Jamaica Observer http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/ JamaicaObserver.com, the most concise and in-depth website for news coverage on Jamaica and the Caribbean. Updated daily 7 days a week, 24 hours a day en-us copyright Jamaica Observer, 2011 Perfect blend at Mas Camp http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Perfect-blend-at-Mas-Camp_92317 THE sweet sounds of soca and hardcore dancehall music jostled for patrons&rsquo; attention at last Friday&rsquo;s staging of Bacchanal Fridays held at Mas Camp in St Andrew.<br /> <br /> The event was dubbed Bacchanal & Dancehall.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This is usually our biggest night and we had an excellent turnout,&rdquo; said Michael Ammar Jr, a director of event organisers Bacchanal Jamaica.<br /> <br /> And turn out they did, as carnival fans mingled freely with the hardcore dancehall audience. On the turntables, both genre of music were represented well. Creep from Chromatic started his dancehall set spinning retro hits, saving the latest songs for later in the evening. On the soca side, the Canada-based pair of Jay &ldquo;Dr Jay&rdquo; Rosting and Desmond &ldquo;Dirty Dez&rdquo; Blossom represented well.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This was our first time playing in Jamaica, and we had a blast,&rdquo; Dr Jay told the Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> For hype man of 15 years, Dirty Dez, the event had extra meaning as he hadn&rsquo;t been home to Jamaica in more than 20 years.<br /> <br /> However, the dancehall fans got an added treat from up-and-coming female artiste Shenseea. Her short performance included tracks including<br /> <br /> Loodi and Jiggle Jiggle. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;I&rsquo;m actually a big soca fan,&rdquo; she told the Observer.<br /> <br /> She said she recently complete a yet-to-be released soca song called Wine for Good Good Production.<br /> <br /> &mdash; Rory Daley http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13739688/266991_92821_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13739683/266993_92822_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Tuesday, March 28, 2017 12:00 AM No love for sisters http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/No-love-for-sisters_93886 BY KEVIN JACKSON Observer Writer Despite a return of female acts to the top of the Billboard Reggae Album chart, sales for the sisters are not good. <br /> <br /> The current number one on the chart is For The Lovers by Californian singer Tenelle. She is the fourth female since 2014 to reach number one.<br /> <br /> For the Lovers opened with 786 copies sold.<br /> <br /> The previous week&rsquo;s number one, Climb, by Queen Ifrica has fallen to number seven. The set had first-week sales of 435 copies and drops to the bottom half of the Top 10, with an additional 74 copies.<br /> <br /> Soca star Fay-Ann Lyons debuted at number three two weeks ago with her first album Break The World, which sold 244 copies. It falls to number 21 with another 25 copies sold.<br /> <br /> After debuting at number five in October, 9 by Jah9 has sold 1,108 copies. Last week it sold 23 copies and is currently number 22.<br /> <br /> Wandering Soul from Hawaiian reggae artiste Hirie opened at number one last September. It has, to date, sold over 2,916 copies, with an additional 22 copies moved over the past week.<br /> <br /> It is number 26.<br /> <br /> This is a far cry from impressive returns of Patra, Diana King, Dawn Penn and Nadine Sutherland in the 1990s. They had gold albums and singles.<br /> <br /> Only two albums by Jamaican male reggae acts posted double-digit figures on the Billboard Reggae chart. Stephen Marley&rsquo;s<br /> <br /> Revelation Part II: The Fruit of Life has sold 11,829 copies since its release last July.<br /> <br /> Ziggy Marley&rsquo;s self-titled set, released in May 2016, has registered 13,531 in sales.<br /> <br /> The biggest sellers are Rebelution with Falling Into Place (34,491 copies) and Stick Figure&rsquo;s Set in Stone which has sold 25,745 copies. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13518015/248630_75088_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13739771/265655_92836_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13709787/264186_90384_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Tuesday, March 28, 2017 12:00 AM Jamaica Youth Chorale&rsquo;s musical odyssey http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Jamaica-Youth-Chorale-s-musical-odyssey_93819 Jamaica Youth Chorale took its audience on a musical odyssey on Sunday during its second annual spring concert at the University Chapel at the Mona Campus of The University of the West Indies in St Andrew.<br /> <br /> The adventure took the audience from Europe to North America and Africa before landing squarely in Jamaica. Each stop offered a treat in the sounds of that location, putting on display the breadth, depth of this group under the direction of Gregory Simms and his team, which includes musical director Dr Kathy Brown.<br /> <br /> With it being a youth chorale, some of the works showcased, despite being age-old classics, were often given a light, fresh air, while maintaining the integrity of their origins. These arrangements helped to show off the great blend of voices which lies at the heart of the choir. The choral pieces such as He&rsquo;s Got the Whole World, Holy Mount Zion, I Love You/Wonderful World, and The Exodus Song all gave indications of the pleasing sound that can come from this group. There were missteps, but these were few and far between and were not detrimental to the overall presentation. In fact, some added to the choir&rsquo;s youthful nature.<br /> <br /> Like with any strong recital, there were noteworthy moments.<br /> <br /> Soprano Danielle Brown is a star and definitely one to watch. Her skills first came through as soloist on the hymn Great Is Thy Faithfulness. She would further showcase her depth with Clear Blue Morning. Her ease at the microphone &mdash; never fighting with notes &mdash; and a clear tone made her a treat to listen to on each occasion.<br /> <br /> The other stand-up-and-take-note moment came when Jhenelle Lewis took to centre stage for the spiritual Testimony. The raspy vocals of this alto voice was perfect for this foot-stomping, hand-clapping, tambourine-shaking standard from the black American church. The choreography and energy flowed for the altar straight through to the great west door of the chapel, infecting each pew on its way out, to cap off an enjoyable first half.<br /> <br /> The moments continued in part two. During the African segment of the journey, the effervescent Sherona Forrester was chosen to lead<br /> <br /> Ise Oluwa (Many Rains Ago). The emotional pull of the piece, originally recorded by South African Letta Mbulu for the soundtrack of Alex Haley&rsquo;s Roots, proved too much for Forrester. She was so overcome that she burst into tears and had to be comforted by Simms.<br /> <br /> She would recover and could lead the charge as chief cheerleader for the final piece, a medley of Jamaican festival songs. Eric Donaldson&rsquo;s Land of My Birth, Stanley Beckford&rsquo;s Come Sing with Me and Fi Wi Island A Boom, Desmond Dekker&rsquo;s Intensified and Come Rock by Roy Rayon were given new life.<br /> <br /> Jimmy Cliff&rsquo;s Wonderful World, Beautiful People would wrap up a wonderful presentation by another set of talented, young Jamaicans with beautiful voices.