Music

Shaggy reflects on concerts past

Sunday, December 31, 2017

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With days to go before the sixth staging of the charity fund-raiser Shaggy and Friends, the man behind the biennial event is reflecting on some of the moments which have stood out for him over the years.

Grammy-winning reggae act Shaggy, who conceptualised the concert in 2009, is looking forward to the upcoming event set for this Saturday, January 6 on the lawns of Jamaica House in St Andrew. The event will raise funds specifically for the intensive care unit at the perennial beneficiary — the Bustamante Hospital for Children, Jamaica''s lone paediatric hospital.

For Shaggy, the performance given by ace deejay Buju Banton on the very first concert will always stay with him.

“I would have to say Buju at our first Shaggy and Friends. I can't remember where I was, but I just felt somebody touch me on my shoulder and said (imitating Buju's voice) 'Burrell tell the band to make sure dem rehearse Driver,' and he walked away in true Buju fashion. There was no conversation, nothing, he just told me that and I knew what I needed to do. Of course; it was more than just Driver, he gave a full performance. That was special for me... especially how we are coming down to his release... it was really one of those special moments.”

However Shaggy's favourite overall show was the 2014 staging, which was the first local performance by Tessanne Chin after winning the American televised talent show The Voice.

It was an emotional year for me because I was so involved in her journey on The Voice. Having her come back to give the first concert was awesome. Having her here for Shaggy and Friends and seeing the numbers which came out to see her was really emotional. That was the largest concert we've had. I remember walking out into the general area and people were packed tight... there was nowhere to move, everybody wanted to be part of the experience and the show went on without a hitch. Ne-Yo also gave a great performance as well as every artiste... that show really stands out for me,” Shaggy recalled.

That year the line-up included Ne-Yo, Sean Paul, Matthew Schuler, Damian “Junior Gong” Marley, Carlene Davis, and Tarrus Riley.

But alongside the great memories, there are some he would rather forget. The Boombastic singer fingered the appearance by American singer Lauryn Hill on the show in 2012 as being unforgettable for all the wrong reasons.

“She landed here in Jamaica and she did not want to do any interviews, she did not want to meet anybody. We brought Lauryn here and and the only time I saw her was when she was on stage... we never met. Then she took about two hours to get on stage and the whole drama with the sound. The sponsors who actually brought her in, Lime at the time — that was their entry into Shaggy and Friends... they couldn't even get a photography with her... wasn't a pleasant year at all,” he said.

Among the acts confirmed for Shaggy & Friends 2018 are Sting, Wyclef Jean, Fetty Wap, Bunji Garlin and Fay-Ann Lyons, Christopher Martin, Aidonia, Dexta Daps, Junior Reid, Shenseea, Barrington Levy, Third World, Chaka Demus and Pliers, Capleton, Professor Nuts, and Wayne Wonder.

— Richard Johnson

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