From DJ to musician

Emerging reggae and dancehall artist ZekeDon’s unique talent and love for music is rising him to the top.

The Florida-based musician is increasingly growing in popularity and even making appearances at almost every major Caribbean music event all over South Florida. Now he is preparing to promote his upcoming singles “Whine and Snap,” and “Inna These Times,” two party songs he’s been working on for his female fans, he said.

“Those songs are dedicated to the ladies and to get the girls on the dance floor,” said ZekeDon.

The 33-year-old artist says he enjoys making songs his fans can vibe to. But he also makes sure that his music covers a variety of feelings — from happy, conscious, to upbeat, and uplifting. A songwriter too, he churns out tunes based on his moods but not if he thinks they need some work, he said.

“It can take one day or even six months — some tracks I write today and people might think it’s finished but I may be I’m thinking it’s missing something or an adlib,” said ZekeDon.

Raised in a family involved in the music business, ZekeDon was born in the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn before relocating with his family to Florida, for his mother’s music singing career. His aunt was also a singer and wrote songs for Beres Hammond and Marcia Griffiths, he said. Being in this environment helped him grow his passion for music, along with growing up to the sounds of Maxwell and Jay-Z, which exposed him to the mixtures of music that reflects the artist he is today.

“I say I’m a reggae pop artist — my music style is more of a fusion,” said ZekeDon. “I use the old school with the new school and my style is more appealing to younger audience.”

Starting out as a deejay in his teens, he set off his career doing set mixes for friends and parties, and was a road DJ for international reggae star Mr. Vegas. As a DJ, he picked up some unique abilities that developed his skills as an artist, but most importantly how to be a performer. Learning how to get a party started based on crowd size, allowed him to have great stage presence, he said.

“Because I was a DJ for so long, I read my audience and I structured my artistry like a set,” said ZekeDon. “If I see a crowd of three people or 3,000 I’m going to nurture that to my artistry because emotions run the stage and people have to believe in what you’re doing.”

Only a few years into his professional musical career, ZekeDon said he was proud of his achievements even though he has yet to release an album.

“I’ve been in a lot of major shows in Miami — you name it,” he said. “I’ve been everywhere considering it’s only been two years. Any show that’s major, I’ve blessed that stage.”

He is working on releasing his first album by summer 2017 and releasing videos for his singles. He is also already confirmed as a performer for various events later this year including BritJam and the annual Jerk Festival.

Reach reporter Alexandra Simon at (718) 260–8310 or e-mail her at asimo[email protected]

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