Jamaica Observer http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/ JamaicaObserver.com, the most concise and in-depth website for news coverage on Jamaica and the Caribbean. Updated daily 7 days a week, 24 hours a day en-us copyright Jamaica Observer, 2011 Francine James in Vogue http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Francine-James-in-Vogue_19240980 BY BRIAN BONITTO Associate Editor — Auto & Entertainment bonittob@jamaicaobserver.com PULSE model Francine James is featured in next month's issue of German Vogue. A relative newbie to the international circuit, James, 17, moved into the big league this year.<br /> <br /> The 5-ft 9 1/2 inch James took her appearance in the monthly glossy in stride.<br /> <br /> "I have a long way to go. I'm not even halfway towards reaching my goal as yet," she told the Sunday Observer.<br /> <br /> "The Vogue shoot was very exciting. I am always calm where my jobs are concerned, whether big or not. I am mainly interested to see what the shoot would bring out in me," she continued.<br /> <br /> The shoot was conducted by renowned photographers Luigi and Lango while styling was done by Patti Wilson.<br /> <br /> A graduate of Camperdown High School, James is from Manley Meadows in Kingston.<br /> <br /> Pulse Modelling Agency's outgoing CEO and chairman Kingsley Cooper said her inclusion in German Vogue was a "massive" feat.<br /> <br /> "As far as editorials go, this is massive, especially for one just starting in the business. Only a Vogue cover is bigger. Vogue is every model's dream and Francine's success with this assignment, especially with the images as stunning as they are, means that bigger doors will open for her," Cooper told the Observer.<br /> <br /> Jeneil Williams, Lois Samuels and Sedene Blake, Oraine Barrett, Sunna Gottshalk, Lincoln Wynter, Jaunel McKenzie, Nadine Willis and Rochelle Watson have been featured in Vogue.<br /> <br /> The winner of Pulse's Caribbean Model Search in 2013, James was the face of the last Search For The Million Dollar Girl TV show, which aired on TVJ last summer.<br /> <br /> This year, she has appeared in campaigns for 1981, ESPRIT, John Lewis, Vlisco, Ahl&eacute;ns, LNDR, Todd Lyn, Vanessa Steward, Marios Schwab, Faith Connection, Olympia Le-Tan and H&M.<br /> <br /> James said despite the uptick in her career, she tries to remain grounded.<br /> <br /> "It is not to be really famous and up in the spotlight, but to be successful. This might sound weird, but in the process, I do not want to lose my Christianity," she said.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12426878/Francine-James_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Sunday, November 29, 2015 12:00 AM Diocesan concert season begins http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Diocesan-concert-season-begins_19241022 BY BRIAN BONITTO Associate Editor - Auto & Entertainment bonittob@jamaicaobserver.com HANDEL'S Messiah will form the soundtrack for the 90th Anniversary Concert Season of the Diocesan Festival Choir scheduled for the King's House ballroom in Kingston, this evening.<br /> <br /> And the Rt Rev Robert Thompson, chairman of the Diocesan Festival Choir's Management Committee, promises a first-rate presentation.<br /> <br /> "Very few groups in the performing arts have withstood the test of time in the way that the Diocesan Festival Choir has. To have attained 90 years of unbroken service and to have maintained a standard of excellence despite changes in its leadership and also the social context in which the choir performs is a feat by any standard. This concert will feature an outstanding group of singers and musicians, many of whom are accomplished artistes and are highly respected by their peers and by audiences, both in Jamaica and overseas," he told the Sunday Observer.<br /> <br /> A second performance is scheduled for the Kingston Parish Church on December 6. Both will be held under the patronage of the Bishop of Jamaica and The Cayman Islands, Rev Howard Gregory and Mrs Gregory.<br /> <br /> The 44-member multi-denominational choir will be supported by a line-up of soloists and musicians performing under the baton of Geoffrey Shields.<br /> <br /> "This event is not only a fitting tribute to the singers, choir directors and accompanists who have been a part of the history of this choir, it is also necessary to showcase the rich talents of our people, to help promote and sustain choral music as an art form and to inspire future generations of singers," said Bishop Thompson.<br /> <br /> Soloists include noted Jamaican contralto June Thompson-Lawson, along with Angela Blalock (soprano), Jarvis Jett Jr (tenor); and Stephon Miller (bass), all from South Carolina State University. Renowned concert organist Dr Richard Beckford, the choir's regular pianist Ann Trouth, and an orchestra led by Paulette Bellamy, are also on the programme's line-up.<br /> <br /> The season will also help to raise funds for rebuilding the Wortley Home For Girls, which was destroyed by fire in June 2015.<br /> <br /> Messiah, composed in 1741 by German-born George Frideric Handel, is one of the best-known and most performed choral works.<br /> <br /> The oldest choral group in the Caribbean, the Diocesan Festival Choir was formed in 1924 at the initiative of then Bishop of Jamaica, George Frederick Cecil deCarteret, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Diocese of Jamaica.<br /> <br /> A year later, it became a permanent organisation under the baton of George Goode, who was choirmaster and organist at St Michael's and All Angels Church in Kingston.