<br /> <br /> &ndash; Richard Johnson http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13739641/267010_92830_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13739637/267011_92829_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13739634/267009_92831_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Tuesday, March 28, 2017 12:00 AM Up to the challenge http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Up-to-the-challenge_93544 Soca and the indigenous bouyon are dominant sounds in Eastern Caribbean countries like Dominica, but singer Challenger was always attracted to a more militant music.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;There was not one day reggae was not played on the island. Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Burning Spear and Culture were my top influences in the reggae world,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;Because of the consciousness they carried with them and channelled through their music, with my life&rsquo;s experiences, really drew me to the music even more.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Those influences can be heard on Cyah Stop I, Challenger&rsquo;s defiant song that will be released today. It is produced by Andrew Robinson, a Jamaican who lives in Switzerland.<br /> <br /> Cyah Stop I is distributed by Robinson&rsquo;s Swiss/Jam Records. Challenger, who lives in New York, has high hopes for the single.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It will be on the album, most definitely, because of how personal the story behind it is to me,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> That album, Challenger&rsquo;s first, is expected to be released in the summer. Obanga Productionz, SDRG, Dirty Frequency and Otis Riddim Records also produced songs for the set which Challenger disclosed will be a mix of reggae and dancehall &ldquo;with a light twist&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> For over 10 years, Challenger was lead singer of the Royalty Band, playing at Caribbean festivals throughout the United States, Canada and territories in the US Virgin Islands.<br /> <br /> In early 2015, he released the EP, Man Is Just A Man.<br /> <br /> &mdash; Howard Campbell http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13739607/266516__w300.jpg Local Entertainment Tuesday, March 28, 2017 12:00 AM More Jamaicans on UK compilation set http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/More-Jamaicans-on-UK-compilation-set_93785 BY KEVIN JACKSON Observer Writer For the first time in its 34-year history, the compilation, Now That&rsquo;s What I Call Music <br /> <br /> (UK edition), contains songs featuring more than one Jamaican artiste.<br /> <br /> The 96th edition includes Run Up by Major Lazer, featuring Partynextdoor and Nicki Minaj; Chained To The hythm (Katy Perry featuring Skip Marley); and No Lie by Sean Paul and Dua Lipa.<br /> <br /> The dancehall-influenced I Would Like by Swedish pop singer Zara Larsson (which samples Sasha&rsquo;s<br /> <br /> Dat Sexy Body) is also on the 43-song, two-disc set which will be released April 7 by Virgin/EMI/Warner/UMG.<br /> <br /> Now That&rsquo;s What I Call Music also has popular hits from Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars, John Legend, Rae Sremmurd, Ariana Grande and The Chainsmokers.<br /> <br /> The last time the series contained songs from more than one Jamaican was 1995&rsquo;s Volume 31 which had Ini Kamoze&rsquo;s<br /> <br /> Here Comes The Hotstepper and Shaggy&rsquo;s In the Summertime featuring Rayvon.<br /> <br /> Over the years, songs from Beenie Man, Sean Paul, Maxi Priest, Shabba Ranks and Chevelle Franklyn, and Bob Marley and the Wailers have made the series.<br /> <br /> First released in 1983, Now That&rsquo;s What I Call Music is the top-selling compilation in the UK. Its most successful edition is Volume 44, which was released in 1999 and sold 2.3 million copies. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12555756/179410_12712_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13117385/213985_41957_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Tuesday, March 28, 2017 12:00 AM R Kelly for this year's Groovin In The Park http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/R-Kelly-for-this-year-s-Groovin-In-The-Park KINGSTON, Jamaica &mdash; R Kelly, the king of contemporary soul music, is headliner for this year's Groovin In The Park, which returns to Roy Wilkins Park in Queens, New York on June 25.<br /> <br /> It will be the singer's first appearance on the show which celebrates its ninth year.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;R Kelly is excited about Groovin In The Park and we are equally excited about having him on our line up. We went after him in 2012 but it never worked out, but this year we were able to seal the deal," read a statement from promoters.<br /> <br /> As is the custom, the event blends genres to suit the eclectic tastes of a largely West Indian audience. Freddie McGregor, Ken Boothe, Leroy Sibbles and the Reggae Symphony Orchestra are also on the card.<br /> <br /> Last year, Grammy winners Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle shared the bill with Beres Hammond, Toots and The Maytals and Tessanne Chin.<br /> <br /> Organisers say Groovin In The Park grows each year. In 2016, over 25,000 fans attended the show, the largest since its inception.<br /> <br /> Howard Campbell http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13741032/R-Kelly_w300.jpg Entertainment Tuesday, March 28, 2017 9:30 AM Travis Greene to headline local show http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Travis-Greene-to-headline-local-show_93884 Travis Greene, the gospel singer who controversially performed at President Donald Trump&rsquo;s inauguration, will headline Unity In The City, scheduled for April 17 at the National Indoor Sports Centre in St Andrew.<br /> <br /> Greene, a black American, will appear alongside several leading Jamaican gospel artistes including Papa San, Jermaine Edwards, Kevin Downswell and Rondell Positive.<br /> <br /> The 33-year-old has two albums to his credit, Stretching Out and The Hill. The latter was released in 2015 and helped earn Greene Billboard magazine&rsquo;s top gospel artiste for 2016.<br /> <br /> His decision to perform at Trump&rsquo;s inauguration on January 20 was criticised by black groups and leaders, given the then president-elect&rsquo;s tough stance on immigrants and minorities in the United States.<br /> <br /> Greene defended himself, saying his appearance at the ceremony was God&rsquo;s destiny.<br /> <br /> &mdash; HC http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13739769/267021_92832_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Tuesday, March 28, 2017 12:00 AM Producers upbeat about Work Medz Rhythm http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Producers-upbeat-about-Work-Medz-Rhythm_93109 CHILDHOOD friends Anthony &ldquo;The Innovator&rdquo; Grant and Estate Recording Studio Music producer Demone Gustavus have teamed up to release the Work Medz Rhythm.<br /> <br /> Distributed by Zojak Worldwide, the rhythm was officially released on March 3. The production features songs like Inna Earth by Devin Di Dakta and One Inna Dem Head (Blak Ryno). Billboard charting artiste Xyclone is also on the track.<br /> <br /> &ldquo; One Inna Dem Head is a very controversial song by Ryno. Since its release in January, it has garnered lots of views and is getting steady rotation on the airwaves and in the dancehall,&rdquo; Gustavus told Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Devin Di Dakta has shown his versatility with the red-hot track Inna Earth,&rdquo; he continued.