Being a Reggae Artist Signed to a Major Label
"[I'm one of the few reggae artists signed to a major label.] That’s true, and that’s why I got to make use of it. And being with We The Best, and We The Best being with YMCMB, it’s like a whole family. It’s like the time is just right. It’s all about finding the right songs, because I know my company will be there to back it up, to endorse it, and to make it work."
His Friendship with Drake
"Me and Drake, we’ve always been friends. It’s not even about music, because I’m always on my grind. I’m always doing music, I’m always just doing something. I’m always keeping my work going, doing things for the fans to love. Drizzy Drake has always been doing the same. I just came off the tour with Drake, Wale, Waka Flocka, Meek Mill, French Montana, 2 Chainz—and I believe a couple more. It was crazy. I did like four shows with them, and trust me, it was so crazy. It was some 25-30,000 white people; a couple black people there the same way. Some venues a lot of black, couple of white people. It’s just mixed race and mixed nations. They’re just loving the music. People always just love Mavado’s music. I think now is just the time for me to take it to another level. We The Best. Gullyside."
His Jamaican Fans Missing Him
"I’ve been here for like probably five months now. Four, five months I’ve been in America just working just to make Jamaica proud. Just to make my family, just to make everybody proud. It’s not even about me. This is about Jamaica, because imagine me reaching to the top and then I could reach back and pull another artist from Jamaica. Imagine me reaching to the top and I could just sign someone from Jamaica and try to just bring him to the top. Something that people never see before. You know, you have haters everywhere. You see me? I’m definitely immune to haters. At times I love when people say bad things, because when people say bad things it only motivates me to move or lets me know that I can’t lose. You understand? It’s like every step you have to keep going higher and higher.
"Some of them say they’re my friend, but because of my things and because of my success, people just start change and try to make it seems as if you are the one that change. If you have your friends and you’ve been with them for so many years, why would it change now? I realize that just me being stuck in Jamaica, it can’t help music. It can’t help me. Music need a life. Our music, dancehall music, need a life. So I’m devoted to put my life, and to put my all, and put my heart in it. That’s the reason why I’m here in America, working. Because people got so much love for me over here. I’m like a... I’m not even “like a.” I am a legend. I’m legendary. So being here, people say a lot of things. But meanwhile, there’s only one thing for me to say—it’s just music. And even when I’m doing music, I have to talk to the haters, the enemies, the ones them who want to see me go down.
"That’s the reason why I say “Chat them a chat / Yap dem a yap / Gullyside me ah action packed. / Me no cuss cuss, me no wear a frock / Gully side we ah action packed. / Tell them anything ah anything / Dem ah say me leave a foreign and we nah come back / Have the house pon the hill / Them say we can’t done that.” You know? It’s all about me just letting them know, Right now, me just ah do me. Me wish everybody else can just do them, do themselves. Because think about it—this bag of crabs in a barrel. Each time a next youth tries to rise, we try pull them down, then nobody nah go reach nowhere. We just gonna be there every day and look at each other’s face. The best thing for me is when I look and see other youths arise. Just like you have little youth like Popcaan. You have youth like Konshens. You have youth like I-Octane. You have youth who are out there and them ah try build music. When I sit down and watch them, I don’t even try to go in a competition with them because it would just make me seem so small. Them youth deh come and I’m gonna try and come and build a competition with them? I’m not on that, me just feel a joy in myself when me listen their music. To know that most of these youths, when you think deep and you listen to their songs, you can know say Gully Gad is their main mentor. You understand? So when me say “Them say we live ah foreign and me nah come back,” that’s just words of people that want to see me fall. Think about it, I’ve been in Jamaica for so many years. So if me spend five, six months in America, that’s nothing. It’s all about me working. It’s all about me trying to make better. You understand?"
Missing Reggae Sumfest This Year
"I definitely missed Sumfest too. I missed the fans, I miss the people. I definitely love the people and the people know that. Ever since I came out—2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010—I’ve always been doing Sumfest because that’s like one of our national shows. So I’m always ready for Sumfest. It’s just that, I just couldn’t make it this year because of some little thing. You know? But it’s all about love for the people, and I’m gonna definitely be there next year and next year it ah go big. Because I’m gonna make it big. I love the fans. I’m sorry I couldn’t be there, but the fans know whenever you can’t get to see Gully Gad it must me a reason."
The Challenges of Being Signed to an International Label
"Yeah, these are some of the challenges being signed to an international label. People think that you left your roots. But there’s no way I could leave my roots. It’s all about trying to make it bigger than I already am. It’s all about taking it to the top. So that when you look on a BET Awards, when you look on a MTV Awards, you can see somebody from Jamaica. Even if me wasn’t the one to make it and somebody else did, I could only feel love in my heart for them. I know that it’s all about music. Because when each one teach one to reach one, and one person makes it, then the whole world is looking at Jamaica, at our little island. Just like Usain Bolt; Whenever people hear a Jamaica runs again, even if it’s not Usain Bolt, every just marvel. Cause them ah wonder what’s that Jamaican gonna do?"