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 Great showing at Ghetto Splash http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Great-showing-at-Ghetto-Splash_18118597 BY KEVIN JACKSON Observer writer THE Waterhouse Mini Stadium in Drewsland, St Andrew, was transformed into a musical kaleidoscope with the staging of the Shocking Vibes and Downsound Records' Ghetto Splash on Tuesday night.<br /> <br /> The event, which was free to the public, drew an estimated 10,000 patrons whose musical thirst was quenched by a long list of performers.<br /> <br /> Promoter Patrick Roberts of Shocking Vibes Productions was pleased with the staging of the event.<br /> <br /> "We want to thank all the entertainers who performed and all the patrons who came out to support Ghetto Splash. Shaggy, who came on during Agent Sasco's performance, said 'he had never envisioned a professional show of this magnitude in the ghetto'. It just goes to show the level of work that went into the event," Roberts told the Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> In the early segment, singjay Jahmiel set the pace with a stirring performance which was only eclipsed by the seasoned Beetle Bailey, who kept patrons in check with his stage performance and demeanor.<br /> <br /> The musical flames, however, got intense once Konshens, Agent Sasco aka Assassin, Aidonia, Sizzla, Popcaan and Beenie Man hit the stage. They whipped the crowd into a frenzy delivering the hits that made them stars.<br /> <br /> Mr G, Tinga Stewart, Chi Ching Ching, Major Mackerel, Bugle, Richie Spice, Ishawna, Ninja Man, and Kip Rich also put in good sets much to the delight of the crowd.<br /> <br /> With no reports of violence, the show ended at 5:50 am on Wednesday.<br /> <br /> Among those who came out to support Ghetto Splash were Kingston Mayor Angela Brown-Burke, Deputy Mayor Andrew Swaby, businessman Gary Matalon, businessman Josef Bagdanovich, and representatives of sponsor WISYNCO.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11339372/BEENIE-MAN_9960_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11339325/PATRICK-ROBERTS_9157_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11339322/POPCAAN_9964_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11339319/BUGLE_9906_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11339315/KONSHENS_9879_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Thursday, December 18, 2014 3:00 AM Saving the best for last http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Saving-the-best-for-last_18117038 BY RORY DALEY Observer writer daleyr@jamaicaobserver.com THE Behind the Scenes series held at Usain Bolt's Tracks & Records on Constant Spring Road came to a thunderous end with a 'surgical' performance from the 'doctor' Beenie Man on Tuesday night.<br /> <br /> The seasoned veteran closed his nearly two-hour set by sharing the stage with current friend and long-time rival Bounty Killer, bringing the house down, as both rallied through the hits that made their careers.<br /> <br /> "I've been in this business over 22 years now. From dem a sell 45 right up to MP3s. These songs will never die," Beenie Man said to the happy audience.<br /> <br /> His fans poured into Tracks & Records from 10:00 pm, with only eyes for him. This made it difficult for the opening acts to gain any traction. Not even 2014 Magnum Queen Candy K could break the ice as the audience showed their indifference. It took a quick set from Future Fambo to put any visible signs of life into the venue.<br /> <br /> Two hours of waiting, at the stroke of midnight, all was forgiven as Beenie Man took to the stage to overwhelming applause. A quick medley of his popular hits had the crowd singing along in delight. Beenie Man's extensive back catalogue meant there was more than enough ammunition to keep the spotlight on himself, but he reached deep into the versatility his fans adore him for.<br /> <br /> Mid-show, he provided his own retrospective on his back-and-forth with Bounty Killer, not only singing unforgettables like Memories, but doing Bounty Killer impersona-tions. This was only a hint of things to come. His singular energy was stopped for two only brief moments when he brought Chi Ching Ching for their collaboration Way Up Stay Up and Future Fambo to do I'm Drinking.<br /> <br /> In the closing moments, the tease was over and Bounty Killer joined on Beenie Man on stage for Legendary. Claiming he wasn't going to do just one song, both men thrilled the fans to the last minute, providing a chronological rendition of the songs in a rivalry that defined a generation of dancehall.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11339461/Beenie-Man_1489_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11339460/Crowd_1473_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11339457/Ninjaman_1597_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11339451/Candy-K_1310_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11339450/Nick-Cannon_1468_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11339428/Bounty-Killer_1589_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Thursday, December 18, 2014 3:00 AM Jo-Ann Richards keeping it local http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Jo-Ann-Richards-keeping-it-local_18117422 GOSPEL singer Jo-Ann Richards launched her latest music video, Notn no De, at Calvary Gospel Assembly in St Andrew, earlier this week.<br /> <br /> The single is taken from her 12-track album Kom Mek Wi Worship (2012). The set, done in Jamaican patois, is co-produced by Sheldon Bernard and Courick Clarke.<br /> <br /> "I hope to encourage people to sing songs to God in our own language. I want Jamaicans to embrace their own identity in worship," Richards told the Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> The singer, who is head of the Music and Media Department at Jamaica Theological College in St Andrew, said the inspiration for a dialect album came while serving as a missionary ethnomusicologist with Wycliffe Bible Translators in Africa.<br /> <br /> "I was helping people from other countries to develop songs for worship in their native languages and I realised that we in Jamaica were not doing that," she said.<br /> <br /> According to Richards, Kom Mek Wi Worship was synchronicised to be released during Reggae Month and Jamaica's 50th Independence celebrations.<br /> <br /> "This new venture has been awe-inspiring and fulfilling, taking my ministry into a new sphere. I strongly believe that authentic worship must take place through culturally relevant expressions, so it is my desire that Jamaicans and those who love the Jamaican culture will be happy to add these songs to their worship repertoire," said Richards.<br /> <br /> "I love my culture, and being able to share in song, and now videos, means that I can celebrate and connect with my fellow Jamaicans, share their stories, and help them to feel proud of who we are, and to connect with God on any level, with confidence."