<br /> <br /> Diocesan concert season begins<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12426929/Diocesan-Choir2_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12426932/Bishop-robert-Thompson_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Sunday, November 29, 2015 1:00 AM Ky-Mani moves into Herb Merchandisng http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Ky-Mani-moves-into-Herb-Merchandisng_19240883 KY-MANI Marley will release a line of ganja-based merchandise in early 2016. The singer also has plans to put his own strain on the market.<br /> <br /> "We're going to have vapes, bongs and we are talking to farmers and scientists about developing a strain," the 39-year-old singer told the Sunday Observer.<br /> <br /> A 'strain' refers to a brand of ganja. In the 1990s, hip hop artistes including Snoop Dogg and Cypress Hill famously endorsed the Chronic, a southern California strain which became synonymous with the genre.<br /> <br /> Marley said a more tolerant climate to ganja in Jamaica influenced his decision to launch the products.<br /> <br /> "We are pleased with the movement that is taking place. With all the research on the benefits of Cannabis, it makes sense."<br /> <br /> In April, the Jamaican government announced amendments to its Dangerous Drugs Act. A significant step in the decriminalisation of ganja, it prevents persons with small amounts of the weed from being prosecuted.<br /> <br /> Marley expects his products to be launched in January when he will be on tour.<br /> <br /> -- Howard Campbell<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12426861/Ky-Mani-Marley_2014_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Sunday, November 29, 2015 12:00 AM Frankie Paul gives score http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Frankie-Paul-gives-score-_19241012 Veteran lover's rock singer Frankie Paul will perform at Sting on Boxing Day.<br /> <br /> Paul, who rarely performs in Jamaica, lauded organisers for this year's theme -- From Then Till Now.<br /> <br /> "It's time for a change. Tired of the same thing. We are the original artistes. It feels wonderful to be on it this year as a legend," he told the Sunday Observer.<br /> <br /> Paul is critical of the music's negative direction in recent years.<br /> <br /> "The lyrical content and style have changed. Too much war is in the music now and that is not good. Music is life, music is love, music is peace, music is from the Almighty and we are losing that," he said.<br /> <br /> "They (the artistes) need to slow down. We want conscious music to sing and dance to, music that my grandchildren and great-grandchildren can dance to. Take it slow and make it peaceful," he continued.<br /> <br /> He gave a nod to acts including Romain Virgo, Chris Martin, Aidonia, Vershon and Devin Di Dakta.<br /> <br /> Though born with a vision impairment, Frankie Paul (given name Paul Blake) ruled the 1980s with tracks including Cassanova, Worries In The Dance, I Know The Score and Sarah.<br /> <br /> He plans to release a new album entitled In The Arena.<br /> <br /> Sting will be held at Jamworld Entertainment Complex in Portmore, St Catherine.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12426927/Frankie-paul_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Sunday, November 29, 2015 12:00 AM Walkabout http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Walkabout-_19240812 With Tony Robinson Of moving accidents by flood and field....<br /> <br /> Rough quarries, rocks and hills,<br /> <br /> Whose heads touch Heaven.<br /> <br /> -- Shakespeare, Othello, 1, 3<br /> <br /> ROUGH quarries, rocks and hills, floods and fields, that's exactly what I went through on my most recent walkabout. The term 'walkabout' originated in Australia, where it was actually a rite of passage for young Aborigine men who were required to venture into the Outback and fend for themselves, live off the land for days or weeks, then return as men.<br /> <br /> Sometimes an Aborigine man will simply say to his family, "I'm going for a walkabout", and disappear for weeks. I must be part Aborigine, for my mother used to call me walkbout, street urchin, street arab, nomad, among other things, for I really loved the streets and hated being cooped up.<br /> <br /> It's said that if you imprison an Aborigine he will die, as he cannot stand confinement. Same with me, and big and strong and adventurous as I am, I'm still not very comfortable when riding in an elevator.<br /> <br /> Well, I recently went on a walkabout to end all walkabouts and just have to share the experience with you, right after these responses to 'Fighting demons'.<br /> <br /> Hi Tony,<br /> <br /> The Bible (Matthew 26) says, 'Watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.' We Jamaicans have a similar saying: 'The heart is willing but the flesh is weak', which means exactly the same thing.<br /> <br /> We want to say no to temptation and doing evil deeds, but our bodies may be unable to resist. We know in our hearts that we shouldn't cheat on our spouses, but while you may resist for as long as you can, wanton lust and a lure of sexy, wily women will lead you to temptation. And that is our demon.<br /> <br /> Simon<br /> <br /> Hey Anthony,<br /> <br /> Regarding 'Fighting demons': "Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny." That was a quote by Frank Outlaw that I thought would add to your article.<br /> <br /> Carmen<br /> <br /> Now, I was never one to sit on a couch and have life pass me by. I have visited Africa, petted baby lions and walked the streets of Soweto. I have sailed down the Rhine in Germany, taken a gondola ride in Venice and hopped on a cable car way up in the Swiss Alps. I have strapped on a parachute and gone gliding in Europe, I even visited Shakespeare's house in Stratford on Avon as well as the Vatican in Rome; I have climbed to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.<br /> <br /> I have taken a train ride from Santiago to Havana in Cuba, a journey lasting 15 hours. I have been to the base of Mount Fuji in Japan, climbed our own Blue Mountain Peak, trekked to Cinchona, hiked to Clydesdale and Newcastle, right here in Jamaica.