Najeeriii Talks Leaving School for Music, His Rise in Dancehall and the Dutty Money Riddim – Watch Interview

Wednesday, December 13, 2023, 8:28 PM

Dancehall newcomer Najeeriii may still be in his teenage years, but the artiste is fast becoming one of the most recognisable entertainers in trap dancehall. During his short career, Najeeriii has already started working with the likes of Rvssian, and during an interview, he discussed working with the popular producer on the Dutty Money riddim, his rise in dancehall, and leaving high school for music.

The deejay, born Najeeri Smart, started taking music seriously during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Najeeriii shared in his interview that, though schools had switched to online classes at home, he prioritised his music and did not attend classes.


Speaking on The Fix podcast, Najeeriii said he was inspired by Jahvillani’s Don’t Rush to write a song, which he recorded on his phone and later shared on social media. Gaining confidence from the track’s positive feedback, the former Calabar attendee decided to drop out of school and pursue a music career. 

However, the decision was not looked at favourably by his mother. Though he strongly believed in his music and was promoting his single, All My Sins, he returned to Calabar and had to repeat a grade due to missing classes. But Najeeriii said he was later kicked out of the prestigious high school as he continued to skip classes, running a side hustle selling doughnuts to spend his money however he pleased, which occasionally meant buying marijuana.


Noting that if he wanted academic success, he would have attained it, the artiste expressed that he was thinking beyond school at the time and was passionate about his music and becoming an artiste. Acknowledging that pursuits may fail, Najeeriii expressed confidence in his determination to achieve success.

“…mi never just sing one song and buss [ … ] mi write more dan 100 song before me write a hit song. Mi guh studio more dan 50 time, 60 time. Mi record more dan at least 100 time before mi record a hit song [ … ] Yah guh fail couple time caw tings nah guh always guh your way [ … ] but once yuh determine fi get up an try again [ … ] it affi guh your way,” Najeeriii stated.

Speaking on his recent hit track Paddle Boat, Najeeriii said the song was partially inspired by his friend and collaborator Rajawild’s single Wild Out, which was also featured on the Big Bunx riddim. According to the Panton deejay, after receiving the beat, he wrote Paddle Boat in approximately 30 minutes but did not initially think the track would be as big of a success as it turned out to be.

Sharing how he became one of the select artistes on Rvssian’s revamped Go Go Club riddim, the Dutty Money riddim, Najeeriii said he was first introduced to the beat by producer Jiggy D.

After he recorded his single Phat Phat, the track was sent to Rvssian, who the artiste said contacted him personally to give him the authorization. Najeeriii added that it was a great feeling to work with Rvssian and be included in the popular riddim, but expressed that it was expected as he has been working hard.

Watch the interview below.

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