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 Euphoria for Mustard Seed http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Euphoria-for-Mustard-Seed_18020622 BY KEVIN JACKSON Observer Writer A 2006 visit to the Mustard Seed Communities organisation in downtown Kingston prompted dancehall artiste Mr Vegas to reach out to the needy. Eight years later, he has launched Euphoria, a charity event scheduled to take place December 14 at LIME Golf Academy in Kingston.<br /> <br /> The singjay, best known for songs like Heads High and Sweet Jamaica, launched his initiative on Tuesday at Usain Bolt's Tracks & Records.<br /> <br /> Vegas, Freddie McGregor, Leroy Sibbles, gospel singer Kevin Downswell, Christopher Martin, Ernie Smith and Romain Virgo are the Jamaican acts scheduled to perform. American rhythm and blues singers Karyn White (best known for the hits Superwoman, Can I Stay With You, I'd Rather Be Alone, Secret Rendezvous and Love Saw It, and Pauli Carmen, lead singer of the group Champaign (hits include Try Again, How 'Bout Us, and Next Time) are also billed.<br /> <br /> Vegas recalled his emotional visit eight years ago.<br /> <br /> "When I saw the children living with HIV and the special needs children, it really touched a place in my heart. When I heard about the need they have for food, I began to give them support," he said. "This time, I decided since it's Christmas, why not get them food instead of toys?"<br /> <br /> Vegas's goal is to raise enough food and funds to provide three meals daily for the children at the seven communities run by the non-profit organisation.<br /> <br /> "We are pleased to partner with the Mustard Seed Communities for this food drive. It is difficult for the organisation to provide for so many children, with their other additional costs," he added. "We want to ensure the children get proper nourishment, especially those who are on medication, so we are happy to contribute to this great cause."<br /> <br /> Although proceeds from the event will go to Mustard Seed Communities, persons are also encouraged to donate non-perishable items in drums at Mega Mart locations islandwide, as well as at Joong Supermarkets, and General Foods in Ocho Rios and Kingston.<br /> <br /> This weekend, a number of Vegas's friends will participate in 'celebrity packing' at General Foods in Ocho Rios and Kingston.<br /> <br /> Commenting on the Euphoria concert, Vegas said fans can expect "a lot of quality entertainment".<br /> <br /> Tickets are available at Fontana Pharmacy, Xtra's Manor Park, Liguanea Drug & Garden Centre, Genus Pharmacy, Ocho Rios Jerk Centre, and D'Rehab Sports Bar & Grill.<br /> <br /> Following the launch of Euphoria, Vegas and members of his MV Music camp, singjay Latty J and singer Natel gave rousing performances in the latest edition of the popular Behind the Screens series.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11282070/DSC_6332-cropped_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11282069/DSC_6336_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Thursday, November 27, 2014 3:00 AM The man behind Silk's songs http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/The-man-behind-Silk-s-songs_18020629 The Jamaica Observer continues its 20-part series, 20 Days of Silk, which looks at the life of roots singer Garnet Silk. Next month marks 20 years since his death.<br /> <br /> IN terms of mainstream acceptance, Garnet Silk had a brief career, but he produced a number of hit songs from 1992-94. Several of them he co-wrote with Anthony Rochester.<br /> <br /> Now 49, Rochester lives in Atlanta, Georgia, and is still involved in the music business as a writer and producer with artistes such as Kashief Lindo and Jahmali. He says Silk, whom he describes as a "brother from another mother", was the most talented act he knew.<br /> <br /> "Our friendship was awesome. Garnet was my moral compass as I was for him," Rochester told the Jamaica Observer. "He brought out the best in me, and I am thankful to have had him in my life."<br /> <br /> Rochester and Silk co-wrote hit songs like It's Growing, Fill Us up With Your Mercy, The Rod and Oh Me, Oh My. Rochester wrote A Place in Your Heart and Blessed Be The Almighty, which were also hits for the Manchester-born vocalist.<br /> <br /> Born in Kingston, Rochester grew up in the Pembroke Hall area where he first met Silk in the late 1980s. They were introduced to each other by Silk's close friend, deejay Tony Rebel, who was also a Pembroke Hall resident at the time.<br /> <br /> A past student of St George's College, Rochester was influenced to get into music by his father, a pianist who was big into jazz and Rhythm and Blues. He had an immediate connection with Rebel and Silk who were deep into the Rastafarian faith.<br /> <br /> The Silk/Rochester team clicked and rarely missed the charts. Produced by Bobby Digital, It's Growing was a mainstream hit that helped solidify the singer's emergence as a mainstream force.<br /> <br /> Fill Us up With Your Mercy and The Rod reflected their deep-rooted spirituality.<br /> <br /> Silk was recording an album for Atlantic Records when he and his mother Etiga Gray were killed on December 9, 1994 in a fire at her home in Manchester.<br /> <br /> Rochester was in the United States at the time of the tragedy.<br /> <br /> "I was in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I got the call from a friend who told me that Garnet had passed away," he recalled. "After hanging up from that call, I called (singer) Utan Green, who confirmed that it was true. My world turned upside down, it was one of the most painful experiences I had been through."<br /> <br /> Though he took a break from music after Silk's death, Rochester returned to the scene by working with Lindo and Jahmali. He is currently working on the latter's EP for his (Rochester) A'Dis Music label.<br /> <br /> Rochester is also producing an album for deejay Natty Remo and plans to collaborate with Silk's son, Garnet Jnr, on a similar project.<br /> <br /> -- Howard Campbell<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> The man behind Silk's songs<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11282038/Anthony-Rochester_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Thursday, November 27, 2014 3:00 AM The Voice lets go Anita Antoinette http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/The-Voice-lets-go-Anita-Antoinette_18020647 Jamaican singer Anita Antoinette Fearon's journey on The Voice came to an end Tuesday. She was eliminated in the Top 10 stage of the popular NBC talent contest.<br /> <br /> She performed a reggae version of British singer Passenger's Let Her Go which failed to impress voters and judges.<br /> <br /> Fearon had advanced on the strength of heartfelt renditions of Marley's Redemption Song. Raised in Duhaney Park, she is the daughter of respected bassist/singer Clinton Fearon, a founder of reggae band The Gladiators.<br /> <br /> She made her first appearance on The Voice on September 29. The 24-year-old, who lives in Connecticut, made it through the knockoff rounds with interpretations of Marley's Turn Your Lights Down Low, Magic's Rude and Redemption Song.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11282068/anita-antoinette-1024_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Thursday, November 27, 2014 3:00 AM Rio music festival to rock Negril http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Rio-music-festival-to-rock-Negril_18020394 BY MARK CUMMINGS Editor-at-Large, Western Bureau cummingsm@jamaicaobserver.com SAVANNA-LA-MAR, Westmoreland &mdash; Plans are well advanced for this year's staging of Rio Electric Butterfly Music Festival (EBMF) set for the beautiful Chances Beach on Negril's seven-mile stretch, on Saturday, December 20.