<br /> <br /> Gustavus has high expectations for the project.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I really hope this project will be a hit and will top dancehall charts worldwide,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Born in Jamaica, Gustavus migrated to Toronto, Canada, in 1987. Grant also a Jamaican plays in the United Soccer League for Silver Knights.<br /> <br /> &mdash; Simone Morgan-Lindo http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13739728/266948_92754_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Tuesday, March 28, 2017 12:00 AM Alkaline ruled http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Alkaline-ruled_93783 BY SADE GARDNER Observer writer CONCERT Magnum New Rules brought out heavyweight performers last Saturday for its show at National Stadium&rsquo;s car park. The evening belonged to headliner Alkaline.<br /> <br /> The shoulder-to-shoulder crowd was colourful. Some patrons wore Guy Fawkes masks and Vendetta apparel.<br /> <br /> When Alkaline took the stage after 3:00 am, fans uprooted the fence separating the VIP and General sections, causing a stampede. He opened with Conquer The World to roars.<br /> <br /> Dressed in black skinny jeans, a white T-shirt and black leather jacket, Alkaline went into his slew of hits including Champion Boy, Formula, ATM, Wait Yuh Turn, City, Extra Lesson and Spoil Yuh.<br /> <br /> His entourage was busy restraining him from the hungry crowd, which continuously tried to pull him off stage. Some wanted to join the deejay on stage.<br /> <br /> Mavado, who captivated the audience earlier, also performed Farewell with Alkaline.<br /> <br /> Fans were left puzzled when Alkaline seemed to have left the stage, only to be reintroduced by emcee DJ Sunshine. He did abbreviated versions of Badness It Name and Microwave before walking off, leaving fans to assume that his set was finished.<br /> <br /> Security could not control the crowd. They broke stage barriers and fled backstage to Alkaline&rsquo;s tent. He eluded them by exiting at the back only to be chased by Vendetta fans.<br /> <br /> There were also saw well-received performances from Jahmiel, Shaggy, Tarrus Riley and I-Octane.<br /> <br /> FMB, Stacious, Iba Mahr, Chase Cross and Flexx also performed.<br /> <br /> Despite technical issues, organiser Delon Reid, head of Brownstone Entertainment, was satisfied with the event.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We had limited support from corporate Jamaica, especially after he (Alkaline) was detained... prospective sponsors backed off. A lot of what we did was out of pocket and Magnum stayed with us and proved to be warriors,&rdquo; said Reid. &ldquo;We wanted to show people dancehall is still alive in this generation; it&rsquo;s a new movement ... Success brings changes so let&rsquo;s see what will happen next.&rdquo; http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13737802/266809_92724_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13737800/266806_92727_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13737798/266810_92728_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13737806/266808_92725_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13737808/266807_92726_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Monday, March 27, 2017 12:00 AM Prayers answered for two Saints http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Prayers-answered-for-two-Saints_93771 by RORY DALEY Observer Writer IT was an emotional evening at the Courtleigh Auditorium last Saturday as Saint International model agency crowned its Male and Female Fashion Face of the Caribbean winners.<br /> <br /> Taking the male category was Mario Grant, while Breana Carson won the female section.<br /> <br /> Cecilia Davana was selected Avant-Garde Fashion Designer of the Year.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It was wonderful to win,&rdquo; a tearful Grant told the Jamaica Observer moments after he was selected by a panel of judges.<br /> <br /> The 15-year-old Clarendonian won over five rivals. He was encouraged to enter the competition by a teacher at Central High School which he attends.<br /> <br /> With hands clasped in prayer, he burst into tears when he was announced winner.<br /> <br /> Carson&rsquo;s victory, according to Deiwght Peters, CEO of Saint International, &ldquo;is amazing&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;She normally has to walk 13 miles to school and the day I discovered her she told me that she hadn&rsquo;t planned to come to school, that day because of the effort it takes,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> At 14-years-old, the Portmore resident and Cumberland High School student topped a five-strong field.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;To hear my name called was spectacular, and I can only give thanks,&rdquo; she said.<br /> <br /> Of the 13 designers, Davana and her creation &lsquo;Fashion Genie&rsquo; captivated the judges and audience most. She won a cash prize of $100,000.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This is my second time winning, as I won in 2012, but this one feels so much more special,&rdquo; she said. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13737817/266804_92731_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13737816/266805__w300.jpg Local Entertainment Monday, March 27, 2017 12:00 AM Desmond Dennis&rsquo;s double http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Desmond-Dennis-s-double_93754 BY RICHARD JOHNSON Observer senior reporter ACTOR Desmond Dennis admits he does not take disappointment very well. So going into tonight&rsquo;s Actor Boy Awards with two nominations, he is keeping an open mind and has no expectations.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Last year I received my first nomination for my work in Ole Fyah Stick. I was confident that, perhaps, maybe I would have won because I felt I had done so well. When I didn&rsquo;t win, I felt so letdown. This year, in order to prevent any form of disappointment, I&rsquo;m just going to the show and will see what happens.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Dennis&rsquo;s two nominations are in the same category &mdash; Best Actor in a Supporting Role &mdash; for his work in Garvey, produced by the University Players; and Same Difference, for Dahlia Harris&rsquo;s DMH Productions. He is up against Ackeem Poyser in Bad Breed, Jean-Paul Menou for Catherine Mulgrave, and Hugh Douse in<br /> <br /> Moses in this category.<br /> <br /> The Actor Boy Awards, which recognises excellence in local theatre, will be handed out this evening at the Phoenix Theatre in New Kingston.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It was a whirlwind of emotions when I first heard I had two nominations. I didn&rsquo;t attend the announcement events; I had a friend who was there who sent me a message on WhatsApp saying: &lsquo;When your friend is good, he gets two nominations in the same category.&rsquo; I was shocked, surprised, and excited all at the same time. The acting world here in Jamaica never really recognises the work of comedians, despite the majority of our productions being comedies. Over the years, the judges have showed a preference for dramatic roles, so you can therefore see why I was so surprised at not one but two nominations,&rdquo; Dennis told the Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> Despite a compelling list of credits, it may be surprising to note that Dennis has only been acting at the commercial level for four years. However, as he explained, his talent was present from an early age.