Cham, also known as Baby Cham, has become one of the more successful and critically acclaimed dancehall artists throughout the Caribbean -- a stunning feat given that he started up his career only in his teens. With a liking to laying vocals over riddims of relatively lower bpm's, he focuses on lyricism, but he has not shied away from making crossover hits. Teamed up with dancehall virtuoso and hit producer Dave "The Stranger" Kelly, Cham became the premier artist on Kelly's Madhouse record label as he began penetrating the U.S. market in the early 2000s.
Dameon Beckett was born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica, growing up in the Marverly and Waterhouse communities. His interest in music was fostered by his uncle, who owned sound equipment in a studio where accomplished dancehall DJs like Super Cat recorded songs. His ambitions were coming to fruition around 1993 when he first met Kelly, but the producer refused to work with him on a serious, ongoing basis until he finished school. Spragga Benz, on the other hand, worked with the teenager and was key in lifting Cham's career off the ground. They recorded the duet "Cocomania" in 1994, prompting Benz to secure Cham's first radio airplay at the age of 16.
After finishing up school, Cham proceeded to turn many heads in the dancehall scene from the mid- to late '90s with a slew of Kelly-produced, hit singles including "Many Many," "Man & Man," and the controversial "Boom," a song about oral sex that the Jamaican government banned from being performed live. Kelly and Cham compiled the 2000 double-disc album Wow... The Story, which contained many of his successful singles plus some additional new material. With time and effort, Cham pushed into the U.S. arena, dropping the sexually tinged crossover hit "Vitamin S" in 2003. Consequently, it led to his signing a distribution deal with Atlantic Records and the single's re-release in 2004. Nearing the threshold of achieving Sean Paul-like exposure, in mid-August 2006 Atlantic released his major debut, Ghetto Story, featuring popular guest vocalists such as Alicia Keys and Akon. ~ Cyril Cordor, Rovi
Jul 10 SundayToronto, ON, Canada Sound Academy