Reggae star Chronixx was recently featured in the popular Rolling Stone Magazine feature called The First Time. The video series features many artistes from all different genres who recall their past achievements and milestones. It’s a series that’s used to inspire and educate other artistes about the many trials and victories associated with making music. Watch it below.
The first thing Chronixx, whose real name is Jamar McNaughton Sr, recalls was making music, which he says he was too young to do. He added that because of this the song stayed in his head which is actually how he still prefers to make music.
“We didn’t play a lot of instruments but we would turn stuff in the house into instruments and we would put on the records and the cassettes and the CDS that were there. That was our everyday life, music.”
He next went on to recall his first time on stage, which not surprisingly was at a crusade, which is a common form of Christian expression and worship in the Caribbean. He explained that his church went into different ghettos in the area and tried to baptize as many people as they could.
“I couldn’t be any older than eight-years-old, my brother decided he was our manager and we went there and you know we dress up and we sing. Yeah and it was fun,” he said with a broad smile.
The Here Comes Trouble singer also shared how he came up with the name Chronixx, which he explained was derived from his father, whose stage name was Chronicle (Jamar McNaughton Sr.).
“One time when I just start high school I was like being disruptive in the Math class and my teacher was like come to the front of the class and I went up to the front of the class and she was asking me like really embarrassing questions like ‘Why are you making noise in my class? What’s your mother’s name and I tell her and she was like What’s your father’s name and What does your parents do and I was like my father is a singer and she was like what’s his name and I said Chronicle and from there I got the name Chronic”, he explained.
He said that was what he was called at first but he didn’t like it because it was too “Dr. Dre” so he added the extra xs.
One of the feelings that the artiste said he would never forget was hearing himself on the radio for the first time which he said was on Best FM where a deejay called Yardcore played his music. He was at home at the time. Like most artistes trying to get on to radio, he had given Yardcore his demo and stayed tuned in the show hoping to hear it. He said when he heard it he knew that music was what he wanted to do.
That love of music would transition into a thriving career that would see him on his first big stage, which was in Africa. He was invited as a peace ambassador to Kenya at a time when there were rising tensions and violence surrounding the elections. He said he had to perform in front of thousands of people. As he performed in front of thousands of East Africans Chronixx said he had an epiphany and it was there that he knew his words would have to help better the lives of Africans.
“It really shifted my consciousness as an artist. It helped me to realize what my purpose as an artist is, my priority, had to be in this crowd.”
He jokingly recalls that he was prying in the studio when he came across the rhythm for Smile Jamaica. It wouldn’t be until three years later however that the song would be recorded by visiting German producers.
Chronixx ends the interview by recalling his first meeting with Protoge, who he said was like meeting a great king for him because at the time he was just 17-years-old. He said Protoje’s humility has helped to influence him to remain grounded as an artiste and he’s used that experience to influence his career.