Battle of the 1Bands

Walshy Fire

While performing on some of the world’s most prestigious stages and contributing production to Major Lazer’s albums (Free the Universe, Peace is the Mission, Music is the Weapon), Walshy has used his platform to shed light on rising talents within the Caribbean, helping to launch the careers of rising stars like Chronixx and Koffee.

Walshy also released his first solo album, ABENG (licensed to Mad Decent Records/Because Music) – a first-of-its-kind conversation between Africa and the Caribbean, pairing artists from both regions on tracks spanning afrobeats, dancehall, reggae, soca and EDM.

The intention with ABENG is to “make Caribbean and Africa have a conversation that is louder, and in the same studio or the same stage, at the same time”. As for how the songs come together Walshy notes, “The beats (Afrobeats & Dancehall) can be very similar, any African artist has no problem riding a soca or dancehall riddim.” As the airhorn sound punctuates the dancehall mix to highlight its impact as a current hit song, the abeng is the sound that echoes the pairing of African and Caribbean artists on these tracks.

Raised between Jamaica and Florida, Walshy was a long-time member of Black Chiney, a Miami DJ crew known for innovative, trailblazing mixtapes blending R&B and hip-hop with reggae/dancehall. Diplo, citing Black Chiney as a major influence in forming Major Lazer, tapped Walshy to join him as Major Lazer’s MC and member of the group in 2012.

Walshy Fire co-wrote and produced on Rapture by Koffee which took home the GRAMMY award for Best Reggae Album at the 2020 ceremony in February 2020.