Olando Graham unearths talents

Olando Graham unearths talents

By Howard Campbell
Observer senior writer

Tuesday, August 04, 2020

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Though he has called Bermuda home for more than 10 years, Olando Graham keeps tabs on the music scene in Jamaica. Recently, he staged the Topchef Records Online Artiste 2020 Competition which was dominated by Jamaican acts.

OMF Onez, a quartet from West Kingston, won the inaugural contest which ran from May 28-June 30. Apple and Prince Sal, from Portland and St Thomas, were second and third, respectively.

The 38-year-old Graham, who lives in Devonshire, western Bermuda, said the competition attracted over 100 acts from across the Caribbean, North America and Africa.

Placings were decided by “likes and comments”.

It is the biggest project to date for his fledgling company.

“There was a space and need for it at the time as everyone was on lockdown due to the (coronavirus) pandemic and social media became the new recreational/hot spot. And as a new record company what better way to introduce my brand/Topchef Records, seek talents, promote my artiste Hxrta Rdi and give back,” Graham told the Jamaica Observer.

Born in Macca Tree district, St Catherine, Graham grew up in Portmore where he first got involved in music, promoting dances. His culinary skills took him to Bermuda which he says has a happening reggae scene.

“Bermuda is a music place, dances and round robins keep like every weekend. Most Jamaican acts have performed here. Buju Banton, Romain Virgo and Agent Sasco had a show before the pandemic. The Jamaican dancehall community is strong in Bermuda and older Bermudians they love reggae music; Luciano and Beres Hammond are the favourites. Luciano comes here like two to four times a year,” said Graham.

He launched Topchef Records one year ago to help expose budding artistes in Bermuda and Jamaica.

OMF Onez were awarded $50,000 for their victory. The presentation took place early this month at Suncity 104.9 FM in Portmore.

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