Laa Lee wants to prove doubters wrong - Artiste celebrates one year in music
Last March, Romario Ricketts, more popularly known as 'Laa Lee', was just a member of the Arnett Gardens football team.
One day after wrapping up football practice, Laa Lee was vibing with his teammates when he decided to give an impromptu performance of a song he wrote.
Being a dancehall artiste was perhaps the furthest thing from his mind at the time, but he allowed the performance to be recorded.
That 30-second video turned out to be the beginning of a flourishing career for the young deejay, who is celebrating his one-year anniversary in music.
In an interview with THE STAR, Laa Lee revealed that the song, Watz On Sale (Cornflakes and B***y Wata), was never meant to be recorded professionally.
Laa Lee said he was taken aback by the attention the song had been getting on social media and was encouraged to record and release it.
"I was just having fun, but Frens For Real (record label) realised it could be a hit, so we turned it into a song and put it out there, and trust me, it changed my life," he said. "The song has opened a lot of doors for me. This song helped me pay my school fees and so much more. I have never seen my brothers before and this song helped me travel to England to see my brothers. I travelled to Canada to see some of my other family members; and so it's just been opportunity after opportunity since it came out."
But Laa Lee said his swift rise to fame also came with its fair share of backlash, especially because of the song's raunchy nature. He also said that critics had him down as a one-hit wonder.
But Laa Lee said he used the criticism as motivation to prove the doubters wrong.
"They said I wouldn't last long, and so every day I put in the work to make sure that I would," he said. "I know I could make it in the business because I knew I was a great performer. I knew I would last, and I am so overwhelmed right now."
He says the process to finding other hits has not been easy, but says he has been able to stay relevant because he's now offering what dancehall had been lacking - humour.
"I am just a person who likes to have fun and, currently, dancehall have too much serious 'gangster' songs. As a kid growing up, my father used to make me watch Major Mackerel, Tiger, Shabba and dem man deh weh used to have fun in dancehall. Dem used to make people laugh, and dancehall did need that back," he said.