Papa, father and daddy, on and off stage
The names papa, father, and daddy are often viewed as terms of endearment, symbolising stability, leadership, expereience, and wisdom. Though they are commonly used in a biological context, exceptions are made for father-figures, religious leaders, and even entertainers who adopt the term as part of their alias.
For gospel artiste and minister Papa San, the term mirrors his proclivity to teach and his appreciation for family. “Music, most of the times, comes with a name that relates to you personally,” he started. “My brother’s name was Dirt Man because they called him dirt and me sand. We took the ‘d’ off the ‘Sand’, and just kept ‘San’. The name Papa San means head and leader, and I see myself as a teacher and family man, so that is how I came up with the name.”
Given name Tyrone Thompson, he started a secular music career in the ’80s, and decided to keep his moniker after converting to Christianity in the late ’90s because it complemented his mission. “Papa San is the name I believe God wants me to use because most people who I am trying to reach know that name, and they can relate as well.”
He recalled having a good relationship with his father and shared that he has six children, extending his role as ‘Papa’ on and off stage.
“Being a father means a lot to me. it gives me the opportunity to see the extension of me and also allows me to show love, to share values, leave a legacy, and so many more things,” he said. As to the plans for the day, “I know my wife and kids have the plan. I am excited to see what they put together this weekend.”
Also believing in the reverence associated with the paternal terms, Franklin Dayes decided to use the name Father Culture in his quest to be a leader and advocate for righteous livity.
“I was Daddy Culture at first and moved on to Father Culture because I want to be ahead as a cultural man who promotes positivity through Earth at all times in everything I do,” the reggae singer told The Sunday Gleaner. “I’ve also realised that a lot of people from all parts of the world reach out to me for advice because of the name. even people who just come out of prison will call me for counselling. People look up to me in my community and I get a lot of respect because of the name, people don’t want to see me in any wrongdoing.”
He added that the weight and responsibility accompanied by the name father has guided him as a parent of five children.
“It makes me feel good to know I’m a father to the people when mi on stage and a father to mi kids when I’m at home because I really like to teach people and show people the right way,” he said. “My kids really look up to me as a father ’cause I always try to show them the right things in life, and so they don’t engage in certain things like bleaching or go to parties cause of the principles I instilled in them.”
“Daddy inna music”
For Junior Lee Bryan, it was through a series of conversations with a soup man that he earned the moniker Daddy Lizard in 1986. Though it bore no particular meaning to him at the time, he said the name constitutes the community and music industry leader he is today.
“A nuff artiste me push a road. A me carry Buju Banton a Penthouse and shub him inna Donovan Germain hand, and Germain never waan ketch him, and Dave Kelly voice a song wid him, and Germain tek him after,” he stated. “Fabby Dolly weh sing Peanut Punch a me carry him a studio, put him pon di rhythm and seh sing. Anno Kartel and Bounty Killer a daddy alone bout yah. me a daddy inna di music and dem youth will tell you that.”
With five children of his own, he describes himself as a family man. “Father’s Day is a day me look forward to I always have my kids. Sometimes one will forget and four will come and seh ‘Happy Father’s Day’ and then yuh see some of them group up a seh weh dem a go get daddy and me seh, ‘ everything cool. the greatest thing is that you remember’. we’re good like that.”