TAKING public feedback into account, the Reggae Month Awards Selection Committee has decided to bestow the title of Emerging Artiste of the year to Chronixx.
They also conferred Song of the Year to the international hit Affairs of the Heart by Damian 'Junior Gong' Marley.
The public poll's results reflected that the runners-up in both categories Konshens and Bubble Wi a Bubble by by him, too deserves congratulations.
Interestingly, the first time I saw Chronixx perform was at a staging of Reggae Wednesdays last year. Kabaka Pyramid had introduced him during the course of his set.
Since that time, he has been on heavy rotation on every local radio station and taken the nation by storm with numerous performances. This has created an international demand for appearances on concerts in the region and further afield.
He just recently returned from performances in Costa Rica, New York and Kenya, where both political parties invited him to perform. He played the role of a peace ambassador, given the recent spate of violence, as election tensions stir age-old grievances.
Chronixx is one of the leading artistes in the new youth movement, who sees the industry, not as competition, but to reposition reggae as the world's music of conscience.
Affairs of the Heart is, without a doubt, one of the better songs produced by a Jamaican artiste, both lyrically and musically, in a number of years. This song has strains reminiscent of his older hits. Damian has again successfully fused different musical styles, then added the new 'electro lovers rock' element to produce a laid-back musical mix, buoyed by a catchy chorus. Fans describe Affairs of the Heart using terms such as refreshing, uplifting and enriching. Known more as a DJ, the quality of his song-writing and his singing on this track, is better than most of the standard fare these days, which in my view, leaves a lot to be desired. Released just before Valentine's Day last year, by March 2012 it topped the week's Mediaguide Reggae Speciality Chart in the US and by May it topped Reggae Charts in Jamaica for two weeks.
This year, the two sound systems being saluted are Mello Canary Disco and Metro Media.
Mello Canary was established by owner/selector Sammy Chong, and the system played mostly in St Thomas until the late 60s when he relocated to Kingston. In 1975 he formed a very successful relationship with Denver 'Jamusa' Silvera. Metro Media was established by Lou Gooden in the early 70s and taken over by Jimmy Metro after he migrated in 1975. Their first selector was Peter Metro and their most popular is Skyjuice.
Established in 2009, the JaRIA Honour Awards is an authentic barometer for gauging the development of the music and its practitioners. It pays tribute to industry players who have figured prominently in the amazing penetration of Jamaican music and culture across the world.