New acts grateful for touring experience
Janeel Mills

RISING acts, singjay Rik Jam and singer Janeel Mills are in high spirits having opened for reggae band Earthkry on their recent 22-date tour across the United States.

“The experience has been a tremendous one, and to see the reactions from the people who took the time out to listen to the message was really an amazing experience. The most important lesson I learnt is that reggae music is healing, and it will forever play a part in the everyday lives of people around the world,” said Rik Jam.

Rik Jam, who resides in Stadium Gardens in St Andrew, said he enjoyed travelling from the different states to each performance. Among the songs he performed at each show were Love Never Lost, Life, Countless Dreams, Ready Fi Dem, Change My Life, and Beautiful.

Rik Jam, who is signed to the Irie Yutes label, is currently promoting a new single titled You.

“The song encourages persons who are going through everyday struggles to stay strong,” he said.

“Performing on the tour benefited me in a number of ways, including exposure to my music. I also benefited from building on my performance and mastering my craft,” Rik Jam disclosed.

Mills, who is from the Seaview Gardens community, also in St Andrew, said she enjoyed every aspect of the tour.

“It wasn’t my first time going on tour but it was really a good run. I made sure to enjoy every aspect of it,” she said.

She shared the lessons she learnt while being on the road with the band.

“First and foremost, being the main act requires you to interact more with your audience. Also, whether or not you’re having a good or bad day, your audience can never know that. As an up-and-coming artiste you have to be consistent in promoting and delivering your craft.”

Experiencing the different culture and types of foods were among the things she enjoyed on the tour.

“Food was kind of a priority for me; I always looked forward to getting food. Whatever state we were in I’d always look forward to that and also seeing and experiencing the different cultures.”

Mills performed an array of songs, including her latest single In The Ghetto as well as Bob Marley’s Waiting in Vain and Is This Love.

Mills is also signed to the Irie Yutes label and has been doing music professionally for the past four years.

“Since the tour I have seen my social media and fan base grow and I am really grateful for that. I also gained more vocal control while touring and I got to learn more about the music industry and its different aspects — including production, logistics and, of course, the business part,” said Mills.

The tour, which spanned several cities in the United States, started on April 9 and ended on May 29. Some of the shows included the California Roots Festival, Austin Reggae Festival, Dallas Reggae Festival, Tico Time Reggae Fest in Colorado and Havana Reggae Fest in Florida. Among the cities that were visited during the tour were Houston, West Palm Beach, Key West, New York, Boston, Providence, Outer Banks, South Bend, Greenville, Phoenix, Quincy and Chino.

Rik Jam
Kevin Jackson

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