Lily Of Da Valley

Serengetti, Hope Zoo

We had gathered for the launch of “Lily Of Da Valley” Jesse Royal’s debut album. The event was amazing; it was beautiful to see all the fans come out, despite the rainy weather we had a packed venue. The Serengetti space in Hope Zoo is home to the the Rib Kage restaurant. It was my first time at the newly formed restaurant. The venue was arranged to fit a large stage, as well as space for standing and a few seating options. The green surroundings gave a feeling of being in a forest, a people filled forest though. The venue was filled was warm energy as people milled about, waiting for the start of the show.

Jesse Royal, Lily of da valley, debut album, reggae, in Jamaica, Debbie Bisson, 87Lover, Universal Reggae, Serengetti,
Jesse Royal answers a question from host, Debbie Bissoon (Photo: Universal Reggae)

The night began with a short question and answer segment; where Debbie Bissoon asked Jesse Royal questions. To name a few, she asked what was his inspiration for the name of the album, what he stood for as a Rastafarian, and for a couple words to young artistes on how to get motivation to pursue this life. He said he got inspiration from his Grandma, when he was younger she would take him to church with her, and he enjoyed hearing the choir singing, “Lily of the Valley.”  As a Rastafarian Jesse Royal is fighting for love, family and strength. To give a few wise words to upcoming artistes, his advice is to “follow what’s inside you…” He went on to say there’s a voice inside of each and everyone, and once you reason with yourself and get to understand the being that is you.; you will figure out how to persist on your journey. Only you can figure it out.

Three of Jesse’s favourites off the album are 400 Years, Always Be Around, and Jah Will See Us Through. He explained that 400 Years is a reminder that the struggle nuh done,  Always Be Around is from the birth of his first child, it’s telling his daughter, he will always be around. And Jah Will See Us Through is a special song to him, it gave hopefulness in certain situations during this year, this song iterated that, “There’s a God that run bout yah and no weapon formed against you shall prosper.” To close the Q&A segment they played songs off the album for us.

Jesse Royal, Lily of da valley, debut album, reggae, in Jamaica, 87Lover, Universal Reggae, Serengetti,
Jesse Royal (Photo: Universal Reggae)

After a short break Jesse took the stage with his full band, firstly giving us 400 Years. He almost went through the entire album. Anyone that’s a fan can attest to his soulfulness while performing. He gained the attention of everyone in the crowd as he sang, we could feel the energy and intent of his songs as he performed. He sang Life Sweet, Stand Firm, Roll Me Something Good, Real Love, Rock It Tonight, Generation, Jah Will See Us Through, Modern Day Judas, and Always Be Around. He ended the lovely night with a meet and greet with the fans.

“Lily Of Da Valley” by Jesse Royal is now available worldwide, purchase the album at JesseRoyalMusic.

Follow @JesseRoyal1 on all social media platforms.

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Upful Reggae Party

The Oxford Shire Ultra Lounge was the place to be on Tuesday night. We witnessed the official release of the “Upful Reggae Riddim” with it’s own party. The Shire at 1A Oxford Road is a new venue on the scene but it’s intimate atmosphere is promising. The bar space was illuminated with disco lighting, preparing us for the ‘party’.

The early patrons seemed pleased with the oldies that graced the air as Dr. Kool spun from his Dj booth. It reminded me of the early session at any dance. Soon after the Deejaying switched to Grei Show, with some roots dub mixes bringing a youthful flare of Reggae.

The vibrant host, Mama Mitzie, welcomed us to the space, sharing details of what we’d experience that night. Before introducing the first performer, and one of the producers of the Upful Reggae Riddim, Eesah. Backed by the Brick Wall Redemption Band, Eesah came out with a fiery energy contrasting his smooth voice. He went through four songs including, Big Tings, which seemed to be a crowd favourite, and Run Ova Dem, a message to all duplicitous persons.

Mikey General, Reggae, Upful Reggae Party, in Jamaica, 876Lover,
Mikey General (Photo: Roy Sweetland)

Mikey General followed, starting off with his song, Miss Taylor Bwoy, an autobiographic song. “What happen to Miss Taylor bwoy? Him shoulda be a lawyer…” was a line from the song, he didn’t follow the norm of society and changed his lifestyle to one he thought suited him better, he became a Rasta. He sang, Is The Revolution Still Happening, which is on the Upful Reggae Riddim, and African Story.

Between sets Mama Mitzie would return to the stage and engage with us before introducing the next act. In celebration of Marcus Garvey’s 130th birthday, there was a giveaway, courtesy of I-Nation. The prizes were two copies of the book, 100 amazing facts about the Negro (with complete proof) by Jamaican author, J.A. Rogers.

