It started with a dare.
DeeWunn was a seasoned MC who’d been dominating rap battles in Jamaica for years. A friend bet him he couldn’t do a dancehall track. So the Kingston-born songwriter, producer, and artist hit the studio to prove him wrong.
The result was dancehall fire, “Mek it Bunx Up.” After Ciara and Justin Bieber’s choreographer, hip-hop dance goddess Parris Goebel, shared her moves to the song in an Instagram video, it blew up. “Bunx” swept clubs worldwide and garnered more than 22 mil streams on Spotify. The track went to #1 in far-flung places, revealing an unexpected passion for reggae’s stripped down, dance-inducing cousin around the globe. The song is still going strong, with a rumors of a remix from DJ Fresh with Iggy Azalea surfacing from time to time.
One listen to DeeWunn’s tracks makes it obvious why his music has caught on: DeeWunn’s flow and delivery with the elastic pulse of the beats merge the best of dancehall and hip hop, making it absolutely impossible to sit still. That’s all part of the plan. “This music is brought to life by dancers, and making people dance is what it’s all about,” notes DeeWunn.
Los Angeles-based music incubator and globally influential label Waxploitation jumped at the chance to sign the dancehall sensation. “DeeWunn has such a unique style and presence on the world stage, and we’re here to help him explore new collaborations”, says Waxploitation founder Jeff Antebi. “We’ve been introducing him to our producer teams in Lagos, Nigeria and Mexico City, and Rio de Janeiro to prepare a slew of new singles.”
“Dancehall sounds are everywhere now,” DeeWunn reflects, “from Rihanna and Diplo to all sorts of other places. But who can name their favorite dancehall artists? That’s what I want to change. I want more respect for us, for people to see we’re all doing our own things, not just following a style.”
The first single will be the infectious, street-level “Back It Up, Drop It” features the production chops of Rio’s favela mainstay Leo Justi (Heavy Baile), who has previously collaborated with MIA, Danny Brown, Phantogram, and more.