<br /> <br /> I have done stunts for movies; The Mighty Quinn with Denzel Washington, Instinct with Anthony Hopkins, Passion in Paradise where I jumped from a three-storey building with Robert Finzi (Bobby) Smith. I have been fortunate to have done all those things and more.<br /> <br /> I say all this to point out that I really love adventure, and the bug that bit me from a very early age still has its lingering effects on me. My most current adventure was last weekend when I accepted an invitation from Sun Venture Tours to go on a nature hike to a place called Fish Dunn Falls, way up in the mountains of Portland. Not only was I to go on the hike, but I decided to videotape the entire experience. What was I thinking?<br /> <br /> They warned me that it was challenging, but I had no idea what was in store for us. I asked my students in my karate class if any would dare to come along, but only young Romario Cole, a 15-year-old black belt, took up the challenge. A decision he would rue at first, but enjoy later on.<br /> <br /> We left on Saturday afternoon and headed, via the Junction road, to a place called Bangor Ridge, up in the hills of Portland. There we left our vehicles in the village square and trekked up a narrow, precipitous goat track in the dead of night, using our flashlights to guide us, for over a mile, to base camp, Grand Ridge. There we had supper and prepared for the hike the following morning.<br /> <br /> At dawn we set out. We were warned to carry only essentials, two litres of water and light snacks, as any load gets very heavy after a while. Romario begged not to go, as the one-mile trek the previous night to base camp was more than enough for him. But <br /> <br /> after much coaxing and encouragement he decided to go.<br /> <br /> So off we went, led by our trusted and experienced guide, Andy, who told us that the trek through the Mabess Gorge Rainforest would take around nine hours both ways. Now, I have hiked before, even to Blue Mountain Peak as I mentioned, but I had no idea this would be so taxing.<br /> <br /> After two gruelling hours up and down hills and vales that not even mountain goats relish, our guide announced: "Well, the real hike begins now, we have two-and-a-half hours to go." Our hearts sank. Remember, I'm not only weighed down by my backpack, but filming with a video camera as well. Thank heavens for my martial arts training.<br /> <br /> On and on we went. I thought I knew Jamaica, but we trekked through some uncharted rainforest tracks to which only a few people have ever ventured. Some tracks so high, steep and narrow that we dared not look down to the river 80 feet below, and gingerly crawled along single file, not daring to lose footing on the slippery slopes. Plus, some areas were strewn with huge moss-covered boulders that we had to climb over.<br /> <br /> Our guides had cut us some walking sticks which literally saved our lives as they provided great support on the uneven ground. "Just plant the stick in the ground and heave yourself up," they shouted.<br /> <br /> After about the halfway point, we came upon Big Rock, a huge boulder that was dislodged a few years ago by an earth tremor. It measured about 70 feet long, by 50 feet wide and was about 200 feet tall. It was like a huge parking lot. "When it fell, the entire Portland heard it," they said.<br /> <br /> At that point our guides told us, "throw away what water you have left and catch fresh water from the river". OMG, I have never tasted water so pure, so sweet, so cold in my life.<br /> <br /> We trudged on, stumbling, groaning, sweating and labouring like pack mules. After a few hours more, we were told to take off our hiking boots -- oh yes, hiking boots are recommended, not track shoes -- and navigate barefooted through the river to our destination... Fish Dunn Falls. Spectacular.<br /> <br /> A huge waterfall, which is the convergence of seven rivers way up in the mountains, gushing out of the rocks and cascading down hundreds of feet into an icy cold pool which they say is bottomless. Breathtaking, and worth every gruelling, sweat-filled, muscle-aching, bone-jarring step that we made. What an adventure, and not one for the unfit, but such a challenge to mind, body and spirit.<br /> <br /> The place is so remote and difficult to reach that not even the people who live in the district of Bangor Ridge dare to go there. But we made it, and enjoyed that pristine, remote, idyllic area of our beautiful country.<br /> <br /> Now, we had the equally arduous and challenging trek back. If only someone could beam us back to civilisation, Star Trek style, but we had to do what we had to do and made it back with every slow, agonizing step. What an experience, but not for the timid. In fact, the guides told me that not everyone who starts out makes it to the Dunn, as some give up along the way, as it's so challenging. Are you up to it? Let me know.<br /> <br /> More time.<br /> <br /> seido1@hotmail.com<br /> <br /> Footnote: Jamaica has so many beautiful, uncharted places that simply boggle the mind. Tourists come here and explore them, even as Jamaicans hardly even leave the comfort zone of their parish or neighbourhood. These hikes are not for the unfit, as they are physically and emotionally taxing, but the spiritual rewards are great.<br /> <br /> So many of our young people are computer and video game couch potatoes who stay at home getting fat and lazy. I urge you, explore our outdoors, there is so much to see! Put it on your Bucket List. I have done many things in my life, but that Fish Dunn hike was one of the most challenging endeavours that I attempted, not counting black belt promotion tests, of course. Try it, you will love it. Get up off your haunches and do something.