
Tell us about your upcoming African tour.
All I can say is I love Africa so much; all our roots are in this beautiful continent. My tour is going to start soon, and my first stop will surely be Kenya then Ghana. I will release the full schedule soon, when everything is set.
What are your aspirations?
It is my hope that my music will remove boundaries and build bridges regardless of race, colour or religion. We, the people, throughout the world should be delivering conscious messages of love and hope.