Out of all the people I could go on a first date with, Kranium is one of the few who could make me feel genuinely nervous. Having listened to his sweet, dulcet tones and pioneering slow and sensual riddims for the past four years, as I walked into the juice bar that day, I wasn't just meeting one of my favourite dancehall artists but coming face to face with the person who'd soundtracked my entire sexual fantasy archive. I'm sure I'm not the only one who plays Kranium in the bedroom.
As we sipped on our matching drinks and those stars finally aligned, the conversation quickly went from star signs to the importance of retaining culture, to longevity of dancehall music to our marriage plans and future children's names.
Noisey: If this wasn’t our first date I’d ask to lie on your lap whilst you stroke my head. I’m so hungover.
Kranium: Erm, drunk?
You was drinking last night? Why?
Because I was at a party after carnival.
I don’t drink..
Nothing? How do you get by?
I don’t drink, I don’t smoke.
So just buzzing off life?
Just buzzing off life.
I’m so hot, I need some water or something. I think it’s because I’m nervous...
For the date! So what star sign are you? It’s important.
I’m the greatest guy on Earth. It doesn’t get any better than this.
I see you’re also very humble...
Always going to be humble. Not changing.
Can you guess what star-sign I am? Should I talk more? Will that help you or can you just get my aura?
You seem very happy.
I don’t know, you seem like the lovey dovey type. If you are, you seem like December.
Hey, pretty close! What makes you think I’m lovey dovey? Am I giving away too much on our first date?
No, you seem very nice. You are very happy at times. You’re actually miserable, but you’re very understandable.
No I said you can be very miserable, Sagittarius can be miserable.
I am a Sagittarius!
You didn’t guess that!
Wow. Ok, well tell me about Leo.
Leo, we’re leaders. We’re not followers like a lion. So for me, I think some of the greatest people of all time are Leos. Females like bosses. So when you look at a group of guys and they all look good and you think all of them are cute, you’re gonna see which one of them is more dominant.
That’s so true. You can’t have them all. Look for the dominant male, the leader of the pack.
The leader of the pack.
Let’s google Sagittarius and Leo love compatibility. It says we’d start very quickly and passionately. Do you think we’ve got off to that?
No, not yet. We’ll have a drink.
Shall we order?
I’ll have a Ting.
I’ll have Ting too… wait, I’m not being a follower, I’m being a leader I swear. So what made you move to New York from Jamaica?
It happened when I was young. I didn’t have a choice. My parents said: “Moving, son.” I asked them why. They said, “cause we’re moving.” I wasn’t the leader there. I had to just go. But I was pleased to grow up in New York. You’re exposed to more things. It gives you that drive. I’d see things I wanted. I’d see a house and I wanted it, I’d see a car and I wanted it. I feel like as a kid, you need that motivation.
You’ve got the best of both worlds really because you’ve still not lost your Jamaican accent.
There’s nothing sweeter than having your culture with you. Never forget the culture. No matter where you move to, your culture is one of the most important things to have with you at all times. It’s authentic, it’s not fake. I don’t go around saying (he puts on a funny fake English-Jamaican accent), “Yo wagwarn my youths? What’s going on yo!” It’s just be natural. I be me.
Who influences you?
My favourite artist ever is Sam Cooke, just to let you know this.
I love him!
And Screwdriver, he’s my uncle. And Dennis Brown. Richie Spice. In reggae, Richie Spice is my favourite artist.
So why Sam Cooke?
Sam Cooke has soul. Soulful singer. So you can feel him. The closest person I got to him is Anthony Hamilton, but no one makes you feel like Sam Cooke.
Most dancehall is made in Jamaica. Do you think living in New York has influenced your music?
With dancehall music it’s always been about rough sex. But I think I took it to like a slow ting. For my music, it’s more like, I sing a lot about sex, but it’s more about a slow sexy thing. In all of my songs. “Lifestyle” is all about fucking any girl you wanna fuck. And of course “Nobody Has To Know”.
I love that song. You know it’s been my sex song for time.
Do you ever have sex to your own song?
Fuck to me own song? Nah. never.
Are you sure?
Positive. I wouldn’t have sex to my own song.
So what’s your sex playlist?
I don’t really fuck to music.
