JG takes Grammy honours

Caymanian wins for contribution to Best Rap Album

Caymanian music artist and producer Jason Gilbert became the first Caymanian to win a Grammy on Sunday, 13 February, turning on its head the thought that music is not a viable profession or a means of supporting one’s self, which has quietly prevailed in the Cayman Islands.

The young star’s meteoric rise came in large part as a result of a song he and fellow producer “Supa Dups” produced for rapper Eminem’s latest album, Recovery, which was nominated in the Best Rap Album and Album of the Year categories for the 53rd annual Grammy Awards.

The song is titled WTP (White Trash Party).

The Weekender managed to catch up with the Grammy winner overseas, who told us a little about the experience of winning and what it was like to be at the actual event, which was a dream for so many years.

‘Very blessed’

“I feel very blessed to have been a part of the whole thing, and I am just excited to see where it goes from here,” said Jason, who added, “I went with my wife, and to be honest it was a little surreal at first, but after we were there for a little while, it set in that we had earned our place and so we just sat back and enjoyed the show.”

The young producer explained that he thought the award ceremony made a statement that “live music is back and all the electronic live renditions of recordings are being laid to rest.”

The win also means a higher profile for Jason and his team, a fact that is not lost on JG, as he is known, who also holds a master’s degree in finance

. He encouraged others to boldly go after their inner callings.

“I realise that we will be a lot busier now, and it is all just proof that if you keep working hard and stay focused, anything is possible.”

He joked that after winning the award for Best Rap Album, both he and Supa Dups were sitting on the edge of their seats and could not wait to hear the announcement for Album of the Year.   

“We were riveted, and after winning one already, we were hungry for more”.

‘It can be done’

Jason added: “I am just eager to get busy working toward a spot again next year. The door is open now, and this is great not just for me, but for all the other artists coming out of Cayman. It can be done.”

Wearing the Cayman Islands flag insignia on his blazer, Jason walked the red carpet and told CBS and other entertainment media where he was from and what it meant to his community back home for him to be there.

Ever the statesman and a true ambassador of the Cayman Islands spirit, his gentle demeanour and meek disposition were on display for the world to see.

Jason and The iZ – his performing and recording group – have just completed their second LP and are signed to a label in Japan.

A separate publishing deal with EMI is what allows the producer to create tracks for the likes of Eminem and others.

Other good news for JG and The iZ: A huge development, as the group has signed over a song from their first album with Procter & Gamble for the company’s upcoming Vicks advertisement campaign.

The deal was secured through an agent in Los Angeles.

Jason said he is looking forward to returning home to Cayman later this month, and pointed out that Hopscotch Studios is still his headquarters.

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Jason Gilbert and his wife Ericka Moxam at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles.
PHOTO: SUBMITTED