<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11339465/Jo-Ann-Faith-Richards-2_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Thursday, December 18, 2014 3:00 AM Boney M makes Christmas classic http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Boney-M-makes-Christmas-classic_18117483 This is the fifth of the Jamaica Observer's daily 12-part series, 12 Days of Chrismus. The series ends on Christmas Day.<br /> <br /> A JAMAICAN Christmas is incomplete without the sounds of Boney M's Mary's Boy Child -- Oh My Lord.<br /> <br /> The catchy interpretation of this holiday classic has resonated with local audiences since its release in 1978, perhaps because two original members of Boney M were born in Jamaica. Elizabeth Rebecca 'Liz' Mitchell hails from Clarendon, while Marcia Barrett is from St Catherine.<br /> <br /> The two were based in the United Kingdom when the group was formed in 1976. Boney M was completed by Maizie Williams and Bobby Farrell. The group achieved popularity during the disco era of the late 1970s with songs including By The Rivers of Babylon and Brown Girl in the Ring.<br /> <br /> Mary's Boy Child also has another Jamaican connection.<br /> <br /> The track was first recorded by American entertainer Harry Belafonte back in 1956, having heard it being performed by a choir. Belafonte's mother is Jamaican; he was born in New York, but spent his early years on the island.<br /> <br /> It was one of the singles on his album An Evening with Belafonte. The single reached number one on the UK Singles Chart in November 1957 and was the first single to sell over one million copies in the UK alone. To date, Belafonte's version has sold over 1.18 million copes.<br /> <br /> Boney M's version is a medley with the song Oh My Lord. Reports indicate that the song was recorded in November of 1978 and rushed to meet the holiday season.<br /> <br /> The song topped the UK Singles Chart for four weeks and spent eight weeks on the charts. It was the second single for the group in the UK's all-time best selling singles list. The song was later included on the group's Christmas album which was released in 1981.<br /> <br /> -- Richard Johnson<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11339466/BONEY-M_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Thursday, December 18, 2014 3:00 AM Ryno, Kiprich rematch http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/RYNO--KIPRICH-REMATCH_18114022 Deejays Blak Ryno and Kiprich will go head to head at this year's staging of Sting - the popular one night reggae show staged on Boxing Day.<br /> <br /> According to Isaiah Laing, head of Supreme Promotions, organisers of the event, clashes have always been part of the history of Sting and, therefore, a match-up of this nature was inevitable.<br /> <br /> Speaking at a press conference at his Burlington Avenue offices in the Corporate Area yesterday, Laing traced the history of clashes at the event dating back to the first ever in 1984, which featured Michael Palmer and Junior Reid. He noted that, by the following year, 1985, it was realised that the clash was the way to go and it became a signature of Sting.<br /> <br /> "[The] clash is a hallmark of Sting. Over the years, it has become a major attraction... last year Kiprich was defeated by Ryno and so we have decided to bring them back for a rematch, and this is not something to be missed," he asserted.<br /> <br /> Blak Ryno was absent from the press conference as it was explained that he was overseas, but his opponent Kiprich was on hand to declare that this year things will be different.<br /> <br /> "I am more focused and prepared for a proper lyrical showdown [at] Jamworld.... He can't come with what he came with last year and expect to win... it's lyrics to the fullest. I am always happy to be part of this historical event and to be part of it as a top act a this time," said Kiprich.<br /> <br /> Speaking to the Jamaica Observer afterwards, Kiprich revealed that he jumped at the opportunity to redeem himself against Blak Ryno once he was asked by the Sting promoters.<br /> <br /> "People know me as a war king, and last year I just wasn't prepared. They confused me with a lot of names of people I was going to clash with, so I was not focussed, but it's different this year. I am not doing for the money, because this year it's all about what the fans want, and the big money not there this year. Last year Ryno get $3 million and that's not there this time, so I'm just doing what the fans are asking for," said Kiprich.<br /> <br /> -- Richard Johnson<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11336091/BCC_4368-fix_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11336092/Black-Ryno_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11336094/BCC_4314_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Wednesday, December 17, 2014 3:00 AM Ebony G Patterson takes art show http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Ebony-G-Patterson-takes-art-show_18109048 ARTIST Ebony G Patterson walked away with the Aaron Matalon Award for 'best of show' at the Jamaica Biennial 2014 which opened at the National Gallery of Jamaica in downtown Kingston on Sunday.<br /> <br /> Patterson's contributions to this year's biennial -- Lily, Carnation and Rose Buds -- Dead Trees and Trunk, Stump and Dominoes -- have already been show-stoppers at the historic Devon House mansion which has been utilised as one of the off-site locations for this year's event.<br /> <br /> "It feels so good," said Patterson in reaction to the win. "This year the win is even more special considering that I have had such a pressed year, and having been nominated at previous biennials, it is really a great way to end the year."<br /> <br /> She added that an award coming from the National Gallery of Jamaica makes it even more special.<br /> <br /> "The Matalon Award comes from the National Gallery, a space where I feel like I have grown up. To get a nod from an institution that you respect is that much more special."<br /> <br /> However, Patterson wasn't the only winner at what is being described as the largest biennial exhibition. Camille Chedda and Kimani Beckford were the joint recipients of the inaugural Dawn Scott Memorial Award.<br /> <br /> This award was the idea of Edward Gomez, art critic and long-time friend of the artist Dawn Scott, who died in 2010.<br /> <br /> According to Gomez, the winners reflected the spirit of Dawn Scott in their work, exhibiting an innovation in handling material as well as a daring approach to their projects.<br /> <br /> Chedda shared the award for Wholesale Degradables, a mixed media installation of acrylic paint on plastic bags. Gomez, in commenting on her work, noted that "it represented an inventive use of basic items which give new form and meaning to portraiture and make the work fresh and compelling."<br /> <br /> "It feels good," Chedda told the Jamaica Observer. "I have been working with plastic bags for a number of years just looking at the disposable nature of people and cultures. For this work, I just developed on the theme of who is degradable," she continued<br /> <br /> Gomez described Beckford's B.I.B (Black is Beautiful), a mixed media on canvas work, as "an enigmatic picture which showcases the power of portraiture."