MIAMI - It's been quite a year for Miami musician Shifta Fras.
This time last year, the Jamaican-born singer and rapper, known simply as Shifta, was tweaking the latest track on his first album, Plan B.
Shifta's Miami-Based label, Timeless Records, was still very new. By most measures, he was considered an "up-and-coming" artist.
Now, he's just about arrived.
Earlier in May, Shifta performed at SunFest in West Palm Beach, opening up for hip-hop artist Kendrick Lamar. Two singles on Plan B topped the college Billboard charts.
Shifta's schedule has also been filled with performances at slick South Florida hotspots like Club Play on South Beach, where his blend of island-inspired lyrics and pop beats gets the crowd moving.
"It was great to see, you know, within the last year -- actually, years -- leading up to this, that it's definitely starting to reach a lot of different audiences," Shifta said.
This weekend, Shifta is preparing to perform at "Best of the Best," the mega-concert across the bay from all the Urban Beach Week revelry on South Beach.
Shifta's advice to young musicians trying to make their mark in a sea of hip-hop: Work hard or go home.
"Go out there and give it 100 percent," said Shifta. "I feel that if I give it 100 percent, every show, whether it's 10 people of 10,000, I don't leave the stage feeling not happy about what I've put into it."
Rasheed Ali, CEO of Timeless Records, echoed that sentiment.
"Just when you want to give up, give it more. And be persistent. Persistence is key," said Ali. "Good things happen through hard work."
Shifta performs at "Best of the Best" Sunday, May 26 at Bayfront Park. Gates open at 2 pm.
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