<br /> <br /> The much-anticipated event &mdash; now in its second year and which is being staged by Stardust Entertainment in association with Charley's JB Rum &mdash; will be held under the theme: 'Beyond the Bright Lights'.<br /> <br /> "The Electric Butterfly Music Festival promises to be an electric mix of musical talents showing the finest DJs from all over the world and this year we have raised the bar a notch by bringing onto the shores of Jamaica for the first time EDM superstar DJ from Poland Tom Swoon and Ken Lois out of San Francisco. Also, making an appearance on the festival are dancehall heavy hitters Black Chiney and Dutty Dex from Miami," Stardust Entertainment director Neikesha Myrie Kozer, told the media launch of the festival at the Hotel Commingle in Savanna-la-Mar on Sunday night.<br /> <br /> The event which starts at 3:00pm, will take the form of two parties on two stages at the same venue for one price.<br /> <br /> Stage 1: Beyond the Lights, Electronic dance music (EDM), Afro beats, Dub steps, House and Top 40 mixes.<br /> <br /> DJs featured on this stage which will be located on the beach include: Tom Swoon, Kick Raux, Ken Loi, Toby Monster, Crazy Neil, DJ Nezz, DJ Skaii, DJ Rusti, DJ Chemis, Deolucii, Miller Xtreme and Raun Legend.<br /> <br /> Stage 2: Electric Island, which will be located in the car park will feature Reggae, Soca, Dancehall, and Hip Hop.<br /> <br /> DJs set to blaze that stage are: Dutty Dex, Chromatic, Black Chiney, DJ Lank, DJ Absolute, DJ Sani, DJ Smoke, Dei Musicale. The acts on that stage will be hosted by DJ Amber.<br /> <br /> General admission for the festival is $3,000 pre-sold and $3,500 at the gate, drink inclusive. Pre-sold VIP ticket is priced at $4,000 and $5,000 at the gate.<br /> <br /> VIP tickets, organisers say, include premium cocktails and gourmet cuisine all night.<br /> <br /> Meanwhile, Myrie Kozer said ticket sales are going well, pointing out that "last year's event was a hit, and this year we are working very hard to make it an unforgettable experience".<br /> <br /> Pietro Gramegna, brand manager for Charley's JB Rum, said her company could not miss the opportunity to partner with such "a larger-than-life event".<br /> <br /> "With two stages and international DJs from California, Miami and Trinidad, Saturday December 20 in Negril will be one of the best dancing nights in Jamaica... and therefore we are glad to be the main sponsor and help make this great event happen in Negril," Gramegna said.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11281733/Rio-Launch_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11281732/Neikesha-Myrie-Kozer_w300.jpg Observer West Thursday, November 27, 2014 3:00 AM Tribute to Killer Miller http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Tribute-to-Killer-Miller_18015329 BY HOWARD CAMPBELL Observer senior writer PATRICK Barrett remembers being glued to the radio as a 14-year-old in 1976, listening to what was one of the most competitive festival song contests in years. His favoured song was All Night Till Daylight, a catchy number by Jacob Miller, who like Barrett, hailed from Manchester.<br /> <br /> Thirty-eight years later, Barrett is known as Tony Rebel, roots deejay and organiser of the annual show, Rebel Salute.<br /> <br /> All Night Till Daylight came in second to Freddie McKay's Dance This Ya Festival, but Miller made a lasting impression on his 'parishena'.<br /> <br /> "From dem time, mi have a ting fi Jacob. From mi a youth mi a sing song like Chapter a Day 'cause Jacob was more than a singer, him was a marijuana advocate," said Rebel.<br /> <br /> The lanky Rebel gets the opportunity to pay homage to his boyhood hero at the next Rebel Salute which takes place January 16-17 at Richmond Estate in Priory, St Ann. The show features a segment honouring Miller, who died in an auto accident in March 1980.<br /> <br /> That segment will showcase the Inner Circle and Third World bands, who were close to the chunky Miller. He joined Inner Circle in 1975, after a stint with musician/producer Augustus Pablo; guitarist Stephen 'Cat' Coore and keyboardist Michael 'Ibo' Cooper, who started Third World in 1971, were also founding members of Inner Circle in 1968.<br /> <br /> The Lewis brothers, Roger (guitar) and Ian (bass), were also co-founders of Inner Circle which they still lead. Roger Lewis remembers Miller 'forcing' his way into the band by 'taunting' rival singers.<br /> <br /> After getting the nod, Miller and Inner Circle hit it off immediately. Their first songs together, Shaky Girl, Tired Fi Lick Weed Inna Bush and Tenement Yard all made Jamaican charts.<br /> <br /> Lewis stressed that the charismatic Miller was more than music. "He was truly passionate about injustice to the poor," he said.<br /> <br /> Third World and Inner Circle last performed at Rebel Salute in 2006 when it was held at the Kaiser Sports Club in St Elizabeth. The show has honoured other stalwarts including Jimmy Cliff and Burning Spear.<br /> <br /> Tribute to Killer Miller<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11279479/Jacob-Miller_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Wednesday, November 26, 2014 3:00 AM Sizzla sizzles in the rain http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Sizzla-sizzles-in-the-rain BY RORY DALEY Observer writer daleyr@jamaicaobserver.com THE anticipation of seeing Sizzla Kalonji in performance was more than enough to keep the massive crowd from leaving during the random squalls at the 2014 CB Pan Chicken Grand Finals in downtown Kingston on Sunday evening. <br /> <br /> The Rastafari artiste entered the stage to a prophetic mix of pyrotechnics and driving rain much to the eagerly awaiting audience.<br /> <br /> Their wait was fully justified as Sizzla came out swinging, reaching into the depths of his musical catalogue to which patrons sang along.<br /> <br /> His offerings included Dry Cry, Thank You Mama, Words Of Divine and Karate. Keeping things clean, due to the family nature of the event, he left out the majority of the controversial lyrics for his fans to fill in.<br /> <br /> The musical portion of the event was besieged by onand- off bouts of rain and a late start, but the crowd was brought to a frenzy by MC Miss Kitty, who got people going with some quick juggling from DJ Juju Royal backed by a short routine from the Digicel Dancers. <br /> <br /> Gospel artiste Kevin Downswell, who proved he wasn&rsquo;t the odd man out on a secular bill, was the first of the big names up.<br /> <br /> He exited as he entered, in command of the crowd to his hit tune You Make Me Stronger. <br /> <br /> Rain ensued, but the audience persevered for the other big name, Konshens. Like Downswell, he went over well, running through his hits like Represent, Bad Gal, Gal A Bubble, and Winner. <br /> <br /> The show then broke to announce the Pan Chicken Champion in an attempt to beat the coming rain. However, when the inclement weather did arrive, its viciousness couldn&rsquo;t drive the crowd away as the waited patiently for Sizzla to bring the show to its late-night end.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11276713/Sizzla_0924_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11276714/Konshens_0804_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Tuesday, November 25, 2014 3:45 AM Silk&rsquo;s Atlantic journey http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Silk-s-Atlantic-journey_18008733 BY RICHARD JOHNSON Observer senior reporter johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com THE two-year span of 1992-1994 saw a meteoric rise in the career of conscious reggae singer Garnet Silk.