Posted in Event Review

Protoje tmrw.tday Forever

After Saturday night, I can now cross attending a concert on the beach off my bucket list. I’d love to shake the hand of whoever’s idea it was to have the Protoje tmrw.tday concert at Boardwalk Village.The venue was perfect. The cool sand beneath our feet was the perfect contrast to the fire that blazed brightly with each performance. Yaadcore deejaying in the background helped set the tone for the musical journey we were on for the remainder of the night.

 

Runkus was the first to take the stage. His set included “Run”, “Move Yuh Feet” and the clear crowd favourite “Burn EverythinG”. Runkus start di fyah and it took every fibre of my being to resist the urge to kidnap his jacket when he threw it to the ground. Mi nahguh hide it, I’m a fangirl and I’m proud!

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Runkus

Following Runkus there was a quick band change (shout out to Monty, my guitsy bae) and the talented, beautiful and always well put together Sevana was next. She glided gracefully across the stage while crooning a few of her hits like “Chant it”, “Bit too Shy” and “Carry You”.

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Sevana

The Don Shepherd, our emcee for the evening came on stage to thank the sponsors, build suspense and perform “Raggamuffin”, one of the poems in his book Inna the Morning Yah. Then it was time for the main act, Protoje!

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The Don Shepherd

His supporting vocalists Keiko Smith and Racquel Stephenson marched on the stage in matching “Blood Money” shirts. The band’s intense intro made it clear that Protoje neva come fi kin teet. Diggy brought us hits from Ancient Future like “Protection” and “Sudden Flight”. He graced us with a medley of songs from Seven Year Itch, performed classics from the Eight Year Affair such as “Kingston Be Wise” and “Hail Ras Tafari” and made sure he gave us a taste of Royalty Free too. You know he couldn’t leave the stage without singing “Blood Money” during which he encouraged us to play our part in stopping corruption in Jamaica.

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Protoje

Protoje humbly interacted with us and at one point asked us to come closer. I didn’t need to be told twice, mi mek sure itch up right under di speaka box. Protoje told us he has done over fifty shows since the start of the year and he wasn’t tired! He jumped, danced and sang to prove to us that he was just getting started. Nuhbody cya seh di ras nuh fit!

 

At one point the song ended and the music stopped playing leaving Protoje skanking to the music in his head. I have no clue what song was playing but by the look on Diggy’s face mi know di song did sweeeeet. I was reminded of my favourite quote:

 

And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.- Friedrich Nietzsche

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All in all, it was a great show. The only problem I found was that Protoje did not perform my favourite song from Seven Year Itch, “Wrong Side of the Law”. Music did play though so I guess I can’t feel nuh way ;).

Love and respect to  Romario Lynch for the pics, you can find him @leBossLynch on social media

That’s all for now folks! Stay tuned for more song and event reviews.

 

Walk Good,

Alexia Blair

Universal Reggae

 

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Posted in Event Review

The “New Wave” Experience

 

It feels so good to be home once more after a four-month absence. The first order of business was to jump right into the live music scene. You can imagine my excitement when my best friend and fellow Universal Reggae writer, Shida, told me we were attending this year’s final staging of New Wave.

Tardiness has always been a defining characteristic of our friendship so it’s not surprising that we arrived just in time to see the last few minutes of Paris and Kongz’ live production set. It was interesting to watch the thought, musical intellect and trial and error that went into creating a musical masterpiece. I now have an even greater respect for the level of work required for production.

Once their set was complete, Shida and I chilled as the music JimmyQ played filled the air. We somehow lost track of time and were brought back to reality only by the sound of a guitar strumming behind us.  We turned around to see the band had set up and was ready and waiting to take us on a musical journey. The live performance for the night was from Jeeby “The Lyricist” and Di Vibe. I had never seen him perform before but Shida stressed that the man was greatness.

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Jeeby took the stage dressed in a camouflage shirt and army green pants; ready for war. His skillful lyrics were his weapon of choice and he was shielded by an impenetrable force field of confidence. The lyrical onslaught began and I sat there in awe. I was mesmerized as he strategically combined words to form sentences fit for battle. His lyrics had the same effect on those around me. The venue was filled with silence as everyone was captivated by his witty word play. Occasionally, my fellow patrons would erupt into screams and cheers when the lyrical attack became too much to bear in silence.

