Reggae revival takes place at Arts in the Garden Image

by Biko Kennedy

Held on the well-manicured lawns of the Hope Botanical Gardens, Arts in the Garden wasn't merely a free concert like none other…it was an experience that'll be forever etched in the minds of many to never be removed.

The initiative of the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment as part of its effort to develop the entertainment sector came just in time for Reggae Month and held its 'Reggae revival' with a number of upcoming and established acts.

Hosted by multi-platinum recording artiste Shaggy, Reggae music filled the air as a shoulder to shoulder stance was the feasible option for majority of the fans throughout the concerts entirety.

According to State Minister of Entertainment Damion Crawford the event was solely to highlight and further emphasis the plethora of talents emerging from Jamaica. "What we realise is that there needs to be a greater marketing of the product. [The concert allowed] for greater exposure of our acts to energise the market and also expose these acts to intermediaries," the Minister explains.

From the Rootsy vibrations from Kevor Williams' vocals emerging from Pentateuch's hit single 'Black Face' and Raging Fyah warning us about 'Judgement Day' to seeing Steve 'The Lightning' Newland of Rootz Underground allow the live music to get the better of him and Chevaughn from C-Sharp memorized female patrons with his vocal range, the performances were top-notch to say the least with surprise performances from Denyque and Tessanne Chin.

Ska Rebirth had every reminiscing about the earlier times if Jamaicans music and Di Blueprint Band couldn't help but show patrons why they were recently crowned the best band in the world, but undoubtedly it was a "Poo Puku Poo Puku Poo" moment with No-maddz.

Fast rising star Chronixx and the Zinc Fence band held everyone's attention painlessly with patrons singing along with his songs verbatim without missing a beat.

But the talk of the night was Protoje and the Indiggnation band. Fresh off the release of his sophomore album, The 8 Year Affair, Protoje performed a few singles of the project but the freestyle he did on his militant single 'Who dem a Program' said it all:

"Ting a rise up slow/ see it deh Reggae have revival now/ dem have dem eyes pon you/ tink divide we and tun we inna rival now, but/ Chronixx just heights up so, Kabaka deh yah Rasta run di island now/ Jah 9 a shine and glow shh/ how do you stop the revival?"

Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, the Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill noted that "the feedback from agents who attended the first event has been positive and many of them are totally blown away. They have seen our artistes and they are saying that this is fabulous. I believe that the initiative will prove to be an excellent platform for the exposure of new and emerging talent."

Underscoring the Minister's belief, Omar Grant, Director of A and R at Roc Nation said "if we do more of this, giving a greater awareness of reggae music and more acceptance, it will actually cause a breakthrough and take it to another level, and more people in the US and in other countries would pay greater attention to reggae music and appreciate it more."

A great evening for Reggae music…a great evening never to be ignored by many…if you missed it, you truly missed something spectacular.

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