The QQ that Jamaicans know, proclaimed the youngest Jamaican recording artiste next to Dennis Brown, is now a man.
He gained recognition at nine years old for social commentary song Poverty and Betta Must Come, which had fairly mature lyrics.
The roots-reggae child star’s lyrical style transitioned quickly to more upbeat party dancehall tracks that were supplemented with likable choreography such as Stukie, One Drop, Jackhammer and the 2016 single Kushi Wine.
But for the past three years, the mature singjay’s goal has been more focused on capturing the attention of females and has succeeded in turning heads with flirtatious and sexual lyrics. The recording artiste is not the awkward-looking, corn-rowed high-pitched boy people grew to love but a slightly muscular gentleman with a fresh hairstyle.
Since the release of Tweety Bird in 2014, QQ continued to write love songs such as Number One, released in 2015, and the 2016 production, Fall In Love, which was recorded on the Qualification riddim.
In August, QQ released a jaw-dropping sensual single, I Like It.
“Now, persons are seeing a more mature image of QQ. It is also important that they hear the maturity,” said QQ.
Joseph ‘GQ’ Dawkins, his father, had to come to terms with the transformation in QQ’s musical style when he entered adulthood. Though GQ may have been taken aback by the initial changes, he says, “From a young boy to a 23-year-old who now has the role of father to a three-year-old son, it was inevitable.”
“If we’re paying attention to growth in numbers, then we must also accept growth in lyrics,” he said.
For QQ, 23, the safe transition into the entertainment industry as an adult is part thanks to the stabilising role of his family and various mentors. Nevertheless, the artiste says, “The element of shock is very perceptible as most of my mentors or teachers from Calabar High School think of me as the nine-year-old child who first entered the scene or the 16-year-old student that graduated from high school in 2011.”
The single I Like It wastes no time getting into the details of the artiste’s personal encounter with a female lover.
“Tek off yuh pretty heels dem, right now yuh nuh need them. Gwaan pon di edge of the bed and cock up yuh two knee dem,” part of the song goes.
“What inspired the lyrics is more so a particular situation I was in, a bedroom situation,” said QQ.
And while his father’s facial expression read slight discomfortat, he gave out joins in with was a nervous laugh.
“Watching him mature is something natural. I can’t hide or run from it. What’s impressive is that he does not necessarily write down his lyrics; he was able to present them and finish the track in one session while observing reactions from three ladies [who were present at the time he was recording], all before I returned from buying an orange at a shop,” said GQ.
“I continue to stand behind him 100 per cent because it is better for him to pursue a career with music that is more sexual or about love and stay away from gun-related lyrics,” he said.
QQ is yet to have a debut album after more than a decade as a recording artiste, but he is in no rush to have one produced. Instead, he is focused on creating singles parallel to I Like It, which can cross over to international markets, as well as being fully involved in his child’s development.