<br /> <br /> Walkabout <br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12426936/trob-1129_w300.jpg Local Lifestyle Sunday, November 29, 2015 1:00 AM D'Angel gets branded http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/D-Angel-gets-branded_19240880 DANCEHALL artiste D'Angel was named brand ambassador for Island Blo Bar, a premium styling salon offering quick and affordable styles for the woman on the go.<br /> <br /> The artiste will be required do speaking engagements, promotion and marketing via social media.<br /> <br /> "I am excited to be a brand ambassador for Island Blo Bar. They have amazing products and services, and I am impressed with their quality of work," said D'Angel.<br /> <br /> "Their service is top notch, and of course, easy on the pocket. As Jamaicans we love a good deal, and this is definitely one."<br /> <br /> Jhenelle Jones, GM of Island Blo Bar, said D'Angel was the ideal ambassador.<br /> <br /> "She's an on-the-go artiste and mother who requires a salon that can cater to her hair needs with efficiency," said Jones.<br /> <br /> "She has the charm to light up a room, and to bring out the energy and vibrancy that we reflect in our salon."<br /> <br /> Opened on November 9, Island Blo Bar is located on Old Hope Road in St Andrew.<br /> <br /> D'Angel is known for tracks including Hot Gal Anthem, March Out, and Gimme Di Money, a throwback mid-1990s dancehall vibe.<br /> <br /> D'Angel gets branded<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12424008/DAngel_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Saturday, November 28, 2015 3:00 AM Vickers to awaken Sleeping Beauty http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Vickers-to-awaken-Sleeping-Beauty_19240686 THE stage at the Little Theatre in St Andrew comes alive this weekend with the staging of Sleeping Beauty and other works by the Vickers Dance Studio.<br /> <br /> Head of the studio, Elizabeth, Vickers-Samuda, notes that recitals are very difficult to pull together due to the limited rehearsal hours available to her students. Nevertheless, she has put together what she deems an interesting show set for tomorrow, November 28, and Sunday, November 29.<br /> <br /> "The thing with recitals is that students get very excited and it also helps them with their certification from the Royal Academy of Dance Ballet, which is internationally recognised."<br /> <br /> In addition to Sleeping Beauty, this year's show -- which will be performed by a cast of 220 students -- features a classical ballet piece by Balanchine; <br /> <br /> a Christmas-themed presentation; modern dance pieces choreographed by Marlon Simms and Paul Newman of the National Dance Theatre Company and an excerpt from Paquita.<br /> <br /> Vickers-Samuda maintains that classical ballet training is of critical importance for any dancer and therefore the art form will always remain 'in vogue' for dancers due to its emphasis on technique and form.<br /> <br /> "So many modern dancers still come to me for classes to sharpen their skills. Ballet forms the bottom line and is the basis for a lot of the popular stuff," she said.<br /> <br /> Vickers to awaken Sleeping Beauty<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12424009/Vickers-Dance-Studio2_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Saturday, November 28, 2015 3:00 AM Sky&rsquo;s the limit for OC G http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Sky-s-the-limit-for-OC-G_19240854 SINGJAY OC G aims high with Jupiter, one of several new songs he has on the market.<br /> <br /> Jupiter is produced by John Blacks Records while another track, Jah Jah Guide Me, was done for DJ Sunshine's Fire Starta 'riddim'.<br /> <br /> Both singles were released one week ago.<br /> <br /> While airplay is critical, OC G (born O'Dane Coote) said the visual aspect of promoting a song is just as important.<br /> <br /> "We shot the video (for Jupiter) about two weeks ago. It's currently being edited and should be ready for release next week."<br /> <br /> OC G, who was born in Kingston and raised in Westmoreland, is the lone new artiste on the Fire Starta rhythm. Beenie Man, Mavado, I-Octane and Alkaline all recorded songs on the beat.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12423963/OC-G-2_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Saturday, November 28, 2015 3:00 AM DJ Amber&rsquo;s party tonight http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/DJ-Amber-s-party-tonight_19240867 DJ Amber stages the fifth Party Like It's Your Birthday today at Bourbon Beach in Negril.<br /> <br /> This is the fifth anniversary. Time flies so fast, it seems as if it was just yesterday when I kept the first one. I am so grateful that despite all the struggles my event has continued to grow and I am looking forward to another successful staging," said DJ Amber.<br /> <br /> A number of top selectors will be featured at the event including ZJ Dymond, DJ Rusti, Crazy Neil DJ Odane and DJ Force Ripe.<br /> <br /> There will also be live performances by Iba Mahr, Jah Bouks, Dann I, Jahmiel, Loyal Flames, Zamunda and Twin of Twins.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12423966/DJ-Amber_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Saturday, November 28, 2015 3:00 AM Bashment comes to Greenwich Town http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Bashment-comes-to-Greenwich-Town_19240855 GREENWICH Town Bashment, the first in a series of community-outreach shows, takes place today at Seventh Street and First Avenue in that Kingston community.<br /> <br /> It is a joint venture between the Hunt's Bay Police and Greenwich Town residents to improve law enforcement/resident relations.<br /> <br /> Music industry veteran Tony Mack, who is part of the organising team, said a number of established and homegrown acts will perform.