<br /> <br /> For Beckford, being a part of the biennial makes him "super excited" and winning the inaugural Dawn Scott Award just adds to the experience.<br /> <br /> "I am honoured. This also serves as motivation for me to continue the journey I am currently on. To be acknowledged is such a motivation."<br /> <br /> Beckford's work B.I.B is part of a series in which he uses simple poses to portray a stance of self-confidence and self-pride.<br /> <br /> Sunday's official opening was not free of controversy.<br /> <br /> Artist Christopher Irons whose work, World Boss, forms part of the exhibition, staged a one-man protest outside the doors of the gallery.<br /> <br /> The artiste used T-shirts printed with less-than- favourable images of Culture Minister Lisa Hanna and members of staff of the national gallery including executive director Dr Verlee Poupeye, as placards.<br /> <br /> According to Irons, "These people are using the art fraternity to market themselves. They are like the Ebola, they are like a disease."<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11337306/BCC_2989_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11337308/BCC_3077_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Wednesday, December 17, 2014 3:00 AM Sweetness rides a classic http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Sweetness-rides-a-classic_18109005 BY HOWARD CAMPBELL Observer senior writer This is the ninth in a 10-part series looking at Jamaicans excelling on the South Florida entertainment/lifestyle scene.<br /> <br /> BACK in 1975 when he attended basic school in Kingston, one of Ian Heywood's favourite songs was Rhinestone Cowboy by Glen Campbell.<br /> <br /> It was an international hit for the American country singer and the biggest of his storied career. Heywood, who is known as singer Ian Sweetness, recently covered Rhinestone Cowboy, reggae-style.<br /> <br /> "I'm a fan of Glen Campbell, Rhinestone Cowboy is a song I used to hear in the morning going to school. I grow up on it," said Sweetness, who lives in Fort Lauderdale.<br /> <br /> His version of the pop-country song was co-produced by Natty Power Records and Audio Sweetness Productions. It was released digitally in August.<br /> <br /> Sweetness, who is in his early 40s, hails from the east Kingston area of Mountain View and has been recording since 1988. After living for several years in New York City, he moved to South Florida two years ago.<br /> <br /> He has recorded for different producers since moving to the Sunshine State. He spoke about the difference between that region's reggae scene and the Big Apple's.<br /> <br /> "New York has more wider range by far but in Florida you can focus more and see where I want to go musically. I also have more access to my musicians," he said.<br /> <br /> Ian Sweetness has covered a lot of ground in his 26-year career, but admits that "I don't have no successful song to the level my dream is".<br /> <br /> He hopes Rhinestone Cowboy, the song he first heard almost 40 years ago, will be his breakthrough. <br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11336774/Ian-Sweetness_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Wednesday, December 17, 2014 3:00 AM Family Fun Day for Portmore http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Family-Fun-Day-for-Portmore_18112916 The event, now in its seventh year, is put on by Show Us the Way Foundation (in partnership with OG Entertainment and Team Razor B).<br /> <br /> "The purpose of this event is to give back to my community and to show the children that they too can aspire to do big things and that someone cares," said Canada-based dancehall singjay Razor B.<br /> <br /> The entertainer believes in giving back to the community in which he once resided.<br /> <br /> "We'll give the children with school supplies, bicycles, computers, laptops and even cash. This is our way of giving back to put a smile on the faces of these children whose parents might not be in a position to fulfil certain obligations," said Razor B.<br /> <br /> "No matter how little you have, you have more than some. We would like to encourage persons to give generously, not only in the Christmas season but whenever they can," he continued.<br /> <br /> Razor B, whose given name is Roger Cassup, resided in Waterford for 18 years before migrating to Canada in 1993.<br /> <br /> He is known for songs including Wine and Stop, Pedal and Whine, We Party, and Trailer Load. His debut album #pontarget is expected to be released next year.<br /> <br /> According to Ranjini Cassup, the foundation's co-founder, "At this time of the year, the community gets a chance to enjoy a safe and free fun day dedicated solely to them."<br /> <br /> The gesture, initiated by the foundation in 2008, began as a simple project in Canada. Razor B, with the help of his family and friends, began by handing out pre-packaged meals and care packages in Toronto, Canada.<br /> <br /> "This event has changed the way that I look at Christmas and the way our family celebrates it. We've been doing events like this for Christmas for as long as I can remember. I wouldn't even consider it a charity because I feel like the community pays us back in appreciation and love. It's so much more than we give them," said Phelisha Cassup, Razor B's daughter.<br /> <br /> Since its first staging, attendance at the family fun day has grown in large numbers. Promotion of the event has been limited to social media and posters within the community. <br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11336835/Razor-B-2-_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Wednesday, December 17, 2014 3:00 AM Dadda on comeback trail http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Dadda-on-comeback-trail_18097868 AFTER a three-year break from the music scene, emerging act Dadda is making a comeback.<br /> <br /> He said his summer album Reggae Dancehall is currently doing the rounds and is his ticket back in the spotlight.<br /> <br /> The 21-track set is co-produced by Germany-based Firewheel Records and local outfit Lacka Squad. It was released in July.<br /> <br /> "It's like a double album -- half of it is for reggae lovers, while the other half is for hardcore dancehall fans. It's going good 'cause we have been getting some requests for shows in Germany and Switzerland," the 19-year-old told the Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> He lists dancehall track Me She Want, featuring Zamunda as his favourite.<br /> <br /> "This is the one getting a lot of rotation on the radio," he said.<br /> <br /> The roots listing includes Crying For the Poor, Love is the Answer, and Right Move. Among the dancehall group are Tun Up Hot, Player Haters, and Sound Killa.<br /> <br /> Dadda, whose given name is Amir Fyffe, said he took a break from his music for the past three years to focus on his examinations.<br /> <br /> "I have 5 CXCs, because you have to have something to fall back on," said the former student of Ocho Rios High School.<br /> <br /> But he believes music is his calling.<br /> <br /> "Veteran singer Ken Fyffee is my grandfather and female deejay Lady G is my aunty," he said.