Really? Just get it over and done with?
No, I like the sounds. You know, you have to listen to it.
That’s a really good answer, normally people just reel off 90s R&B slow jamz. What’s the best date you’ve ever been on?
I don’t go on many dates, this is only the second date I’ve been on if you consider it a date.
Of course it’s a date! What would be your dream date?
A dream date is going to happen, on the second time we go on a date!
Oh stop it! You’re going to bring on my hot flush again. Where are we going to go?
Can’t tell you. We have to keep the suspense.
[The waitress bring the drinks over and gives a blue straw to me.]
(To the waitress) So why you give her the blue one?
What is your favourite colour?
JUST HAVE THIS ONE.
No, my mother always said that it’s great to give somebody the things you love the most. Right? So take the blue one.
That’s so nice. You’ve not asked me any questions about me though?
You know why? Because as you ask me questions, you let me know what you like and what you don’t like. That’s the whole purpose of a date to get to know somebody right? And I feel like women want to find more things out to feel secure right? For me, I could talk to you for 20 seconds and know if I like you and want to continue talking to you.
So what does someone do in 20 seconds that’s good or bad?
I can’t explain it, they have to just have that thing.
A spark - and that’s always been my words.
Intuition, do you believe in that?
Of course. You can go into a room and just know that, I don’t want to be inside here. And then I start acting mad weird, so I’ll be like, I need to leave here soon. You can feel my energy.
So what’s your intuition on this date then?
It’s a great thing.
You’re not talking too much though.
Yeah I like to watch. I observe things.
Everything. Eyes, movements, smiles…
You’re not nervous. You were earlier, but you got comfortable.
I was worried about being late, because that’s first date bad manners. Are you always on time?
Always on time. In this business you have to always be on time.
So where are you off to next?
Have you even been to Paris?
No I’ve been in Paris a lot of times but I’ve never been to Paris.
Would you look at that, I’ve been dropping innuendoes all date, and now you’re finally joining the party. So is this the world tour?
It’s ma girl tour.
The lines are coming out to play now we’ve warmed up aren’t they?
(Kranium looks down at his nails) I need ummm….
A manicure? Do you get manicured?
Yes. When I need it.
How often do you get manicured?
When I feel like it’s too much on my hands.
Are they rough?
You should moisturize.
No! Actually my hands are very soft.
Let me feel. Wow!
I got that gentle touch.
This is so nice. Can I just keep stroking your palms like this?
So tell me, apart from being pretty, what do you do?
I make documentaries.
So you know that would be fun, because one of my favourite things to do is watching documentaries, history documentaries. Because one of my strong points at school was history, so I like documentaries a lot. What’s your real name?
So Daisy Donaldson. Because my last name’s Donaldson.
Cute. So I’d be double D?
Yes! That could be your nickname in Jamaica. Everyone will be like “yo wag warn double D”.
Wow, we’ve moved on quickly. So now we’re planning a life together?
Yes. We’ll have a half-way house in Jamaica.
How many kids?
I’d say two.
We’ll try for a boy and try for a girl. If we get a boy and a girl, that’s it. If we get two girls, or two boys, we’ll have to try again. Understand? And if it’s three boys, we have to be like daym and call them all names beginning with D. So it’ll triple D.
Okay. So you’ve planned the names already?
Yeah, I’ve planned the names already. So when you’re ready, I’m ready.
Okay, so I’ll call you.
Okay. Make sure. Double D.
So a house in Jamaica, house in the US, and I should probably keep a little something in London.
Yeah true. Three house is fine.
So all our kids can have a house.
Yeah. One of them can say “ I want to live in Jamaica”. Okay, well that’s your house and so on.
And then where will we end up?
Umm somewhere - we’ll run away.
Yes. So we can keep the passion alive.
As our star signs predicted, things moved quickly and passionately to marriage and baby plans in the space of an hour. We’ve planned our second date for the next time he returns from New York, hopefully next year, which he assures me will be the best date I’ve ever been on. In the meantime I’ll be listening to this album on repeat until he returns. I just hope he doesn’t forget about me in the meantime as I predict big tings for this man in the next few months. Kranium, just always remember who loved yuh first though.
Follow Daisy on Twitter: @dsyhdsn