<br /> <br /> They include Ninjaman, Elephant Man, Kip Rich, Danny English, Steve Tulloch, The Informative Historyman, Ras Marlon, and Chi Ching Ching.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12423967/NINJAMAN-2_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Saturday, November 28, 2015 3:00 AM Noville Sal hopes for better times http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Noville-Sal-hopes-for-better-times_19240853 IN 1972, Delroy Wilson recorded Better Must Come, a song lamenting the tough economic and social times in Jamaica. With conditions not much better 43 years later, singer Norville Sal recently covered the track.<br /> <br /> Sal's version is produced by Crown International Productions, operated by brothers Norman and Ansel Owen.<br /> <br /> It is the lead song on their Better Must Come rhythm.<br /> <br /> "It's a great song and mi love how Jamaica accept it. Everybody ah give it full support," said Sal, whose real name is Norville Salmon.<br /> <br /> Sal, who lives in the United States, was born in Kingston one year before Wilson's version was released by producer Bunny Lee.<br /> <br /> He spent his formative years in St Mary but as a teenager, lived in Spanish Town where his interest in music grew.<br /> <br /> "I was inspired by singers like Sanchez and when I got older, I found my own sound," he said.<br /> <br /> The Better Must Come beat was released in October. It also has songs by Luciano, Powerman, Marcia Ball, and a combination featuring DYCR, Lone Ranger and AZ.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12423964/Norville-Sal_1182cleanphoto_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Saturday, November 28, 2015 3:00 AM St Mary's Actor Boy http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/St-Mary-s-Actor-Boy-_19240590 Budding actor/playwright Keron Davis dreams of opening his own production company. At just 19, Davis has written and directed over four plays, his latest titled Money Problem.<br /> <br /> The play debuted at the Annotto Bay Primary School in St Mary last Saturday. It shows at Dover Community Centre in that parish this weekend.<br /> <br /> In an interview with Splash, Davis explained his production's plot.<br /> <br /> "The story is based on a mother who is in a tight spot financially. She finds it difficult to send her child to school but will do just about anything to survive. Finally, she gets a loan from an agency, acquire a visa and went overseas to work. When she return, she didn't repay the agency and that's where the trouble started."<br /> <br /> The production has a cast of six.<br /> <br /> Davis got interested in the arts five years ago. He directed his first production called Disgrace while he was a student at Annotto Bay High, followed by Cross Breed in 2012.<br /> <br /> He took a one-year break to focus on his education but returned to the theatre in 2014 with Mawga Dog.<br /> <br /> A security officer at Marksman Limited, Davis has no formal training as a playwright but was mentored by theatre veteran Paul Obeale and does a lot of research.<br /> <br /> "I am a jack of all trades, I do everything from making the stage to training the cast. I have dreams of attending Edna Manley College to certify my craft. I have the drive so I know that I will be successful, I just need some assistance " he said.<br /> <br /> &mdash; Simone Morgan<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12420243/keron-Davis_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Friday, November 27, 2015 3:00 AM The Morgan heritage takes on Billboard http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/The-Morgan-heritage-takes-on-Billboard_19240795 BY SIMONE MORGAN Observer reporter morgans@jamaicaobserver.com ANOTHER reggae song has made the Billboard charts this year. The latest is Right Time, a collaboration between Jemere Morgan and Chinese pop star Vision, which debuted this week at number five on the website's Hot Singles Sales Chart.<br /> <br /> In an interview with Splash, Morgan &mdash; who is the son of reggae artiste Morgan Heritage's Gramps Morgan and grandson of singer Denroy Morgan &mdash; said he is grateful for the exposure the single has given him.<br /> <br /> "I am thankful to Vision for choosing me for this collaboration. I give thanks for every platform that the record gets recognition from," he said.<br /> <br /> Right Time was released late last month by Jamdiggy Records. Morgan said the link with Vision came when they were introduced through Warren Bloise, a mutual friend.<br /> <br /> "When Vision and I linked, we clicked as good friends, and the music chemistry was there as well. Eventually, it made the record," he said.<br /> <br /> Right Time, according to Jemere, is a "party song about unwinding and just enjoying yourself at a club after a long week of work".<br /> <br /> This is not the first time Morgan's music has made the Billboard charts. In April, the album Strictly Roots by Morgan Heritage topped the Reggae chart; he is featured on So Amazing, one of its tracks.<br /> <br /> Morgan, 21, was born in Brooklyn, New York. He currently lives between Tennessee and Jamaica.<br /> <br /> His biggest musical influence is his father, but he also admires American pop stars Mario and Chris Brown, as well as neo-soul singer IndiaArie and soul legend Otis Redding.<br /> <br /> "I fell in love with music when I went on the Van Warps Tour with Morgan Heritage for seven weeks. Seeing my father and his bandmates perform really inspired me. There I realised that music was the only thing that I wanted to do with my life," he said.<br /> <br /> Jemere Morgan also performed with Morgan Heritage on the Catch a Fire A Tour -- alongside Damian and Stephen Marley and Tarrus Riley -- of the United States in August, and their Strictly Roots European tour in October.<br /> <br /> He is currently working on his EP, Transition, slated to be released in early 2016.