Monthly Artist Feature (September 2018) – Sharlmagne “King Shaladon” Henry

Artist’s Name: Sharlmagne Henry

Name of Brand: King Shaladon

Artist’s Age: 24

Artform: Music

Social Media & Online Presence:

Why do you do what you do? When did you realize a passion for what you do?

I feel most free and natural doing music, I can lose all sense of time and completely immerse myself in a world dictated by me and my emotions. I realized the passion of composing music instantly, at the age of 11. This happened after seeing a friend of mine, creating music on his computer.

What is your educational background?

I currently have a bachelor’s in Civil Engineering from the University of Technology Jamaica, and I am a past student of Cornwall College.

What are some of the challenges that you have faced while trying to pursue your passion?

Firstly, marginalization is the biggest challenge. Almost every time I mentioned that I was a producer/artist, I got a condescending response. Jamaica is a place riddled with “upcoming artists” and I am not normally taken seriously whenever I state this. Secondly, there are not many mentors to guide you on a promising path. Many want to keep that secret to success to themselves, and there is no formal path for me to follow. Finally, it’s not easy getting yourself out there; finding your niche and developing a following, because the music industry is very competitive and requires constant innovation.

Have you encountered people who have been skeptical about your dreams?

All the time, most people give me the “cyah find nothing better to do?” look whenever I state I’m into music.

How did you initially react to those people and how do you act towards them now?

I pitied them, because a majority of them don’t even know what passion is. Now, I still do, but in a more understanding way, in the form of a smile. I can’t convince everyone to see my vision, especially those without personal goals.

What are some of the fears that you face even today?

I fear that circumstances may force me to settle, especially when I’m qualified to live a quality life pursuing a career in engineering.

How do you deal with those fears?

I remind myself of the regret felt by some “successful” people I know. Regret from not pursuing their dreams; trapped in the life society has dictated.

How do you work? What is the method to your ‘madness’ and how do you filter your creativity?

I am fueled by this randomly flowing, spiritual energy called the Vive (Mispronunciation of the word “vibe”). I try and control the capricious nature of this energy by meditating to classical piano music, which weirdly speeds up the process of inspiration.

What role do you believe “the artist” has in society? / How do you feel your art form has the power to benefit society?

I am tempted to say that art should primarily entertain and inspire. However, art is just meant to be shared. Moreover, I feel my music triggers conversations about the status-quo and personal enigmas, so the more people enjoy my music, the more we question and challenge our state of mind, and I think that’s a good thing.

Out of all your work, which piece resonates the most with you?

A song called “Be Me”. This song is my pledge to simply be myself and pursue my passion.

Where do you see yourself going?

I see myself all over the world. Simple as that.

By what terms do you measure success or perfection? When do you feel like you can say that your work is finished and ready to be experienced by others?

I personally don’t focus too much on perfection, or I try not to. I believe done is better than perfect in my line of work, and the word “done”, most time means that whatever I’m doing is of commercial quality.

What elements of your career bring you the most stress?

Marketing. This constantly takes me out of my comfort zone and I can’t wait to outsource this necessary hassle and focus on just creativity.

Mixing, but this is a good stress, the stress I enjoy. Ear fatigue, back ache, headache and tiredness, I strangely enjoy it all.

What is some advice that you would give to anyone who is trying to walk the same path as you?

Just know what you want and do what is needed without regret or shame. Hold yourself accountable at all times and surround yourself with a team of people with the same vision.

“… know what you want and do what is needed without regret or shame. Hold yourself accountable at all times and surround yourself with a team of people with the same vision.”

~ Sharlmagne “King Shaladon” Henry