Jamaican-born singer Olaf Blackwood has inked a major distribution deal with Sony Music Entertainment (France) to push his latest single, ‘Reasons’. (PHOTO by Letaphotography)
“The song was written as a way for my late grandfather, Rupert Campbell, to apologise to his wife, my grandstepmother, for the years of abuse. When I was much younger, she shared with me how abuse he was and it shocked me, because he was like a hero to me. She showed me an old article from an advice column where she had written about the abuse. This song is written for him to apologise vicariously to her through me,” Olaf Blackwood said.
March 8th was recognised last week as International Women’s Day, and was celebrated under the theme #BalanceforBetter. The 2019 initiative is aimed at gender equality, a greater awareness of discrimination and a celebration of women’s achievements.
“This song is striking for a balance, a gender balance for two people who were very important to me. This song is a story of hope and embracing the love we share. It shows that it is possible to heal the divisions that exist in a relationship, even from beyond the grave. My grandfather loved my stepmother so much, he died a few months after her, but he wasn’t able to say it and our women deserve so much more love and understanding from us as men,” he said.
The single which was released in December 2018, was created by the voice, vision and songwriting of Olaf Blackwood, the magical guitar of French guitar player Roddy Belmonte, and the passion and production of the two Norwegian producers, Kyrre Waag & Even Askildsen.
“The song has registered streams of over 972,000 already without almost no promotion, so I am really excited about it because it has a personal story behind. There is an option for Sony to distribute other singles as well, so I am humbled and grateful,” he said.
The remix of the song will be officially released by SME France on March 15, 2019.
Best known for his breakout Billboard-charting hit, ‘I Need You’, Blackwood has been developing young talented writers he discovered through Instagram, and fine-tuning their sound in his studio in LA. He wants to sign talented writers and singers in Jamaica to his Holland Bamboo Publishing imprint as part of a co-publishing deal with Cloud 9 Publishing.
Hailing from Lacovia, St. Elizabeth, Blackwood endured a hardscrabble childhood growing up in Lacovia. He dropped out of school at age 14 and began to do music. He recorded a single on Garnet Silk’s label in 1995, and before he migrated to live in the USA in 2002, he voiced on the Artillery riddim for Mario C Productions.
Fast forward several years, and Olaf finally landed major commercial success in 2017 with the breakout song, ‘I Need You’ that racked up an impressive 56 million streams in total on Spotify. The video also has an impressive 17 million views on Youtube.
The single, which was produced by trance king Armin van Buuren and Fernando Garibay, who has worked with megastars like Bruno Mars, Lady Gaga, Sia, Shakira, Whitney Houston, and Britney Spears. The “I Need You” single was written by Olaf Blackwood and Fernando Garibay.
The “I Need You” reached platinum status in the Netherlands and it also won a BUMA award for the best International song of the year in the Netherlands. The single peaked at # 9 on the Billboard Dance/Airplay charts, and remained on the Billboard Dance/AirPlay top 40 chart for 3 months .
“The song was huge. It was was added to Spotify viral 50 Songs in 23 countries, and voted # 9 on the top 100 Songs of 2017 by All Access Music Group. Contestants on “The Voice” performed a cover of “I Need You” during the 2017 finale so I felt great to be part of the project,” Blackwood said.
Since that time, Blackwood has seen his stocks rise and he has written for and with numerous artistes in almost every genre.
“I have been blessed to work with people who inspire me,” he said.