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Silkki Wonda (Photo: Roy Sweetland)

Up next was Silkki Wonda, another producer of the Upful Reggae Riddim. He kept a militant mood throughout his set, he chanted against being corrupt. He sang, I Am A Lion, and finally, I&I A Warrior, on the Upful Reggae Riddim. Dexta Malawi followed with his song, Relax, on the Upful Reggae Riddim. I enjoyed Relax as Dexta had a nice flow, urging one to give thanks in life; he closed his set with a song for the ladies.

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Dre Island (Photo: Roy Sweetland)

We had a short break from the performances to view the official music video for “Ganja I’m Smoking” by Dre Island, this is his song on the Upful Reggae Riddim. The video was directed by Shaydz and recorded by Nickii Kane. Props to you guys, the video is so clean, I like it. Dre Island took to the stage and sang Ganja I’m Smoking, giving us a taste of the song live. I will never get over his voice, and was pleased that he sang Rastafari Way next. He was followed by Ashkenaz who sang his song, Relax in acapella, then Lion Fear No Foes on the Upful Reggae Riddim.

Jah Bouks, Reggae, Upful Reggae Party, in Jamaica, 876Lover,
Jah Bouks (Photo: Roy Sweetland)

Jah Bouks was the final act of the night, he began by singing “She say she love it Ital!” we were amazed at his love song! He showed his strengths by doing a freestyle pon a riddim requested from the band. He also asked two of his friends to drop a few lines before singing, Love And Unity, which is his song on the Upful Reggae Riddim.

The Upful Reggae Riddim was released under the Black African Museum Record Label/Studio, the promoters of the event. The party was a good vibe to me, we got to experience authentic Jamaican music, whether reggae, dancehall or the in-between, as new sounds keep emerging. So far I really like the songs on the riddim, you can take a listen to some of them, here. My only qualm is that none of the ladies on the riddim were on the show, bring on the ladies next time!

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Protoje & The Indiggnation Takes Tmrw.Tdy

Tomorrow Today (Tmrw Tday) Culture Festival had a week of activities geared towards meditation, and rejuvenation, where the goal was to acknowledge what you want in life and to help you to live for today. They brought acts from the “Reggae Revival” out to the edge of Jamaica, Negril. The concert was headlined by Protoje & the Indiggnation, with performances from Runkus & the Old Skl Band, and Sevana.

The Boardwalk Village was easy to find on the strip. As you enter you’re greeted by one of the reasons persons visit Jamaica. The beautiful flora, and the Boardwalk Village did not disappoint. It had the palms and beautiful white sand, with thatched roof décor all around. While waiting for the performances to start, Dj Yaadcore did his musical mixing, adding even more to the feel of vacation. When it was time to begin, the host for the evening, Sheldon Shepheard, introduced the first act.

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Runkus and the Old Skl Band. (Photo: Romario Lynch)

Runkus brought his usual high energy. He and the band worked in perfectly in unison; special big up to the backup singers: your notes where on point. Runkus didn’t disappoint he had the crowd moving as he urged to move your feet. He ended the set in pure flames with Burn EverytinG.

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The soulful Sevana. (Photo: Romario Lynch)

Sevana makes you feel like you’re in love when she performs. Her voice gave chills as we rocked to the rhythm. She sang a couple songs from her EP, “Sevana.” The name ‘soulful’ Sevana stuck for a reason, as her energy projected the feeling in each song.

tmrw tday, culture festival, Negril, Jamaica, 876Lover, Protoje, Sevana, Runkus,
Protoje. (Photo: Romario Lynch)

I’ve seen Protoje & the Indiggnation perform numerous times, and it seems each time it gets better. The set ran through all three of his albums, and “Royalty Free” beginning with a form of reverence with I&I, Resist Not Evil, then Protection. Listen mi, they have some lively choreography,  I really wanna learn how to move like his background vocalists, the ladies caught my eye. I did my own dance though, he sang a medley of songs from “7 Year Itch” that had me dipping and rocking along. Followed by his newest single, Blood Money, taking it to a personal level showing his concern for his home. He left us on a high by ending the performance with some favourites: Hail Rastafari, Who Knows, Ja, and finally, Kingston Be Wise.
This was my first time in Negril, yes, for real. We (my friends and I) took it upon ourselves to make that really long journey from Kingston for the concert. We take the concert thing (life) seriously, and I’m glad I made the effort because it was truly worth it.

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For The Culture!