Jeeby the lyricist, new wave ja, di vibe, music,Jamaica, universal reggae,

It would be downright disrespectful for me to end this post without mentioning Jeeby’s backing vocalist. Courtni, How yuh suh bad? This woman did things with her voice that I am certain are illegal in 10 of the 14 parishes. Let’s not forget his band; a family bounded by their obvious love for music! The MC mentioned that they met through school and I’m glad they did.

I need to see this group perform again in the near future and I strongly suggest you do the same.

Photos by Romario Lynch, @leBossLynch on social media.

 

 

Posted in Event Review

Is Your Heart in the Art?

Chaser’s Café at 5 Belmont Road was our venue for the evening. Wav Empress, the DJ, set the mood with songs by popular reggae artistes until it was time for the show to begin. After a while, the MC welcomed us to Heart in the Art. He introduced Richard Nattoo, a talented artist who listened to the performers and painted pieces in response to how the music made him feel. Mr. Nattoo was later joined by Shaundel, a tattoo artist and the two created beautiful paintings in artistic harmony.

First to take the stage was Ras Xtreme. He came with a set that blazed from start to finish. His song Shaat Locks was a crowd favourite as he showed his lyrical wit with flawless word play. He was followed by Kabira, a cabaret singer, who belted out a combination of original songs and covers. She called her set the “Rollercoaster of Love” and she took us on the journey of falling in love, having one’s heart broken and learning to love again. With her soulful voice and energetic performance, she had the audience eating from the palms of her hands until the very end.

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D’Yani

Before the audience had a chance to steady themselves from the rollercoaster ride, D’yani stepped onstage with an air of confidence that instantly won our hearts. Who could blame him for being confident when his backing band was so phenomenal. D’yani sang his popular songs Soul Rebel, Give Away My Love and Sad Story. His well-trained voice pulled us in and made us listen as he tackled topics of love, and crime. He left the audience, especially the ladies, wanting more.

A ball of energy soon came and dampened the yearning for D’yani’s silky smooth voice. His name? Blvk H3ro. His set was filled with crowd interaction and he seemed to be fueled by the vibe the crowd provided. He ended his performance by taking a moment to advertise his new EP The Herb Connoisseur (THC) and giving the audience a sample with his song “Herb”. His skillfully written lyrics collided with the jazzy riddim and the end result was magical.

Maticulus Arburn was next. His song “Vertigo” was about being friend-zoned and that made him great in my books. I mean who hasn’t been friend-zoned? This young man had a way with words but nothing lasts forever. His set eventually came to an end and he made way for, Ras-I.

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Ras-I

Let me tell you about Ras-I! He is a singer, songwriter, guitar and piano player, and a producer. He was supported by an equally talented band. His backing singer Zosia’s voice was as soothing as honey and complimented Ras-I very well. He dedicated a part of his set to paying tribute to the reggae artistes who paved the way for him. He sang songs by Dennis Brown and The Mighty Diamonds to name a few. The majority of his set however, were his original songs such as Dread Inna Babylon and Bad Boy Bully
Dmitri Izem was then called to stage by the MC who just so happened to be his mother and number 1 fan. He was young but commanded attention despite his age. He moved around the stage with agility but I could not decide who was more entertaining, Dmitri or his proud mother who videoed his entire performance.

Royal Blu and his surprise, Lila Ike.
Royal Blu, and his surprise, Lila Ike.

The event was scheduled to end at 11pm however a late start, multiple band changes and a long line-up resulted in the final performer coming on stage a few minutes after 12. Royal Blu was not deterred. In fact, his performance was the most vibrant of the night. He expressed how grateful he was that we stuck around to see him perform. He danced around the stage with gusto and even danced with a lucky fan. He also called on stage a beautiful young woman who he described as his favourite singer, Lila Ike, for a duet. She did not disappoint. Ladies and gentlemen, remember the name because this one is going places! He had stage presence, conscious lyrics and delivered his art with confidence and, clarity. He thoroughly enjoyed himself, the band enjoyed playing for him and most importantly, the audience enjoyed watching him!

That’s all for now folks! Keep an eye on our Facebook page for upcoming events, and also event reviews. Until next time,
Walk Good,
Alexia Blair
Universal Reggae