2020 has started on a different note in the dancehall community ushering in its premier male gay recording artist. Demaro and not Demarco, is officially the first dancehall artist to come out the closet and declare his sexuality.
34 year old Demaro was born and raised in Westmoreland Jamaica. He then moved to The United States at the age of 22. Demaro had his issues in the Caribbean and opted to leave his home nation for various reasons one probably being the homophobic views of his countrymen. It is no secret the negative views the dancehall fraternity has towards the LGBTQ community. Demaro grew up at a time when artists like Sizzla and Capleton had huge success with homophobic tracks with lyrics like “burn the chi-chi man”.
â€œIâ€™ve been told that I would go to hell,â€ Demaro said. â€œIn Jamaica, you just cannot be a gay man down there at all. Thatâ€™s a no-no. Even now, you have to be on the DL. We still had our way of getting around, but you had to be discreet in the streets.”
After relocating to the States Demaro scored a styling and design gig with Francis Henry and teamed up with celebrity stylist June Ambrose. This did not stop him from falling into the trap of poverty and he fell on hard times. Consequently he fell into a depression and was helped by therapy and the mild success of his first recording attempts.
â€œI want younger gay men, especially in Jamaica, to keep on fighting,â€ Demaro said. â€œDonâ€™t give up. Youâ€™re beautiful and going to be OK. Donâ€™t give up on yourself. Weâ€™ve all gone through bad times, but young men must keep pushing.â€
‘Mi Readi‘ is Demaro’s first single and has its video directed by Tony VallÃ©s. â€œGood Vibes Only,â€ Demaro’s premier EP is poised to be released in spring during Pride month.
Times really are changing and this is a huge milestone in the dancehall community. Things would have been different had Demaro been still residing in Jamaica but it is a start. It will take a while for Jamaicans to buy in but this is a start.
All the best to Demaro. Let’s see how successful he will be this year. There will definitely be raised eyebrows as people find out seeing as his name is very similar to renowned recording artist Demarco.