<br /> <br /> Born in Spanish Town in St Catherine, Dadda relocated to St Ann as a toddler. He started making the rounds as deejay at eight. He, however got his break in 2008 when he performed on Fully Loaded. There he met his musical mentor Bounty Killer.<br /> <br /> Dadda's other recordings include Who Badda, Dress Right and It Dat Bad.<br /> <br /> -- BB<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11336856/Dadda_7074_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Wednesday, December 17, 2014 3:00 AM Searching questions for Santa Claus http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Searching-questions-for-Santa-Claus_18114065 BY BRIAN BONITTO Associate Editor -- Auto and Entertainment bonittob@jamaicaobsever.com FOR music impresario Tommy Cowan, Christmas in the tropics is like no other.<br /> <br /> "I've been involved in several Christmas projects over the years," he told the Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> He lists Byron Lee's Christmas in the Tropics, Jacob Miller's Natty Christmas and Barrington Levy's Flash My Dread as having a hand in them.<br /> <br /> However, when he penned the Carlene Davis-sung Santa Claus (Do You Ever Come to the Ghetto?) in the early 1980s, he was in a more reflective mood. The single was recorded at Joe Gibbs' studio.<br /> <br /> "It came out of concern. I was looking at the haves and the have nots. There were several people [from the lower socio-economic rung] that couldn't relate to the joy of giving and receiving; of families coming together; they were not able to partake of these things," he said.<br /> <br /> According to Cowan, lines 'we ain't gonna fight, we ain't gonna fuss, but where are the presents that you brought for us?' shows where his thoughts were at the time.<br /> <br /> Davis, Cowan's wife, remembers when she was approached to do the vocals.<br /> <br /> "It was my first social commentary for Tommy. I had recorded Stealing Love, which he had written. But this song was different. It saw Christmas through the eyes of the less fortunate," she said.<br /> <br /> The singer said the song was also a rally cry for those who have the opportunity of giving back to do so.<br /> <br /> "The song goes 'We see you [Santa Claus] in the paper, you're on TV, we wonder what's happening to poor people like me, is it because we nuh have no chimney?' It is a song that speaks to reaching out to the less fortunate, the elderly, those in the country, and inner city," she said.<br /> <br /> Davis shared an amusing fact on the recording.<br /> <br /> "When I was recording the song, I was a little stuffy," she fondly recalls.<br /> <br /> "The Ras Brass -- Junior 'Chico' Chin, Ronald 'Nambo' Robinson, and Dean Fraser worked on the record. Dean also did backing vocals."<br /> <br /> Davis said Santa Claus, Do You Ever Come to the Ghetto? is often requested on overseas gigs.<br /> <br /> "Even when I travel, people request that song. I'm happy Tommy brought the song to me.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11336735/Tommy-Cowan_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11336736/Carlene-Davis_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Wednesday, December 17, 2014 3:00 AM Ja Praise Chorale delivers http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Ja-Praise-Chorale-delivers_18114401 The 32-member choir was accompanied by a full band of accomplished musicians who created that big band gospel sound with a horn section which resulted in a call for more and a standing ovation.<br /> <br /> The songs performed were Hear Me When I Call, Magnify Your Word; and No Other Name.<br /> <br /> Guest speaker for the evening, Michael Sean Harris, lecturer and assistant director at the School of Music at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, in congratulating the group, pointed to the myriad opportunities which exist for musicians and recording artistes to promote their work, due to the emergence of the Internet and vast programs in cyberspace.<br /> <br /> Since its inception in 2013, the chorale has been spending hours in studio perfecting their unique sound and putting the finishing touches to their first EP album entitled Magnify Our Lord. The album will be available on January 1, 2015.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11337300/Ja-Praise-Chorale_0646_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Wednesday, December 17, 2014 3:00 AM Tee Jay remembers late friend Nine X http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Tee-Jay-remembers-late-friend-Nine-X_18112891 HAVING lived in one of Jamaica's toughest communities, singjay Tee Jay has seen many families lose relatives to violence.<br /> <br /> In November, the 20-year-old entertainer experienced that grief with the death of his close friend Mikhail Campbell, a deejay known as Nine X.<br /> <br /> Both grew up in Glendevon, a St James area with a long history of gang violence. Tee Jay's latest song, the self-produced The World Comes Down, is a tribute to Nine X.<br /> <br /> "Him was like a bredda...mi an' him used to sit down, write song an' reason," said Tee Jay.<br /> <br /> Born Timoy Jones, Tee Jay is from the Bottom Pen section of Glendevon. It is among a handful of communities in St James scarred by decades of multiple homicides.<br /> <br /> He said getting involved with gangs was never part of his plan.<br /> <br /> "Wi jus' go through 'cause wi a artiste, wi never deal wid the badness thing."<br /> <br /> The World Comes Down is Tee Jay's first crack at production.<br /> <br /> His previous songs include I Know That Someone is Watching over Me for Starlight, a German company and Never Lost my Way for Raz and Biggy.<br /> <br /> -- HC<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11336782/Teejay-1_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Wednesday, December 17, 2014 3:00 AM Nick Cannon tunes in to JA http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Nick-Cannon-tunes-in-to-JA_18109736 AMERICAN actor/television personality Nick Cannon is currently in Jamaica trying get a first-hand taste and feel of the island as he seeks to promote his latest charge Kreesha Turner.<br /> <br /> The Wild 'N Out personality, who is on his first trip to the island, is here to soak in the sights, sounds, and tastes of the island in order to inform himself as he works with Turner, who was born in Canada and raised in Jamaica. She fuses reggae and dancehall music with other influences to arrive at her sound.<br /> <br /> "From the moment I met Kreesha, she kept telling me about Jamaica... I had been to some of the other islands, but not Jamaica... so I had to come see what it's all about," Cannon told the Jamaica Observer's editors and reporters yesterday at the weekly Monday Exchange at the Beechwood Avenue offices in the Corporate Area.<br /> <br /> "We are here supporting Kreesha's project, exploring the culture to make sure I touch the people in a real way," he added.<br /> <br /> Cannon and Turner are in the island promoting her single Sexy Gal, which also features dancehall quartet T.O.K. Turner is signed to his Ncredible Entertainment label.