Dancehall deejay Charly Black has parted ways with Aftercluv, Universal Music Group’s Latin America dance music division, after what he described as a five-year waste of time.
The Trelawny native, who only released an album and EP on the international label, said Universal/Aftercluv had initially approached him for a multi-album deal following the success of Gyal You A Party Animal in 2017.
Black said he was convinced the deal would have been fruitful, and instant gratification was the last thing on his mind.
“I signed an idiot deal. It was not about me getting money; it was all about me getting the opportunity to work with a major label. So they bought out the contract from the guy in Belgium and then sleep on it,” he told the Star.
Black, whose real name is Desmond Méndez, released his debut, 6-track EP So Many Reasons via Universal in 2021. His 11-track debut album, which included You’re Perfect and Gyal Extra Sexy, followed later that year.
However, according to him, he and his handlers at the record label were on different pages, and the agreement was nothing shy of a disappointment.
“And after four to five years they can’t get a hit out of Charly Black? They had a great album with me and didn’t know what to do with it,” he said.
His sophomore album No Excuses, was released on February 24 and distributed via ONErpm. The project featured collaborations with several of his compatriots, including Richie Spice, Bounty Killer, Beenie Man, and Sean Paul.
Paul, whom he has been familiar with for at least 14 years, agreed to do Gal Generals free of charge. But that, too, did not live up to its full potential, the deejay bewailed.
“When we finally had the song, Universal [expletive] it up. I had a great A&R working with at one point and after they fired her. I had to wait two months to get response to an email because the person was on vacation,” he said, adding that he had reached out to his manager Julian Jones-Griffiths asking him to urge the company to pull up its socks.
However, Black has rated the new album “15 out of 10” and has hailed the late Arif Cooper for his contribution to the sophomore project.
“A Sean [Paul] was the one who broke the news [of Cooper’s death] to me. Arif give me my send big song, Bubble, and him have a song on No Excuses. Surprise mi … mash me up different. Condolences to Arif’s family,” he told the Star.
Black, alongside Sean Paul, were among the 50 most-played artists at Electronic Music Festivals in The Netherlands for 2022, according to Billboard Magazine in late February.
Gyal You A Party Animal (2016) and Whine & Kotch (2012), Black’s collab with the late J Capri, were ranked at No. 18 and 50, respectively, among the top tracks that DJs played at the Dutch festivals last year.