Rihanna may have put Barbados on the musical map, but native Jaicko (pronounced Jay-ko) is ready to take his island flair to new heights.
Combining pop with Caribbean style, the singer/songwriter signed with Capitol Records earlier this year and soon after released his first single, "Oh Yeah," which reached No. 2 on the Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Singles chart. Originally produced by The Stereotypes (Mary J. Blige, Natasha Bedingfield), a recently remixed version of the track featuring labelmate Snoop Dogg is currently No. 35 on Rhythmic Top 40 and peaked at No. 4 on the above-mentioned tally.
"We approached the label about getting [Snoop Dogg] on the record. He fell in love with it and was kind enough to bless us with his verse," says Jaicko about the collaboration, which appears on his upcoming major label debut, "Can I," slated for a late winter release. Stargate (Ne-Yo, Beyoncé), Jim Jonsin (Lil Wayne), Wayne Wilkins (Kylie Minogue, Pink) and Jaicko himself are among the producers.
Up until his recent deal with Capitol, Jaicko produced and, with the help of his father -- musician Phillip Forrester ("I'm fortunate enough to have a close relationship with my dad," he says) -- wrote all of his own music. It was these same heartfelt, self-penned tracks that helped Jaicko create a buzz for himself in his native Barbados.
"I think artists need to use the internet to reach out to fans. I'm not only an artist, but I'm a music consumer as well, so I'm always online looking on Youtube," says Jaicko, who admits his strong online presence by way of Myspace, Twitter, Facebook and Youtube, has helped gain fans. "I think pretty soon people won't be doing live shows, they'll be doing them online, from their hotel room or something."
Joining forces with a seasoned vet like Snoop has left Jaicko thirsting for more partnerships, as he hopes to team up with the likes of Miley Cyrus, Coldplay, Linkin Park and Ne-Yo in the future. But for now, Jaicko, who just wrapped up a stateside tour with another Caribbean artist, Sean Kingston, says he can only hope for longevity.
"I've always had a passion for music; I never felt as though I was forced into doing it," he says. "From as early as five-years-old I was trying to play the piano and humming notes -- I always wanted this. I wouldn't change a thing because it's helped to sculpt my future and makes me who I am today."