<br /> <br /> This artiste rose from being a singjay on Destiny Outernational sound system to a bonafide reggae act, championing the cause of morally sound and uplifting roots reggae music. Tracks such as Hello Mama Africa and Zion in a Vision served to solidify the status of the shy, young act from central Jamaica.<br /> <br /> His growing fame would catch the attention of attorney and music industry insider Lloyd Stanbury.<br /> <br /> "I first heard about Garnet from Steely and Clevie, whom I managed. They were working with him during their weekly recording sessions at the Mixing Lab Studio. I met Garnet first at the Mixing Lab Studio. Following our initial meeting, he would visit my office for business advice and guidance and I remained associated with him on a business level as his legal advisor until he passed."<br /> <br /> Stanbury was so impressed with Silk that he used his contacts to help the artiste secure a major deal with Atlantic Records. For him, Silk's major asset was his song writing abilities.<br /> <br /> "I think Garnet's strong point was the universal appeal of his lyrics. He evolved slowly into a great songwriter. I had been friends with Craig Kallman, the former president and owner of Big Beat Records, who later became an A&R representative and CEO of Atlantic Records. I invited Craig to participate as a speaker at the Reggae International Seminar and Exposition (RISE 1991) in Kingston where he saw Garnet perform on an artiste showcase and was sold. An exclusive recording contract was eventually signed and an album recorded, but Garnet unfortunately passed prior to the release of the Atlantic album."<br /> <br /> The album from Atlantic was finally released in 2000, six years after Silk, along with his mother -- Etiga Gray -- perished in a fire at their Manchester home in 1994. The Definitive Collection, a two-CD box set, included the 10 tracks the singer had recorded during sessions for his unfinished second album.<br /> <br /> Stanbury remains a fan of Silk's music.<br /> <br /> "My favourite Silk tune is Love is the Answer, maybe because I had come to realise how important the concept of love was to Garnet. Garnet was deeply spiritual," said Stanbury.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11276711/Lloyd-Stanbury_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Tuesday, November 25, 2014 3:00 AM Max Romeo is 70 not out http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Max-Romeo-is-70-not-out VETERAN singer Max Romeo celebrated his 70th birthday in style Saturday at his home in Treadways, St Catherine. He also observed his 50th year in the music business, and paid homage to his contemporary John Holt who rescued his career when he (Romeo) was going through personal challenges.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This occasion is very special to me to be celebrating two of the high points in my life. It feels good because life is like a game of cricket and during my life I have faced a lot of balls and they don&rsquo;t bowl me yet,&rdquo; Romeo said. &ldquo;I always meet the bowlers half-way down the wicket and I am happy that they don&rsquo;t beat me yet. <br /> <br /> My aim is to reach 100 but if I get to 90, I will be satisfied.&rdquo; Romeo (born Livingston Maxwell Smith) saluted Holt, who died October 20 in London at age 69. &ldquo;At a time when I was being wasted in New York I ran into John Holt and he said to me, &lsquo;What are you doing here? You should be in Jamaica. You need to be in Jamaica to get your life and career back on track&rsquo;.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Romeo told the audience that he listened to Holt and returned home. The move changed his life: &ldquo;I told him (Holt) I had no place to go (in Jamaica) and he said to me he had a house in Meadowbrook where he took me and I stayed there for one year. Then I met the woman I married and with whom I have four children, two girls and two boys. I told them had it not been for John Holt, it (the family) would not happen.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> One of Romeo&rsquo;s sons, Ronaldo, acknowledged his father&rsquo;s influence. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s an honour to be here celebrating this event with my father. He is a person whom I idolise. It&rsquo;s very exciting to be here.&rdquo; After cutting the birthday cake and brief testimonials from relatives and well-wishers, there were live performances from a number of artistes. <br /> <br /> The (guitarist) Earl &lsquo;Chinna&rsquo; Smith-led Inna De Yard Band did excellent renditions of Bob Marley&rsquo;s We and Dem and Babylon System by Sangie Davis. This was followed by Natty Pablo who did Trying Our Best, Ras Marlon (Flying Machine), Donovan Joseph (True Believer), Mark Wonder (Ancient of Days), JAH Llando (World Crisis), the Viceroys Ya Ho and Heart of Stone, Bongo Joe (There&rsquo;s No Secret) and Sophia Squire who delivered Rata Rata Tat and Love Like Rain. The man of the moment brought the curtains down with his evergreen songs such as One Step Forward, Three Blind Mice, War Ina Babylon, Maccabee Version and Let The Power Fall in collaboration with singjay Ruffiann. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11276717/Max-Romeo_0251_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11276718/Max-Romeo_0368_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Tuesday, November 25, 2014 3:46 AM Hunger for Youth View Awards http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Hunger-for-Youth-View-Awards LUCKY fans and special guests were treated to an advance screening of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay &mdash; Part 1 at the Carib 5 cinema in Cross Roads, St Andrew, on Saturday. <br /> <br /> The occasion was the start of the promotional push for the upcoming eighth season of the Youth View Awards (YVAs) .<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This is the third time we&rsquo;ve done using the popular Hunger Games franchise to lead into the YVAs,&rdquo; Karen Clarke, CEO of An Elegant Affair Events &mdash; creators of the YVAs, told the Jamaica Observer. <br /> <br /> The YVA season will culminate with an awards event on February 2015 at the National Indoor Sports Arena in St Andrew.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;While this is the opener, our Hype Crew have been on the streets across the island from September,&rdquo; said Clarke.<br /> <br /> The data collected from those aged between 14 and 24, along with online voting that closes on November 28, 2014 will be used to determine the top five in each category.<br /> <br /> These are then announced at the YVAs&rsquo; media launch on January 8, 2015. Clarke said the choice of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay reflected the taste of the demographic that the YVAs targeted and the tradition of using a blockbuster teen movie as a season opener began with the Twilight series.<br /> <br /> It was red-carpet entrance for film buffs who were treated to KFC popcorn chicken and sodas from the Pepsi portfolio throughout the viewing.<br /> <br /> At intermission it was revealed that there were tickets for prizes hidden under the seats. KFC On The Verge 2014 winner 20-yearold Fabian Garden, who goes by the stage name DeJour, then gave the audience a short surprise performance.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;My appearance on the 2015 Youth View Awards is something I&rsquo;m looking forward to as the level of exposure it provides is what I need to kick-start my fresh career,&rdquo; he said. <br /> <br /> Fans were also encouraged to indulge in grabbing selfies with YVA judges, Stacious and Ce&rsquo;Cile along with using the Hunger Games app that analysed facial expressions to determine which of the districts from the movie the person belonged to.