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BUSY TIMES FOR DANCEHALL SINGJAY AND TATTOO ARTIST ORVILLE “SPADE” SWABY!

 Singjay and tattoo artist Orville ‘Spade’ Swaby

THESE are busy times for dancehall singjay and tattoo artist Orville ‘Spade’ Swaby.

He is, however, splitting his time between his Seaview Gardens-based tattooing business as well as putting the final touches to his 14-track mixtape entitled Full House.

Produced by Chevon ‘Diego’ Parchment, the set is scheduled to be released in June.

“This is my first professional mixtape and I believed it will help to widen my fan base,” he told Splash.

Among Full House’s track listings are songs like Body Mark Up, Africa, Whe Me Do You Sah and Wine up Yuh Body, featuring Tension.

Swaby explained his reason for establishing a recording studio in community.

“We have a lot of talented young acts in Seaview Gardens, so once there is potential the studio provides an avenue for them to follow their dream,” he said.

Shabba Ranks greeted by supporters in 2012

Shabba Ranks greeted by supporters in 2012

Grammy-winning dancehall artist Shabba Ranks, Bounty Killer, and Elephant Man, all originated in the tough inner-city community.

The artist said being a tattoo artist has assisted him financially in erecting the recording studio.

“The prices differ and once a client is confident in your work, he or she will bring other customers,” he said.

“I get a lot of support from the community, but clients come as far as St Thomas and rural St Catherine,” he continued.

Swaby, who has been in the body art business for more than a decade, said he received no formal training. He said he educates himself daily via the Internet.

“All of this here, including the shop and recording studio, was constructed to uplift my community. Seaview is often stigmatise but there are ambitious citizens here,” he said.

In his early 30s, Swaby released his first single in 2004 called Fake Friend.

His other upcoming releases include We No Fraid and Rise Above the Haters, featuring Nitty Kutchie and Mega Banton, respectively.

— By Simone Morgan

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