Entertainment

Ms BBC does it for reggae

Monday, July 15, 2019

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Though it has not produced as many stars as New York and Los Angeles, the industrial city of Cleveland, Ohio is home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. However, for hometown singer Ms BBC, reggae is the beat that gets her going.

A regular on the Cleveland reggae scene, she released the self-produced Bump, Whine N Grind, on July 7. The song features her harmony duo, Conscious Eye.

“We have a lot of amazing reggae artistes and dancehall selectors in Cleveland on all levels. But, Cleveland, Ohio, is really a rock and roll town,” Ms BBC said in a recent interview with the Jamaica Observer. “Our small reggae community is so massive, it overflows into it all.”

She has opened for top acts like Etana and Tanya Stephens when they perform in Cleveland. Most of her appearances are at reggae joints like Grog Shop, Music Box, and Engel's.

Initially into hardcore dancehall, Ms BBC released songs such as Billion Dollar and Big Body Chick, but her direction took a different course in the last three years.

“I wanted to change my vibe. Reggae is a great influence to my sound because it is emotional, no matter what you are feeling or what you're going through you can connect,” she said. “The thing about reggae, you're either going to love it or you're going to hate it, there's no in-between.”

Ms BBC was born Chryst Duden in Cleveland to a Jamaican father and American mother. In high school, she listened to blues, R&B and gospel, but later developed an appreciation for dancehall and reggae.

One of her biggest influences is the outspoken Tanya Stephens.

“She just has a certain type of sisterhood power that inspires me. I remember when I first met her in Cleveland, opening for her at my Reggae 4 Heart event in 2017. Her song (It's A Pity) has actually been my ringtone since I can remember. I never change it because it was one of the songs that got me through a very tough time in my life,” Ms BBC explained.

She already has a follow-up to Bump, Whine N Grind — the patriotic I Wish I Was Born in Jamaica. That song was inspired by her trip to Kingston in March to visit family.

— Howard Campbell


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