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;From I was small, I would re-enact advertisements during devotion at primary school on a Friday morning and this was always well received. When I moved on to Glenmuir High, I became involved in the arts, participating in JCDC (Jamaica Cultural Development Commission) and the school&rsquo;s Eisteddfod competitions. However, my eyes really became open to theatre at the University of the West Indies through the Tallawah Arts Festival.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> From Tallawah, Dennis has won two awards for Best Supporting Actor for roles in Kristallnacht &mdash; a German play in which he not only acted, but also wrote and directed; as well as Village Matters, in which he only had six lines. He also received a Best Actor nod from Tallawah for The Heist, written by Maya Wilkinson.<br /> <br /> The skills he portrayed in The Heist would catch the eye of Dahlia Harris, who cast him in Ole Fyah Stick, alternating with Christopher &ldquo;Johnny&rdquo; Daley. That production would be adapted into a miniseries for television and Dennis reprised his role.<br /> <br /> With acting, directing, stage and television already under his belt, Dennis is setting his sights on bigger things.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;My experience in local theatre has been rewarding and gratifying. I have been lucky to work with most of the major directors in the country and still waiting for invites from the others. But I want to take my career even further. So I am looking to do a few more productions in Jamaica and then I want to do Broadway. I would love to do some work at that level so I am sharpening the other skills required for that market... working on my singing and dancing,&rdquo; said Dennis. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13737741/266789_92709_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13737740/266793_92710_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Monday, March 27, 2017 12:00 AM Love Is OK for Tom Laing http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Love-Is-OK-for-Tom-Laing_93765 TOM Laing has not been back to Jamaica since migrating to the United States 39 years ago. On April 5, he returns to launch Love Is OK, his first EP.<br /> <br /> Laing, who lives in Brooklyn, New York, is looking forward to the event at Usain Bolt&rsquo;s Tracks And Records.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I like to think of myself as a battery and I&rsquo;m coming home to recharge,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Love Is OK has seven songs including the lead single, King&rsquo;s Highway, and a cover of Gregory Isaacs&rsquo;<br /> <br /> Front Door.<br /> <br /> Laing and Danny Marshall co-produced the songs of which Laing wrote six. He said it is important to record and release as many original songs as possible.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;If other people come with the right songs I will sing them, but I always like to write my own songs.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Laing is from an area where writing songs was a big thing. He grew up in Trench Town where Joe Higgs, Bob Marley, and Alton Ellis got their musical start.<br /> <br /> It was not until 2005 that Laing kicked off his recording career. Since then, he has released a number of singles, mainly in the tri-state (New York, New Jersey and Connecticut) radius.<br /> <br /> One of those songs is Front Door, which was released in 2014.<br /> <br /> Love Is OK will be distributed by VPAL music.<br /> <br /> &ndash; HC http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13590771/253875_80755_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Monday, March 27, 2017 12:00 AM Jamaican music take spotlight http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Jamaican-music-take-spotlight_93627 BY RICHARD JOHNSON Observer senior writer johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com From the opening notes of the national anthems of Jamaica and the United States of America it was clear that the concert featuring the Inspirational Chorale of the University of Arkansas would have been a great evening of music.<br /> <br /> Along with the Kingston College Chapel Choir, the visiting choir performed at the 353-year-old St Andrew Parish Church in the heart of Half-Way-Tree, as part of their recent Jamaican mini tour, and delivered a varied and thoroughly enjoyable performance last Tuesday.<br /> <br /> The evening&rsquo;s standout performance has to go to the the rendition of Clyde Hoyte&rsquo;s O&rsquo;er Our Blue Mountain with soloist Christopher MacRae, and the chorale in support. MacRae&rsquo;s tenor voice beautifully captured Hoyte&rsquo;s text and the arrangement of Noel Dexter. The soft tones of the supporting voices added to the texture required of this Jamaican gem.<br /> <br /> Speaking to the Jamaica Observer following his performance, which was greeted with spontaneous applause, MacRae, who is a member of the faculty at the University of Arkansas, noted how pleased he was to have been given this beautiful piece of Jamaican music.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It is such beautiful music and words. What is interesting is that it is so Jamaican... not ska or reggae, but Jamaican nonetheless. I was so pleased to have presented it here in Jamaica and to be so warmly received makes it extra special.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Both choirs would combine their voices on Noel Dexter&rsquo;s arrangement of Psalm 150 &mdash; O Praise Ye The Lord. Again it was a pleasure to hear the work of a Jamaican being performed by non-Jamaican choir. Despite its infectious nature, the performance could have been from a few rehearsals of the combined choirs in order to ensure a seamless blend of voices. The treble voices of the young men from Kingston College was somewhat overpowering. But judging by the applause at the end of this performance, this seems to have not been important to the audience.<br /> <br /> The University of Arkansas Inspirational Chorale was founded in 1977 to give voice to the black students at the institution the ability to express their faith and culture through music. Today the chorale is racially mixed but their repertoire still rests heavily on the sound of the black American church. <br /> <br /> A number of the pieces performed was in the &lsquo;praise and worship&rsquo; style. Choristers raised hands, clapped and stomped through the performances without affecting the overall sound of the choir or loving the entertainment value. Take it to the Lord in Prayer, Blessed Assurance, He Shall Purify, My Soul&rsquo;s been Anchored in the Lord and Even Me were done in this style. The chorale took Even Me to an even higher level inviting audience participation breaking to song down into four parts &mdash; soprano, alto, tenor and bass &mdash; with audience members singing the respective voices.<br /> <br /> The spirited version of Joyful Joyful, from the soundtrack of the movie Sister Act, followed by Total Praise wrapped the performance.<br /> <br /> The Kingston College Chapel Choir represented themselves well in their varied presentations which included Praise My Soul The King of Heaven, Exultate Cantamos Festivo and the Negro Spiritual Hush.