January 2021 was perhaps not the ideal time to drop an EP of vibrant, dancehall bangers but like so many artists around the world Alicai Harley’s plans were changed by Covid.
Born in Kingston, Alicai moved to South London aged five, breaking out as an artist to watch in 2017 with her infectious hit “Gold”, dropping her debut EP The Red Room Intro (Yard Gyal Inna Britain) in January this year. It’s a triumphant release that blends dancehall and pop, infectious hooks and bass rhythms, and draws on her own story of coming to Britain from Jamaica as a girl.
For the first episode of Roll The Tape presented by Dazed and Rizla, a series supporting next-generation artists after a difficult year for the industry, Alicai came by the studio to perform her single “Put It On You” – an ode to her “soon-to-be husband”. After, she sat down with us for an in-depth interview that touched on her memories of Kingston, revelations about what her album is going to sound like, the live shows she has scheduled and most importantly, whether or not she believes in ghosts.
Check out her performance and interview below, along with the full-length interview available as a podcast and clips available on the @dazed and @rizlaglobal social channels.