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The YVAs celebrate the local artistes in order to stay relevant to our core demographic,&rdquo; Clarke added. &mdash; Rory Daley<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11276720/DSC_4294_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11276722/Stacious_4279_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11276723/Audience_4310_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Tuesday, November 25, 2014 3:46 AM Drenz &lsquo;stitching up&rsquo; new novel http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Drenz--stitching-up--new-novel_17991854 BY SIMONE MORGAN Observer reporter morgans@jamaicaobserver.com FASHION designer-turned-author Richard 'Richie Drenz' Campbell is preparing to release the final in his trilogy, Heart of Revenge 3, on December 5.<br /> <br /> "My books are high-drama, on-the-edge, raunchy, and a steamy kind of read that deals with life as it is. It takes a close look at some of life's moral unbalance dilemma, life's choices, and the social landscape of society," he told the Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> Last month, Richie Drenz released Heart of Revenge 2 in the series, while the debut was in 2012.<br /> <br /> On its debut, the Kindle version went to top 50 on Amazon.com in its genre and in 2013 he was requested to go on a book-signing tour in London, England. He was awarded BIAJ's (Book Industry Association of Jamaica) award for best creative author of 2013.<br /> <br /> Hailing from Newland in Portmore, St Catherine, the author attended St Jago High School in Spanish Town.<br /> <br /> "My family was poorer than a lot of the folks at Newland. However, poverty didn't prevent me from acquiring 7 CXC subjects. Like every other student, I was looking forward to graduation, but my parents didn't have the money to send me or even buy a graduation ring," he recalled.<br /> <br /> He landed a job as a bank teller in 2008 and began attending a tertiary institution. He, however, ended his studies prematurely after using his tuition to purchase clothing material.<br /> <br /> "My mother was against the idea completely and argued that her sensible son was turning into madman right before her very eyes. She tried to encourage me to get back in college, cut my nappy hair and get a solid education," he said.<br /> <br /> A year later, Richie Drenz said he quitted his day job and decided to start his own urban clothing line.<br /> <br /> "Now my mother wanted to beat me with pots or just about anything she could lay her hands on," he said, in a fit of uncontrollable laughter.<br /> <br /> He said shortly after, his 'Drenz' clothing line showcased at Style Week Jamaica, Barbados Fashion Week and fashion shows in Guyana and Panama.<br /> <br /> Entertainers including Bugle, Tarrus Riley, Vybz Kartel, Mavado and I-Octane were wearing his trendy wrongside-stitched clothing.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11276712/drenz_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Tuesday, November 25, 2014 3:00 AM Omarion rewrites &lsquo;Murder&rsquo; http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Omarion-rewrites--Murder-_18003056 BY KEVIN JACKSON Observer writer AMERICAN R&B singer Omarion has sampled Chaka Demus and Pliers' 1993 hit Murder She Wrote in his latest single Post to Be.<br /> <br /> Produced by Dijon 'DJ Mustard' McFarlane, Post to Be also features American acts Chris Brown and Jhene' Aiko. The single is the second from the singer's upcoming album Sex Playlist slated for a December 2 release.<br /> <br /> Signed to Mayback Music Group and managed by Jay-Z's Roc Nation label, the 30-year-old is the former lead singer of defunct boy-group B2K. He was nine when Murder She Wrote took the world by storm. The song entered the British Top 30 and began a streak of hits for the dancehall duo, whose other hits included Gal Wine, I Wanna Be Your Man, Tease Me, She Don't Let Nobody, and Twist and Shout (featuring Jack Radics). The latter held the top spot.<br /> <br /> Murder She Wrote, released by Mango/Island Records, reached number 57 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number five on the Rap Singles chart. A favourite on American pop radio, it was featured on the British release Tease Me, and later on the American release All She Wrote.<br /> <br /> Last year, Chaka Demus and Pliers performed the song at the BET Awards show in the reggae segment alongside Dawn Penn, Beenie Man and Elephant Man.<br /> <br /> Following the BET telecast, the single returned to the Billboard Reggae Digital singles chart selling over 1,234 downloads. The single re-entered at number 21. To date, the single has sold over 300,000 copies digitally.<br /> <br /> Prior to Murder She Wrote entering the British chart, Chaka Demus and Pliers had success in that country with Tease Me, She Don't Let Nobody and Twist and Shout.<br /> <br /> Omarion, whose given name is Omari Grandberry, is no stranger to the Billboard charts. His debut solo album O (2005), topped the Billboard 200. His other hits include Touch, Entourage, and Ice Box.<br /> <br /> His acting credits include You Got Served, Fat Albert, Somebody Help Me, and The Proud Family. <br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11274319/Omarion_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Monday, November 24, 2014 3:00 AM Bridgett Anderson, Garnet Silk&rsquo;s spiritual sister http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Bridgett-Anderson--Garnet-Silk-s-spiritual-sister_18003301 BY RICHARD JOHNSON Observer senior reporter johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com The Jamaica Observer continues its 20-part series, 20 Days of Silk, which looks at the life of roots singer Garnet Silk. Next month marks 20 years since his death.<br /> <br /> THE relationship between an artiste and manager is an intense bond.<br /> <br /> During his short but fruitful career, conscious reggae singer Garnet Silk built a strong relationship with manager Bridgett Anderson. So strong was this bond that, even today, 20 years since his transition, she speaks with the utmost respect and admiration for her former charge.<br /> <br /> "There are artistes and then there are artistes. Garnet was clearly among the higher level of reggae acts. His songs of hope among the filth that existed at the time -- this was the height of the slackness era in local dancehall -- gave rise to a whole new level of consciousness. A lot of what we are experiencing today is because of the work put in by Garnet Silk. I am so blessed to have been part of that movement," said Anderson.<br /> <br /> She recalls clearly the day she met Garnet Silk. At the time, she was road manager for reggae singer Judy Mowatt and she had journeyed to the Eastern Consciousness stage show in Port Antonio. On her way back, she stopped at a dance at the Goodyear Oval in St Thomas, which was organised by the sound system Lees Unlimited. As is wont to be the case when industry people get together, she was introduced to Anthony Rochester, who at the time was an associate of Garnet Silk, and he, in turn, introduced Anderson to the budding act. The year was 1992.<br /> <br /> "I had seen Garnet perform in Port Antonio earlier and then at this dance in St Thomas, and he had a presence that you couldn't help but feel. So when Rochester said to me 'is somebody like you we want to manage the artiste' I was already sold. He had already made his name in the dances, having done a lot of work for Conquering Lion, so now he wanted to take his career to the world of stage shows and tours overseas ... that was my mission."<br /> <br /> Anderson recalls that among the first matters was having a backing band of his own; a band who would know his music inside out, could go on tours, and help him transition from the sound system artiste to a bona fide reggae act. That happened one night as he got ready to perform at the Acropolis nightclub at an event organised by the late disc jock Mighty Mike.