Spragga with the Dainty Crew
The name Spragga Benz is immediately recognised as belonging to a DJ
embodies a distinctive voice and a unique style.
In 1992, Spragga got his break into the music business by the luck of
"jus'from probably being at the right place or jus' being wid the right set
of people". His first single to be released was 'Could A Deal' followed by
'Jack It Up' in 1993 on the Arrows Records label.
Born in Jamaica twenty-nine years ago, Carlton Grant aka Spragga
raised in Franklin Town, Kingston. He attended four schools including
Community College and ending with the Jamaica Maritime Training
As a youth growing up, Carlton acquired the nickname of 'Spaghetti' due to
his slim frame. This moved onto 'Spragga' and during his time at school he
became friends with Ghost from La Benz sound system. After
Spragga saw the
sound in action, he was hooked on them because "it did bad an' dem coulda
really juggle". He would occasionally select on the sound and through his
affiliation with them, he acquired the 'Benz' tag. However, these days he
classes himself more of a supporter than a member.
Spragga looking Benzpeculous
Although La Benz are one of his favourite sounds, he also enjoys listening
to others including Renaissance and states "mi listen to everybody"
entertainers such as Beenie Man, Bounty Killer,
Babycham and Capleton as
part of a long list.
On being asked about his early influences, Spragga does not pinpoint
anybody in particular, but as a listener of all different types of music, he
cites Shabba Ranks, Bob Marley and Marvin Gaye as part
of a "mixture of a
lot of artist" who inspired him.
His ideas for his music come from "anything that have any vibe" and he
writes ninety percent of his lyrics with the other ten percent being
supplied by some of the producers he's worked with like Dave Kelly,
and 2Bad to name a few.
Having featured in numerous stage shows including Sunsplash and
Spragga has also appeared in Stone Love Anniversary shows. His
Chuck B, rates Sting in 1993 as one of the best shows Spragga
The diversity of this artist can be seen through some of the people he has
worked with since emerging on the scene seven years ago. From Jamaica to
the USA to the UK, Spragga has worked with the likes of Donovan
Salaam Remi, Todd Terry and Don Yute. The latter
produced 'Sick Bad' on the
Dancehall Crazy riddim, 'Dem A Watch' and 'Mr. Freeze'. He has also
collaborated vocally with Don Yute on a couple of tunes, one being 'Big Bad
Gunhawk', but Spragga's other collaborations include Wyclef Jean on the
'Chicken Heads' track which has him uttering those immortal words "jack it
up, cock it up, dig out de..." and 'Spanish Harlem' with the legendary Ben
Chuck B with the Dainty Crew
Spragga has also featured on some movie soundtracks working with the
American R&B group Brownstone for 'Free Willy 2' (an MJJ
Production) and a
track called 'We'll Take You There' for 'Race The Sun'. When asked
working with these artists, he is humble in saying he was "glad for the
opportunity and experience".
During his career he has toured extensively covering the Caribbean, USA,
Canada and the UK. However, as with a lot of artists and sound systems,
Spragga would like to go to Africa and "do about fifty shows"!
One significant aspect to this DJ is his involvement in a 'Stay In
school' campaign in Jamaica. This was launched in 1995 after Sandy
who deals with his affairs in Jamaica, suggested a programme to contribute
back to society. He gives it his whole-hearted support and along with some
of the Benz Speculous Crew, made up of friends and other artists,
visits schools across the whole of Jamaica giving talks and handing out
When asked about his personal life, Spragga plays his cards close to his
chest, but a lot of his female fans will be disappointed to learn that he is
not available and after some probing, he added "not in a long while to come
either" but "mi nuh married yet". The emphasis being on 'yet'! However, he
does feel honoured about being classed as a sex symbol.
Before embarking on a musical career, Spragga worked in many different
fields including security, the post office and a couple of factories. Since
becoming a DJ, he has never looked back and can't even imagine what he would
be doing if he wasn't in the industry.
So far he has released numerous singles and has two albums to date,
Up' and 'Uncommonly Smooth'. The second album was released by
Records in 1995, but as with a lot of reggae artists who sign to major
labels, Spragga was not very happy with them "changing some things...
ownership and management" and so left the label. He is currently in the
processing of getting a new album out on the streets, but cannot confirm a
title or release date as yet.
Although he has had a barrage of hit singles, Spragga classes 'A-1 Lover' as
the most successful to date. Also known for his raw lyrics, he explained
the reason behind releasing two versions of 'Push It Up' on the Mad
riddim being down to "de radio inna Jamaica. Dem a stifle de riddim, so mi
jus' change it back fe get it out deh". However, regardless of the
stifling, both versions have been getting airplay and have proved to be very
When on tour his favourite pastime is sleeping, but usually he can be found
checking "some e-mail or sumtin'" when at home.
His future plans are uncertain right now apart from the imminent release of
the new album, but Spragga's message to his fans is "mek dem know me
appreciate de support and respect weh dem a show fe de music". His final
word has to be his feelings on his accomplishments so far, "satisfied"!
That must be how his fans feel too.
You can check out Spragga's website at www.spraggabenz.com.
For bookings contact Chuck B in the USA on 718-258-6057.
E-mail can be sent to Benzspeck@aol.com and ChuckB@spraggabenz.com.