Rototom Sunsplash Day 6: Putting Jah First Image

by Federico Di Puma

Rototom Sunsplash is sadly going towards the end, but the last days are full of surprises and big shows. The sixth day is in part dedicated to the Spanish Reggae scene, with the Reggae University hosting a debate on the connection between Reggae and Hip Hop in Spain. Panellists were Rapsusklei, Sr. Wilson and Kamikaze from Kiki Sound.

The Spanish Reggae also started and closed the shows on the Showcase Club, with Auxili, Paupa Man and Aspencat playing one after the other.


As tradition wants at this year’s Festival is almost an historical roots band the one who opens the shows on the Main Stage while the sun is falling.  And so was it again with the Wailing Souls.  Winston "Pipe" Matthews and Lloyd "Bread" McDonald showed their faces on the notes of She Pleases Me and Ishen Tree before going to the Fire House Rock catalogue with the title track and Kingdom Rise Kingdom Fall standing out for quality.


They played for nearly an hour delivering Shark Attack and leaving the stage singing Very Well.

The Rototom massive had the chance to witness once again the beautiful Jah9.

Backed by the Dubtonic Kru Band (as always pure quality) she addressed the people reading a passage from the Wise Words of Haile Selassie and then dropped Preacher Man and Warning, introducing this one with “Tonight is not a jiggy night, tonight is Rastafari!”.  Every single tune she played was performed to perfection and we could see the attention and the emotion on the faces of the people in the audience, and even Cedric  Myton, from The Congos, was seen showing his appreciation backstage. Lots of new music was played alongside classics like Brothers, Steamers A Bubble and “The Anthem” New Name. We all felt she should have stayed on stage for more time…pure class.


Jah9 spent some time with the media after her show, arriving at the press conference room with a beautiful bright smile. We asked her about sharing the stage with Chronixx and Jesse Royal (definitely one of The Top 10 Moments of Rototom 2014) and she answered: “Wow! That was the first time I was on stage with Chronixx, I’ve been on stage before with Jesse many times, but Chronixx is just all over the world, you can’t see him! (Laughs) When I saw him at the hotel everybody was like ‘you know you are the only one who hasn’t sang a song with him’ and I wasn’t feeling well but I dragged myself to the Festival and arrived just in time to see him going on stage, and I was still not sure about singing but then he looked at me and said ‘come on!’ and I just went and, you know, the vibration is always positive when there’s unity. And his Majesty always says that unity is what we need to exploit, not each other. So it is good when we are together because what we as youths in Jamaica in Reggae music are doing together has never been seen in history. And there’s so much more to come that I could say but I would just leave it to you all to wait and see what is in store, but all of us are coming bringing Rastafari messages, not just from Jamaica, but from Rastafari”.


While Jah9 was speaking in the press conference, Rapsusklei with the Flow Fanatics and Sr. Wilson made their way to the stage. He’s one of the most important Spanish MC and his latest album (the sixth of his career) is called Reality Flow. Entering on the notes of No No No his second presence at Rototom (the first in 2010 when the Festival moved to Spain) was an interesting showcase of crossover dancehall. Sr.Wilson showed he can easily take on a stage like on Caer Y Levantarse, and Police Officer, which samples KRS One’s Sound of Da Police, was very well welcomed by the crowd.


The last act on the Main Stage was another debut: Midnite from the small Caribbean island of St. Croix. With the voice of Vaughn Benjamin and the slow roots rasta vibration this band carries, it will take some time full grasp it, but when you do it’ll have you moving to their rhythm and asking for more. The album Beauty For Ashes is their latest production and many songs from that album were played here at Rototom alongside older tune like I Chant and Love The Life You Live, rocking the audience and closing the shows on the Main Stage.


Another night full of events saw us moving from one stage to the other: on the Ska Club The Delegators impressed everyone with tunes from their latest album All Aboard, Heavy Hammer mashed up the Dancehall Yard and OBF backed Brother Culture and Mackie Banton in the Dub Academy for a show full of vibes. 
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