Aidonia Shares How Mr. G and Skatta Burrell Helped Shape His Career
Aidonia says his remake of 50 Cent’s “Candy Shop” was his breakout hit
Dancehall artiste Aidonia is letting fans back into his life as he returns to vlogging and shares about his early life getting into music in a new video series named, Ask Aidonia on YouTube.
Aidonia has been out of the public’s eye for much of 2022 and 2023 as he coped with the sickness and then the death of his only child, King Khalif Lawrence. The artist appeared at ease as he opened and shared some of the earlier moments in his career before he broke out as one of dancehall’s biggest talents with his Candy Shop remake, “Nuh Candy Shop (Jolly/Lolly)” in 2005.
According to the artiste, his life was far from perfect as he hustled selling weed while also seeking out opportunities to deejay for anyone who could listen and assist him.
“It was kinda rough. Back then the music industry was kinda different. It’s not like you just get up and you just record stuff with your friend and post it on social media. Back then you have to deh inna the road, yuh haffi a walk from here to there, you have to deejay for people, producer…” the artiste said, noting that he had to basically audition for the producer before he can be invited to the studio.
The artist recalled one time when his ego was bruised as he felt his talent was so great, but the producer, Mr. G, said he was just “ok,” which made him not return to the studio.
“Goofy say alright and me deejay two thing for him and me go so boom…and his response was “him arite,” and at the time him say it me feel a way,” the artiste said.
“Dem time me a tell myself mi ah di baddest artiste and you know just how him say ‘him arite’ me kinda feel a way bout that, mi say ‘jah know’” the artiste said
Aidonia said he was “juggling” herbs (selling marijuana) and trying to deejay and never returned to the studio until they asked him why he didn’t come back.
“This was months after, how me end up back at the studio, one day mi deh pon the block and mi nah lie, mi hungry, deh deh raw raw, deh deh ah juggle the weed and the youth me a juggle the weed him fawud and him see say mi raw…. There was a restaurant right across from the studio…walk go inna the restaurant and ah Goofy bredda (Flossa) mi buck up inna the restaurant,” the artiste said.
He said he shared that his feelings were hurt because, as a young artiste, he did not know how to deal with constructive criticism, and his feelings were hurt. However, he was assured that Goofy was at the studio and he should go back. When he returned, the producer allowed him to record his first song, “Buss Di Eagle.”
Aidonia said that Mr. G was the one who taught him to formulate his chorus so his music could connect and, immediately after noticing his talent, told him to be at the studio every day to work.
“Man say yow, every day yuh fi deh yasso and a so me get started in the music business,” he said, adding that his first recorded single was “Gal How Do You Want It” on the Range Rover Riddim.
The artist also shared that while recording with Mr. G, he met Skatta Burrell, who helped him to understand the business of music.
“At the time Skatta have Halo Point, Einstein, Problem Child, Platinum kids, Brain Damage, some whole heap a artiste up a Skatta studio at the time…[he] never had the time to work with another young artiste [but] Goofy make him know say da yute yah bad and him hear the tune dem and him hear me a deejay pan di plaza and ting,” he said about his first time being introduced meeting Skatta.
According to him, it was a videographer, Simeon Edge, who reminded him about Aidonia, who had gone back to selling weed to “make ends meet.” That recommendation led to Skatta reaching out and vowing to make some phone calls for him.
“Him start send some riddim come gimme, me voice it… him send Gadaffi riddim come send me… and me call him and tell him ‘mi find the tune’ and him say come link him pan di plaza,” he recalled about the song, which led to Skatta telling Gadaffi to put him on the riddim while artistes like Merciless were there trying to record on the same riddim.
Aidonia said he was given JM$20K, which he spent to buy two Clarks shoes, and he borrowed his brother’s jewelry to film the music video. His attitude to making music, he said, helped him to advance past many more established artistes at the time, as he had no pride when taking the bus or taxi to get to various events to ensure his music received some airplay in parties.
His career took off after the Candy Shop remake.
“Skatta is the man who, him understand the plan dawg, him run me through the right channels, you know as a man weh believe in me…and show me the game and so me get me break. Me affi big up Skatta fi have the believe and run we through the channel and putting him money pon Aidonia and send me to the world, a desso it start,” he said.