KINGSTON, Jamaica - Fresh off his latest tour of Japan, veteran reggae artiste Sizzla Kalonji says he is overwhelmed at the support for Jamaican music and culture globally. The tour, which was dubbed Everlasting, saw the Take Myself Away singer covering 13 shows in 14 days. Sizzla told OBSERVER ONLINE that after a three-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he was happy to be spreading reggae music to the world again.
"It has been a very prosperous and enlightening tour. It was well received and the fans were appreciative of our efforts of getting here and doing the reggae dancehall concerts," he said. "The COVID-19 pandemic might have set back a lot of things in our lives, but the Japanese definitely got it going for us with the love for our reggae/dancehall music and this tour just re-energised us to take on the road again."
The entertainer whose given name is Miguel Collins, said after wrapping up his first tour since 2019, he has a burst of new energy and a newfound respect for lovers of reggae music, especially the Japanese market.
"The Japanese people have always respected our culture with high regard for our African, Jamaican nationals. Based on my observation over the years of coming here and doing shows, the Rastafari culture is well accepted and embedded in these people. The Japanese people see Reggae music as a part of their lives and well-being so much that they’ve started making brands out of our culture of red, gold, and green. They are learning the vernacular, making sound systems, entering clashes, and winning," he stated.
Expressing belief that some aspects of the entertainment industry are not being celebrated enough, Sizzla pointed out that in countries like Japan, Jamaica's music is considered global and is put on a pedestal. "We the people in Jamaica might not know how much the Japanese loved our music and lifestyle of something being neglected by our own government and people," he said.
The music has sparked such a flame in the Japanese that they visit our country very often to learn of the characters of our people, culture and even the dishes of the Jamaican cuisine," he shared, highlighting how honoured he is to be a part of a culture that is so celebrated and loved globally. "Music is life and I myself am so honoured in being a part of such contributions. Reggae music is the biggest thing here apart from their own indigenous music and my team and I were treated really well. If given the chance I'd visit more often."