Capella Grey, born GyalisFriday, September 17, 2021
BY KEVIN JACKSON
DESPITE not ever visiting the island, Capella Grey has never forgotten his Jamaican roots. He is currently riding several Billboard music charts with his dancehall-flavoured song Gyalis.
“I was born and raised in America but my whole family is from Jamaica,” said the 26-year-old New York City-based singer, whose parents are Jamaican.
“I grew up listening to so much music from the island that inspiration runs deep into my music. The flows, cadences, and melodies from the Caribbean put into any genre makes the music sound sweeter,” he told the Jamaica Observer's Splash.
He said he didn't expect that the song would've taken off the way it has.
“I know I loved the song after making it, so I knew it was going to move somebody out there, somewhere. I'm just grateful it [has] been getting the response it has,” he said.
Capella Grey, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, said his music is a combination of his Jamaican heritage, hip hop, and rhythm and blues.
Gyalis is currently 82 on the Hot 100 (falling from its peak of number 74); 42 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart (falling from 35;) 12 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart; nine on the Hot R&B Songs chart; 11 on Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay; and, rising from 24 to 19 on Rhythmic Top 40 Airplay.
Written earlier this year, Gyalis was released independently in January.
“It was a combination of different events that inspired the song but the song was just the mood for the day. I produced it and dropped it at the beginning of January,” said Capella Grey.
American record label Capitol Records— which is home to several top acts including pop singer Katy Perry, Halsey, Lewis Capaldi, Sam Smith, former One Direction member Niall Horan, and the legendary Swedish group ABBA — caught wind of Gyalis and signed Capella Grey to its roster.
Since signing with Capitol Records, he said several doors have opened for him musically.
“I met a lot of people from all over and it gave me the opportunity to be in rooms where I can build with other great musicians as well,” Capella Grey shared.
“They (Capitol Records) are a great team of record breakers and I am excited to work with them,” he continued.
Since Gyalis took off, several entertainers have done remixes, including rapper A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, as well as Jamaican acts Kranium and Jada Kingdom.
“Artistes from all over have been tapping in and either coming to the studio in NYC to link and record it, or they'll just record over the instrumental and put it out. Either way, it's dope that so many people want to put their own take on the Gyalis record,” he said.
He recently performed alongside Shaggy at Hot 97's Summer Jam show in New Jersey and promises a body of work before year-end.
“I want to achieve GOAT (greatest of all time) status. I want to be one of the best to ever do it and have all the accolades and wealth to show for it,” he added.