Music

Sound Splash looks to the east

BY HOWARD CAMPBELL
Observer senior writer

Thursday, April 25, 2019

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Years ago, the budding reggae artiste looked forward to dances where he/she would possibly get a chance to 'hold the mic' or hand the sound system selector a copy of their latest 'chune'. Promoters of Portland Reggae Sound Splash hope to revive that vibe on May 18 at Innis Bay Beach Club in that parish.

Singer Paul “Natty Pablo” McKenzie is co-promoter of the event which features Bass Odyssey and Metro Media sound systems, as well as Ilawi of Jah Love fame, and Japanese selectors DJ Yumi and Emperor Hill.

Natty Pablo said Innis Bay Beach Club, located near the St Thomas/Portland border, was a strategic selection.

“The east short of shows, places like St Thomas and Portland, so we thought that venue would be ideal. My grandparents are from St Thomas so dat mek it extra special,” he said.

“We” also includes deejay/producer Tappa Zukie and veteran session guitarist Earl “Chinna” Smith. Natty Pablo and Tappa Zukie are involved in projects with Smith's Nyahbinghi group, Binghistra.

Show promotion is not new to Natty Pablo, who hails from Franklyn Town in east Kingston. He previously staged Coronation Celebration in Vineyard Town, and held dances in St Mary featuring the Stur Gav sound system.

His career started in the early 1980s as a deejay with area 'sounds' like Qualitex, Soul Express and Stereophonic, before moving to the more established Arrows International and Stur Gav. Stereophonic, which was based in Rockfort, released All Time Lover, Natty Pablo's first song in 1985, on their label.

Over the years, he has recorded songs for producers including Smith, Sly and Robbie, Philip “Fatis” Burell, Bunny Wailer's Solomonic Records and Indie Records, a label from Edmonton, Canada.

Natty Pablo credits his time with sound systems for helping him develop as a live and recording artiste.

“Wi use di soun' fi hone wi skills an' keep sharp so when recording time come wi jus' go inna di studio an' do it one time 'cause yuh couldn't mek mistake. It also keep yuh witty, yuh always have something fresh 'cause yuh create something on di spot,” he said.

Natty Pablo is currently recording his second album, produced by Smith. His first album, Good Friends, was produced by percussionist Harry “Harry T” Powell.

Sound system giants Peter Metro, Josey Wales, General Trees, Little John, Tony Tuff and Danny Dread will perform at Portland Reggae Sound Splash. Bush Man, Luciano and Sizzla are special guests.


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