Daniel “Chino” Mcgregor is one of Jamaica’s most talented and gifted acts, seemly set from the very beginning to etch his place in Jamaica’s popular culture and to forge a name for himself as a Jamaican music legend. As the son of Reggae icon, Freddy McGregor, he has big shoes to fill. The challenge has obviously been accepted as Chino has been rolling out hit after hit ever since his very first song.
On thing that stands out about Chino is his eloquence in conversation. He has been around for a rather long time, getting his start around the time of his closing years of Wolmer’s Boys’. “I have been professional, since about 1999, outside that that’s pretty much my whole life, in terms of being around musicians and being involved in the industry,” he said. “I had my first hit single in high school Leggo d Bwoy with Kiprich, so that increased the popularity aspect, but it never really changed my high school experience. I was always pretty laid back.” Being a part of the Big Ship family, one would think high school would have been a bit different. But this wasn’t the case. “People were usually exited about it, but I was personally laid back; if you didn’t know me or the family background you wouldn’t know as I wouldn’t be the one to tell you.”
He’s matured significantly since then as an artiste, and Chino has cemented a name for himself in the dancehall arena. He recently released a video for his new single Hustler, which has been making waves. With popular songs such as Pon you head and Never Change as well as tours across Europe and Asia, Chino and the Big Ship family are sailing into stardom.
It seems like its almost impossible to not note the family influence in the McGregor name. After all, his father is reggae legend Freddy McGregor; his brother, Stephen, is one of dancehall’s hottest and in-demand producers and his sister, Shema, an artiste in her own right. However, he is quick to dismiss any thoughts of sibling rivalry. “People ask this all the time, but no never. We work as a team, as a family, so there has never been an issue. We are basically on the same page with the same objectives for success, so that never really occurs,” he said. “For obvious reasons, my father was not opposed to me wanting to be an artiste. My mother though was more of a nine to five person, a nurse to be exact and was skeptical at first as she knows the negatives involved with the industry. Over time however this changed, and it has paid off as you can see.”
Chino absolutely loves music and would not see himself doing anything else. It’s that love of the craft that makes him so spectacular. “Can’t see myself doing something not related to music, such as being around a desk working a nine to five job or something of the sort. Anything else I do would have to be music related.” After releasing a self-titled album in May of last year, it looks like the sky is the limit for this local star. He however, is not oblivious to the problems of our country. With the 50th anniversary of Jamaica’s Independence coming up, Chino has this to say: “People need to step up. Need more opportunities for the youth to avoid the backlash of crime. Where a youth, with a gun in his waist, with too much time on his hands, baby mother on his case, and children to feed, he is going to do what he must to take care of his family. As the saying goes, the devil finds work for idle hands. And there lies the problem. Jobs and vocations, where they can see progress in their lives is what is needed,” he said.
Chino was also asked about his views on the current state of dancehall. “It’s growing. There is a lot of room for improvement though, and a lot of slacking up is going on, and if it isn’t dealt with it could be a problem,” he said. “There are too many artistes who, and no disrespect to anyone, aren’t in the industry for the right reasons or just don’t have what it takes, producers and artistes alike, and their actions give the industry a bad name.”
On that note, Chino also gave advice to those young artistes who are looking to make a name for themselves in the industry. For them he said: “Don’t come into music because of the perks, such as jewellery, cars, women and the like. Come in because of the love of the craft. Make sure to study the industry. Music is not a game, music isn’t a hobby, and music isn’t a joke. Its something you commit to. Don’t be afraid of criticism. There is nothing wrong with going back to the drawing board and starting over. And most importantly, have humility. To be successful, humility is key. Success is really 30 per cent talent 70 per cent humility and patience.”
Via Teen Spirit written by Micheal Farquharson