KINGSTON, Jamaica - In his first media appearance since being released from prison in the United States, deejay Busy Signal says he is relieved that the proverbial monkey is finally off his back.
"For a decade I have been in prison in my own mind. My past was haunting me, so behind the smile I was sometimes emotionally tormented," he said during Wednesday's press conference at Devon House in St Andrew.
Busy Signal returned to Jamaica on November 17 after serving two months at a Federal lockup in Minnesota.
The artiste was arrested at the Norman Manley International Airport in Jamaica in May on an extradition warrant from US authorities. He declined to contest the extradition to that country which he fled 10 years ago while awaiting sentencing for drug-related charges.
Busy Signal was extradited to the US on June 20 after his legal team of K D Knight and Charles Gangasingh argued that he could only be charged with absconding bail as outlined in extradition documents.
Busy Signal pleaded guilty to absconding bail and received a six-month prison sentence. He, however, served only two months as he spent four months in jail awaiting his trial.
For years, the entertainer travelled overseas using the name Glendal Gordon, but had recently changed his name to Reanno Gordon via deed poll.
"It has been a rough six months...To me it felt like six million years," he said.
"What I did came back to haunt me but I am grown now. I really don't know how to explain what it felt like being locked away. It has a negative effect on my career and my health but I also gained a lot of knowledge that will guide my steps for the rest of my life," he added.
An emotional Busy Signal recalled being locked away for 23 hours sometimes with no glimpse of the outside world.
Obviously relieved and elated that his artiste was home, Signal's manager/producer Shane Brown said: "When Busy was in prison I felt like I was in prison too as we didn't just share a business relationship, he is my friend."
Brown added: "His actions years ago is what made him 'Busy Signal' today. All the charges are dismissed and he has served his time...he is now a free man".
Also present was Italian booking agent Maria Carla Gullotta who said the entertainer is free to travel to Europe, pointing out that he is already booked for several shows there.
Busy Signal will not be able to get a US visa until his two-year probation expires.
Will serving time change the direction of his music?
"I will continue to sing Na go a Jail Again (one of his hit songs) and this time I am sure I will not return to that place unless I am giving a motivational speech," he said. "My music will vary as naturally I will be recording songs about my experience."