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12420941/jemere-morgan-in_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12420240/jemere-2_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Friday, November 27, 2015 1:00 AM All set for Major Lazer http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/All-set-for-Major-Lazer_19240695 Anticipation is growing for the fourth Electronic Dance Music (EDM) event, Major Lazer + Friends LIVE, which will be held December 18 at Mas Camp in Kingston.<br /> <br /> For the second straight year, EDM maestros Major Lazer will headline the event which is promoted by Kamal Bankay.<br /> <br /> "This year the Early Bird tickets sold out in five days which is phenomenal. I think the public is looking forward to the event. I'm promising an amazing production and amazing lineup," Bankay told Splash.<br /> <br /> Last year, the event featured some of the biggest names in EDM such as Skrillex and DJ Snake along with British band Rudimental. Other performers were soca star Machael Montano, Popcaan, Sean Paul and Chi Ching Ching.<br /> <br /> The sound had another outstanding year. Skrillex produced Sorry, a dancehall-tinged song by Justin Beiber which went number one on the Billboard pop chart this month.<br /> <br /> EDM is one of the most popular genres in contemporary music. Initially big in clubs, it has ruled charts in North America and Europe in the last five years.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12420293/major-lazer_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Friday, November 27, 2015 2:00 AM DownSound looks &lsquo;Farr Out&rsquo; http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/DownSound-looks--Farr-Out-_19240724 DOWNSOUND Records has released a new rhythm Farr Out, which features in the work of a number of dancehall artistes.<br /> <br /> According to producer Cordel 'Skatta' Burrell, he and the DownSound team found an opportunity to put some real vibes back into the dancehall with a high-energy rhythm that the streets can relate to.<br /> <br /> The rhythm features Vybz Kartel with How Mi Grow, Ishawna's Long Fingernail, Weh Dat Aguh by Chi Ching Ching and Harry Toddler's Use To.<br /> <br /> Last week, the set was abuzz with glitz, glamour and music with the making of the video directed by Josef Bogdanovich, DownSound's principal. He explained the medley is one of 50 videos produced locally.<br /> <br /> "The video is fashion driven and you will see Ishawna with a brand new look. The video also highlights some of the real social issues confronting this country, like when Kartel says 'poverty is a prison' and more importantly, bun di devil, Jah totally'," said Bogdanovich.<br /> <br /> Deejay Ishawna labels her boss as a perfectionist.<br /> <br /> "It is great working with Joe as he always has a vision for what works well; he certainly is a perfectionist, spontaneous and he knows what he wants," she said.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12420254/Ishawna_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Friday, November 27, 2015 1:00 AM Serani sings for the ladies http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Serani-sings-for-the-ladies_19240699 Off the scene for more than a year, Serani returns with a song dedicated to the ladies.<br /> <br /> The self-produced single, Wait Till I Touch You, is released on the singer's Rockstone Media label.<br /> <br /> "My motivation for this song was directly based on turning on all females. I wanted it to be used by men as a song that can speak for them if they don't know how to get their point across" Serani told Splash.<br /> <br /> Wait Till I Touch You was released this month. It is from Serani's Fun Summer mixtape.<br /> <br /> After the year-long lull, he sees 2016 as the year to release new singles and juggling projects from Rockstone Media.<br /> <br /> "I have been focusing on the production aspect with a few juggling projects set to be released next year including a project with Spice," said Serani.<br /> <br /> In 2008, he had a hit single with No Games, which not only topped local charts but debuted at number 55 on Billboard's R&B/Hip Hop Chart.<br /> <br /> &mdash; Simone Morgan<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12420244/Serani-photo-3_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Friday, November 27, 2015 1:00 AM Looking Back: Vegas the road warrior http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Looking-Back-Vegas-the-road-warrior_19240591 THOUGH his seventh album, Lovers Rock And Soul was released in October, much of 2015 saw Mr Vegas on the road.<br /> <br /> The 42-year-old singjay toured Europe and North America with artistes from his MV label, including Latty J and Natel.<br /> <br /> While he has been in the music business for over 20 years, Vegas is still being educated.<br /> <br /> "It has been a very interesting year. I learned a lot more about the industry.<br /> <br /> You can either let the challenges get the better of you or welcome the challenges," he said.<br /> <br /> His main objective was to find a new audience.<br /> <br /> "I had to step away from the core dancehall and find ways to stay relevant. Releasing Lovers Rock And Soul did just that for me," he said.<br /> <br /> Lovers Rock And Soul was a cover set with songs done to classic dancehall beats such as the Queen Majesty and General.<br /> <br /> Alton Ellis' Girl I've Got a Date, Jon B and Babyface's Someone to Love and Say Amen by Howard Hewett are some of the songs Vegas put his spin on.<br /> <br /> The album was co-produced by Vegas and Cleveland 'Clevie' Browne.<br /> <br /> The One Love Festival in Venice, Lagata Reggae Festival in Zaragoza, Spain and Reggae Jam Festival in Bersenbruck, Germany were some of the major events at which Mr Vegas performed this year.