EDM.com: Congratulations on your current single, "Diggy Dee" with Sak Noel. We're really diggin' the warm, bouncy vibe of this song! What was the story behind the making of this track? How did you and Sak Noel come together for it?
Charly Black: I wrote this song long before I collaborated on it with Sak Noel. I actually wrote it a few years ago. I recorded for a producer before but he lost the file, then I recorded for another producer, Jazzy T. My manager sent it to Sak Noel, he heard it, loved it and put his twist on it and this is the result. It’s like a five-year-old song just coming to life!
EDM.com: Where was "Diggy Dee" recorded? What was the vibe like in the recording studio? Were you and Sak Noel together in the same room, or did you bounce WAV files to each other long-distance from different countries?
Charly Black: I met Sak Noel at the Azteca Stadium in Mexico when we were both billed for a show there, but when I recorded “Diggy Dee,” he wasn’t present. I voiced my part in Jamaica and the rest was up to my management team.
My vibes are always up when I’m in the studio. It’s my favorite place, especially when I’m writing a song. It was great vibes ‘cause I wrote the song for dancing, for people to be happy. I’m grateful for the result that’s coming out right now and people seem to agree so far!
EDM.com: What does "Diggy Dee" mean?
Charly Black: “Diggy Dee” is a rural Jamaican slang thing. The raw version said, “Buddy dee dee dee dee dee,” and I had to change it to say “diggy dee.” Diggy dee is like a rural Jamaican word for saying your private part on a male, saying your penis. Back in the days growing up going to school, we used to use those words, so I just use them in my music every now and then. So yeah, “gyal come wine fi me buddy dee dee dee yuh zimme, gyal come wine fi mi diggy dee dee dee.” So, “diggy dee” replaced “buddy dee dee dee” for a radio version.
EDM.com: You're a super high-grossing reggae and dancehall rapper whose song, "Gyal You A Party Animal" became a global hit. You also did versions of "Party Animal" with Maluma, Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee. Can you talk about the success of that single? Were you shocked by the reaction when it went Diamond? What's it like when you played "Party Animal" live, in front of a concert crowd at a music festival?
Charly Black: The success of the song “Party Animal” is a long history—long, long, long history. Give thanks for all the people who reached out and wanted to be a part of it. My good friend Maluma is the first Latin artist ever to reach out to Charly Black and I will always be loyal to Maluma. Big-up to Luis Fonsi, big-up to Daddy Yankee and everybody else who’s shown love and collaborated with me so far.
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Yes, I’m shocked by the reaction when it went Diamond. I mean, that’s crazy. One of my biggest achievements so far and I’m still grateful. Even talking about this right now, goosebumps on my skin, I swear, no joke, yeah. Singing “Party Animal” live is one of the most breathtaking things, I enjoy it. I’m so happy to know that people know the music, so sometimes I do it acapella onstage and when you see the whole crowd start clapping as one, that’s the real beauty of the song ‘cause all ages know the song, “Gyal You A Party Animal.”
EDM.com: On a style note, you're also a trendsetter with your chic take on Jamaican urban fashion. Who are some of your favorite fashion and accessories designers? Do you have a stylist who coordinates your wardrobe, or do you do it all yourself? What influences you, your "look," your swagger as an artist emulated by millions of young men?
Charly Black: Honestly, I’m my own stylist from me born until now. But when I do go on a video set and they have a stylist, I allow them to do what they’re doing. I see what it’s like first and we move forward once me like it. Like the other day, I was shooting a video called ‘Go Hard and Done’ with me and Nyla, yeah, and I allowed the stylist to [forward] on the set and show me the clothes that he had and he seems like a person who went and did his homework before him bring the clothes to me ‘cause sometimes you have some people just you know, different.
EDM.com: You are an international music icon and a style leader. Some fans describe you as a "thought leader." What is the most important message you want today's youth to take away after they read this? Can you give some words of advice for aspiring vocalists and rappers who may be reading this?
Charly Black: To be honest with you, most of these young artists, I would never want them to go through what I’ve been through. But what I could tell them to do is try their very best, to practice a thing called patience ‘cause it’s not an easy road to try and make it as an artist. Especially when you don’t have a big company behind you and you just have your talent and a few hands to help out and social media. Appreciate it. Patience is a virtue.
EDM.com: What are the next singles, EPs, or albums we can expect from Charly Black? What new collaborations can we look forward to in the coming months? Do you have any parting words of wisdom?
Charly Black: Right now for the past few months, I’ve been working extremely tirelessly trying to revive back some old fans and hold a vibe with the new fans the same way, because at the end of the day, you know COVID-19 a [goin’ on] right now. No travelling, [not goin’], so we’re trying our best to do what we have to do on social media.
I’m not really a big social media person like that where everybody will get up and see me and try to watch my social media to be entertained. So I just do my music, that’s all I know best. But for right now, the album will be coming out 2021 on a serious note 'cause I’ve always been talking about the album release for a while now and it’s finally coming. It was stated to release this year 2020 but as you know COVID-19 happened and we put it off, the fans can look out for sure early 2021 though. We have a beautiful party song coming out to run the place for 2021, trust me. Charly Black, Sean Paul, Greeicy Rendon. One love, straight ‘cross the board, team unstoppable.