Notably, aside from the late Bob Marley, there are no other Jamaican acts on the Reggae Billboard Chart. DJ Frass, who is credited for his work on Morgan Heritage’s Grammy Award-winning album, Strictly Roots, told THE STAR that New Level Unlocked is Grammy worthy.
“We are looking to go to the highest level with this album, and we aimed for difference. This could be my second Grammy, who knows? Wi nuh done promote as yet because we have CD and vinyl versions to be released. Based on how positive sales are going, a Grammy is very much possible, a dat wi a hope for. This is good for dancehall and reggae because, if you check the chart the album is representing well for us and is competing with the foreign artistes weh a duh reggae, and a lead wi as it relates to sales,” he said.
The album’s commercial success is a huge surprise to critics, as Alkaline is not signed to a major record label.
“We spent our own money on the production and made sure that we did the correct mastering of every single song. Big up Lee Miller, DJ Sunshine, Chimney Records, Birch, and Red Boom because teamwork makes the dream work,” Frass told THE STAR. “Some people are surprised, but I am not surprised because we already had a plan and the album is world class. Based on the popularity of the songs on social media, I knew something special was going to happen.”
Alkaline has only performed in Jamaica twice since his rise to stardom, and is not known to frequent the local party circuit. DJ Frass believes his exclusivity has also benefited sales.
“Jamaicans don’t buy albums, they just get the bootleg CDs. We have more than two million people and if 500,000 of them bought an album that would be gold, but it’s not the case. So since Alkaline performs a lot overseas, I think that helps sales because those are the people who buy albums. Big up the few Jamaicans who buy albums too because everything counts,” he said.
As it relates to shaking off the threat posed by foreign-based reggae artistes on the Billboard chart, DJ Frass said Jamaican artistes should look at the bigger picture.
“We have to pree international. Alkaline is always performing overseas because he is an international artiste. We also have to release albums because we haven’t been doing a lot of that,” he said.