Attempting both careers simultaneously was deemed foolish. The odds were stacked against any independent artiste who dreamed of making an international name without a huge buzz in Jamaica. Actually it was believed to be impossible.
However, one educator defied all those odds. He scored three popular hits on the international scene starting 2006. These songs carved his name permanently into the archives of European reggae. They are "Smuggling Weed", "Reggae Souljahs" and "Smoke and Fly". Another successful single was "Party Day". It held the number 1 spot twice in 2014 on the official German Reggae charts. "Rastafari Way" which is the title track of his second soon to be released album, spent 14 days on Beatportâ€™s top'100 dub/reggae charts'peaking at 44. So who is this Artiste?
His name is Damion Darrel Warren and goes by the stage name "Teacha Dee". Damion was born on the 21st of September 1980, in Westmoreland Jamaica. He hails from a small district called Bath, situated approximately five miles from Westmorelandâ€™s capital, Savanah-la-Mar. He attended Manningâ€™s School, a very traditional high school and the second oldest in Jamaica. After High school he received his teacher training from Sam Sharpe Teacherâ€™s College situated in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
Teacha Dee embarked on his first European tour in 2011. This was during his paid leave from teaching and was very successful. He performed on ReggaeJam for the first time and brought a new dimension to the dancehall tent with a riveting live performance. He went on to perform on two festivals and several night clubs in Germany. The reaction of the people after seeing him for the first time was maybe the final deciding push he needed.
Subsequently, Teacha Dee resigned from teaching in may of 2012. This was after just under twelve years of teaching and he has been busy performing in Europe ever since. In 2013 he was a headliner at the Reggaejam Festival in BersenbrÃ¼ck, Germany. In March 2014, He was a headliner for Spring Reggae Fest, kept in Le Mans France alongside Echo Minott and Skarra Mucci backed by Irie Ites sound system. Within those two years, he performed in a long list of reggae clubs in Germany and Holland.
Teacha Dee returned to Reggaejam BersenbrÃ¼ck in 2015 for a sound system backed performance. He was listed along with David Rodigan, Bitty Mclean, Anthony B and Ken Boothe as one of the highlights of the fiveTdays long festival by Irieites news magazine. It was in the summer of that same his first official mixtape called "Rasta Ting" was released.
Since releasing a 20 track debut album titled "Reggae Souljahs: Beating Babylon with music" in October 2011, Teacha Dee recorded over 74 official singles. He has collaborated with several major reggae and dancehall artistes such as: Perfect Giddimani, Utan Green, Echo Minott and Skarra Mucci. He has also shared stage with the top performers in the reggae field and has been backed by: House of riddim, Boomrush backing band and Sound Generators band all based in Europe. He has recorded for producers such as: Dub Inc, House of Riddim, Rootdown Records, The Mighty Powpow Movements, Giddimani Records, Jugglerz Records, Weedy G Soundforce, Oneness Records and Greezzly Productions, to name a few.
In early January of 2017, Sir'David'Rodigan included "Rastafari'Way" in his show aired on BBC'1Xtra. This single produced by Giddimani Records in August of 2016, was one of two recent hits for Teacha Dee. The second hit single was "Jah Jah is calling" produced by House of Riddim and Kathmandu Productions which was released in January 2016. Both videos did well on youtube. "Jah Jah is calling" rose to over 200,000 clicks, while "Rastafari Way" had 120,000 clicks at the end of the year. Both videos were directed and produced by Teacha Dee for his Jamaica based label "Tenfloor".
Teacha Dee writes simple catchy anthems about complex issues: spirituality, love, philosophy, current affairs, theology. You can sing along even though you have never heard the songs before. His writing technique comes from a place of inner questions, a place of distance, yet a place of common ground.
He takes his audience on a musical journey of self discovery, mixed with a vast creativity and a fresh yet authentic Jamaican delivery. One cannot help but to be part of his live performances. Teaching may have lost a great educator but the international reggae industry has gained another unique and creative entertainer.