Jordane Delahaye, Gleaner Writer
With all the stereotypes surrounding black men and fatherhood, it is inspiring to see influential dads going against society's prescribed moulds.
In the studios of the Freddie McGregor-owned Big Ship Records, Daniel 'Chino' McGregor revealed to The Sunday Gleaner his views on fatherhood and the role it plays in his music. For Chino, fatherhood is a big responsibility and the From Mawning singer was relentless in reinforcing this.
The father of two said that once he became a father he gained a different outlook on life and his priorities changed.
"Once you become a father you are no longer living just for yourself. There is now someone who is literally depending on you," Chino expressed.
The young McGregor pointed out, though, that there were also many things fatherhood would not change.
"Some things have to changed but, for the most, part I'm usually a laid-back, reserved person outside of my career," said Chino.
The reggae/dancehall superstar, who recently welcomed his second daughter into the world, stressed that a parent's decision can, inadvertently, have negative effects on the lives of his or her children. Chino urges parents to be mindful of the choices they make, as what might not affect their children now could affect them when they are older. He also added that children tend to put their parents on a pedestal and emulate them.
The artiste said that it is important for parents to set a sound financial foundation for their young ones but insists it is not the money that raises the child. He said that parents, especially fathers, should be involved in other aspects of their children's life to instil certain values.
Despite the huge responsibility that comes with fatherhood, Chino admits that it has been great, adding that he never had to do much adjusting.
It is no secret that dad reggae veteran, Freddie McGregor, is a doting father. The Big Ship singer has had a big impact on the life of his sons, and not just in their music.
"Growing up, my father has always been a very family-oriented person regardless of the fact that he's always travelling and touring on the road. He was always present and hands-on in terms of raising his children." Chino told The Sunday Gleaner.
They say children live what they learn, so it is no surprise that Chino followed in his father's footsteps both career wise and also when it comes to parenting. However, when asked if he would like his children to travel the same career path, Chino appeared apprehensive.
"There are a lot of vampires in this industry so I wouldn't encourage it, but I would definitely support my kids if this is what they decide to do," Chino said, adding that he would never force his children into anything.
If his children were to enter the music business, Chino said he would want them to stay professional, highlighting the fact that music is a business and a certain level of focus and professionalism is necessary.
Chino admitted that his children do influence the type of music he produces.
"As much as we want to keep the music current and hip we have to keep it tasteful and try not to go overboard. At the end of the day, the kids have to be able to grow up and appreciate the music and listen to the entire catalogue without being ashamed." Chino said.
While Chino happily speaks about being a father, he is not so comfortable allowing his daughter to become a topic of discussion or become a part of the limelight he has learnt to live with.
The name of the baby he has with Jamaica's sweetheart, former Miss Jamaica Universe, Yendi Phillipps, is still being withheld.
His singles Rich Tomorrow and Miss Universe were released earlier this year and are still garnering intense air play. His latest single, Ends Dem Lock, on the Face-off rhythm released by brother Steven 'Di Genius' McGregor, is poised to dominate airwaves.
The prolific artiste is also preparing to release another single called By My Side a lovers rock anthem that Chino is convinced will be a hit. Chino also has two albums set to drop next year in the United States and Japan.
Until then, the performer will be busy recording songs and playing shows. The artiste revealed that he has a gig in the US Virgin Islands at the end of the month followed by another in New York. Also on Chino's roster is the upcoming Big Ship European Tour featuring himself, Di Genius, Laden and Bramma.
When asked if he would take his children on tour with him Chino was swift and sharp in his affirmation. It was as if he had already considered this, which comes as no surprise as he himself accompanied his father on many of his tours.
For those wondering whether Chino is a "strict dad" or a "fun dad", the easy-going artiste was adamant that he is not strict at all, adding that parents can instil discipline without coming off as strict or aggressive.