LargeUp moves into singles with Busy Signal
The LargeUp brand began as a passion project, a dedicated Caribbean culture website and creative agency with the mandate to deliver positive, fresh and culturally impactful news and views from the Caribbean and the diaspora. These days, the platform has extended itself, adding record distribution to its operations. The first to benefit from LargeUp's major reach is dancehall star Busy Signal.
As their first venture as a distribution label, they have released Busy Signal's latest single, High Like A Plane (produced by Brooklyn-based Dorian Besson and Portmore's Richie Dawkins). The song made its debut via Toddla T's radio programme on BBC Radio 1 and was officially released on the informal, but celebrated cannabis holiday, April 20.
Along with Busy Signal, LargeUp has also been working with living reggae music legend Lee 'Scratch' Perry.
"We're not signing artistes, but we will be developing artistes. Record deals, they tend to work around albums, but we're focused on singles. They may be encouraged by us, but we have no exclusive rights to their music," Jesse Serwer, editor of LargeUp.com told The Gleaner.
"We've been a platform for eight to nine years. We don't deal exclusively with Caribbean music. What we have been doing is highlighting the connection with that and mainstream. If Kanye [West] or Jay-Z mentions or samples something from the Caribbean, we highlight it. After building the brand, we noticed music moving to a purely digital platform, so it made sense for use to put out music directly," he continued.
Holding Busy in high regard, Serwer said that the label is willing to work alongside more artistes in order to propel their international careers.
"Now is a good time to penetrate the market. Busy visited New York for the first time last year. In the US, he has had little mainstream presence because he wasn't able to travel. For people who pay attention to Kendrick Lamar or J. Cole, on a lyrical basis, Busy Signal should be on that level," Serwer said.
Busy Signal is known for dancehall hits Step Out and Unknown Number. In 2012, he scored his biggest hit to date, collaborating with Major Lazer on Watch Out For This (Bumaye), the lead single from the crew's sophomore album, Free the Universe. Busy has continued to collaborate with Major Lazer, in addition to other major acts, including Damian 'Jr Gong' Marley and No Doubt.