Ah the Shell Band Stand…I stepped through the gate and instantly my tummy started to fill with nostalgia; and my head with flashbacks of flashing lights and the roaring of The Indiggnation. I was brought back to Ancient Future Live. Warmth roamed the grounds of the green-space, as friends and strangers alike, mingled, and enjoyed the musical styling of DJ Yaadcore while waiting for the show to begin. The venue held friendly faces, Benjie, nourishing the patrons with his vegetarian Yatties and a variety of natural juices. As well as I-Nation, with his pop-up shop or station. Dj Jimmy Q warmed up the crowd, and enthusiastically introduced the soulful Sevana.

Sevana, For The Culture, Reggae Concert, in Jamaica, 876Lover, Protoje, The Indiggnation, Keon Predi Photography
Sevana

Sevana had us at the edge of our seats, and on the tips of our toes. Her beauty is one thing but her voice is a completely different story, Valentine’s Day is gone but her sweet voice summoned the god of love. The audience held onto her every word and swooned with every note. She began with an unreleased song that was quite personal, and followed with Easy To Breathe. She gave us another unreleased song, No Sleep, which has been growing on me. Sevana introduced Love The Way by asking us to join her in dancing, which we obliged dutifully. She continued to steal the hearts of the patrons, and with every high note in Bit Too Shy, the cupid’s arrow picked new targets. Her next song was her own remix of Protoje’s “Love Gone Cold,” which she’s featured on. This was followed by Carry You, and one of my favourites, Rawle; to which fans danced and sang along, while new fans learnt the lyrics 😉 Continue reading “For The Culture!”

New Wave

The Season Finale -27/02/16

I cursed myself for wearing this thin shirt when the cold air settled on my skin like a blanket. That and the fact that this was the New Wave finale had me feeling like I walked all the way to the cook shop only to hear “No curry gravy,” vex. But we have to enjoy the good times while they’re here, and that I did.

New Wave, in Jamaica, Art, Khari Kamau, 876Lover, Music, seen by Lynch
Art by Khari Kamau

It was time for the event to start when Dj Stamma, who was in charge of the musical mixing, took the sound down low. The resident host, Brittany Brown warmly welcomed us to the space, and in that same breath introduced the featured artists for the night. Joshua Soals, @Solasink, who is abroad, and Khari Kamau, @Khari.Kamau, who she invited on stage. She asked him where his inspiration comes from, which he responded, from being around his friends, and that he’s interested in patterns.

Her final question was “How do you describe your art?”

“Me.” he responded with a chuckle.

They left the stage, to be replaced by Dj Stamma, who introduced the artiste for the night, Ras-I.

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Ras-I

Ras-I came full storm, with a keyboardist, a bass guitarist, a guitarist, Zosia as backup singer, Cespo on djembe, and Jody on small percussion. We could feel a positive energy radiating from the stage as the band worked concertedly with Ras-I. He sang Still the Storms Come, Dread Inna BabylonNever Gonna Lead I AstrayKeep I Safe; song after song he filled the air with conscious lyrics. He did Roots With Quality for the ladies, and here I must big up Zosia, for hitting all of those notes. He ended his set with Bad Boy Bully.

He couldn’t end without lifting the vibes even more though, this is where more excitement ensued, the unity between the younger and upcoming artistes was heard loud and clear. We got to hear lines and impromptu free styling from Runkus, Pagey, Jeeby, Blvk H3ro, Leno Banton, Grei Show, and some of the ladies as well; Zosia, Courtney, and finally Sevana. Ras-I closed off by giving thanks on behalf of all who touched the stage, and wishing for a great 2017.

This was followed by an open mic session, where anyone got a chance to shine, starting with a dub poet.

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Chereese LaVonne

Chereese LaVonne introduced herself by simply saying, “I draw words.” Then she began, making my heart swell with her beautiful way with words. The piece I enjoyed the most was her final poem, Speak, I’m not sure of the title but for this sake I’m gonna call it “Speak.”

A portion of persons came up to speak or sing, and collect their 5 minutes of fame. To name a few, there was Nattoo, Khalel, Elad, Meikle for D.R.E.D.Z.-Drums Rythm Expression Dynamic Zeal, Maneen, Sahj, Tara, Eva Flow, Deandra, Pagey, and finally BussWeh party which included Grei Show and Lila Ike. This was followed by the Aux cord segment.

And that is how we said goodbye to this season of New Wave.

Photos by Romario ‘@leBossLYNCH’ Lynch, click the hashtag to see more: #SeenByLynch.

Follow!

New Wave
IG: @NewWaveJa
Twitter: @theNewWaveJa

Ras-I
IG: Ras_I_Musique
Twitter: RasI_Musique

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New Wave

Stones Throw Bar the small sign read.

