Article by Jen Cheshire- Reggaewerx PR
Did you know that Perfect Giddimani’s ‘Live My Life Again’, the album that he says will be his last album, reached #1 on the Billboard Reggae Chart? Didn’t you? Neither did a lot of other people. Not only did it reach #1 but it replaced Damian Marley’s acclaimed ‘Stony Hill’ album and after dropping, is now heading back up and is at #3 at the time of writing. Maybe you don’t know Perfect Giddimani so let me introduce you to him.
Perfect Giddimani was born Greg Rose in Bamboo, St Ann, Jamaica and like many reggae artists his mother sang in church, and his grandfather also had a banjo band, so he was exposed to music from birth. His father was an electrical repair man and among the many things he repaired were jukeboxes. Some of the jukeboxes were left behind by the customers and his father rigged one special jukebox so that Greg and his siblings could play it without having to insert money. The jukebox was set up with many genres of music including, soul, country, pop, and reggae so he was introduced to a wide range of music at an early age.
Perfect Giddimani started singing popular reggae songs at a very young age when he would flip the record, play the instrumental version and sing back what he had heard on the ‘A’ side.
At the age of 9 yrs, known as ‘Mr. Perfect’, he started performing publicly and gaining a reputation in the region. When in St Ann’s York Castle High School, while regularly entertaining as ‘Little Ninja’, he realized he couldn’t continue covering other artists so he started writing his own lyrics. When I asked who his major influencers are, Perfect Giddimani told me that no one artist influences him, he takes a little of something from the many artists in many genres that he admires, in his words ‘You can’t bake a cake with one ingredient’. He gathers all the good he gets from them and then improvises on it.
After high school, Perfect Giddimani headed for Kingston where he began honing his performance in clubs. At the same time, he recorded in many of the top studios. Not long after that he and his brother Kirk opened the first digital recording studio, named Askum, back in his home town of Bamboo, with help from their father who located the latest studio gear from New York. They taught themselves the art of recording by reading the equipment manuals for days. It wasn’t long before they were producing music for themselves and also other local talent. Greg made the rhythms with drums and keyboard and Kirk was in charge of vocal engineering. Together they formed the Chalice Palace Music label. Changing his name to Perfect Giddimani, he made his first self-produced songs which he took to Europe and DHF Records in Austria gave him his first deal.
Perfect Giddimani’s company also formed Giddimani Records, a label that records upcoming Jamaican artists on compilations that feature some Giddimani tunes, to give the artists exposure.
Perfect Giddimani started as a roots artist and will always be considered a roots artist although, as the music scene changes, some of Perfect Giddimani’s songs are recorded on Dancehall beats he always stays true to his conscious, positive lyrics. In his words ‘We keep it 100% clean, conscious and with a message’.
After 12 albums, 700-plus singles with #1 tunes in Jamaica, Germany, Sweden and France, collaborations with Lauryn Hill, Anthony B, Sizzla Kalonji, Lutan Fyah and Jahdon Blakkamore and a Grammy nomination for his 2012 album ‘Journey of 100 Miles’, Perfect Giddimani released, what he has named, his final album ‘Live My Life Again’. When I asked if this was really his final album or just a gimmick he said that it wasn’t a gimmick. The reason he decided to make this his last album was that he has a catalog of hundreds of songs that never get highlighted or performed on stage. He wants to highlight them, reintroduce them to the audiences, so they take an interest them. He said there isn’t always the budget to highlight every track with video’s etc so sometimes the songs aren’t given the promotion they deserve, these songs will be brought back and shown to the public.
I became aware of the new album ‘Live My Life Again’ by Perfect Giddimani posting it on social media, so when he posted that it had hit #1 on the Billboard Reggae chart, I wondered why this achievement by an independent artist hadn’t been publicized by the major music publications. Taking over the number one spot from Damian Marley is an achievement that shouldn’t be ignored. In the words of Perfect Giddimani, ‘An artist wants to be appreciated for his work, to be loved and cherished, especially when our message is for the upliftment of our nation and the people’, something that the conscious artist doesn’t get at home in Jamaica. He believes that the independent artist should be recognized when they enter the chart for the first time because, without the financial backing of a large record company, this is a big achievement. The diaspora doesn’t always have the time to follow Jamaican artists on the internet and may never know their work and their achievements, their message isn’t reaching the people that can support and appreciate them. Unfortunately, the big names are big news. ‘Live My Life Again’ is an excellent album and, as I said earlier, is now climbing back up the Billboard chart and is at #3.
Perfect Giddimani is constantly on the road touring worldwide, he calls himself an ‘intercontinental’ artist. I was lucky enough to see him perform at Reggae On The River in 2012 and he puts on an excellent show, so if you see him in your area, come out and support, you will not be disappointed. Meanwhile, pick up the album at all leading outlets and you will see why it’s in the charts.