Meet JAY JAY CEE; the New face of afro-reggae-dancehall in Malawi

265 URBAN ARTISTS’ ENCYCLOPEDIA

Jay Jay Cee is arguably the hottest afro-dancehall reggae artist in Malawi currently. His antics both in the booth and on stage are a marvel to the dancehall fraternity and music lovers in general.

But how much do we know about him? What drove him into this industry? How was his childhood?

If all those had been tickling your curiosity, then here is the answer. Read the article below and get to know this monster of local dancehall.

PERSONAL DETAILS

  • Birth Name: Juma James Chitsonga
  • Origin of the stage name, Jay Jay Cee: He took the first letter from each of his names and formed JJC. Later he thought of making it look appealing…and coined the current name, Jay Jay Cee
  • Birth place: Karonga District Hospital
  • Date of birth: 1 July 1997
  • How many are you in your family: 6
  • Home District : Machinga
  • Genre of music: Afro Dancehall/Reggae artist
  • Location of business: Blantyre
  • Record label: RAJ Nation

BRIEF LIFE HISTORY

Born Juma James Chitsonga, James’ father is from the southern part of Malawi and his mother is from the north. He is a fourth born in the family of six children.

He grew up in various parts of the country. For example, from his birth up to around 10 years old, he stayed in the northern lakeshore district of Karonga. Later on, he stayed in Liwonde for about four years. After his 14th birthday, he has been a Blantyre resident since then.

His childhood upbringing was not that easy for his parents. The then young James was that kind of a child who tried to explore the world at a very tender age.

He used to be a soccer player back then. And he was even starring for his primary school teams.

ACADEMIC JOURNEY

James is currently studying towards the attainment of a Diploma in Journalism from the Malawi Polytechnic. Prior to that, he had been at Nkhata-Bay Secondary school, having been selected from Bwibwa Primary school. He had also studied at St Mary’s Primary school (both in Karonga).

Jay Jay Cee |Whilst he was at secondary school

THE BIRTH OF JAY JAY CEE

Unlike most of our musicians, Jay Jay Cee has never been a member of any choir, though he happens to be a Roman catholic church member. He used to like watching music videos. With time, his interest to emulate what he was watching grew. Later on, he started putting into practice what he was watching on TVs. That is when he made a decision to be like those icons one day.

Jay Jay Cee has been music, and music has always been in his blood. Literary speaking, he developed the love of music since birth.

At the age of 8, for example, he started penning songs of his own. This then used to be his everyday endeavor until when he was 12 years old. That aside, he was also a member of some school dancing crew.

Enough was more than necessary for the youthful artist as he then thought of going to the studio and released first single titled “Sister Jessi”.

At such a tender age, it was a little bit hard for Jay Jay Cee to convince producers that (at his age) he could rap (he was a rapper by then). But after the said single, he gained a little fan base within his locale. Later on, the doors of the studios somehow opened up; it was no harder to convince producers around there.

When he went to Nkhata-Bay Secondary school, he slowed down pace. He was no longer that active, musically. However, once in a while, he could flex his lyrical prowess by entertaining his colleagues. He was no more that much active but still more, he entertained his fellows and outsiders (within the school premises).

It was after his MSCE in 2013 that he decided to trek back into active music.

Jay Jay Cee

LIFE IN THE MABILINGANYA EMPIRE

Having made the decision of going back to active music, he got interested with a Lilongwe-based youthful dancehall crew, The Mabilinganya Empire. So in 2013, he approached, Mady P (one of the faces of the group) and expressed his interest to be part of them.

Having sampled Jay Jay Cee’s songs, Mabilinganya Empire was satisfied with the artist; he was recruited.

It did not take long for Jay Jay Cee to make his presence felt. His first appearance to a big fan base was when he took part in a song Phone Number by Mabilinganya Empire in which he did the first verse. That became the genesis of commanding a wider base nationally.

THE RISE AND RISE OF JAY JAY CEE

In 2014, he released his first mix-tape, “KUPANGA DZINA” which was recorded and mastered by Gaffar. The corresponding videos were handled by Crispo, & Leo, of Gowa Pictures, & Gibo of Viber Glass.

The 10 tracked mixtape featured artists like Scola Fella, Young D, Gaffar, Joka, & Tyclips. Some of the hits from the Mixtape were; Maliro (a duet with Gaffar), Zomwe ndimafuna, and Ona Kwacha among others.

KUPANGA DZINA, as the name suggests, helped making the brand Jay Jay Cee famous as some of the songs (from the mixtape) topped local charts. Some of those songs were Maliro, and Agogo, just to mention a few.

After KUPANGA DZINA, Jay Jay Cee released his second compilation, this time it was an album called ‘’Dzina langa’’. It was a 14 track compilation with Jangiriya, Mumamva bwanji, Makhumucha, Sanyada and Sindimakusowa, which rocked and shook the country’s airwaves and dance floors.

To cement Jay Jay Cee’s rise to stardom, in 2016, he scooped (what became his first official award) as the 2016 UMP Best New Comer.

In 2017, Trace TV approved his two videos for Jangiriya Remix, and Kana (a cover song to Tekno’s Pana) to be fit for beaming.

Jay Jay Cee | During Kana video shot

WHY DANCEHALL?

Back then, Sean Paul, Annie Matumbi, Vic Marley, Danny (from Zambia) and Mavado used to be his everyday faces on his playlist. The more he listened to these icons, the more he had wanted to be like them. It was therefore no surprise that Dancehall became his final destination, for dancehall had been in his veins for a while.

Currently, he draws musical inspiration from Jamaica’s musical icons; Alkaline, and Stone-bwoy.

THE BIRTH OF RAJ RECORDS

It has been always been his wish to own a studio of his own. This, he believed was going to simplify his work as a recording artist. So with support from his two brothers, Rashid and Atupele, he launched RAJ RECORDS in 2013. Back then, it was based in Liwonde before relocating to Blantyre, two years later.

Jay Jay Cee | During Jangiriya Remix video shoot

HIS OBSERVATION ON URBAN MUSIC IN MALAWI

Jay Jay Cee believes that the best way for local urban artists to fully reap from their sweats is via being made brand ambassadors, selling music digitally, and/or making various outdoor events.

If you are from the corporate sector and would like to involve an urban artist with a huge youthful fan-base, then Jay Jay Cee is the answer.

As the artist challenges, he is the rightful bridge between the commercial world and the youths. Malawian youths.

“As an artist, I have got a huge fan base. People I inspire and business companies can easily get their products to my people through me,” he challenges.

His legacy

The artist is one of those passionate entertainers that strive to see fellow youths prospering. He is amongst the bandwagon that believe the gate-pass to a more developed Malawi is via the youths.

It is in that view that assuming he retires from active music, he would like to be remembered as somebody who pushed for self-identity, musically and promoted positivity in his music.

CONTACT DETAILS

  • Email : chitsonga@gmail.com

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

  • Facebok Page : JAY JAY CEE
  • Twitter: @jayjayceemw
  • Instagram: @jayjayceemw

Click the link below and watch all music videos by Jay Jay Cee

Click here [Jay Jay Cee]

 Information rearranged by Gibson C Kamanga

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