<br /> <br /> Tuesday&rsquo;s performance was hosted by the St Andrew Parish Foundation with proceeds going to its charitable causes. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13735846/266578_92590_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13735850/266576_92589_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Sunday, March 26, 2017 12:00 AM Veteran band celebrates 50th anniversary in 2018 http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Veteran-band-celebrates-50th-anniversary-in-2018_93633 By Howard Campbell Observer senior writer A play based on the life and music of Jacob Miller is among the events that will mark Inner Circle&rsquo;s 50th anniversary next year.<br /> <br /> The band&rsquo;s co-founder Ian Lewis told the Jamaica Observer that the play opens in May at the Little Theatre in Kingston when Miller, who died in March 1980, would have turned 68.<br /> <br /> The play will have two dates, followed the next day by a free concert at Emancipation Park, headlined by Inner Circle.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We are blessed to be out there still actively touring. Once yuh working like dat, it keep di creative juices flowing,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Lewis, a bass player, co-founded Inner Circle in 1968 with his older brother Roger on rhythm guitar, Stephen &ldquo;Cat&rdquo; Coore on guitar, and keyboardist Michael &ldquo;Ibo&rdquo; Cooper.<br /> <br /> They reaped from a purple patch during the 1970s when Miller led them on classics like Tenement Yard, Forward Ever, Backward Never, and Disciplined Child.<br /> <br /> After Miller died in a motor vehicle accident in Kingston, the Lewis brothers settled in Miami, where they fashioned Inner Circle&rsquo;s second coming in the early 1990s with the mega hits Bad Boys and Sweat.<br /> <br /> Today they operate a successful recording studio in north Miami and tour tirelessly. Ian Lewis, 64, says while they are thankful for the success, losing Miller at the peak of his prowess still hurts 36 years later.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;That was a pitfall for us and dat&rsquo;s a reason why this documentary is so important to us,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> &lsquo;This documentary&rsquo; is a feature film tracing the band&rsquo;s roots at Jamaica College to the Miller era and Miami years. A celebratory book is also in the making.<br /> <br /> Roger Lewis, 66, and keyboardist Bernard &ldquo;Touter&rdquo; Harvey are the other survivors from the classic 1970s line-up. Guitarist Mick Sterling, singer Trevor Bonnick and drummer Lancelot Hall complete the current line-up.<br /> <br /> Ian Lewis is excited about the band&rsquo;s golden anniversary, especially the play which he is co-writing. While Miller&rsquo;s songs will play a major role, he said it is not only about music.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;A lot of people feel dat when dem come to America is a bed of roses, but it&rsquo;s not. Yuh have to get a education an&rsquo; work hard to mek it, an&rsquo; dat&rsquo;s what wi trying to bring across.&rdquo; http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12894636/198865_30188_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13736424/ZZ43B431DF_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Sunday, March 26, 2017 12:00 AM Biggie&rsquo;s buzz at Sting http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Biggie-s-buzz-at-Sting_93516 By Sade Gardner Observer writer ON Boxing Day, 1996, superstar rapper Notorious B.I.G. (aka Biggie Smalls) made his way on stage for Sting, at Jamworld in Portmore, St Catherine. <br /> <br /> The occasion was memorable for two reasons: Sting was a hard-core dancehall show, and the rotund Biggie delivered his set in a wheelchair as his broken leg was in a cast.<br /> <br /> Isaiah Laing, founder of Sting, explained the reason behind having the rapper on dancehall&rsquo;s biggest show.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Rap and dancehall are like cousins; notice how rap music came out of dancehall. Biggie, at that time, was the biggest rapper in the world. We went and talked to him about it and it was not hard like people thought it would be,&rdquo; Laing told the Sunday Observer. &ldquo;It was actually easy, especially since he has Jamaican connections. We flew him out on the morning of the 26th and he did the show in the night at 2:30 am. He brought out the Get Rich Crew as well. It was a good 15-minute performance.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> According to the LA Times, the Brooklyn-born rapper broke his leg in three places in a car accident on September 13, 1996 and was hospitalised for over two months.<br /> <br /> Notorious B.I.G. (given name Christopher Wallace) had Jamaican ties through his mother Voletta Wallace, a Trelawny native. He was murdered in a drive-by shooting on March 9, 1997 at the age of 24. This month marks 20 years since his death.<br /> <br /> Laing said Sting was Biggie Smalls&rsquo; last international performance.<br /> <br /> Regarded as the greatest rapper of all time, Notorious B.I.G &mdash; through his partnership with Bad Boy Records CEO Sean &ldquo;Puffy&rdquo; Combs &mdash; is known for songs like Juicy, Big Poppa, One More Chance, Get Money, Hypnotize and<br /> <br /> Mo Money Mo Problems. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13735661/266513_92564_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13279440/227920_55127_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Sunday, March 26, 2017 12:00 AM One to watch: Shantol Jackson http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/One-to-watch--Shantol-Jackson_93645 By Sade Gardner Observer writer &ldquo;When you go on a stage never act, become.&rdquo; <br /> <br /> This advice from local stage and screen legend Leonie Forbes has become a mantra for up-and-coming actress Shantol Jackson. The 23-year-old, who is becoming one to watch in local film, television and theatre, can currently be seen in playwright Dahlia Harris&rsquo;<br /> <br /> Country Wedding, and has two films &mdash; Sugar and Sprinter &mdash; which are currently doing the circuit.<br /> <br /> Jackson&rsquo;s journey has been filled with challenges, but she was always one to see the positives. Growing up in Portmore, St Catherine, she lived with her father and stepmother and was always a timid child, but it was while attending Southborough Primary School, that her artistic abilities were recognised. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;I started doing music and speech. I had two teachers in grade 4 and 5 who taught us folk songs and how to play instruments, so I did that every lunch time. I entered the first staging of Miss Southborough and won Best Talent for a poem I did written by my grade 5 teacher. I also won the competition. The passion was there but not yet developed,&rdquo; she said. <br /> <br /> It was at Ardenne High School where Jackson honed her affinity for drama. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;You could always find me in the drama room with Suzanne Beadle. That&rsquo;s when the flames engulfed me I would say. I started writing and entered JCDC and won medals. It became a part of me instead of just a co-curricular activity,&rdquo; she told the<br /> <br /> Jamaica Observer. <br /> <br /> Her break into mainstream and commercial theatre came by happenstance at the age of 19 in Harris&rsquo; Thicker than Water. Replacing a sick friend on set, Jackson was called out by Harris to learn the lines when she needed a new actress. