Weddy Weddy comes of age

By Howard Campbell
Observer senior writer

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

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Considered by some dancehall pundits as the genre's godfather, Winston “Wee Pow” Powell celebrates another milestone this evening with 15 years of Weddy Weddy, the weekly dance that has helped expose upcoming artistes and sound system selectors.

The event takes place at Stone Love headquarters, Burlington Avenue in Kingston, where Weddy Weddy's first songs were played in 2005.

“It's a significant event, it shows di world dat Stone Love is still current an' keeping acquainted with what's going on. Most of all, wi giving di people good, clean music,” Powell told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.

Powell and deejay Elephant Man, whose office was on the Stone Love compound, are conceptualisers of Weddy Weddy. Powell said Passa Passa, a West Kingston dance which started in 2003, was the main motivation for him launching the uptown version of that event.

He believes Weddy Weddy's greatest achievement has been breaking songs from emerging artistes, which was one of the objectives of early sound systems.

“Wi give di younger artistes a chance to play an' hear their songs, which they couldn't get on radio. They can play an' hear dem song same time,” Powell stated.

The best known beneficiary of this real time 'bus' is Mavado, who was one of the first artistes to make a mark at Weddy Weddy. Selectors such as Richie Feelings and Boom Boom also got their break there.

The Manchester-born Powell is best known as the patriarch of Stone Love, arguably the most successful sound system. He started it in 1972 and developed it from a house party 'set' to a dancehall powerhouse in the 1990s.

Stone Love has played throughout North America, Europe and Japan. It also achieved success as a label, releasing hit songs by Sanchez (Falling in Love), Tony Curtis (Love Should Have Brought you Home) and Hands in The Air by Spragga Benz.

For his contribution to the development of Jamaican music, Powell was awarded the Order of Distinction by the Jamaican government in 2014.


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