Machel a lover of Jamaican cuisine
Legendary soca entertainer Machel Montano (Photo: Machel Montano – Facebook)

Soca star Machel Montano says he has a passion for Jamaican culture and food. He said these are among the many things that keeps him coming back to the island.

"I love Jamaica for many things. I remember how the place used to smell whenever there is a downpour of rain. What I love most is the vibration of the culture, I love the music, the food, just going on the beach and the vibration of just being here. I love going to Dunn's River Falls and just feeling the great energy and vibration. I used to love jerk chicken and beef patty before I became a vegan," the entertainer disclosed in an interview with OBSERVER ONLINE on Thursday at the launch of the Wi Fete music festival for which he is the headliner.

The Wi Fete music festival is scheduled for Saturday, April 15, at Sabina Park in Kingston. Also on the lineup are Nailah Blackman, Bunji Garlin and a few Jamaican acts whose names will be announced shortly.

Montano, who once resided in Jamaica, has collaborated with a number of dancehall acts over his 40-year career. They include Serani, Vybz Kartel, TOK, Mr Vegas, Busy Signal and Sizzla.

Earlier this year, he teamed up with longtime collaborator Destra Garcia and Nicki Minaj for the song ‘Shake The Place’.

"The relationship with Destra has always been there. Me and Destra have worked together over the years. I've met Nicki over the years and we've always talked about working together. But there was something really special and all the stars were aligned. Destra and I had one of the biggest carnival anthems with ‘Its Carnival’ 20 years ago and we decided to work on a song called ‘Shake The Place’," said Machel.

He continued, "The song was organic, fun and a loving experience. Nicki reached out to me personally and she added her verse on the song and when she came to Trinidad carnival, we performed the song a couple of times."

Montano is set to launch his book ‘King of Soca’ next month in Jamaica.

KEVIN JACKSON , Observer writer

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