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;She knew I acted in high school. I went to Miss Beadle and she helped me out. Aunty Dahlia also helped me and was impressed. She would say I move like a crab because I was timid. I was amongst professional actresses and a bigger audience; not just my peers but people who are paying their money. I had to break out of the shyness and relax.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Jackson would go on to work with Harris in 2015 for God Guh Wid Yuh and in 2016 for Same Difference. <br /> <br /> Her most memorable moment was working in film with playwright Patrick Brown. There she learned how to transition from theatre to film through a yet-to-be released project and a 10-minute skit called The Bucket List. <br /> <br /> Her other works include the American monologue Mountain Top andSprinter, the latter a short film directed by Storm Saulter now being shown at the Miami Film Festival. Jackson also acted in Sugar written by Sharon Leach and directed by Michelle Serieux, a project which further challenged her to step out of her comfort zone. <br /> <br /> She is inspired by Forbes, Harris, Glen Campbell, Will Smith, Eva Green and Meryl Streep but reveres one particular actress.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Viola Davis will be my mother in a movie one day. I really want to work with her. Cicely Tyson will play my grandmother.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Her ultimate goal is to give back to the theatre community and add to cultural development. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;I want to be my best at telling stories. I believe in giving a voice to the voiceless. Then I can say I did a job well done. A lot of students don&rsquo;t want to be a doctor or lawyer, but there are not enough facilities for students who want to do the arts. I want actors to be able to say that this is their 9-5 without having to get a second job,&rdquo; she said. <br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13476577/244557_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13735847/266591_92547_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Sunday, March 26, 2017 12:00 AM Lyttle signs with Sony http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Lyttle-signs-with-Sony_93601 BY KEVIN JACKSON Observer writer St Vincent soca star Kevin Lyttle, who last year scored a chart-topper on Billboard&rsquo;s Tropical Songs table with Midnight, featuring Latin artiste Nengo Flow, has signed a deal with Sony Music subsidiary Ultra Records.<br /> <br /> This is the second major label deal for Lyttle, who signed with Atlantic Records in 2004 following the success of his platinum single,<br /> <br /> Turn Me On, featuring Spragga Benz.<br /> <br /> The partnership will see Sony/Ultra and Lyttle&rsquo;s Tarakon Records releasing four projects, including the singer&rsquo;s fourth album<br /> <br /> Slow Motion. <br /> <br /> Tarakon Records was formed in 2007 and had a distribution deal with Universal for Lyttle&rsquo;s second album Fyah.<br /> <br /> A former customs officer and radio disc jockey, Lyttle was encouraged by his family to pursue music at an early age, and performed at local events.<br /> <br /> He recorded Turn Me On as a soca ballad in St Vincent and the Grenadines in 2001. The song was a minor hit throughout the Caribbean.<br /> <br /> A remixed version of Turn Me On was officially released in the United Kingdom with dancehall artiste Spragga Benz three years later. The song reached number two in the UK, spending seven weeks in the Top 10.<br /> <br /> It became a worldwide hit, reaching number four in the United States, number three in Australia, and making the top five in several European countries.<br /> <br /> Lyttle&rsquo;s self-titled debut album followed in July 2004 and was certified gold in the United States. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13273557/227352_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Sunday, March 26, 2017 12:00 AM Silent Cruise to set sail in MoBay http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Silent-Cruise-to-set-sail-in-MoBay_93543 MoBay-based promoters Ecliptik Events &ndash; known for their themed parties &ndash; are promising an experience never undertaken in Jamaica: a combination of a cruise party and a silent party. <br /> <br /> The event, Silent Cruise, is scheduled for tonight. Boarding is at Pier One in Montego Bay. DJ Blu, DJ Tippy and DJ 47 will be responsible for the evening&rsquo;s music and each is expected to deliver the goods in hisrespective genre. <br /> <br /> The silent party concept allows patrons to select from the three channels on their headphones to experience the genre they are interested in hearing at the party.<br /> <br /> Ecliptik Events directorSam Ramson explained that the team was always looking for diverse methods of adding to the party experience of patrons.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We always try to deliver a sensational experience where ambiance is concerned.we challenge ourselves to create an event where each time someone looks around the scenery will be different and unique. We are reimagining how patrons can be entertained with fresh, appealing concepts,&rdquo; Ramson told Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The feedback we are getting is that the combination is interesting and novel; as far as we know this has never been done in Jamaica and perhaps the Caribbean. Silent events are the biggest thing right now as it gives the partygoer a crisper, cleaner sound and the music is experienced the way the composer intended. Plus, you have some control over what you listen to as there are three DJs to choose from playing different genres,&rdquo; Ramson continued.<br /> <br />   http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13733899/266435__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13733903/266432__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13733904/266434__w300.jpg Local Entertainment Saturday, March 25, 2017 2:00 AM All-star cast for Magnum New Rules http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/All-star-cast-for-Magnum-New-Rules_93541 AN all-star cast is expected for Magnum New Rules scheduled for National Stadium Car Park in St Andrew, tonight.<br /> <br /> The event, headlined by Alkaline, will also see Mavado, Shaggy, Tarrus Riley, I-Octane, and Jahmiel. Up-and-coming dancehall acts Frassman and Deizzle are also billed for the jaunt. Sound systems Swatch International, DJ Wessy, Flabba Dabba, DJ Cash Price, Coppershot Sound, Rebel T and DJ Banka are slated to provide the musical selections.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We are set to deliver an exhilarating and fulfilling experience for the patrons that will be in attendance at Magnum New Rules. We have a diverse reggae and dancehall cast, all of whom are in demand by their fans and industry stakeholders to see perform live. We are confident in delivering a show to remember,&rdquo; said Sandre Malcolm, managing marketing consultant at event co-host, Brownstone Marketing and Entertainment.<br /> <br /> Tamika West, marketing manager at J Wray & Nephew Limited, was also enthused about the occasion.