<br /> <br /> "We were all waiting backstage and Garnet was being introduced. Without a rehearsal, the band struck up the opening chords of his music in a medley they had created. Garnet instantly fell in love with the sound. He was so excited by what he heard that he literally jumped from backstage onto the stage and gave a blistering performance. That night, Jahpostles became Garnet Silk's backing band."<br /> <br /> At the time, Anderson was new to the music business, but was determined to learn quickly and guided her charge through performances here in Jamaica, the wider Caribbean, and on both sides of the Atlantic. The performances were both many and varied. She recalls shows at the CV Smith Park in Miami, an event in Birmingham, England, another in Bermuda, and a show in New Jersey. On the local scene, it was a performance at the White River Reggae Bash which stands out for her. She recalled at all these events the audience just stood transfixed as they listened to what the artiste had to deliver.<br /> <br /> "Garnet had a saying whenever we were leaving for a show. He would say: 'Manager, we going to look some souls.' I want to meet the next act, whose business is about souls and not just the money, the fame and the bling," she told the Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> Her voice drops when she recalls with equal detail where she was when she heard Garnet Silk and his mother, Etiga Gray, died in a fire at her home in Manchester on December 9, 1994.<br /> <br /> "I had just come home from Mikey Bennett's Christmas party when I got a call from my friend, Sister Jessie...it was about 3:00 am and I went into shock. I composed myself and drove to Mandeville. Over the years, it has gotten easier, but for years I cried on his birthday and the anniversary of his death."<br /> <br /> Part of Anderson's healing has been what she described as the "passing of the baton".<br /> <br /> "What young Garnet and his brother, Duece Kalipha, have been doing with the music makes me proud... I know their father is smiling down at them. Their mother, Lovie, has done a great job as a single mother raising four children. I am so proud of her, too." <br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11274037/Bridgett-Anderson_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Monday, November 24, 2014 3:00 AM Great support for Heineken party http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Great-support-for-Heineken-party_18003426 THERE was barely any space for movement at the Heineken World Premiere held at Fort Rocky, Palisadoes on Saturday.<br /> <br /> The event featured live performances from Spragga Benz, DJ Chuckie and soca couple Bunji Garlin and Fayon Lyons.<br /> <br /> Close to midnight, dancehall artiste Spragga Benz began his invigorating set. When the entertainer entered the stage, almost every cellphone was taken out to take a picture of the artiste who rarely performs on local shores.<br /> <br /> After greeting the crowd, he began churning out the lyrics to Yuh Body Good. This was followed by a string of songs from his 1990s catalogue, including Machine Gun Kelly and She Nuh Ready Yet<br /> <br /> "Mi ago call out one a mi bredda...weh Don Yute deh?" he said. And once again the cellphones were out to capture the moment. The two delivered the single Excess Amount of Loving.<br /> <br /> Minutes later the crowd went wild when he invited Beenie Man to the stage, who dropped a few lines of his hit single Murderer.<br /> <br /> Spragga then gave his fans a chance to get familiar with his new single Name Brand by performing it a capella.<br /> <br /> "Mi ago do the rest a mi set with bare new tunes," he said to backing band Ruff Kutt.<br /> <br /> "A joke mi a make, but dem know mi will dweet still," he continued.<br /> <br /> He continued his set and kept his fans excited with We No Like, No Way No How, and A One Lover.<br /> <br /> Europe's Electronic Dance Music (EDM) DJ Chuckie was next. For approximately 25 minutes the patrons waved and danced to his musical selections and remixes. Then it would appear that the deejay's momentum began slowing down as the majority of the patrons seemingly began to lose interest.<br /> <br /> "This isn't the crowd for it...Gosh, this too much now. I am starting to get annoyed," a male was overheard complaining to a female patron.<br /> <br /> However, a small portion of fans close to the stage were obviously appreciative of every beat as they jumped and cheered to every selection.<br /> <br /> It was almost 2:00 am when DJ Chuckie made his exit, making way for Bunji Garlin and Fayon Lyons. When the couple's name was announced everyone huddled to the front of the stage to start the soca party.<br /> <br /> The screams were almost deafening when they started the intro to Differentology (Ready For The Road). This was followed by other hits like Take A Wine, Plenty Gal and Truck on the Road. The two were up to their usual antics and had an entertaining freestyle clash. Although their performance had many patrons entertained, some exited the venue and made their way towards the shuttle buses provided.<br /> <br /> Selectors for the show included DJ Chromatic, DJ Nico and Kamal Bankay.<br /> <br /> &mdash; Simone Morgan<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11274317/spraggBeenie_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11274318/Dj-chuckie_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Monday, November 24, 2014 3:00 AM Barack Obama honours Meryl Streep with 'love' http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Barack-Obama-honours-Meryl-Streep-with--love- WASHINGTON (AFP) &ndash; President Barack Obama said he is in love, though he was not speaking about Michelle -- but he swears she understands. <br /> <br /> "I've said it publicly: I love Meryl Streep. I love her. Her husband knows I love her. Michelle knows I love her. There's nothing either of them can do about it," he said at the Presidential Medal of Freedom awards Monday. <br /> <br /> Obama endowed 18 people, including Streep, musician Stevie Wonder, Chilean-American author Isabel Allende, journalist Tom Brokaw and composer Stephen Sondheim, with the award, the highest civil honour in the United States. <br /> <br /> A smiling Obama showered Streep with praise, complimenting the "Out of Africa" actress for her ability to embody the characters she plays. <br /> <br /> "She inhabits her characters so fully and compassionately," he said of the three-time Oscar winner at the ceremony at the White House. <br /> <br /> He also applauded her musical capabilities and her impressive ability to speak with any accent. <br /> <br /> "She's sung ABBA, which, you know, that's something. She learned violin, wore a nun's habit, faced down a charging lion, mastered ever accent under the sun.<br /> <br /> "Meryl is truly one of America's leading ladies." <br /> <br /> Streep won an Oscar in 2012 for her role as Margaret Thatcher in "The Iron Lady." She took home her first golden statue in 1980 for "Kramer vs. Kramer" and another in 1983 for "Sophie's Choice."<br /> <br /> Obama also honoured Motown legend Wonder, whose album "Talking Book" was the first he ever bought. <br /> <br /> "I was 10 years old. maybe 11. With my own cash. I didn't have a lot of it. And I listened to that thing -- that thing got so worn out."<br /> <br /> "What really defines Stevie's music is the warmth and humanity that resonates in every note. Some of his songs helped us to fall in love. Others mended our hearts. Some motivated us on the campaign trail," he said.<br /> <br /> The economist Robert Solow and John Dingell, the longest-serving member of US congress, were also awarded. