The exploits of Jamaica’s athletes over the past 15 years are the stuff of legend. Superstar sprinter Usain Bolt’s sensational feats led the best way, but Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Elaine Thompson-Herah, and Shericka Jackson have helped construct a dynasty that will probably be difficult to surpass.
Singer Gary G hails these ladies of the track on Wey Dem Born, a song fittingly released on October 17, celebrated as National Heroes’ Day in Jamaica. He wrote and produced the track which was recorded one month ago.
“The inspiration began with their prowess within the Olympics and beyond. It’s good to pay tribute once they are current, they’re true heroes for Jamaica and that accounts for the discharge on Heroes’ Day,” Gary G told the Jamaica Observer.
Gary G lives in Atlanta, which has a big Jamaican community and vibrant Diaspora. Along with his fifth single, he wanted to indicate that not only Jamaicans at home appreciate the remarkable triumphs of their athletes who had a banner 2022 on the World Championships in Oregon and on the European Grand Prix circuit.
“As a Jamaican living within the Diaspora, their achievements give me great pride, once I’m amongst other Jamaicans and foreigners, that these ladies are from the land of my birth,” he said.
Born in Old Harbour, St Catherine, Gary G, whose real name is Garfield McCook, grew up in Harbour View, St Andrew. A track and field fan since his years at Kingston College, he also had musical aspirations, nevertheless it was not until five years ago that he took the plunge and started recording.
For over 30 years Gary G has been a visual presence in Diaspora activities in New Jersey and Atlanta. He’s founder and organiser of the International Independence Foreign Song Competition (JIIFSC) which was first held in 2021.
— Howard Campbell