Mon | Dec 5, 2016

Music embraced him, cricket didn't

Published:Thursday | December 4, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Reggae/dancehall producer still feels for the sport

Reggae/dancehall producer Frederick 'Black Spyda' Wright said he decided to pursue a career in music after the Jamaica cricket-selection panel overlooked him for a permanent spot in the Jamaica Under-19 cricket team during his formative years. According to the now 24-year-old producer, he deserved to be part of the national squad during his prime, however, favouritism hindered his progress.

Black Spyda, an avid off-spin bowler, told The Gleaner that he has excelled above his peers in several competitions at the youth level. However, his success on the field was greatly overlooked. "There is a lot of politics in cricket and I wanted to continue, but what threw me off was how I was sidelined unfairly. I went to the Jamaica Under-19 trials for a permanent spot on the team and I ended the trials as the top wicket taker and I was still ignored by the selectors. They have a core list of players that they want to push and, regardless of how good you are, you will be ignored," he said.

Black Spyda represented the Jamaica Under-19 cricket team once in a match which saw them going up against the JDF cricket team. From that match, the producer was also regarded as one of the top bowlers after copping several wickets. He, however, said he was given a raw deal by the selectors.

Following his failed attempt to represent Jamaica, the producer went to Guyana in 2010, where he played competitive cricket for Guyanese club West Demerara, alongside veteran Guyanese cricketer Sarwan. The former St Jago High School cricket captain had, by this time, passed his breaking point with the Jamaica Cricket Board, and upon his return to the island, he decided to direct his attention to music, under the encouragement of another notable producer.

Black Spyda released his first official production in late 2010 and later gained popularity for his work on Aidonia's local hit record, La La Land. He has since worked with the likes of Kalado, I-Octane, Bounty Killer and Khago.

'I still love cricket'

Despite achieving relative success in the music industry, the producer is not yet ready to turn his back on his first love.

"I love music a lot, but I still love cricket. Even a month ago, Andrew Russell gave me some new gears after he returned from South Africa's 20/20 and encouraged me to play back some cricket. And when I watch the TV, I still see a Jamaican side that I know I can qualify for if I hit back the gym. After all, I am just 24, so I am still young," he told The Gleaner.

Black Spyda Records recently released singles for André Russell called Sweetheart and Sweat Whine. Russell under the alias Dre Russ, recently announced that he would expand his résumé to recording artiste.

Black Spyda is gearing up to spend three months in England next year, where he is expected to work on international productions. However, during his stay, he hinted that he might be playing some cricket as well.

curtis.campbell@gleanerjm.com