Entertainment

Joe puts the buzz in Sting

BY SIMONE MORGAN Observer staff reporter morgans@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, December 21, 2012    

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JOSEF Bogdanovich has been one of the distinctive faces in local entertainment for over a decade. He is the brains behind Downsound Records and co-producer of next Wednesday's Sting show at Jamworld in Portmore.

Bogdanovich has had significant success with Downsound, recording acts like Nanko, Fantan Mojah, Jah Cure, and Harry Toddler.

His present team at Downsound includes producer Cordel 'Skatta' Burrell, singjay Khago, singer Nature, and deejay Specialist.

The label has produced hits like Hail The King and Hungry (Fantan Mojah), True Reflections (Jah Cure), and Lucky You (Nanko).

The American, who set up business in Jamaica just over 15 years ago, recently partnered with Supreme Promotions for Sting, signing artistes like Ninjaman, Sizzla Kalonji and Kiprich.

Bogdanovich has a Hollywood background, working on small independent films in the 1980s and 1990s.

He plans to bring that expertise to Sting with theatrics and showmanship to entertain diehard fans.

"We are doing the clash like pro wrestling in tag team style, with Merciless teamed with Matterhorn versus Ninjaman and Kiprich.

They will go at it with both sides allowed one extra person of their choice to help out if they choose. It's going to be high-flying entertainment," Bogdanovich boasted.

How much money have you invested in the event? How will this help the Downsound brand?

Not everyone locally understands the magnitude of Downsound's presence in this business. Aside from supporting artistes for international shows outside of Jamaica which we have done for 20 years, we also support the local market by investing in a multitude of events and programmes, often behind the scenes. This year, however, we chose to step from out of the shadows and save the business. You do realise that stage shows are almost extinct due to the lack of corporate investment. So Downsound has stepped in and plunged millions into this event because of it's a legacy for the people. It's your culture, the last of its kind and we do not want it to fade away. Or worse, just let the foreigners take it away in Europe or Japan.

Is this a one-year partnership? Or will this be a long-term relationship?

We have been supporting Sting for many years now. We have just stepped up the game to make it bigger and better by working in partnership with Supreme, and in particular Isaiah Laing. It takes real dedication to preserve an event that is approaching its 30th year and no matter what anyone says, Laing has persevered and should be exalted for giving so much to people with humble beginnings.

Is it true you will have a boxing ring in place for the main event?

Definitely. We will bring it in as the final candle is lit for the show. A 24-foot ring will fly in from the wings and the clash will begin. This is show business. And there is no business like show business. Expect the unexpected. This year's Sting will be a night to remember.

Why are you so supportive of dancehall when it is reggae that Downsound is known for? Are you choosing hype over substance?

Reggae and dancehall are from Jamaica, created by Jamaicans and should not be classed or separated. If you look at the current Sting flyer, you will see not only vintage artistes like John Holt and Errol Dunkley, but you will see the next generation of young reggae artistes like Konshens, Romain Virgo, Chronixx, Nature, and Etana. We have Sizzla who has given so much to the people and to the country and he will also give a performance that is out of this world. We are celebrating Busy Signal's return and Khago will be delivering both reggae and dancehall music at its finest. And there is Tommy Lee. Come to Jamworld and find out what the excitement is all about.

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