The cozy space vibrated with music as people trickled in, filling up the spaces from which the music echoed. The atmosphere was pleasant with chatter, friends greeted and ran jokes, while some sat tuning in keenly to what Dj Jimmy Q was serving. When the venue seemed to fully come to life Brittany Brown, the host, took to the stage.

New Wave, in Jamaica, 876Lover, Art, Monique Kidd, Romario Lynch, Seen by Lynch,

She introduced the artist that was responsible for the vibrant pieces that stood as décor, Monique ‘@Kidding_Art’ Kidd. She asked Monique a few questions about her work, which she gleefully answered, including how she started painting. The exchange ended quickly and without wasting time, Brittany introduced the first act, Mortimer.

New Wave, in Jamaica, 876Lover, Mortimer, Romario Lynch, Seen by lynch,
Mortimer

Mortimer came to Nice Up Di Scene, with a sweet acoustic vibe, he was accompanied by a solo guitarist, Elly B. His soothing voice took off any edge that might have been in the air, the second song was his rendition of Protection, a song by Protoje of which he’s featured. Next he sang Herb For You, which sounded like a love song, maybe the love of herb transmitted very clearly through that one or maybe it was his voice wooing me. We saw a vulnerable side of Mortimer that night, he promised he wouldn’t do any long preaching but made it known that he had a lot on his chest. He actually became emotional while singing a song with the line “careful of the ones you call you family” the pain was evident. Which caused the audience to give him applause in encouragement, he then shared the lime light with Elly B, and gave him a chance to sing a song of his own. Mortimer finished up with his final song, Heads Up, leaving the crowd in high spirits.

New Wave, in Jamaica, 876Lover, Lila Ike, Romario Lynch, Seen by lynch,
Lila Ike

Lila Ike came with divine energy, femininity mixed with some ‘ragga muffin’ which lifted my spirit. I say ragga muffin because amazing lyrical mixing or Deejaying skills is usually associated with men but this little lady have it lock. She gained a new fan, me. She took us up and down with her vocals, her set included warm up which was Make a Joyful Noise, and lots of love: My Little Darling, Rain Start Fall, and Biggest Fan. She invited guests on for us, Koro Fyah which she sang Ragga Muffin with, and Royal Blu, to sing Believe. Her voice is so lovely, the audience was locked in, as she took us from sweet notes to mixing on the riddim.

My faves were Biggest Fan and Rain Start Fall. To my dismay, most of these songs are unreleased, so when “my little darling” was stuck in my head the next day, me did get knock.  I’ll just have to work with Believe for now…Word on the street, is that she will be releasing a single soon. Lila we ready fi you.

Photos by Romario ‘@leBossLYNCH’ Lynch, click the hashtag to see more: #SeenByLynch.

Follow Follow Follow!

New Wave
IG: @NewWaveJa
Twitter: @theNewWaveJa

Mortimer
IG: @MortimerMusic
Twitter: @Mortimer876

Lila Ike
IG: @LilaIke
Twitter: @_LilaIke

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Upcoming Events!

The Christmas Season has officially begun, It’s the best time of the year, simply because my birthday falls in December! There are a lot of events coming up, which aren’t cordial for persons preparing for exams, such as myself. Anyway, the Kingston Music Festival officially begins today, which has various events during it’s week. That along with other events that persons decided to put (before exams) right at the beginning of December are this weekend; take a look. Continue reading “Upcoming Events!”

The New Wave

The debut.

I got to the Stones Throw Bar at 9:30, when (Dj) The Stamma was running the Dj stand. He was relieved by Dj Jimmy Q at 10pm. Patrick and I conversed, enjoying the ambiance Stones Throw had to offer. It had aTiki Hut vibe, with the main area secluded by decor hanging from the sides of the roof. Making the space cozy by taking off a little of the edge from the cold wind that was blowing. It had dim lighting continuing the feel of relaxation. While waiting for the show to start, patrons began the night, lighting up the space with the refreshing incense that was marijuana; voices and laugher filled the air.

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Protoje.

Soon enough Protoje, the host for the night, came onto the stage and thanked us for supporting, and in that same breath explained the New Wave.  The idea came about by brain storming, and what they wanted to create was a space for creatives to come together. A way to just build and share what we have to offer. The debut of the New Wave event was coupled with the first New Wave radio broadcast, both being on Monday’s. The broadcast is at 2:30pm on News Talk 93.1 fm, hosted by Jimmy Q; this show will bring upcoming talents to the public’s ears.

