Putting reggae in the Brixton spotlight

Monday, October 01, 2012    

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FOR much of his time as a disc jockey in Britain, Junior Anthony White says his goal has been to introduce Jamaican artistes to a 'street' audience.

White is known to listeners in the Brixton area of London as Cat Man, host of the Put The Spotlight on the Artiste show on independent radio station Lightning FM.

He credits his show for helping to introduce dancehall artistes like Romain Virgo and I-Octane to urban audiences.

"A lot of people didn't know Romain Virgo until we started playing Can't Sleep and that really got his name on the streets," White told the Jamaica Observer.

Strong airplay for hitherto unknown artistes like singers Jermaine Michael and Angel Smith, he added, have opened doors for them in Britain.

"Other disc jockeys get to know them and play their songs, so more people are familiar with them."

The 48-year-old White is originally from Bethel Town, St Ann, but has lived in London for over 20 years.

He belongs to a long list of small radio station announcers who have helped expose Jamaican artistes. This medium has been effective since the 1960s when ska performers like Millie Small benefitted.

A sound system operator while he was in Jamaica, White says he also did the dance circuit when he moved to London.

Nine years ago, he became a disc jockey on Vibes FM, another small Brixton station. He spent two years there before moving to Lightning FM where he has been for seven years.

White is also publisher of Vision Caribbean Update, a monthly newspaper circulated in Brixton, covering entertainment and current affairs in the region.

— Howard Campbell



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