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;As the official drink of dancehall, Magnum Tonic Wine found it important to play a role in delivering a powerhouse concert experience to lovers of authentic Jamaican music. The promoters have put together leading acts in both reggae and dancehall to perform on a single, unrivalled night to remember. We implore everyone over the legal drinking age to tek charge and drink responsibly with us at the National Stadium Car Park as we create history with the man himself and the other greats who will be amplifying the stage and the culture at large,&rdquo; she said.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13142984/216015_43773_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12642600/184960__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13190339/221405__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13701885/263545_89934_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13524647/249089_75742_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13165493/217837__w300.jpg Local Entertainment Saturday, March 25, 2017 2:00 AM Saint's to go marching http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Saint-s-to-go-marching_93547 IT'S all systems go for this evening's staging of Saint International's double-bill glam-fest: the Jamaica Avant Garde Designer of the Year and the Fashion Face of the Caribbean. <br /> <br /> The occasion is scheduled for the Courtleigh Auditorium in New Kingston and slated to start at 9:00 pm.<br /> <br /> "As the oldest and most prestigious design competition in Jamaica, we are confident that patrons will be dazzled by another night of spectacle as designers step up their A-game. Lasco Money has joined Campari as a sponsor therefore, expanding the colour palette to include magenta &ndash; the theme colour for Lasco Money. SAINT International has retained it's reputation of presenting audiences with glamour, excitement and loads of entertainment," Deiwght Peters, principal of Saint International model agency and event conceptualiser, told Jamaica Observer yesterday.<br /> <br /> There will be 108 contestants &ndash; 45 females and 63 males &ndash; vying for the Fashion Face of the Caribbean. Each having a chance to be signed by any of the international agencies that have come from the fashion capitals of the world. <br /> <br /> Thirteen designers will be competing for the coveted title of Jamaica Avante Garde Designer of the Year. The winner will receive $100,000 cash prize, courtesy of the sponsors and The Deiwght Peters Show. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12782775/192678_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12782779/192652_21957_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Saturday, March 25, 2017 2:00 AM MoBay Blow-Out tonight http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/MoBay-Blow-Out-tonight_93538 Soca sensation Iwer George is scheduled to headline Montego Bay Blow Out Fete at Pier 1 tonight. The event is part of Wray & Nephew Jamaica Carnival&rsquo;s thrust to spread the carnival love islandwide.<br /> <br /> The Trinidad and Tobago- born artiste said he was happy to be part of Jamaica Carnival.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I am happy to be a part of the return of the real Jamaica Carnival, since I was part of the beginning with the great Bryon Lee and the Dragonaires together with the crazy Super Blue, Admiral Bailey, Tiger, Colin Lucas and many others. I&rsquo;m coming to deliver greatness. I&rsquo;ll be performing all my favourite songs like Nah Do That, Water, Carnival Come Back Again, Take Ah Bathe, plus more,&rdquo; said George.<br /> <br /> Also billed are Supa Hype & friends, and DJ Spice from Team Soca, NY.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Soca people linkup! We&rsquo;re coming to shell dung Pier One. There&rsquo;s gonna be crazy vibes, fun and excitement from we touch the stage. Everyone come out in your numbers; we&rsquo;re gonna show you how we fete in Kingston,&rdquo; said Supa Hype.<br /> <br /> Julianne Lee, a director of Jamaica Carnival, said she was eager to give western Jamaica a taste of what to expect in the streets of Kingston on Carnival Sunday (April 23). <br /> <br /> &ldquo;We&rsquo;re half-way through the carnival season, adrenaline is pumping, and we&rsquo;re putting our best foot forward as we go along. We&rsquo;ve been having a successful season thus far and I really have to thank everyone for their continuous support. MoBay get ready because we&rsquo;re on our way!&rdquo; she said.<br /> <br /> I http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13733937/266419_92338_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Saturday, March 25, 2017 2:00 AM Killer sounds from Michael Buckley http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Killer-sounds-from-Michael-Buckley_93542 THE hardcore dancehall fan has been familiar with Michael Buckley&rsquo;s distinctive baritone for over 35 years. Though he has influenced artistes such as Bushman, mainstream recognition has been elusive. Underground songs like <br /> <br /> Send Another Sound Home <br /> <br /> have earned him a following on the sound system circuit, but Buckley aims to expand his base with his first album.<br /> <br /> He admits the tag of dance artiste has limited his career. With a vast repertoire of singles at his fingertips, releasing an album seemed appropriate.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Think mi slow down miself by not doing one before. Singles mek yuh be heard an&rsquo; cover a wide area but mi have 50-odd song out dey, so why not do it now?&rdquo; said Buckley.<br /> <br /> Bawl And Bawl is the title of the 10-song set which is scheduled for release in April. All tracks are original and produced by Buckley who was born and raised in Waterhouse.<br /> <br /> A contemporary of singer Wayne &ldquo;Sleng Teng&rdquo; Smith, he was among a flood of young artistes from the area who got their start on sound systems like King Jammys.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Mi a come from long-time days, from lift up box an&rsquo; dem thing,&rdquo; he said, chuckling.<br /> <br /> Buckley&rsquo;s first song, Don&rsquo;t Stand Up And Loaf, was produced by Iris &lsquo;Moma Iris&rsquo; James, wife of producer Lloyd &lsquo;King Jammys&rsquo; James, a heavyweight in Waterhouse.<br /> <br /> He recorded for other producers such as Mikey Bennett (My Selector) and Shocking Vibes (I Can&rsquo;t Live Without You), but his signature song remains Send Another Sound Home, produced by King Jammys in 1989.<br /> <br /> Its force as a &lsquo;soun&rsquo; killer&rsquo; has earned Buckley a following among the hardcore dancehall crowd in the United Kingdom, France and Germany, countries he has toured.<br /> <br /> An overdue album may be just what the doctor ordered for a career revival.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Wi travel deep an&rsquo; wide but because mi neva really put out di extra effort people neva hear di song dem. But wi have di thing together, so wi si good things happening,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> &mdash; Howard Campbell http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13733909/266431__w300.jpg Local Entertainment Saturday, March 25, 2017 2:00 AM Ova Suh returns April 1 http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Ova-Suh-returns-April-1_93537 Magnum Ova Suh is scheduled for Saturday, April 1 at the Triple Century Car Park in New Kingston. The promoters are promising patrons an entertaining experience.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It will be non-stop high- energy entertainment from our line-up of DJs, free- flowing easy-access bars, Magnum deals all night long, and a safe atmosphere for our patrons,&rdquo; said co-promoter Jermane Davis.