<br /> <br /> Cannon disclosed that he would like to work with local acts, but is new to the culture and therefore is taking it slow.<br /> <br /> "Right now, I'm paying attention to who's picking up in the clubs and dances because I always want to get it right. However, right now, my focus is to get Kreesha popping here in Jamaica. I believe in authenticity and being organic so I'm just paying attention and getting more engulfed in the culture before making any move like that," he stated.<br /> <br /> He is committed to getting Turner to mainstream and, therefore, is not looking to sign another female act from Jamaica at this time in order to prevent conflicts of interest.<br /> <br /> Cannon's Jamaican recce has seen him enjoying lobster on the beach at Hellshire in Portmore, <br /> <br /> St Catherine; Wet Sundaze -- a weekly party on Hillview Avenue in St Andrew -- and was set to take in Mojito Mondays at Susie's on Constant Spring Road in St Andrew on Monday night.<br /> <br /> -- Richard Johnson<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11332935/Nick-Cannon_9049_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Tuesday, December 16, 2014 3:00 AM Ghetto Splash line-up grows http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Ghetto-Splash-line-up-grows_18109588 THE line-up for tonight's staging of Boom Ghetto Splash continues to grow. The latest additions are dancehall artiste I-Octane, reggae artistes Jah Cure and Richie Spice, and gospel artiste Omari.<br /> <br /> The event is scheduled to take place at the Waterhouse Mini Stadium in Drewsland.<br /> <br /> According to promoter Patrick Roberts of Shocking Vibes Productions, all systems are in place for another massive and entertaining event.<br /> <br /> "The community is excited about the event, persons from other communities are excited, the artistes are prepared to deliver, so everyone should come out to have a good time," said Roberts.<br /> <br /> The event is free to the public.<br /> <br /> Previously announced performers include Spragga Benz, Morgan Heritage, Bounty Killer, Sizzla, Kip Rich, General Degree, Christopher Martin, Lady Saw, Blak Ryno, Chi Ching Ching, Laden, Elephant Man, Munga, Capleton, Sizzla, Konshens, Jah Bouks, Tarrus Riley, Busy Signal, Aidonia, Bugle, Popcaan, Ninjaman, Nature, Ishawna, Bling Dawg, and the Downsound Crew.<br /> <br /> Up-and-coming acts include Jahmeil, Vybrant, Proper Fade, Rhyme Minista, Versatile, Bryka, Dexta Daps and D Blackmann.<br /> <br /> Ghetto Splash began in the late 1980s and is one of the most anticipated events among inner-city residents. The event took a break and returned with a bang last year.<br /> <br /> Roberts has partnered with Downsound Records for this staging with Boom Energy Drink as title sponsor.<br /> <br /> MCs for the event include Burger Man from RJR 94 FM, Miss Kitty, Sample Man, Nuffy and Beakle Bailey.<br /> <br /> Sound systems include Sky Juice, Foota Hype, Lovers Choice Disco, Boom Boom, and Harry Hype.<br /> <br /> line-up grows<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11332953/I-Octane-2_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11332954/Omari_2120_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11332964/Jah-Cure_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11332967/Richie-Spice_2385_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Tuesday, December 16, 2014 3:00 AM Euphoria delivers stellar show http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Euphoria-delivers-stellar-show_18109412 DESPITE the rains, and fewer than anticipated patronage, there were great performances at the inaugural staging of Euphoria Charity Concert held at LIME Golf Academy in New Kingston, St Andrew, on Sunday.<br /> <br /> American headliner Karyn White lived up to her billing. Performing in the island for the first time, she did not disappoint her audience as she danced and sang the hits that made her an international star.<br /> <br /> The Superwoman singer turned up the heat when she brought a male patron on stage while performing Can I Stay With You. This went down well with the audience.<br /> <br /> American act Pauli Carman, lead singer of the R&B group Champaign, led his band for an energised set of singalong hits including How Bout Us and Try Again.<br /> <br /> Veteran singers Ernie Smith and Freddie McGregor showed why they have been able to consistently represent reggae music worldwide for so many years. With strong vocals, and an amazing catalogue to match, they delivered solid sets.<br /> <br /> The new generation stars, Mr Vegas -- the show's organiser, Christopher Martin, Romain Virgo and Kevin Downswell also held their own. Martin's John Holt tribute performance of If I were a Carpenter hit home with many patrons.<br /> <br /> Mr Vegas thanked the audience for their support.<br /> <br /> "Let us focus on those who are supporting and will continue to support causes like these. It's not about the money for me, it's about the cause. I came from nothing and helping kids who have nothing and need so much, like the kids at the Mustard Seed Communities, is my mission," he said.<br /> <br /> The singjay-cum-promoter also mentioned the Charity's Food Drive and Celebrity Packing initiative that was a part of the project.<br /> <br /> "When I see icons like Freddie McGregor in a supermarket packing bags to help feed the kids of Mustard Seed that means more to me than money," Mr Vegas said before a spirited performance of his hit I Am Blessed.<br /> <br /> The concert came to a close at 2:00 am with patrons leaving the venue calling the event and production "an excellent show".<br /> <br /> Euphoria delivers stellar show<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11332940/Karyn-White_2_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11332941/Mr-Vegas_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11332942/Romain-Virgo_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11332952/Jermaine-Downswell_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11332951/Patrons_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Tuesday, December 16, 2014 3:00 AM Kreesha Turner is one Sexy Gyal http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Kreesha-Turner-is-one-Sexy-Gyal_18109517 BY SIMONE MORGAN Observer reporter morgans@jamaicaobserver.com CANADIAN-JAMAICAN dancehall recording artiste Kreesha Turner is currently in the island promoting her single Sexy Gyal, a collab with dancehall group TOK.<br /> <br /> The artiste, along with her manager, American television personality Nick Cannon, were guests at the Jamaica Observer's Monday Exchange held at its Beechwood Avenue headquarters in St Andrew, yesterday.<br /> <br /> Turner is signed to Cannon's Ncredible Records.<br /> <br /> "We are gearing up for a successful 2015. I am currently working on my mixtape which will feature the likes of Mya, Juicy J and Gucci Mane," she said.<br /> <br /> She said the mixptape, will take the elements of hip hop, dancehall, reggae and R&B.<br /> <br /> Both Turner and Cannon said they are not perturbed by the low sales of dancehall/reggae music. Cannon said such a challenge is exciting as he knows his artiste has the potiential to make it big internationally.