In this installment of Our Stories, reggae artiste, Hardio explains why his nephew benefits the most from his income….For many people, Jamaica is pictured as an island paradise – white sandy beaches, a beautiful and vivacious culture, rich and wholesome food, and attractive people. And while that image is not far from the truth, if the lens is focused on the inspirational stories of ordinary Jamaicans, you’d find a sharper, richer and truer image of the Jamaican experience…this is Our Stories!
Meet Leon “Hardio” Smith
In 2014, his younger sister, Kenya died while giving birth to her son. This was possibly a blessing and a curse for Hardio who revealed that he was extremely close to his sister. The reggae artiste admitted that Kenya’s passing forced him to gain a deeper appreciation for life and his newest family member, Nehemiah.
When I sat down with Hardio, he shared that one of his primary motivations for doing music is to ensure Nehemiah enjoys a full life.
1. The birth of your nephew and the death of your sister, how did you process that?
I broke down at that time. Shed tears, men do cry. When you losing someone who you’re use to…things do happen.
2. How similar is Nehemiah to his mother?
He’s just like her. He looks just like his mom. He sticks around me just like her. (Kenya) was like a jovial person, just like me. She liked to smile, she liked to laugh out loud.
3. How do you help with Nehemiah’s development?
I am doing music permanently just to help out. Whatever I do, as in dub plates, (I do them to) ensure he has money to go back to school. I’m really doing music for him, myself and also my mom.
4. Now let’s talk a little bit about Hardio, who is Hardio the artiste?
Hardio is very jovial, very friendly, loves his music.
5. What keeps you driven to produce music?
What keeps me going is to know that the fans appreciate the work that I’m putting out. That joy from the fans….I put a smile on people’s face. And the messages I’m bringing across are things that happen in my life and other people’s lives. People can relate to the songs I am putting out.
6. What’s your genre?
Music has no boundaries for me but I do mostly Dancehall and reggae; mostly reggae now and Dancehall fills in. I’m a talented artiste, I can do anything. I write gospel for people as well.
7. So you’re a songwriter as well?
Yes. I use to help Lady G, Hezron, Monster Twin, and Nioma, she won Magnum Kings and Queens back in 2011.
8. Excellent! In the next five years, what do you hope to achieve?
I want to reach to the highest level so I can help my family and friends around me. A level that no one will forget about me, like Bob Marley; 20 years, 30 years to come my songs still reigning out there. (I am) coming with good songs, good songs last forever.
9. You’re right about that! What’s your message to persons who have now assumed guardianship of their late relatives’ children?
My condolences to everyone who lost a loved one. If you’re taking care of someone who doesn’t have a parent now, continue doing the good job, it will pay off one day. You’re not waiting for any pay, as in money, God will bless you with his mercies.
Thanks for that message Hardio and all the best in your career!
Our Stories is a feature which shares the other side of Jamaican entertainers: their innermost thoughts, inspirations and personal stories. Are you a Jamaican entertainer with a story to share? Contact us [email protected].