Dancehall star King Size aiming high
Making music was second nature to Kevun Arorash.
He grew up in Jones Village, where he was immersed in the dancehall scene.
Three years ago, after people began singing along to his songs, he began to take his talent more seriously.
“The feedback I’ve been getting from people in the streets is amazing,” said the 32-year-old who records as King Size. He released his latest single, Salute, last month.
“They keep telling me I need to do another one. I’ll hear my music playing in somebody else’s hood. It’s invigorating. It’s empowering to see the support right now from my peers. All day.”
All day is slang in his Warwick neighbourhood; he’s made it part of his identity.
“All day means everything, it means hello, good afternoon, all day means good night — we have our own language.”
Neighbourhood favourite 10 Mill came out two years ago. Throughout, he chants the “all day” message.
“You make music how you like it, but then when you become influential, you have to make music that shows a solution,” he said.
“Before, I was singing about everyday things in the hood, girls, partying, but now I’m talking about things worth talking about. My new song Salute talks about the creator. It talks about giving thanks and praise to the most high and saying through him I have everything.”
The words have become a mantra for the father of five.
“I’m living what I’m saying now,” he said. “I really do give thanks and praise to the Lord. It’s helped me to live better, to spend more time with my children, my family and to stay out of the streets.
“I could be doing a lot of other things, but I chose to put my talents and energy into something positive.”
His fanbase is extensive. Listeners range in age from 6 to 60.
“My friend calls to tell me the music is making his life better — I’m 32, he’s 61. His daughter knows me too. And then my peers, they’re playing my music too. That’s support that I can’t even describe.”
At a friend’s funeral last year, they played his song at the service; it was “a breath of fresh air” in the church.
“He believed in me so much that his family played my song,” he said. “That was out of this world. They played 10 Mill in the church.”
His father Kevin Arorash was part of sound system JVC Bad Boys. For years he worked with other artists in the studio, never noting his natural ability.
“I’d be in the hood and I’d see guys like Ninja Cutty and these MCs who used to be in the dancehall scene,” said the artist.
“I never thought about taking it seriously until recently. I started really putting energy into my music and really putting some love into it.”
He put out his first video three years ago. Sponsorships poured in from Sports Source, Jasmine Blaire’s Cleaning Service and The Booth.
“I make music because I love it. It’s not hard for me. It’s not even work,” he said. “Now it’s time I took it serious, put that same energy into myself.”
His songs are available at several sites online, including iTunes, Spotify and Amazon.
“That’s one of the best moves I could have done for King Size Music, King Size supporters and King Size fans,” he said.
“My people in the UK can now go on iTunes and purchase King Size. I have people in Miami that can purchase King Size off Spotify. They’re able to purchase King Size online without me being around.”
Last year, he started his own label, Royal Rights Records.
Before, he relied on dub plates to get his sound out, but there’s been a renewed appetite for the 90s dancehall vibe.
“I had to pick my game up,” he said.
“People were hearing about me then from sound clashes. Bermuda has gotten back to the dancehall feel. We’re having more dancehall clashes, so it’s making reggae dancehall more relevant because it’s giving artists like myself work.
“There’s a market out here. Now that dancehall genre is getting bigger, it’s building a market for me.”
He’s headlining DJ Treasure’s Salute Mix Part One on YouTube. In December, he was featured in four of the top Jamaican DJ’s mixtapes.
In Hustle Mi a Hustle Street Dancehall Mix he’s mixed alongside the likes of Vybz Kartel, Popcaan and Mavado.
A friend in Miami sent him a video of his songs being played from a street speaker system.
“That was very cool,” he said. “I’m always going to remember that.”
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