Entertainment

STONE LOVE THROUGH DIAMOND'S EYES

Howard Campbell

Friday, December 20, 2013    

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THE profile of sound system selectors has changed significantly since Stone Love's Diamond entered the game 20

years ago.

Selectors no longer just entertain with the latest hits and 'specials'. They are often responsible for a popular dancehall song becoming a radio hit.

Diamond, who now lives in Toronto, Canada, is in Jamaica for the annual Stone Love anniversary show scheduled for December 28.

The 35-year-old has been with Stone Love for 12 years. He still represents the 'sound' despite moving to Canada permanently this year.

He says travelling across that country gives him the opportunity to see upfront the impact of sound system culture on fans in remote areas.

"Wi play clubs all over in place like Calgary, Winnipeg, Saskatchewan an' Vancouver an' the vibe is always good. Yuh get the biggest crowd in Toronto and Montreal," he said.

Diamond (Robert Reid) got his start as a selector on the small Della Soul set in the Brook Valley area of Duhaney Park where he is from.

After five years, he moved on to the established Skyy Disco, led by Lenworth 'Squeeze' Samuels. In 2001, he joined the Stone Love camp.

Working the sound system beat with Stone Love has taken him around the world. He says reaction to Jamaican music is different on the continents.

"Europe side more into reggae than dancehall though that slowly changing. In Japan, dem like a mixture but dem love the old 'riddim' like Stalag an' Sleng Teng," he explained.

The annual Stone Love anniversary dance takes place at Red Stripe Oval, along Spanish Town Road.

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