Meet dancehall’s golden boy Byron Messia

HUNGER catches up with the rising star following the release of his latest single ‘Mad Dawgs’.

23 year old Saint Kittian native Byron Messia unequivocally secured the song of the summer with his inescapable summer smash ‘Talibans’. Messia’s talents would soon gain the attention from some of music’s biggest stars, including Burna Boy, who would go onto remix the track. Now, the artist is looking to continue the momentum with his latest cut, ‘Mad Dawgs’ where Messia’s visceral outlook on the street life in his Saint Kitts is placed at the forefront. Here, HUNGER gets to know the rising star during his time here in the UK.

Hi Byron! How have you been finding London? 

It’s great!

How would you describe your sound in three words? 

New, soulful and authentic. 

What kind of music were you inspired by whilst growing up?

All different types of genres. 

What kind of music were you inspired by whilst growing up?

All different types of genres. 

What was the first album you bought / listened to?

Believe it or not, I just got Apple Music this year; but the first album I ever listened to was Nas – Illmatic.

How would you describe your creative process at the moment?

Start with mumbling melodies and then we find the words after. 

Is there any artist whose trajectory you’d like to follow? 

Good question. When it comes to performance wise, I would like to take a page out of Burna Boy’s book. When it comes to business, I want to be like Lil Baby. I like how he will only be seen when he needs to be seen. He doesn’t mess with too many people. 

What’s the most surreal moment of your career so far? 

Being on the Billboard Hot 100. 

What’s been on rotation in your playlists recently?

‘Masculine’ by J Hus and Burna Boy

Are there any other sounds or genres that you want to experiment with in the future?

Yeah EDM. I’m all about creating new styles of music, still. So I might play around with some Michael Jackson pop type beats and try to mix it with Dancehall, sample some eighties songs etc. 

What advice would you give to your younger self who’s just starting to make music?

My younger self? Keep going in, stay focused and remember people’s opinions don’t matter. 

What would you say is your end goal within music?

Just to know that my impact was real in a lot of people’s lives. 

Is there anything you have coming up that we should be aware of?

My new album – Sad And Famous. ‘Mad Dawgs’, my new single. And, 2024 – sound of the Summer. 

PhotographerJohnny Cooke