The Final Round Tour
Mighty Crown to make its way across Canada, US, UK, C'bean
Members of Mighty Crown sound system

Upon celebrating their 30th anniversary and forthcoming retirement, the international Mighty Crown sound system has announced The Final Round Tour.

Long-time manager Garfield "Chin" Bourne, of Irish and Chin, says the entity decided to move on because of the evolution in the dancehall space.

"The energy in the dancehall space is rapidly making its expected generational shift. To stay relevant during this shift, older selectors have to often compromise their brand and seek an age-appropriate style in order to relate to the younger audiences, who have now inherited the space," he told the Jamaica Observer.

"The reason why Mighty Crown was so good at what they did is because what they said and played were always naturally relatable to audiences. The lyrics and rhythms of every song were connected to their dancehall upbringing," he continued.

Bourne said the sound was born out of its connection with the times, which lent support to its authenticity.

"If you want to perform at your best, then your performance must be real. It's critical because the realness shows in your presentation. Mighty Crown doesn't live today's dancehall life. The sound is one of a few masters of yesterday's dancehall life, so it's time to let the younger generation carry the torch without interpretation from us [our generation]," he charged.

Founded in 1991 by friends from the city of Yokohama, Mighty Crown built their impressive resume by playing in clubs and selling self-produced mixtapes throughout Japan.

The members include Sammi T (real name Samuel Tse), Rohan Henry (Ninja), Koji Ishii (Cojie) and Simon Tse (Masta Simon).

In 1994, they started 'clashing' with other Japanese sound systems and became the country's undisputed sound clash champion in 1998.

The following year, on their debut appearance in World Clash, they defeated 'sounds' from Jamaica and the United States to become the first Japanese sound system to lift the World Clash Trophy.

"Mighty Crown had the time and made the best of it. Mighty Crown made history. But the industry's history doesn't stop with this generation. Others will come and do great things because the music is speaking for their generation of greatness. The challenge with continuing is being forced to play songs that don't speak of your experiences and dancehall lifestyle," Bourne added.

The Final Round Tour kicked off in mid-March in Japan. The sound system will make its way across Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Caribbean.

The sound system members seem to be parting with a high sense of accomplishment over the last three decades.

Their legacy shows them to be the first sound system to be endorsed by major brands like Nike, Clarks, and many more. Additionally, Mighty Crown is the first sound to be signed to a major recording company, first to own a leading clothing line, first to stage their anniversary with 40,000 in attendance....The list goes on and on," Bourne explained.

Meanwhile, the manager said he does not foresee any other sound filling Mighty Crown's shoes because of its unmatched versatility.

"Mighty Crown's ability to speak English, Patois and Japanese allowed them to become the top of their class. I don't see any successors because many of the Japanese sounds with talent today can only speak Japanese and a little Patois. In order for them to compete at the highest level their speech must be clear to audiences. The other sounds certainly have a lot of talent, but Mighty Crown wasn't only built on talent. Presentation and packaging plays a major role in how far they reached," he said.

BY KEDIESHA PERRY Observer writer

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