In this installment of Our Stories, CEO of One Nation Music and recording artiste, Young Garvey shares how his record label started in prison….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 Fabian “Young Garvey” Findley
If you were to tell 16-year-old Fabian that one day he would manage an independent record label and coordinate an island wide music tour in Jamaica, he would possibly blush in disbelief.
At 16 years old, YG was fending for himself as a young father living in the dejected New York “Projects” where drug dealing appeared to be the most lucrative means of survival. Without question, he became a hard-core marijuana dealer who spent most of his days on street corners pocketing spoils from his booming drug dealing venture. It wasn’t long after he was caught and arrested by the police.
One thing led to the next and the young hustler from Jamaica was eventually convicted. Fabian spent five years in prison.
However, the recording artiste told me that he started to feel remorse for his wrongdoings three years after being convicted.
1.Tell me about that epiphany you had in prison.
Mi inna mi cell one day and mi just start cry. Mi neva cry when mi get sentence, mi neva cry when mi get inna trouble so how come mi a cry three years after mi inna jail?
I start tell myself seh ‘but YG yuh neva love nobody man? Yuh neva love yuh daughter, yuh neva love yuh modda, yuh neva love yourself. People weh love demself wouldn’t do di tings weh u use to do’.
Imagine you start think seh u nuh love your mother, yuh nuh love your daughter, dat slap mi dead inna mi face cause even though mi love dem, di actions speak. Di tings weh mi did a do coulda show seh mi nuh love dem even though mi really love dem.Mi kinda realise, di people dem weh love you di most you a hurt, so dat wake me up.
2. So how did the record label start in prison?
Mi decide seh when mi reach back a my country, mi aguh tek on di music ‘cause mi a changed person. In prison in America you’re allowed to get a guitar or a keyboard, a piano. So mi mek my people dem buy mi a piano and send it een. An’ from mi get di piano everyday mi deh inna mi cell mi just a play, play di piano ‘til the police dem a seh ‘when Mr. Findley go him aguh rich, him a di only one wa look smart’. Because mi always just focused. As mi come home (Jamaica) register mi company, build the studio, get some good artistes like Toogosnay and Jaquin and Fraze, yuh know and keep it positive.
3. Where do you intend to take One Nation Music?
I see One Nation Music reaching a 360-media level meaning radio station, TV station, magazine company, newspaper company, dat a like my goal.
4.So how are you working towards achieving that goal?
Just working every day, being a producer, making rhythms every day, recording artistes, 20 artistes at a time including myself. Being all over the music…just always busy. And mek sure di work dem wa mi do are fully registered, fully copyrighted. Mek sure mi nah drop no catch…Young Garvey, ghetto people saviour ‘cause dat’s actually my drive, poor people. I think dats why God gave me so much talent ‘cause him want me to help so much people. The ghetto a my drive, we nah go wait pan di politician, we nah go wait pan help. I rather die bruk and help millions than die rich and have millions.
5.Do you think your music is reaching one million people?
Yea cause mi a send out some good music. It probably nah reach to dat level of people yet but it deh pan it way.
6. What’s your message to fellow ex-cons who haven’t found their way?
Weh nuh gone nuh dash weh and it’s never too late to change and change start within yourself. First you have to realise you were that person to make the change.
Thanks for sharing your powerful story with us Young Garvey!
Check out Young Garvey’s hot single- Money Where You Gone
Don’t forget to support Nation Invasion Music Tour, next stop Maxfield Avenue in Kingston.
Our Stories is a feature which sheds light on real, social issues in Jamaica through the inspirational stories of Jamaicans with lived experiences. Are you a Jamaican with a story to share? Contact us [email protected]