Interview: David Lyn, Co-Writer Of Koffee’s ‘W’, Talks Music, His Inspirations & BLM

David Lyn

David Lyn is a reggae artist and songwriter. Among his hits are W with Koffee and Gunna, which was released in November 2019. David, who is the younger brother of super-producer Izzy Beats, recently signed a publishing deal with the Spirit Music Group and released his debut single, Can’t Breathe last month.

We talked about various topics, including how he started in the music industry, his inspirations, Black Lives Matter, working with Izzy, and the state of the Dancehall and Reggae.

How would you describe your music?

My style is versatile but it’s music with a message. When it comes to sound, I do all types of sounds, but I make sure the music is saying something.

Tell me how you started out in music.

We didn’t have a magical background, but Izzy would be oN the computer checking how the mic work and I’d sing Michael Jackson songs. I’d imitate MJ a lot. Izzy realized then that we might we into something.

How old were you?

About 12/13. It took a little time before I dove in.

What are your Jamaican influences?

I listen to Peter Tosh, Bob, Reggae, but being from Miami, I heard Hip Hop too. I love Bob, and that’s why I make music with a message because even when he’s gone the music is here. I like Vybz Kartel too.

How do you translate the Bob, Peter Tosh influence into the Miami scene?

We’d listen to hip hop and some dancehall. At the end of the day, American culture takes from the Reggae so it’s not hard to infuse.

How do you decide to make a hip hop or a reggae song?

The island fan base I make songs for them but I do it where people can understand me. So I say a couple lines Jamaicans and a couple American. That’s a good question cause it’s hard to balance it out.

Many people say Reggae is not selling, so why would you enter the genre and what will be your contribution to raking the genre to another level?

I don’t understand why a genre that leads, in example, does not lead in sales. I see Spanish artist and I wonder why dancehall artist drop projects, and it’s not streaming. It may be the labels and management cause it’s not the music.

My experience in doing dancehall records there is no money. I see a lot of artist that act like they have more than they have but when I get around them I see that they should be moving along a little bit more. So I try to fuse it with hip hop. Many risks management and the dancehall world is not clear why the business doesn’t go how it should go.

When Izzy started with dancehall we weren’t seeing anything. So I want to help in any way I can because I think more dancehall artist should have better sales. We need more labels to create better platforms to promote dancehall everywhere and not just in dancehall lanes.

Do you think the language has been a barrier?

The language is understandable by my and artists like Popcaan can be understood but some artist are more difficult…at the same time, I hear Spanish songs that jamin so yes and no. The artist need more exposure cause they are not getting the same look at these other artists.

Who have you worked with?

David: Koffee, Gunna I worked on the W record.

Write?

Producing and writing. Tarrus Riley and I have a song coming soon.

Who would you like to work with?

A lot of people but… I’d like to work with Kanye West. As crazy as Kanye gets he’s a musical genius and I’d like to be in the studio and create.

Did you grow up in Miami or Jamaica?

Was always back and forth.

What will you have to accomplish to say you “made it” in the industry?

When I get a top ten.

Do you think you have a song right now?

David: Yes, the song with Tarrus Riley called Gwan Fi Money. I think that will make some noise.

Do you keep up with your streams and how important you think that is for artist development?

I never used to but within the last year I learn alot about handling my business and attention to the numbers.

Where is your greatest audience?

I’d say Jamaica, Miami, and Costa Rica. My songs have been making waves in Costa Rica.

Why did you do the Black Lives Matter video?

I had an incident last year when I was harassed by the police. I was waiting on Izzy Beats and they pulled up to my car and said I’m being detained. I asked what’s the reason? He said I am suspected of murder because I matched the description.

He end up letting me go because people came and I just came in town and in the end he said there was a murder and I just fit the description. This was in the middle of a plaza and he thought I looked suspicious because I was just sitting in a car. The anger comes from feeling helpless and that’s why in the video I show where I’m helpless.

Buju Banton recently said the new artist don’t make music you can feel. Do you agree with him?

Many artist dropping songs now with feelings but not all of them. There are alotta great artist out right now. 70% are dropping the same thing but another 30% dropping good songs.

Final question: what’s tour opinion about culture cultures aka cultural appropriation? BET recently had their award show and there wasn’t any reggae or dancehall representation.

People should speak up more about that because the genre is not as strong and there aren’t enough voices that can be heard when they something. As for the Grammys I don’t think they have credibility much but BET should respect Dancehall.

There should be more performances from dancehall artists, I want to see Popcaan on that stage. It needs to be all the time at every single awards show.

Thanks for talking with me David.

Appreciate it. Blessings.

Donovan Watkis is the producer and host of World Music Views. Listen to his podcasts; The Top Form Podcast on iHeartRadio app, Spotify and Apple Podcast for more music interviews.

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