Portmore, St Catherine, has often times been referred to as Jamaica’s Hollywood, with regards to the numerous reggae/dancehall superstars the area has produced. Ratigan, born Jamar Kelly in Braeton Phase 2, Portmore, St Catherine on December 1st, has now been added to the list of famous faces leaving their mark on Jamaica’s diverse musical heritage.
While attending Camperdown High School in Kingston, Ratigan discovered his love for music, and wasted no time developing his gifts.
“While attending high school, I was known as a trouble-maker because of the continuous disturbances, beating on the desks in classrooms”. He soon began performing at school concerts, and as his popularity soared among his peeers, so did his confidence. Ratigan knew then what his career was destined to be.
The decision to pursue music as a profession was made after leaving high school. Ratigan started writing and building a catalogue of songs, but found himself desiring original beats. What better way to get what you want, than to just do it yourself. “I started to record my own demos and did my mix-tapes in order to let people hear my talent”. It was then that veteran dancehall deejay Mad Cobra, who hails from the same community, became aware of Ratigan’s musical prowess and decided to help with his publicity and promotion.
Cobra introduced Ratigan to Rohan “Snowcone” Fuller in 2003, and it was then he recorded his first [professional] track on the ‘Applause’ riddim. Although the track didn’t give Ratigan the attention he desired, he embraced the lessons learnt from the experience and continued to hone his skills as both an artiste and producer.
He would move on to record and produce tracks for artists such as Gyptian, Spice, L.U.S.T, Terry Linen, Bascom X, Anthony B, Mad Cobra himself, and many more. 2008 found Ratigan producing the lion’s share of Mad Cobra’s latest studio effort, and it was also in ’08 that Ratigan decided to return to the mic, so to speak. That decision lead to the self-produced track, “Horny She Horny” and the socially conscious, “Let Them Grow”, which tackles the subject of violence against children.
The world embraced Ratigan in 2009, as a fresh, young talent, who undoubtedly brings diversity and creativity back to the music-not only as an artiste, but as a producer. 2010 finds Ratigan touring the United States and gaining new fans with every appearance. With his dynamic personality, entertaining performances, and captivating presence, Ratigan is poised and ready to become a household name. The streets are buzzing about the hottest new artist out of Portmore, and with his ability to produce tracks no matter the genre, it will definitely only get better for this artiste/producer, who has the world eagerly anticipating his debut album.
For any artiste, that’s a beautiful place to be.