Fire Don blazes the trailSaturday, September 18, 2021
COSTA Rica's reggae singer/radio station owner Fire Don can't wait to see the back of COVID-19, which he claims has cheated reggae fans since the lockdown of entertainment activities.
“What COVID has done is more than tongue can tell. This coronavirus has certainly robbed this island [Costa Rica] of good reggae acts. I am talking about the Sean Paul, Beenie Man, Elephant Man, Christopher Martin, Merciless, Mr Vegas, Anthony B, among others,” Fire Don told Jamaica Observer.
“Jamaican artistes coming here [Costa Rica] are treated like kings and queens because Costa Ricans are huge fans of reggae music,” he continued.
Costa Rica, like Jamaica, has a Level 4 rating on the COVID-19 Travel Information page of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Level 4 is considered “very high”.
“My hope is that we can find a vaccination of which everyone can fully endorse. We need to see the world's economies returning to normalcy; too many persons are becoming stressed,” he said.
Born in Limon from Jamaican parentage, Fire Don said he was introduced to reggae music at an early age.
“My parents, Vincent Waddell and Claudia Lewis-Hilton, were lovers of music, including reggae. They would bring out their rocking chairs on Sundays, rocking to the music,” he said.
But, relocating to the country's capital of San Jose in 1989 gave him his big break in music. The aspiring singer met three other reggae lovers, Tiny B, Daddy Tarzan, and Little P. They formed the quartet Black Rose in 2007. They recorded their first single, Poorness, months after.
“The brother of one of the group members liked the song and before we knew it, we were on our way to studio. It gave us wide publicity. It was all about the search for a better life. People wanted to see us in action and we did please fans [by] appearing as opening acts for several reggae shows here in Costa Rica. These include Jamaican acts Sean Paul, Beenie Man, Elephant Man and Merciless among others,” he said.
“We also recorded other songs Live In Unity, Together as One, and Black Rose,” he continued.
They recieved several awards, including Best Upcoming Acts in the Annual Music Awards in Costa Rica.
The group disbanned in 2012 but Fire Don continued as a solo artiste, with tracks appearing on several albums. These include Mr Fire Don (Radical 11), My Dear Friend (Total Beat), Big Fire Burn (Basic Element), and War (Natural Lyrics).
His acquisition of the Internet-based Voice Over Radio TV in 2015 is expected to give him a bigger platform as he works to expose new acts.
Meanwhile, he is working on his debut solo album titled Fire Style to be released in the second half of 2022.