<br /> <br /> Looking Back <br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12420258/Mr-Vegas-6_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Friday, November 27, 2015 2:00 AM BOOM Dance Battle goes on the road http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/BOOM-Dance-Battle-goes-on-the-road_19240627 HOT off the success of the dance crew clash, Badda Dan -- The Ultimate Dance Battle, energy drink BOOM will be including the competition as part of their annual all-island road show.<br /> <br /> For the past three years, BOOM's road show sought to attract up-and-coming artistes who would vie for a chance to win $100,000. This year, however, the team decided to change the focus and take the battle on an all-island tour. The move would assist with plans to reach and recruit more dance crews islandwide, and increase the entrants' base for the grand finale slated for July 2016.<br /> <br /> "Similarly to our weekly clashes at Skateland in Half-Way-Tree, we will be taking it to the streets in every parish and town that the road show stops at," said Kimberly Lawson, brand manager for the energy drink.<br /> <br /> "Plans have been going very well already. We've already sought out a number of dance crews who are excited for the opportunity to showcase their battling skills. In addition to winning $10,000 on spot, each winning crew will automatically qualify to be a part of the final clash next July where they will have a chance to claim the top prize of US$10,000."<br /> <br /> The road show, which will kick off on December 3 in Montego Bay, will be hosted by Chi Ching Ching and will feature guest artistes including Tifa, Vanessa Bling, Omari, Ikaya and Mr Lexx. The final show at Skateland Half-Way-Tree on Christmas Eve will feature Popcaan and Sizzla Kalonji.<br /> <br /> goes on the road<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12420388/Tifa-photo-3_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12420371/Popcaan_236_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12420340/Chi-Ching-Ching_0198_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Friday, November 27, 2015 2:00 AM Richie Spice for MoBay unplugged series http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Richie-Spice-for-MoBay-unplugged-series_19240763 REGGAE singer Richie Spice will be the guest artiste at We Are Reggae monthly series at Doctors Cave Beach in Montego Bay, tomorrow night.<br /> <br /> "Once again, We Are Reggae presents the best of the reggae/dancehall genre. Our We Are Reggae loyalist are being treated to the best in the business. The intimacy, up-close and unplugged atmosphere creates the ambience of home. This is an experience that we want everyone to share. Staging this awe-inspiring event at the renowned Doctors Cave Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world further adds to the remarkable We Are Reggae experience," said Peter Lloyd, co-organiser.<br /> <br /> Richie Spice -- a sibling of the famous Bonner brothers, which includes Spanner Banner, Snatcha Lion and Pliers -- exploded on the reggae industry scene in 2000 with his monster track Earth A Run Red. A succession of hits followed including Grooving My Girl, The Plane Land, Marijuana, Youths Dem Cold, and Brown Skin.<br /> <br /> Richie Spice for MoBay unplugged series<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12420397/Richie-Spice_2385_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Friday, November 27, 2015 2:00 AM Go back to the roots http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Go-back-to-the-roots_19240628 Go back to the roots VETERAN sound system selector Ricky Trooper says too much of contemporary dancehall sounds like hip hop and rhythm and blues. He is urging artistes and producers to return to the roots of drum and bass.<br /> <br /> Trooper, whose real name is Garfield McKoy, made the comments at the Jamaica Music Conference last Sunday at the University of the West Indies, Mona.<br /> <br /> "The state weh di music is in right now, 95 per cent of weh dem a produce is rubbish. Many of the artistes dem weh seh dem a run di place with a bag of noise is not Jamaican music they are into... A music weh nuh come out of Jamaica; rap and R&B," Trooper insisted.<br /> <br /> Many dancehall acts, keen to break into the North American market, have fused their sound with hip hop. Some have had success.<br /> <br /> Trooper was part of the panel, "Reaching The People: The Direct to Consumer Relationship", on closing day of the three-day conference.<br /> <br /> He also said the sound system, critical to the development of Jamaican music, does not get the respect it deserves.<br /> <br /> "The sound system culture to me was the beginning of Jamaican music. That was how Ska was born...We have more than 1,000 active sound systems in Jamaica an' a lot of the sound systems are making the young people's voice be heard out there. The sound systems deserve a little more respect. After all the festivals are over, the sound systems never over," Trooper declared.<br /> <br /> -- Basil Walters<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12420269/Ricky-Trooper_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Friday, November 27, 2015 2:00 AM Things look bright for Kapri&rsquo;s Dark Glass http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Things-look-bright-for-Kapri-s-Dark-Glass_19240635 DEEJAY Kapri takes a look at the 'gangsta' life on his new song, Dark Glass, which is produced by Rohan 'Jah Snow Cone' Fuller.<br /> <br /> According to Kapri, Dark Glass is "a tale about the gangsta who doesn't really know how to be a true gangsta...It is not bigging up thug life or anything. If you listen to the lyrics, you will see that some of it is actually comical".<br /> <br /> Dark Glass is Kapri's strongest statement since he burst on the scene in 2008 with the single Dear Mama produced by Sean 'Seanizzle' Reid. That song made Chris Gold Finger's UK Chart and received strong airplay in the Cayman Islands.