Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest man and an Olympic icon, is breaking new ground in a field that extends beyond sports. Since retiring from sprinting, he has seamlessly transitioned into music. Growing up in Sherwood Content, Jamaica the sports-obsessed boy always had a passion for music, dating back to his first encounter at a round-robin — essentially a party sponsored by local citizens who pooled money together — where he heard popular reggae artists like Barrington Levy and Bob Marley. That’s where his love of music began, according to him.
Following his final race in 2017, he was kept busy by work with his sponsors, which included Puma, Gatorade, Visa, and Hublot. It wasn’t until he was living independently in Kingston, Jamaica that he decided to pursue his musical career. Bolt co-produced three dancehall mixtapes in 2019: Olympe Rose Riddim, Immortal Riddim, and Clockwork Riddim. “Even though I co-produced those albums, I didn’t feel like people took me seriously in the music lane; they still saw me as just an athlete. Putting together my own album seemed like a good way to show how serious I was about music.”During the pandemic, Bolt and his long-time friend and manager, Nugent “NJ” Walker, set out to record a full reggae/dancehall album in Kingston, which they titled Country Yutes after their jamaican roots.
“If you’ve followed my career over the years, you’ve probably noticed that I’m always dancing and listening to music. It’s no secret to the world that I adore music. Music has always been a part of my DNA,” Bolt shares.
His true ambition is to become the Dancehall equivalent of Dj Khaled, which he is well on his way to achieving. Country Yutes debuted in Billboard’s top ten reggae album charts with co-signs from Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal, and Audiomack. The album has since soared to the top of the Amazon Music charts since its September 3 release. “We sought to cater to a wide range of tastes.” Listeners will be taken on a journey via reggaeton, r&b, and hip hop sounds on this album. Bolt describes the inspirational song “Living The Dream” as a favorite, adding, “We made the song to help inspire young kids, hoping they never give up on their dreams, push through life, and dedicate themselves to a craft.”