National Public Radio (NPR) Music has compiled a list of the 100 Best Songs of 2021 on a seven-hour playlist and featured on the list was Jamaican American rapper Capella Grey. Cappella Grey was ranked at Number 58 for his song “Gyalis,” his breakout single. In “Gyalis” the rapper shows the influence of his Jamaican heritage with dancehall-infused melodies and drums that encourage listeners to dance. The rap has also been described as having a definite New York vibe with a rhythm reminiscent of a summer in the city.
“Gyalis” first became popular in New York as fans appreciated Grey’s cadences. The song samples Juvenile’s 1999 hit “Back That Azz Up.” A music video accompanying the recording was released in August 2021 and filmed in the Bronx, New York, the rapper’s hometown. Since its release in January 2021, the song has been ranking well on the charts, ranking 82 on Hot 100, 42 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, 12 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay, 11 on the Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay, and 19 on the Rhythmic Top 40 Airplay charts.
Capella Grey, 26, was born Curtis Anthony Jackson II and raised in the Bronx, New York, has never been to Jamaica, but he has not forgotten his island roots as his entire family is from Jamaica. He grew up listening to the island’s music, and its uniquely Caribbean melodies, cadences, and flows were strong inspirations for him. His hit “Gyalis” combines these Jamaican influences, with hip-hop and R&B.
Since he signed with Capitol Records Grey says many doors have opened to him, and he has had opportunities to meet other top musicians. Several entertainers have done remixes of “Gyalis” since it became popular as well, including A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, Jamaica’s Kranium, and Jada Kingdom. Grey performed with Jamaican singing star Shaggy at the Hot 97 Summer Jam event in New Jersey
With his eyes on the future, Grey said he would have new work ready before the end of 2021, sharing that his goal is to be one of the best recording artists in history.
See the full list of songs by National Public Radio (NPR) Music.