Dexta takes Sunsplash final night


Dexta takes Sunsplash final night

Observer senior reporter

Monday, November 30, 2020

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The second night of Reggae Sunsplash, the virtual edition, belonged to Dexta Daps. The singer, known for his smooth vocals and provocative lyrics, delivered another of his signature performances on the final night of the festival which returned to the local entertainment calendar after a 14-year hiatus.

He was the final of the five acts for the night and for one hour, Dexta Daps, who has his roots in the inner-city community of Seaview Gardens in St Andrew, performed his way into the psyche of his virtual audience, evoking a flood of reactions and comments on the festival's YouTube platform. He drew from his impressive catalogue showcasing the popular and the not so well-known in a tight, entertaining set.

The playlist for this particular performance included Twinkle, his break-out hit 7 Eleven, Chinese Jordan, Miss You, The Owna, Flight Mode, Blessings featuring deejay Masicka, Shabba Modda Pot, Breaking News and No Underwear which lead to some racy comments from the females in the online audience.

After clocking an hour on the stage, the organisers would not let Dexta Daps go. Host for the evening, Talia Soares, called him back for an encore with more than 7,000 watching the live stream. He dropped his take on Let Me Love You by American R&B artiste Mario, and rounded things out with Call Me If which samples the 90s hit Gangalee by Louie Culture.

Like the previous night's performances, Saturday's showcase began slowly. Opening act Jesse Royal was not as impressive as he has been in the past. This firebrand artiste, who is part of the reggae revival, did not have the spark, and by the time he could have warmed up his audience his 20-minute set ended. He did drop his well-known tracks such as Modern Day Judas and Natty Pablo, then teased with the opening lines of his weed anthem Finally, and sang the uplifting More Than You Receive, which he dedicated to incarcerated deejay Vybz Kartel, but failed to reach the heights he has in the past.

It was, therefore, up to singer Romain Virgo to lift the spirits in the room, and this he did.

The viewership figures began to rise once the young man from Stepney in St Ann took the microphone. Again, he thrilled his audience with his deep arsenal of hits. Waste Man, Fade Away, Rich In Love, Who Feels it and Can't Sleep were among the tracks he shared with the audience, and they loved every minute of his set.

The next two acts, Agent Sasco and Masicka, represented for dancehall and did it well.

Agent Sasco was able to whip up his audience early in the performance causing a hail of fire and diamond emojis to decorate the live stream. His set, too, was complete with favourites, including Winning Now, Loco, Fade Away and Banks of the Hope.

Masicka delighted the younger demographic and the crocodile emoji dominated the platform during his set, a tribute to his moniker Wild Crocodile. His set included performances of Hard Ball, They Don't Know, 10 outta 10, and Blessing.

While the first night was dogged by technical gaffs, the organisers clearly made amends on night two as the performances flowed for the most part. The producers, lighting and sound staff can all take a bow for what was a sound production.

The return of Reggae Sunsplash augers well for the local entertainment sector. For the future, one can see the potential benefits of having another first-class music festival, not only for the artistes and musicians, but other areas such as tourism and hospitality, and the local economy.

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