Deejay Garrison Hawk was recently chosen to be featured alongside 35 other artistes as part of Coca-Cola’s worldwide Coke Rewards campaign and his song, Sweet Music, has been one of the top five most downloaded songs in the promotion.
Quite excited at the way things have turned out, the deejay says this success is in no way fleeting. His previous single, Gangsta Roll, had nudged him onto the world stage – the song reached #9 on the Hype TV top 20 chart and the track received radio airplay in Jamaica as well as in Europe, Japan, London, New York, and Miami.
When a club remix of Sweet Music leaked, it hit #11 on the UK pop charts. The song has also been featured in the video game Tropico:Caribbean Sims, which has sold several million copies worldwide.
However, prior to all of the acclaim, some of Hawk’s tunes wound up in the hands of legendary reggae producers Sly & Robbie as well as the heads of A&R at Warner Brothers UK. Hawk wanted to take his songs and record them in a new style – one taken from his experiences in growing up in Jamaica and New York and touring Europe and Asia. Warner Bros loved his vision and signed Hawk almost instantly. Within weeks he was recording in Brixton, England with one of London’s hottest young producers, Dan Carey, then it was onto Kingston’s Anchor Studios with Sly & Robbie and back in Brixton. The result is a truly original hybrid of roots reggae, electronic music, English and American pop and vintage
Born in Manchester, Hawk and his family moved to New York City and by the time he was 17, he was touring around the East Coast of the US with some major reggae stars. All the while, Hawk’s family believed he was going to school and was on a path to a degree and a 9-to-5 job. A funny moment (probably not so funny for Hawk at the time) came when Hawk was performing with Shabba Ranks and Supercat in Connecticut and one of Hawk’s uncles just happened to be in the crowd. Exposed! Hawk’s Ma and Grandma laid down the law, but that didn’t stop the Hawk from flying.
After several unwise career decisions, he started handling his own affairs and set up Marathon Productions, writing, producing and deejaying under the name Hawkman. Several of the tracks received heavy play on New York’s Hot 97 while Fakin’ It and Addicted reached #1 on the European charts garnering the attention of world renowned DJs and producers, Roger Sanchez and Armand Van Helden, resulting in a collaboration on their AV8 club records series in 1999.
His breakthrough onto the world scene happened when he linked up with the alternative British artiste Tricky, formerly of the legendary group Massive Attack. As Tricky told Billboard Magazine, "Hawkman is my partner musically." Hawk co-wrote and laid down guest vocals on six tracks of Tricky’s Blowback album and toured with Tricky in support of the record, performing in front of audiences of thousands of fans as well as on worldwide television and radio shows.
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