<br /> <br /> Turner said she met Nick Cannon while at a night club in Los Angeles.<br /> <br /> "As soon as I walked in Nick was DJ-ing. He took the mic and said: 'Kreesha Turner is in the building'. All I could think was, 'this man knows my name, what?" she explained.<br /> <br /> Born in Edmonton, Alberta, to Canadian father and a Jamaican mother, the 29-year-old said she never strayed far from her roots and would spend the holidays with her grandmother.<br /> <br /> "At the age of 14, I got myself in a little trouble and my mother 'deported' me to Jamaica," she said between laughter.<br /> <br /> Spending a portion of her teenage years in Spanish Town, St Catherine, Turner attended Faith Temple Tabernacle in Bayside, Portmore.<br /> <br /> "My friends convinced me to audition for the youth choir despite my own belief that I could not sing," she said.<br /> <br /> After completing her secondary education at Wolmer's High School, she returned to Canada. In 2004, she inked a record deal with Capitol Music Group, under which the Virgin Records imprint operates.<br /> <br /> Concurrently, EMI Music Canada signed her in order to more effectively tap into the Canadian market. She later released singles such as Bounce With Me, and Don't Call Me Baby.<br /> <br /> In 2008, Don't Call Me Baby topped the US Billboard Dance Charts. That same year she released her debut album Passion.<br /> <br /> Other hits that foIlowed include I Could Stay and Rock Paper Scissors. Turner released her a double disc, Tropic Electric in November 2011.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11332937/Kreesha-Turner_9158_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11332938/Kreesha-Turner_9111_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Tuesday, December 16, 2014 3:00 AM Xmas puts Home T-4 in a good mood http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Xmas-puts-Home-T-4-in-a-good-mood_18109150 BY RICHARD JOHNSON Observer senior reporter johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com This is the third of the Jamaica Observer's daily 12-part series, 12 Days of Jamdown Chrismus. The series ends on Christmas Day.<br /> <br /> SINGER, songwriter and music producer Mikey Bennett was just getting into his song-writing groove on when he penned a song for Christmas. It was the late 1970s and he was then part of the vocal quartet Home T-4. The song was Mek the Christmas Catch You in a Good Mood.<br /> <br /> Bennett can't remember what inspired him to write the now-popular Jamaican Christmas song, but thinks it was all connected to his love for the Yuletide season.<br /> <br /> "I grew up in a large, loving family, and so, for me, Christmas was always special with aunts and cousins visiting, lots of food and family and, of course, the presents. That whole vibe made Christmas my favourite time of year... and it still is," he told the Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> He recalls taking the lyrics of the song to veteran producer Joe Gibbs, but it was early December, and although Gibbs liked the lyrics, he thought it was too late to release the track considering that the holiday season was imminent.<br /> <br /> "I was back at the studio days later and Lloyd Parks was there doing a session with Dennis Brown. I told him about the idea and lyrics and by December 10 the song was mixed and mastered, but there was still the thought that it was too late for that Christmas season. The decision was however taken to give it a shot. The song was released and, as they say... the rest is history," Bennett recalled.<br /> <br /> By the following week, Mek The Christmas Catch You in a Good Mood was racing up local charts and was a hit on the party circuit. Home T-4 now knew what it felt like to have a hit song.<br /> <br /> "Once the fever started to mount, I went down to Joe Gibbs Studio and they were playing the song, and each time they kept stopping the record. I then asked 'Why they won't allow the song to play?&acirc; somebody asked if I was an idiot if I didn't realise that each time they stopped the song it meant somebody had bought the song off the turntable. I stood there transfixed for the next two hours and just watch the record fly off the turntable as patrons just came in and bought my song."<br /> <br /> Bennett still gets a good feeling whenever he hears the track. It still stands up there with his favourite music for the season and is only rivalled by Carlene Davis&acirc; Santa Claus Do You Ever Come to the Ghetto.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11333393/Home-T4_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11332939/Mikey-Bennett_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Tuesday, December 16, 2014 1:00 AM Toni Braxton calls on Shaggy http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Toni-Braxton-calls-on-Shaggy_18100821 BY RICHARD JOHNSON Observer senior reporter johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com This is the second of the Jamaica Observer's daily 12-part series, 12 Days of Jamdown Chrismus. The series ends on Christmas Day.<br /> <br /> He is known for his Boombastic, pelvic-thrusting 'girl tunes'&acirc; so when Shaggy delivered a Christmas song with R&B sensation Toni Braxton people took note.<br /> <br /> Christmas in Jamaica was the second and final single from Braxton's Christmas album, Snowflakes, which was released 2001.<br /> <br /> It was the petite singer with the sultry voice who made the first move on Mr Lover Lover to collaborate on the project.<br /> <br /> "We were contacted by Toni Braxton, saying she wanted a track with a reggae feel for a Christmas album she was putting out. I wrote the part with Dave Kelly in New York and sent to her and she loved it. We never worked together in studio as we both recorded separately, but were in touch constantly speaking about the direction of the track. She was always very enthusiastic and pleased with the way it turned out," Shaggy told the Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> The diamond-selling reggae act was riding high at the time with the fresh release of his acclaimed album Hot Shot. The tracks included the popular Angel and It Wasn't Me.<br /> <br /> For Shaggy, Christmas is all about family and friends.<br /> <br /> "I just love being with family and friends ... it's all about family and friends and the feeling they bring. I will definitely be in Jamaica to celebrate Christmas. There's no place like home for the holidays -- Christmas in Jamaica," he said.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11330690/Toni-Braxton-3o_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11330693/SHAGGY1_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Monday, December 15, 2014 3:00 AM Tribute for &lsquo;Roach&rsquo; http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Tribute-for--Roach--_18099078 BY SIMONE MORGAN Observer reporter morgans@jamaicaobserver.com IN memory of his late mentor music producer Patrick 'Roach' Samuels, dancehall producer Justus Arison has released the Tribute Riddim.