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11275663/streep_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Monday, November 24, 2014 8:30 PM RICKETTS MARKS MILESTONE http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/RICKETTS-MARKS-MILESTONE_17992308 BY RICHARD JOHNSON Observer senior reporter johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com TWENTY-five years ago, five Jamaicans &mdash; Tommy Ricketts, Malachi Smith, Tomlin Ellis, Shaka Bantuta and Calvin Mitchell &mdash; wanted to create a space where lovers of poetry could fellowship and share their works. The Poetry Society of Jamaica was born.<br /> <br /> Today, as the society wraps up its silver anniversary year, Ricketts, the only founding member who is still active in the day-to-day happenings of the group, is overjoyed about the fruits which the seed planted 25 years ago has brought forth.<br /> <br /> "It's sometimes overwhelming to think that something which started out of a love for poetry has brought forth so many great things including a Musgrave medal. We never set out for all this. All we wanted was a space where lovers of the craft could share and we could encourage writers to better their craft," he said.<br /> <br /> Ricketts is also proud of the fact that in the lifetime of the society a Poet Laureate in Professor Mervyn Morris has been named.<br /> <br /> "Many people are not aware of how supportive Mervyn has been in the early years of the society. He was a member of British Poetry Society and, in those formative years, we would go up to his house and he would share his magazines so we could get ideas on how to move our group forward. We were very clear from the onset that our monthly meetings would not be a variety concert, but rather maintain the primary focus of being a space where persons could enhance their literary skills."<br /> <br /> One of the yet-to-be-fulfilled dreams of the Ricketts-led society is to have a chapter of the Poetry Society of Jamaica in schools, from primary to tertiary.<br /> <br /> "We find that many of our students are intimidated by literature as they see it as being foreign and by some dead, old, white people. Perhaps, it could get them to write our stories and even interpret the classics. We have been talking about this for well over 10 years, but the scope of this project is scaring the members of the Society."<br /> <br /> Ricketts and his team have already received the blessings of the National Association of Teachers of English, the Caribbean Examinations Council and the United Nations Education and Scientific Council.<br /> <br /> "The plan is to use Jamaica as the pilot project and then take it to the wider Caribbean. We really want a national fervour to this, so we want to conceptualise a TV show with participants writing and performing their work and a winner announced. It would be connected to the literature syllabus and the show would coincide with exams so this would help other students who are studying the subject," he explained.<br /> <br /> The society is wrapping its year of celebrations on Tuesday with the monthly fellowship at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and performing Arts in St Andrew.<br /> <br /> "This month will feature the work of Michael St George, one of the strong contingent of active Jamaican poets living in Canada. As usual there will be no meeting in December, but come January, the meeting which is held on the last Tuesday of every month will feature the new, fresh voices unearthed during 2014," said Ricketts.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11272385/TOMMY-RICKETTS-2_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Sunday, November 23, 2014 1:00 AM SKOLNIK to address music confab http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/SKOLNIK-to-address-music-confab_17991984 MICHAEL Skolnik, editor-in-chief and co-president of hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons' GlobalGrind.com, is the featured speaker today at the Jamaica Music Conference (JMC) which takes place at the University of the West Indies' (Mona campus) Neville Hall.<br /> <br /> The conference, which began Friday, also ends today.<br /> <br /> According to JMC co-founder and organiser, Kwasi Bonsu, Skolnik will address the evolving music industry and how to stay relevant in an increasingly competitive market, among other things.<br /> <br /> "With the changes taking place with the Internet and in different markets, it's important our players hear from someone who has expertise in this field," Bonsu told the Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> Skolnik has been with GlobalGrind.com since 2009, joining as political editor. He has been editor-in-chief and co-president since 2011, overseeing a site that reaches over four million people monthly.<br /> <br /> GlobalGrind.com promotes the hip-hop culture (fashion, music, politics) that made Simmons a multimillionaire. It connects with 400,000 Twitter followers, 40,000 Instagram followers and an audience of 485,000 on Facebook.<br /> <br /> A film-maker by profession, Skolnik has produced several edgy documentaries including America Undercover and Without a King.<br /> <br /> This is the third staging of the JMC which looks at issues affecting the Jamaican music industry. This year, there are two days of panel discussions featuring singers Ken Boothe, Junior Reid and Nadine Sutherland, as well as producer/manager Robert Livingston and producer/songwriter Mikey Bennett.<br /> <br /> Another key aspect of this year's conference is Reggae Revival, a forum looking at the global state of the music. Among the panellists is Jamaican cultural activist and author Dutty Bookman.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11272393/Michael-Skolnik_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Sunday, November 23, 2014 3:00 AM Silk, Jahpostle: band of brothers http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Silk--Jahpostle--band-of-brothers_17991975 BY HOWARD CAMPBELL Observer senior writer The Jamaica Observer continues its daily 20-part series, 20 Days of Silk, which looks at the life of roots singer Garnet Silk. Next month marks 20 years since his death.<br /> <br /> AT the beginning of December 1994, Devon Bradshaw, bass player with the Jahpostles band, remembers receiving a phone call from singer Garnet Silk. It was one year since the band had worked with the charismatic roots artiste.<br /> <br /> "Him call mi an' sey, 'Devon, get everybody together, wi a go Negril. Wi a start work again'," Bradshaw recalled in a 2012 interview with the Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> They never got the opportunity to 'work together' again. One week later, 28-year-old Silk and his mother Etiga Gray died in a fire at her home in Manchester. Bradshaw heard about the tragedy by radio early on December 9.<br /> <br /> "I hear dem playing Love Is The Answer (one of Silk's biggest hit songs) on the radio, then dem sey him dead in a fire. Mi couldn't sleep again," Bradshaw said.<br /> <br /> Jahpostles -- which also included Bradshaw's older brother Anthony on guitar, guitarist Lenford Richards and drummer Cecil Hardy -- were an established six-piece show band in 1993 when members met Silk at a show in Florida. They first backed him on a show called 'Double Trouble' at the Acropolis nightclub in Ocho Rios that year.<br /> <br /> Prior to working with Silk, Jahpostles had toured and recorded with Burning Spear for 10 years. Bradshaw says he and his bandmates were impressed by Silk during their initial meeting and even more when they began working with him.<br /> <br /> "He had a lotta energy, a lotta spirituality. Garnet Silk was jus' a good person," he said.<br /> <br /> In mid-1994, Silk took a break from shows, citing fatigue. He was preparing for a comeback when he contacted Bradshaw in December.