<br /> <br /> Dwayne Wallace (Kapri's real name) is from Pembroke Hall in Kingston. He was encouraged by family and friends, who saw his ability, to become an artiste.<br /> <br /> One of those friends was Reid, who is also from Pembroke Hall. He introduced Kapri to producer/artiste Mr G, who placed him in a talent competition called Battle Thursdays, which Kapri won twice.<br /> <br /> Fuller believes Kapri -- who is managed by Clayton Thomas of Massive Entertainment Group and Samuel 'Bossie' Doman -- has the goods to make it big.<br /> <br /> "He has some mad, crazy lyrics, he takes command of the 'riddim' and has a great image. Most important of all, his attitude is right," said Fuller, who produced Sean Paul's Billboard number one single, Temperature.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12420249/kapri_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Friday, November 27, 2015 1:00 AM Ffrench releases debut single http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Ffrench-releases-debut-single-_19240667 Deejay Ffrench has released her debut single, Hot Gal Luxury, which is produced by Dirtworx Records. The deejay gained a strong following after finishing runner-up in the Magnum Queen of the Dancehall competition in February.<br /> <br /> "The song is basically saying that women are not settling for anything less if men are not in a position to take care of certain things," she said.<br /> <br /> French credits 'Magnum' for building her confidence.<br /> <br /> "My journey in the competition was hard and nerve-wracking. It was also challenging but a bit of fun at times and it was for the best. Like any other young artiste, I entered to get the exposure because I have a passion for music."<br /> <br /> The 22-year-old artiste is originally from the Crescent Road area of Kingston but grew up in Drewsland, Waterhouse.<br /> <br /> -- Kevin Jackson<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12420246/Ffrench-photo_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Friday, November 27, 2015 2:00 AM No worries for Oscar B http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/No-worries-for-Oscar-B_19240718 By Kevin Jackson Observer Writer Soca star Oscar B, who sang with Byron Lee and the Dragonaires for a number of years, has a new song out called Doh Worry Bout Dat. It features the Vibes Band and Ziggy Ranking.<br /> <br /> The Tobago-born artiste has big plans for the song at next year's Trinidad Carnival.<br /> <br /> Born Oscar Benjamin, the burly singer has been recording and performing professionally for 25 years. In addition to the Dragonaires, he sang with the Star Flash, Black Sheep and Blue Ventures bands.<br /> <br /> While with the Dragonaires, Oscar B sang lead on hit songs such as Soca Tatie and Soca Butterfly.<br /> <br /> These days, Oscar B fronts the T&TEC Gaytones.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12420241/Oscar-B-photo_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Friday, November 27, 2015 1:00 AM Movie and mingle for moms http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Movie-and-mingle-for-moms_19240779 The third staging of the Muminar series changes format with what is being called Moms' Night Out -- Movie, Mingle, Memories, to be held at Devon House this Saturday beginning at 6:00pm.<br /> <br /> "The evening will include some very unique offerings from the sponsors to ensure that the moms experience a well-deserved 'Night Out, or better yet Night off' from their regular mummy routines," expressed Tamiann Young, founder of the series.<br /> <br /> The night promises to bring loads of excitement for the moms who plan to attend 'Moms Night Out', they will be in for a treat with a movie, complementary mini massages and facials, a make-up bar; also a mom will win a complementary makeover. There will be discounts and giveaways from sponsors, and exciting setup like the Select Brands wine bar, Lasco shake bar, Cranwata refresher bar, gourmet hotdogs by Grace Hotdog King, and popcorn courtesy of Act 11 to name a few.<br /> <br /> In addition to the exciting activities planned, moms will also be able participate in an interactive panel discussion with Senator Imani Duncan Price; Dr Kai Morgan, clinical psychologist; and Young Mummy Diaries founder, Tamiann Young, as they look at the importance of mothers taking time off for themselves, and the benefits to be had from practices geared at rejuvenating and restoring mind, body and soul.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12420291/Devon-House_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Friday, November 27, 2015 2:00 AM Spookie ready to Sting http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Spookie-ready-to-Sting_19240668 Still on a high from the success of the single Hurt it Up, singjay Spookie is ready for his biggest assignment &mdash; an appearance on Sting.<br /> <br /> The England-based artiste is looking forward to the Boxing Day show, arguably the toughest gig in dancehall.<br /> <br /> "It is a great feeling to be in the lineup for Sting as I have wished devoutly since the start of my career to be on The Greatest One Night Reggae and Dancehall Show on Earth!" He exclaimed. "It gives me a sense of great achievement."<br /> <br /> Born Jason White, Spookie had a strong 2015 with songs such as Nah Sell Out, Nuh Try Test and Nuh Fault Wid Yuh.<br /> <br /> He grew up in the Tower Hill community of Kingston before relocating to England a few years ago. A former student of Mount Carmel Academy, one of his earliest songs was Hurt it Up, released one year ago.<br /> <br /> -- KJ<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12420247/Spookie-photo_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Friday, November 27, 2015 2:00 AM