<br /> <br /> "Me jus waan mek sure Roach's memory and legacy is kept alive. Him woulda celebrate him 47th birthday last Friday, so me jus release it pan da date deh. A him send me a road and mek mi make mi name inna dancehall," Arison, 27, told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.<br /> <br /> Produced on Arison's JA Production label, Tribute Riddim contains five tracks. Among the artistes featured on the rhythm are Munga Honorable, Blak Ryno, I Shawna and Chi Ching Ching.<br /> <br /> "Roach's 12-year-old son, Dami, makes his debut with a tribute song to his father on the riddim," said Arison. The single is titled RIP Father Roach.<br /> <br /> The American-born Arison -- who grew up in Jamaica, said he is forever grateful for Samuels for giving him his break.<br /> <br /> "I was doing music for over 10 years and when Roach forward, within a year, I was a known producer... this was 2010-2011," he said.<br /> <br /> Samuels was shot multiple times on Manning's Hill Road shortly after he left a party last year. He rose to prominence with the Siren beat, a take on Quincy Jones theme song from Ironside, the 1970s American television show.<br /> <br /> Two songs on the Siren 'riddim', Sean Paul's Break Out (from the multi-platinum The Trinity album) and Vybz Kartel's Emergency, were hits.<br /> <br /> Samuels and Arison co-produced the Overproof riddim which spawned the hit songs Settle Down (Mavado), Caribbean Girl (Aidonia) and Tun Up Di Ting (Khago).<br /> <br /> "Every day his spirit is still with me. We jus a push on... he wouldn't want it slow up," said Arison.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11330729/Roach-1_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Monday, December 15, 2014 3:00 AM Skrillex return to Mas Camp http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Skrillex-return-to-Mas-Camp_18100836 ELECTRONIC Dance Music (EDM) maestro Skrillex makes his second appearance in Jamaica on Friday at Mas Camp in Kingston, on a concert featuring EDM heavyweights Major Lazer.<br /> <br /> They first performed in Jamaica at that venue one year ago.<br /> <br /> Skrillex told the Jamaica Observer that fans can expect something different as his shows are not predictable.<br /> <br /> "The thing about my style is that I decide what I am going to play a couple hours before and even then I freestyle a lot. There is amazing energy at these shows, so I am really excited for this one," he said.<br /> <br /> The Los Angeles-born Skrillex is a multiple Grammy Award winner. Many Jamaicans know him for working with another Grammy winner, Damian 'Junior Gong' Marley, on the 2012 song Make it Bun which sold gold.<br /> <br /> He is working on new material, one of which is an album by Major Lazer member Diplo.<br /> <br /> Skrillex, whose given name is Sonny John Moore, started his career in 2004 with the band From First to Last.<br /> <br /> He shot to fame in 2011 at the Grammys where he was nominated for five awards. He won three: Best Dance/Electronica Album, Best Dance Recording, and Best Remixed Recording (Non-Classical).<br /> <br /> -- Simone Morgan<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11330689/Skrillex-2_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Monday, December 15, 2014 3:00 AM Kelissa gives simmering set http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Kelissa-gives-simmering-set_18102194 ON Saturday night, the cool hills of St Andrew reverberated with the sounds of reggae singer Kelissa delivering a simmering set to warm the year-end temperatures.<br /> <br /> The young singer &mdash; who is part of the new reggae revival movement which includes the likes of Chronixx, Jesse Royal, Protoje, Dre Island, Kabaka Pyramid, and Jah9 &mdash; did not drop the baton, instead gave a strong showing which showcased her endearing vocals and well-written and produced material.<br /> <br /> Kelissa Live was staged at Skyline Levels, the childhood home of the singer's mother, which has over the years evolved into a recording studio and live performance space high up on Skyline Drive with the lights of the city twinkling below. This intimate setting was perfect for the singer to perform in front of an appreciative audience.<br /> <br /> Her opening mood was sombre and message-driven with tracks Love Letter, Afrika, Time is Now, and Slow Down. The tracks, with their slower tempo, were extremely effective in drawing the audience into the music and the artiste.<br /> <br /> The second segment saw the tempo increase, adding to the entertainment value of the show. Songs of Love would open this segment which Kelissa layered with tap dancing by Samantha Strachan. Best Love would follow, which includes verses in Swahili. This went down well with the audience, particularly some Kenyan nationals who were in the house.<br /> <br /> From here on in it was anyone's guess which one of her friends would be dropping in.<br /> <br /> It started with Yung JR, the son of reggae act Junior Reid, who shared Wake Up, his collaboration with Kelissa. Keida would also step up to the microphone to give 'strength' to Kelissa. Drew Island was next to share the stage with the headline act on War. He was followed by Kabaka Pyramid, Runkus, and Jesse Royal. They all gave short but effective performances to please the audience.<br /> <br /> The final guest of the night was Kelissa's brother Keznamdi. The brother-sister duo brought the curtains down with Live for Today.<br /> <br /> Speaking to the Jamaica Observer following her performance, Kelissa was ecstatic noting that "it is always a joy to perform music for my people".<br /> <br /> The petite artiste noted that 2014 had been a great year, adding that it has sent the trend for what she hopes to accomplish in 2015.<br /> <br /> "This year was really about establishing who Kelissa really is for the public. I assembled a team including managers and my band &mdash; The Anbessadors &mdash; and we were able to go on the road with Chronixx including his 22-city European tour and stops in North America. This year was also about recording some really strong material and establishing a standard for how we write our material as well as musical production quality, we're big on that. We just want to continue that in 2015," she said.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11330680/DSC_9462_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11330672/DSC_9621_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11330671/DSC_9583_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11330670/DSC_9558_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Monday, December 15, 2014 3:00 AM Macka Diamond banks on Prayer http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Macka-Diamond-banks-on-Prayer_18101005 DANCEHALL artiste Macka Diamond is pleased with public response to her gospel-flavoured song Prayer.<br /> <br /> "I have been getting a lot of encouragement on social media from my fans and from ordinary Jamaicans in the streets. They say 'Macka keep it up, we love the new song', and I am getting a different kind of response in the streets and on radio," she said.