<br /> <br /> Billed to spin the hottest jams are Rebel Sound, Di Unit, Code Red and Chromatic.<br /> <br /> Davis spoke about the growing popularity of the Ova Suh series and what sets it apart from the competition.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It has to do with our promotion strategy. We aim to bring raw dancehall to the &ldquo;uptown&rdquo; sphere while catering for and inviting everyone to come indulge at the same time,&rdquo; said Davis.<br /> <br /> Since its first staging in October 2016, Ova Suh has attracted several high-profile entertainment and sporting personalities.<br /> <br /> &ndash; Kevin Jackson http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13733905/266413_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13733898/266428_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13733901/266416__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13733902/266414__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13733906/266415__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13733907/266412_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Saturday, March 25, 2017 2:00 AM In the mix http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/In-the-mix_93490 BY RICHARD JOHNSON Observer senior reporter johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com Over the years Jamaican artistes have benefited from increased exposure from the remix of an existing tune which received new life thanks to collaboration with an international act.<br /> <br /> Among the popular tracks is the Chant Down Babylon album released by the Marley family in 1999. The project featured the music of the late reggae king, Bob Marley reworked and featuring contemporary American hip hop artistes. The lead single, Turn Your Lights Down Low features Lauryn Hill. The Marleys explained that by putting the iconic words and music of their late father into the mouths of young, contemporary acts, the music would reach a new demographic. Among the acts on the album were Erykah Badu, Busta Rhymes, MC Lyte, and Rakim.<br /> <br /> Just this week came word that local deejay Konshens has collaborated with R&B act Chris Brown on the remix of his club banger Bruk Off Yuh Back, which was originally released last year. The deejay is said to be excited about the latest move which he projects will give the popular track a few new ears.<br /> <br /> Senior lecturer in cultural studies at The University of the West Indies Dr Donna Hope noted that there are great benefits to be had from remixes, but warns artistes to be wary of the pitfalls.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The collaborations are great mechanisms to enhance the spread and crossover appeal of dancehall,&rdquo; she told the Jamaica Observer. <br /> <br /> Is there any potential drawback?<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Yes, of course. Authentic Jamaican dancehall has to make concessions in order to facilitate acceptance by a wider audience,&rdquo; she told Splash.<br /> <br /> Hope advises Jamaican artistes to maintain their core.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Keep your indigenous roots close, even while seeking global and crossover appeal. If we end up sounding like everyone else, what will make us unique?&rdquo; she charges.<br /> <br /> In 2010, singer Gyptian was given a shot in the arm with his single Hold You after then rising hip hop star Nicki Minaj commandeered a remix on his tune. The track not only introduced Minaj to a wider reggae market, but helped promote Gyptian&rsquo;s album of the same name. He would later win international awards including a a Soul Train Award and a Music of Black Origin (MOBO) award.<br /> <br /> In 2015, deejay Alkaline collaborated with Jamaica-born, USA-based Sean Kingston for the remix on his Ride on Me. <br /> <br /> Beenie Man has reaped benefits on at least two occasions with remixes. His first remix success came in 2000 with Girls Dem Sugar which featured R&B princess Mya. The track was produced by The Neptunes for Beenie Man&rsquo;s album Art and Life and was inspired by his single Who Am I (Sim Simma) which was released in 1997. He hit the motherload once again in 2004 when rapper Shawnna was brought on board his local hit Dude which featured local singer Miss Thing.<br /> <br /> She is now a gospel act, but in her secular days Lady Saw benefited from a remix. She released Heels On in 2014. Following a performance at Reggae Sumfest, the sultry hit caught the ears of hip hop act Flo Rida, who was also part of the line-up for the festival. The American artiste promptly ordered a remix.<br /> <br /> Ty Dolla $ign&rsquo;s remix of Kranium&rsquo;s Nobody Has To Know, gave the popular breakout track by the Jamaican artiste an increased push back in 2015. <br /> <br /> Baby Cham was a staple on the local dancehall scene back in the late 1990s. The artiste would take some personal time following a move to the United States, but made his presence felt with the release of Ghetto Story. So big was this impact that the track got to the ears of R&B act Alicia Keys with whom he recorded a remix back in 2006. Keys would fly to Jamaica to film the music video in Baby Cham&rsquo;s Sherlock Crescent community.<br /> <br />   http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12585195/178064__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13279603/227938_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12736885/189945_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12549110/178780_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12803721/193652__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13731278/222326_49963_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Friday, March 24, 2017 12:00 AM Range releases video for Inward Rasta http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Range-releases-video-for-Inward-Rasta_93437 This week singer Range released the video for her song Inward Rasta which is co-produced by KheilStone and Elroy McCormack of Full Rev Entertainment.<br /> <br /> Range explained the video&rsquo;s theme.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The concept has a rootsy island theme with heavy drums that play the foundation of our African culture. It tells a story that holds value that no matter race, class, creed or religion, Rastafarianism forms the base of universal love and has a reputation that speaks spirituality to all.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The video was filmed at Rasta Village in Miami, Florida, and co-directed by Dewayne Weise and Jorge Castillo.<br /> <br /> Inward Rasta is about judging a person based on outward appearance.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The song is based on a mixture of perspectives, both on my own extended family structure as well as friends who practise and believe in the faith of the whole life, history and culture of Rastafarianism,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;The whole concept stems from living in a world where one is not judged or segregated based on what society expects as it relates to practices, beliefs or religion.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> A former fashion model, Range (real name Shana Blair McCormack) is originally from St Ann. <br /> <br /> &mdash; Kevin Jackson http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13731076/266248__w300.jpg Local Entertainment Friday, March 24, 2017 2:00 AM