SIZZLA Kalonji is promising conscious dancehall music for his set at this year's staging of Reggae Sumfest, slated for July 20-23 at Catherine Hall Entertainment Centre in Montego Bay, St James.
“Yes. I'm looking forward on being Reggae Sumfest. It's a great show in that part of the island. I'm bringing the whole cultural vibes of roots-reggae and Nyahbinghi for the fans,” he told the Jamaica Observer.
Reggae Sumfest's Executive Producer Josef Bogdanovich recently confirmed that Rastafari singjay will be part of this year's line-up. He, however, was unable to say whether or not the singer's 35-piece orchestra would accompany him.
“Please to expect a scintillating performance,” said the singer who has had several stints on the show.
Sizzla, two Saturdays ago, performed on Reggae Month's penultimate event dubbed Rise to the Occasion — Sizzla Kalonji in Concert with the 35-piece Reggae Orchestra, held in the Gardens at the Pegasus in Kingston.
He reflected on the concert.
“It was different, in a sense, where I was having more fillings of beautifully arranged sounds to accompany me during the time on set,” he said.
“It meant so much to my musical journey; I'm most honoured and elated. It was my duty and great pleasure being a part of such a grand event as I'm so passionate about singing for the people whilst delivering the message of black consciousness and self-representation,” he continued.
Sizzla and the Reggae Orchestra in Concert was the brainchild of Olivia “Babsy” Grange, minister of culture, gender, entertainment and sport.
The occasion saw the Rastafari artiste clad in a grey suit and a black turban, with his back-up singers and musicians all donning black.
It was hit after hit as he belted out the lyrics to some of his most popular songs, including Praise Ye Jah, One A Way, Holding Firm, Guide Over Us, Good Way, Mash Dem Down, Simplicity, Woman I Need You, Thank You Mama, How Dem a Wonder, Show us the Way, Black Woman and Child, Get to the Point, and of course, Rise to the Occasion.
Sizzla, whose given name is Miguel Collins, said the rehearsals were really not as complex as might be imagined with a large orchestra.
“These are really professional musicians. It only took about five days,” he said.
The entertainer had a word of advice for up-and-coming singers.
“Be of good faith and never stop reading, writing, recording, and performing, doing your very best,” he encouraged.