Macka Diamond

Macka Diamond

 

Most Popular Songs

    Cow Foot

    Body Calling

    Bun Him

    Dye Dye

Bookings and Current Status

Birth Name Charmaine Munroe
Origin Kingston, Jamaica
Genres Dancehall
Occupations DJ, Singer
Years active 2003 – present

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Charmaine Munroe was born in Kingston and grew up in Portmore. She attended Holy Childhood High School, an all-girl Catholic School in Kingston, but even then her focus was more on becoming a deejay than on her studies, proven time and time again with her skipping her art classes in order to practice her skills and to entertain her friends at the back, or some secluded area of the school. The influence of music was around Charmaine from an early age. Her father, Phillip Munroe, is a record producer who not only worked with some of the greats, including the likes of, Gregory Isaacs, while also being close friends with legendary Dancehall Producer, King Jammy’s, and Reggae Music’s Production dynamite duo, Sly & Robbie. It was after hearing artists such as Sister Nancy (aka Mama Nancy), a female deejay trailblazer, that she decided she too was going to become a deejay, deciding that soon, she would: “soon join unoo…”. Unfortunately her mother did not share her dream but after she had emigrated to the USA the way was left open for Charmaine and, much to her teacher’s disappointment, she decided against furthering her studies after finishing High School in 1987, but instead headed for the prize: STARDOM The determination that drives Macka Diamond today has been with her from the very beginning , because instead of using her father’s connections to get her foot in the door, Macka decided to do it alone. She asked a friend to show her where Lady Junie, {another happening foundation female deejay at the time} lived and just like that she went and introduced herself. Lady Junie was not slow to realize Charmaine’s potential and she began to take her protege around and introduced her to some of the movers and shakers in the music business. “She got her influence by listening to the female artistes who were big at the time… Mama Nancy, Lady Ann, Lady Junie and Lady G.” Charmaine had decided to call herself Lady Charm but after she had made her first record, (an answer version to Major Mackerel’s ‘Don Ban’), the producer insisted that the song be released under the name, Lady Mackerel. Needless to say, but Charmaine did not like such a development one bit, but she went along with it for she knew that her time would come and that she would eventually make it under her own terms. ‘Don Girl’ proved to be a hit and she went on to record for Sound System champions Stone Love, King Tubby’s Kingston 11 label and in various combinations as well as live performances and recordings with Captain Barkey and Wicker Man. Macka is known as a workaholic, and that she is; staying with it, working, developing her own individual style and stage persona, eventually becoming a stalwart and dependable feature on Kingston’s bubbling dancehall scene, all the time building and preparing for her big break. Charmaine was not about to give up her dream and any setbacks she encountered along the way only served to encourage her to try even harder. “When i could not get a tune to play on the radio that was hurtful… even when i recorded a tune which i knew was good it did not get played.” Sometimes a change is good: Charmaine decided that she had finally outgrown her Lady Mackerel epithet in 2003, changing her name to Macka Diamond; along with the new name came a different, more aggressive lyrical approach. That year Vybz Kartel’s massive hit ‘Tek Buddy’ had put forward the theory that women were after pots an pans in return for sex, an opinion that Macka Diamond was not feeling, coming hard with the counteraction/reply, ‘Tek Con’. Macka’s ribald reply got the message across and she informed Vybz Kartel (and misogybists everywhere) that women were after way more than plasma televisions! “The change can come if all female artists decide to get more seriouus… get as aggressive as the males. ” Says Macka Diamond, whose hard work finally paid off in the summer of 2004 when ‘Done A Ready’ topped the Jamaican charts. The first time a female had topped the charts in four years. Her unapologetic dig at men who failed to meet the required standard touched a nerve deep down with female audience who had grown tired of dancehall’s relentless boastful machismo. Someone was telling a different side to the story: a side that was not usually mentioned in ‘polite company’. It touched a nerve with some of the island’s deejay too but Macka was more than able to deal with this:…I will know next time who can take joke, and who can’t.” Macka Diamond has had to make some difficult artistic decisions in order to make it to the point where she finds herself today. She has gone through name and style changes, worked alone or with partners such as Queen Paula and in collectives such as Captian Barkey’s Worm Dem Crew, but at all times, underneath these changes there lay an unchanging well of deep, untapped talent waiting to be drawn on. “I’ve tried a lot of formulas. I’ve changed my image, name and style many times. Now i have it…” Macka Diamond could never be described as an overnight sensation, and her twenty two years of working non-stop in the male dominated, over hyped environment of Kingston’s dancehall scene, could be counted as enough experience to fill any number of lifetimes. Her measured delivery and unbridled humor cut across any hint of the shrillness of “a lady who protests too much” and by giving her legions of fans exactly what they want there is little argument that her popularity will continue to grow. “I’m a real entertainer, always putting out my best for my audience, because performing to me is a very intimate and personal experience. “Constantly in demand for shows and recordings, Macka Diamond is now finally calling the shots, with the start of her own Entertainment Company, Money-O production which just made the stakes even greater, because not only is Macka at the top of her game, she is already making the type of moves that got her where she is today, – at the top of her game. Not many items can outshine a diamond when hit by the light from the right angle an at the right time, and since reinventing herself again, for female DJ extraordinaire, Charmaine Munroe, aka Macka Diamond, the sky’s the limit. With her uncompromising, bold and witty display of her desire for the almighty dollar Macka Diamond is now known throughout the Reggae/Dancehall circles as the Money Goddess, and has rightfully so earned the title of being the woman’s defender. Even coining (to their rescue) the catch phrase, Money-O!!! Making it clear to the men that if ti isn’t about money, there is almost no need for a conversation. “I’m saying what the women want to hear but are afraid to say…”says Macka, who explains herself further when asked about the contents of her lyrics to the tune of, “Listen, we live in a crazy and depressing world, so why stress ourselves any more…let’s have some fun before we get old, which is really what my songs are about , even though money does make things just a little better,” says Macka with a sly smile. Jamaican music has long been infamous for its macho braggadocio and its unashamedly sexiest stance, so when a woman enters this male dominated area and ends up beating the men at their own game, you have little choice but to pay attention… thats exactly Macka diamond has done, scoring several monster hits over the best last few years, and even walking away with one fo Reggae/Dancehall Music’s most coveted award, Female DJ of the year, on not one, but three occasions, back to back.

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