Local group ThE iZ are making quite
a splash on the international scene with their Beach Club LP, and Jason Gilbert
of the group recently celebrated a special milestone through his separate
publishing deal with EMI.
The big news, really, is that Mr.
Gilbert has produced one of the songs on Eminem’s latest album, Recovery, which
was released on 22 June and has already sold 600,000 copies, putting the young
musician in a class all by himself as far as home-grown musicians are concerned
and garnering what could very well be a platinum credit.
The song is track five on the Shady
“Immediately after the release of
the album, J was on a flight to Los Angeles to meet with rap artist The Game,
who is also interested in doing some work with him,” ThE iZ manager, Dane
He added that the rising star
simply said, “I don’t want to lose this,” before boarding a flight bound for
the City of Angels.
The past few days have been filled
with good news for the whole iZ team, with the group signing a deal in Japan
that will mean their album will be repackaged for that region and videos from
the iZ can be seen on MTV Asia.
Already stars in Asia, the group is
also making serious strides in the American market, and with the recent success
of Jason Gilbert’s production on Eminem’s album, they have become real contenders.
Paul Hudson of the group is also
flirting with worldwide notoriety for his production skills and has done piano
work on hits such as Each Tear, featuring Mary J Blige and Jah Cure, as well as
work on singles for John Legend and Estel.
The group’s manager said the next
step in the iZ’s evolution is to seek out publishing deals for Lonnie Love and
Stephen Cotrell so they will be able to produce for other artists while
fulfilling their obligations as artists for their recording deal in Japan.
“They are also producers in their
own right and each is capable of bringing a whole world of sound with their
signatures on it.”
Digicel cell phone customers will
also get to know the guys from the iZ very well in the coming weeks, after the
group signed a contract with the telecom’s provider to have their single Mind
Trip featured as the official ring-back tone that callers will hear when making
According to Mr. Ramoon, “The ink
has dried on this one and it’s a go. It’s an exciting time.” He added that he
thought the guys were starting to see the fruits of their labour, though this
was not the reason the current success means so much to them.
“This is about doing it when people
thought it could not be done. It’s about conquering that voice in your head and
living the reality you know that you have the potential to obtain. We want to
be examples for people to follow their dreams and make the world richer for
doing so,” he said.
Mr. Ramoon said he was at the Best
of the Best reggae and hip hop concert in Miami recently, and all the names of
the Caribbean Islands were called out and represented except for the Cayman
Islands. He said this made him feel a sense of quiet shame and he came away
determined to change this, adding, “The swagger we have in Cayman is a
universal one by way of the many cultures that live in such close proximity to
one another, and it is just a matter of time before the world catches on to the
kind of unique talent we have brewing on these shores.”
The success this particular group
of young men have achieved is particularly interesting in that traditionally,
Caymanian musicians have gone through Jamaica to mount their attack on the
music industry, but the iZ have done most of their rallying from the Cayman
Islands and Miami, with Jason Gilbert working alongside producer and popular DJ
Black Chiney, or Supa Dups as he is