<br /> <br /> Bradshaw, who is in his 50s, is still involved in music as a musician and producer, operating the Axx Studios in his native Portland. He collaborates with homegrown artistes including singjay Louie Culture and roots acts such as Bushman and Prezident Brown.<br /> <br /> Though Jahpostles continued to back artistes like Capleton after Silk's death, the original band split in 1995 with some members settling in the United States and England.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11272386/Devon-Bradshaw_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Sunday, November 23, 2014 1:00 AM Respect to the Max! http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Respect-to-the-Max-_17992416 YESTERDAY was special for Max Romeo. The singer celebrated his 70th birthday and his 50th year in the music business.<br /> <br /> Romeo's generation is considered the most influential in reggae music. He figured in the roots revolution of the 1970s, belting out spiritual songs like Let The Power Fall and revolutionary anthems such as War Ina Babylon.<br /> <br /> That generation transcended music. Romeo was part of the musical bandwagon assembled by singer/producer Clancy Eccles that helped make the transformative Michael Manley prime minister in 1972.<br /> <br /> Let The Power Fall and War Ina Babylon also established reggae as a force in Europe and earned Max Romeo a faithful following throughout that continent. Indeed, when he called time on his touring days five years ago, he was among the top touring reggae acts in that region.<br /> <br /> Romeo took a bow on his own terms, something not many of his contemporaries could afford to do. Some died destitute; others have fallen on hard times.<br /> <br /> Today, the St Ann-born Romeo mentors young acts including his sons and daughter on his Charmax label out of Linstead, St Catherine. <br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11272389/max-romeo1_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Sunday, November 23, 2014 3:00 AM New singles from Uprising Roots Band http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/New-singles-from-Uprising-Roots-Band_17991470 MIGHT Can't Beat Right and Trench Town are the latest singles from the Uprising Roots Band which is gearing up to release its second album in early 2015.<br /> <br /> The songs were recently distributed and are the follow-up to Time and Black To I Roots. All are from the impending album, also titled Black To I Roots.<br /> <br /> The self-produced set will be the band's second. Their first, Skifiya, was released in early 2011 and earned Uprising Roots live stints in Europe and on the United States east and west coasts.<br /> <br /> The band's members are Rashaun 'Kush' McAnuff (drums and vocals); Drums: Rashaun McAnuff; Ruel Ashburn (bass); Lloyd 'Akinsanya' Palmer (piano); Winston Bowen (guitar); Phillip Porter (rhythm guitar); Joseph 'Jr Congo' Sutherland (percussion); Ronald 'Nambo' Robinson (trombone); Sheldon Palmer (alto saxophone); Everton Gayle (tenor saxophone); and trumpeter Vivian Scott. <br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11272387/Uprising-Roots-Band_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Sunday, November 23, 2014 2:00 AM AUNDRE CHIN, Ft Lauderdale&rsquo;s party animal http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/AUNDRE-CHIN--Ft-Lauderdale-s-party-animal_17991449 BY KEVIN JACKSON Observer writer This is the fifth in a 10-part series looking at Jamaicans excelling on the South Florida entertainment/lifestyle scene.<br /> <br /> SOUTH Florida has always been a hotbed for parties and major live events, especially the fashionable South Beach area. Fort Lauderdale-based Jamaican Aundre Chin is responsible for a number of these gigs.<br /> <br /> Born in St Andrew, Chin grew up in the Barbican area and attended Jamaica College. He migrated to South Florida 11 years ago.<br /> <br /> Officially employed as a chef and dietician at the Palms of Lauderdale Lakes Nursing Home, Chin loves to party when he is not at "work". He spoke to the Jamaica Observer recently about what makes his events crowd-pullers.<br /> <br /> "The difference I bring is the art of listening to the patrons. I follow-up with patrons and get their feedback on events and things they would like to see and changes they would like made, and implement them," he said. "Without patrons there would be no parties."<br /> <br /> Chin, 34, has been involved in party promotion for the past 10 years. He started out with Absolute Promotions before branching off and starting his own company.<br /> <br /> His first party was the monthly Naked, a popular show in South Miami. He has since promoted events including Stages, Bubbles, Mask, Foam Wet Fete, Fiji and Ravin, the latter being his most successful venture to date.<br /> <br /> After relocating to Florida, Chin attended Coconut Creek High School and later Atlantic University where he studied Culinary Arts. He also attended the Fort Lauderdale Art Institute, graduating with degrees in Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management.<br /> <br /> Though he earns a good income from being a show promoter, Chin pointed to its demands.<br /> <br /> "One of the hardest challenges I face as a promoter is having a stable relationship. Most women do not trust promoters due to the lifestyle of always being around women. It takes a really strong and confident woman to be with a promoter and have a promoter in her life," he said.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11272388/Aundre-Chin-photo-3_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Sunday, November 23, 2014 3:00 AM New &lsquo;riddim&rsquo; to coincide with Sting http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/New--riddim--to-coincide-with-Sting_17991672 FLORlDA-BASED producer Kevin Richards will be releasing his Team Strike Riddim on December 16.<br /> <br /> Recorded on his Spit Fiyah Recording label, the set comprises seven tracks. The 'riddim' also features emerging dancehall/reggae acts such as Navino, Ryme Minista, I Sane and Black Pearl.<br /> <br /> "A lot of thought was given to the making of this riddim. We wanted it to be released in the month of Magnum Sting, so we ensured that it had the components of a dancehall clash melody. Even if a listener is overseas, the Team Strike riddim will leave he/she feeling like they are in the hardcore streets of Jamaica," Richards told the Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> Sting is the annual dancehall stage show held at the Jamworld Entertainment Complex in Portmore, St Catherine. Characterised by face-offs by dancehall artistes, it is held on Boxing Day for more than 30 years.<br /> <br /> This is the second rhythm for the up-and-coming producer. He released his debut project called Top-Game in June of this year.<br /> <br /> Richards is hoping that this venture will give him his musical breakthrough.<br /> <br /> "I really hope the listeners will not only listen to tracks, but buy them as well. Getting to the peak of the entertainment scene is a difficult task, as there are hundreds of other producers like myself competing for the top spot. Furthermore it is sometimes harder to do dancehall music when you live outside the country of its birth. However, I do hope that this riddim will give me my breakthrough and make me a household name," he said.<br /> <br /> Richards spent his earlier years in Spanish Town, St Catherine, before migrating to Florida in 2004.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11272390/Spit-Fiyah_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Sunday, November 23, 2014 3:00 AM Tony Roy gets lift from wine festival http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Tony-Roy-gets-lift-from-wine-festival_17990576 HAVING performed at the recent International Reggae Wine Festival in Montego Bay, singer Tony Roy is hoping his latest songs will find an audience in Jamaica.