Proto continued by saying Jamaica is not short of talent but the problem is the means, the resources aren’t readily available for persons to show their passion to the world. The New Wave is a way for creative people to link up, share what they have to offer and network. He also commended the Leggo Career movement for what they’re doing for Jamaican youths. New Wave Ja is not limited to music, it’s for all forms of talent, cinema, dance, fashion…you name it. Next week Monday will be a Cinema edition. He closed off by introducing BLVK H3RO.

New Wave, NewWaveJa, Blvk H3ro, 876Lover, Jamaica,
BLVK H3RO.

“H3RO’s talent is undeniable, it’s clear, obvious, present, unique…” He began with his new song, not yet released, “Feet Don’t Fail Me” followed by my personal favourite, “Final Destination” then the song that I had on repeat when I just buck up his Soundcloud page, “My Story.”

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Leno Banton and H3RO during “Skydive”

Next up was “Skydive” with the featured artiste, Leno Banton. Then “Kush & Schwepps”followed by his final song of the set, the high energy, “Herb.” After he closed withthe final song, he asked us to help him sing happy birthday to Grei Show, as it was soon 12am and his birthday. Then he invited Sevana on stage, so we could sing her happy birthday, because it was before 12 and still her day. She actually ended up singing it though 🙂

Grei Show got a little shine after that, he sang a part of his single, “Blind Without Shades.” Protoje came back on stage to sign off and informed us that The Stamma would continue playing music. This would be followed by the aux cord session, ending the night.

Gallery:

Photos by Romario Lynch, you can find him at his website LynchPhotography, and @leBossLynch on Twitter and Instagram. Be sure to follow the New Wave on Twitter and Instagram as well: @TheNewWaveJa, and @NewWaveJa respectively.

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Imprint

Finally, the day a large section of the Jamaican twitterverse was waiting for, Imprint had arrived. Imprint was Shaundel Campbell’s art exhibition, showcasing her art as well as some other artists’ work; it also had body painting, dancers, and a fashion show. The night ended with a concert, featuring some of the upcoming artistes on the Jamaican music scene. Imma put this out there from now, I didn’t see the concert; so I will just be showing you some photos I took of the art.

I arrived at 9pm, which seemed like everyone had arrived at that time too; a good amount of persons were at the entry way. Inside the New Kingston Conference Centre wasn’t what I expected. It had really dim lighting, with black lights over most of the rooms. There were hanging lights placed over the art pieces so we could see them properly.  You could feel the excitement in the air as persons wondered how the night would ensue. The room buzzed with chatter and camera flashes as persons looked at the displays. Please enjoy, and check out the artists, as I will link their twitter handles.

A friend of mine, Summer Clarke, @Summerclarke95.

Justin Brown.

Shaundel Campbell, @_Rouxvolution.

Selina Chen.

Chanté Blackwood.

Monique Kidd, @Kimmmon.

Kamoet NG-You.

Shaq Cross.

Keanu Gordon, @Duttyboydeth.

 

The two photos above were taken by Trish from Art Space Caribbean.

There were a few art pieces that I didn’t get to capture, and though I wasn’t there for long, I enjoyed looking at the art work. It was actually hard to take proper photos of the art because of the lighting but I resorted to flash in some instances. I wish I got to see the performances, I’m in love with Blvk H3ro, he performed as well as Royal Blu, Leno Banton, and Di Vibe. My squad for the night, as seen in the photo above, left and went to Kelissa Live, another concert being held that night. shidasignoff2

KOTE 2016: Connections

Kinston On The Edge Urban Festival

KOTE is  an annual event which came about simply to showcase the art that is happening in Kingston. It is a celebration of the creativity we have, that aren’t necessarily given a chance to be seen by the wider society; the works are showcased outside of the traditional spaces. By Art, it is not only pieces on canvas, the live music that is giving Jamaica life is incorporated as well. The theme for KOTE 2016 was Connections, which inspired some of art work.

My best friend and I opted to do some volunteering for KOTE this year. We were in charge of selling T-shirts at the different events, not all of course because the KOTE week was filled with activities. Fun fact: KOTE was established in the 2007.

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Our station at the Opening event.

The opening event was hosted at the Redbones Blues Café; it went quite smoothly, I enjoyed  it, though I was working I was hearing the performances loud and clear. I also took a stroll around and saw some of the artwork; I tried to take some photos for you, just so you could glimpse the beautiful pieces.

Jermaine Morgan:

Patrick Planter:

Michael Steffen:

Marcella Seivwright:

I know the photos aren’t that great but it’s the thought that counts. Look out for KOTE 2017 by liking their Facebook page: Kingston On The Edge and keeping an eye on the website: www.KingstonOnTheEdge.org.

Gallery:

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