US-based dancehall artist Jah Teff knows that the world worships at the altar of winning. That’s why his latest song, Money Grow Wing, talks about the power of self-belief and self-determination and warns listeners to beware the wishy-washy loyalties of ‘wagonists’.
“The inspiration behind this song is my belief that people don’t respect you until they see you winning, they jump on the bandwagon afterwards. When you’re down in the ghetto suffering no one lends a helping hand, you have to figure it on your own to escape the garrison,” the artist, whose real name is Gary Johnson, said.
The song was self-produced by Johnson, who is also the chief executive officer of Updeh Music Production LLC.
“The reaction from the song since it dropped has been great, everyone loves the video and the energy behind the song…people are looking forward to the album now,” he added.
Johnson is a native of Montego Bay, Jamaica. In 1987, his debut performance at the Great River Talent Show won him the best song award for a clever lyrical gem of a song called “Toothache.” The following year, he won the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission Talent Show, receiving a first prize from a distinguished panel of judges, including Portia Simpson, former Prime Minister of Jamaica.
Moving to Kingston, Jamaica, he met Rodney Basil Price, a.k.a Bounty Killer and recorded his first single ‘Exercise’ which was released on the Scare Dem label, which did well locally.
Other career highlights include a 1993 Reggae Sumfest performance which led to a 1994 stint at the Ragga Muffin Bob Marley Day Festival in Long Beach, California alongside acts such as Burning Spear, Bounty Killer, Beenie Man, Shaggy, Anthony B, and other reggae luminaries.
In 2005, Kyle McDonald, co-bassist and vocalist Slightly Stoopid produced his song ‘See It No Other Way’ featuring dancehall music legend Barrington Levy. The song became an instant sensation and can be found on Slightly Stoopid’s album, ‘Closer To The Sun’.
He released his ‘Pan A Knock’ EP in 2015 which included collaborations with Ed Robinson, Sweet Tea, and Baby Cris.
Jah Teff now lives in the United States and has completed his upcoming EP titled ‘Money Grow Wing’ on his own Up Deh Music Productions label which he hopes to release later this year.
“I am excited about the prospects for the EP, especially with reaction to the video for Money Grow Wing on social media,” he said.
The 14 track EP will feature collaborations with Ed Robinson, Keisha Martin and Nymron.