<br /> <br /> The St Thomas-born Roy has been a fixture on the Washington DC/Maryland reggae scene for over 10 years. Prior to his performance at the 'Wine Fest' in October, he released two singles, Live Without Your Love and a cover of Gregory Isaacs' Love Overdue.<br /> <br /> He says he got a lift performing in Jamaica for the first time since 2011.<br /> <br /> "It was great, I got a wonderful reception. The crowd loved it," Roy told the Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> He produced Live Without Your Love and co-produced Love Overdue with his Nigerian drummer Paapa Nyarkoh. Both will be released in Jamaica as Roy looks to build on his Wine Fest appearance.<br /> <br /> A former drummer/vocalist with the Chosen People band, Roy (real name Fitzroy Gordon) played the hotel circuit in his home parish before migrating to the United States in 1997.<br /> <br /> The Baltimore region of Maryland and neighbouring DC have always had a strong reggae club following which Roy says made it easy for him to fit in as a singer/musician.<br /> <br /> In 2010, he released his debut album, Waiting List.<br /> <br /> -- Howard Campbell<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11272391/Tony-Roy_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Sunday, November 23, 2014 3:00 AM Silk wraps the Penthouse http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Silk-wraps-the-Penthouse_17990356 BY BRIAN BONITTO Associate Editor — Auto and Entertainment bonittob@jamaicaobserver.com This is the fourth in the Jamaica Observer's daily 20-part series, 20 Days of Silk, which looks at the life of roots singer Garnet Silk. Next month marks 20 years since his death.<br /> <br /> MUSIC producer Donovan Germain believes every generation has a unique artiste. For him, roots singer Garnet Silk was the standout of his contemporaries.<br /> <br /> "For the short time he was here, he created a tremendous impact on the music. His songs are still current today," said Germain.<br /> <br /> Silk (given name Garnet Smith) was part of the roots revival that swept Jamaica during the 1990s.<br /> <br /> That movement also comprised poet Yasus Afari, deejay Tony Rebel, singers Everton Blender, Uton Green and deejay Kulcha Knox.<br /> <br /> Germain, principal of Penthouse Records, said the singer's conviction to his faith helped make his music enduring.<br /> <br /> "They weren't the run-of-the-mill songs. Garnet really believed in Rastafari and was commited to the faith. It came out in how he ate, how he carried himself and in his music," he said.<br /> <br /> "Garnet came at a time when slackness was the order of the day. He personally hit out against it in one of his songs Lion Heart (1992) when he said 'slackness fi go park'," Germain continued.<br /> <br /> He remembers his first encounter with Silk, then an aspiring artiste.<br /> <br /> "Tony Rebel brought him to Penthouse, around 1990. He was a deejay at the time who called himself Bimbo," he said.<br /> <br /> The producer said he was not impressed with the young entertainer, and sent him home to "hone his skills".<br /> <br /> "He came back as the Garnet Silk we know. I also became his manager," said the producer. "He was passionate about what he did. Always prepared, and always on time."<br /> <br /> Silk recorded several tracks on the Penthouse label. Fifteen were compiled on the Garnet Silk: Collector Series album and released a year after his death. That set contains some of the artiste's popular hits including A Man Is Just A Man, Complaint, Broken Heart and Everything I've Got.<br /> <br /> Germain said he has two unreleased Garnet Silk songs which he plans to release at the "right time".<br /> <br /> Silk and his mother, Etiga Gray, died in a fire at her home in Manchester on December 9, 1994.<br /> <br /> The producer said he spoke to Silk the night before he died.<br /> <br /> "We were talking about music. He was into music and just being successful to take care of his family," he recalled.<br /> <br /> Garnet Silk died before his son, Garnet Jnr, was born.<br /> <br /> "I became Garnet Silk Jr's godfather. I took care of him right through high school. Garnet would have wanted that," he added.<br /> <br /> Silk wraps the Penthouse<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11269255/Garnet-Silk-2_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Saturday, November 22, 2014 3:00 AM Anita rules iTunes chart http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Anita-rules-iTunes-chart_17991366 Jamaican-born reggae singer Anita Antoinette's performance on the NBC talent competion, The Voice, moved her back to the number one slot on iTunes Reggae Top 100 Chart this weekend.<br /> <br /> Her rendition of Bob Marley's Redemption Song (The Voice Performance) ensured that she retook the top spot from another Jamaican-born deejay Kranium with Lifestyle remix, featuring Troy Ave.<br /> <br /> Marley occupies two, three and five on the chart with Three Little Birds, Redemption Song and Is This Love, respectively.<br /> <br /> Matisyahu is at number four with One Day.<br /> <br /> Anita rules iTunes chart<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11269251/Anita-Antoinette_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Saturday, November 22, 2014 3:00 AM 'EN-GAGED' CARIBBEAN FANS http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/-EN-GAGED--CARIBBEAN-FANS_17990985 FAST-RISING dancehall deejay Gage said while he has never encountered any objections to his performances in other Caribbean countries, protesters should know it's 'role play'.<br /> <br /> "At the end of the day, an artiste is just taking on a character. It's just music. The characters we play are sometimes different from who we really are. I don't like the ban and the protest because we don't see them banning movies. However, there are rules everywhere and it is their country," he said.<br /> <br /> Earlier this year, controversial dancehall artiste Tommy Lee Sparta was barred from entering Dominica while religious groups in St Kitts & Nevis and Antigua & Barbuda protested Alkaline's performance in their country.<br /> <br /> Gage, 24, whose given name is Ryan Douglas, is known for hard-core and edgy lyrics. His recent looks bear an uncanny similarity to incarcerated deejay Vybz Kartel.<br /> <br /> Gage has done shows in Costa Rica, Antigua, Trinidad and Tobago, and Guyana.<br /> <br /> "I never changed tune when I am performing outside of Jamaica. The audience loves the slackness. They probably just don't like the 'devilish' music and appearance," he surmised.<br /> <br /> The deejay said from what he sees Caribbean people love dancehall music.<br /> <br /> "The other islands appreciate dancehall music more than Jamaica. As the saying goes: the grass is always greener on the other side," he said.<br /> <br /> Gage recounts a recent visit to Guyana.<br /> <br /> "The crowd could be compared to that of Sting. I was slated to close the event. There were several local acts on the line-up, one of whom decided to throw a few lyrical blows at me and he was booed and bottled by his own people. That alone shows how committed these people are to dancehall music," he said.<br /> <br /> Gage is managed by Dutty Fridaze Promotions, a company owned by West Indies cricketer Chris Gayle. His tracks include In Deh, Burning Son, Kitty Kat, Hey Mama, and Candy Man.<br /> <br /> -- Simone Morgan <br /> <br /> 'EN-GAGED' CARIB FANS<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11269207/gage-2_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Saturday, November 22, 2014 3:00 AM