<br /> <br /> She shot a video for the single in St Elizabeth last week. It was directed by Super K studios/BOJ TV.<br /> <br /> "The shoot really went well, it was extraordinary...very professional. We had nice beach scenes and a couple of other exciting scenes the public will love. I don't want to give the plot away, but people are going to be very surprised," Macka Diamond said.<br /> <br /> This is the second gospel-inspired track in weeks. Last month, she recorded the Danny Brownie-produced Answer My Prayer.<br /> <br /> "I just feel blessed because I am getting a lot of calls for shows, my career is sailing along, my family is great, my son is doing wonderfully in school. I am in a good place right now because of God and I want to tell him thanks and this is my covenant with Him," she said.<br /> <br /> Macka Diamond, whose given name is Charmaine Munroe, is known for a number of hit songs including Hoola Hoop, Washing Money Machine and Dye Dye.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11330686/MACKA-DIAMOND-2_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Monday, December 15, 2014 3:00 AM Cole still hot for music http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Cole-still-hot-for-music_18100815 A NUMBER of music producers emerged during the 1990s dancehall explosion. One of them was Courtney Cole, whose Roof International released several hit songs from its Ocho Rios base.<br /> <br /> Cole is still at the helm of Roof, though the label has moved to St Elizabeth where he works with mostly home-grown artistes.<br /> <br /> "I'm dealing with some young talent like a 10-year-old named Simonia, who is going places," said Cole.<br /> <br /> Let's Live in Harmony by Simonia is one of Roof's latest releases. According to Cole, the title sums up his label's approach to music.<br /> <br /> "Everything we deal with is conscious, nothing out of the way," he said.<br /> <br /> Dub poet Richie Innocent, gospel singer Meekle Melody and lovers rock singer Garth Swaby are some of the acts Cole has worked with recently.<br /> <br /> An auto-mechanic by trade, St Ann-born Cole operated a tow-truck business before getting into music during the late 1980s when he opened the Roof Club in Ocho Rios.<br /> <br /> Other than being a 'party man', he had no ties to the music industry. After seeing a number of artistes perform at his club, he launched a label and went into production.<br /> <br /> The move paid dividends. Roof produced a cache of hits including I Can See Clearly Now and Mama by Garnet Silk; Dem Nuh Like We (Capleton), Butterfly (Tony Curtis and Jigsy King) and Who Sey Mi Dun by Cutty Ranks.<br /> <br /> Cole said he took a break from producing for a while, turned off he says by a proliferation of 'dutty songs'.<br /> <br /> With his current roster of artistes, Cole hopes to help put St Elizabeth's music on the map just as he did in Ocho Rios 20 years ago.<br /> <br /> Cole still hot for music<br /> <br /> --> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11330668/Courtney-Cole_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Monday, December 15, 2014 3:00 AM Sherna&rsquo;s musing http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Sherna-s-musing_18100883 BY HOWARD CAMPBELL Observer senior writer This is the eighth in a 10-part series looking at Jamaicans excelling on the South Florida entertainment/lifestyle scene.<br /> <br /> THE granting of legal status to millions of 'undocumented immigrants' has been one of the most divisive issues in the United States for years.<br /> <br /> It inspired Sherna Spencer &mdash; a Jamaican immigration lawyer in Fort Lauderdale &mdash; to write a number of poems she eventually compiled for the book, Musings Aloud Allowed, which is available on Amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.<br /> <br /> In November, US President Barack Obama signed an executive order paving the way for over five million illegals in that country to become legitimate residents.<br /> <br /> An immigration lawyer since 1995, Spencer has dealt with numerous cases involving 'illegals' determined to achieve citizenship.<br /> <br /> "It is a labour of love, challenging and gratifying. Over the years, I have counselled many who have indelibly touched my heart," she told the Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> According to the Mandeville-raised Spencer, she covers different aspects of the immigration problem in her first book.<br /> <br /> "With the poem called You Are America I pay homage to the many persons who have chosen to call America home, despite the hardships they have endured to remain here. They know what they left behind!" she said.<br /> <br /> The Reunited, The Undocumented and Jamaica Calling are other poems inspired by Spencer's work with undocumented migrants from Jamaica and the Caribbean, Central and South America, Europe and Africa.<br /> <br /> Spencer migrated to the US in 1976, living in upstate New York before moving to Florida.<br /> <br /> Republicans argue that Obama acted illegally by issuing an executive order. They say, with US elections coming in 2016, he is trying to seal the Hispanic vote, since that bloc accounts for the most illegal immigrants in the country.<br /> <br /> Spencer believes his decision was purely humanitarian.<br /> <br /> "He fulfilled his campaign promise. Using an executive order was not his first choice, but the US Congress has not been able to come together to pass immigration legislation," she said. <br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11330688/Sherna-Spencer_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11330682/Sherna-Spencer_2_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Monday, December 15, 2014 3:00 AM Nick Cannon in Jamaica http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Nick-Canon-in-Jamaica KINGSTON, Jamaica -- American actor, rapper and record producer Nick Cannon is on his first visit to Jamaica, which he says is due to a new project with artiste Kreesha Turner.<br /> <br /> Cannon, who was a guest at the Jamaica Observer Monday Exchange, said that while it would be good to sign other local artistes he has to get his "first Jamaican artiste popping" before he decides to sign others.<br /> <br /> Turner, a former Wolmer&rsquo;s High School student, is promoting her music as she tries to tap into the local dancehall industry. <br /> <br /> She was recently signed as the first Jamaican artiste to Cannon&rsquo;s Ncredible Records. <br /> <br /> The Rangers, The New Boys and Four Account are among acts signed to the label. <br /> <br /> Having listened to some Jamaican music Cannon says he likes Popcaan&rsquo;s &lsquo;Everything Nice&rsquo; and Demarco's &lsquo;Puppy tail&rsquo;. <br /> <br /> Asked about his relationship with his children's mother, Mariah Carey, Cannon replied, "it's family".<br /> <br /> The entertainer noted that for him he's a father first and he tries to strike a balance between work and family. <br /> <br /> Keleshia Powell http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/11331419/cannon_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Monday, December 15, 2014 12:11 PM