This was near the end of the exam period for most university students, as you would expect, we had a packed venue… the people came out to enjoy themselves. Dj Stamma ran the mixing table first, playing music from an assortment of genres. The space buzzed with chatter and good energy while we awaited the performances.
As customary, this week also had free caricatures by Djet (@DjetLayne_Carics) and henna tattoos by Mark (@HennaThreads) for the ladies. These activities along with food and drink options from Stones Throw made the wait bearable. For me, I was enjoying the musical styling that blared through the speakers. After a good while, the first performer was introduced, Zia Benjamin.
Zia Benjamin (photo by: Romario Lynch)
Zia had a reggae fusion, her sound was jazz like, and her voice reminded me of Lana Del Rey. The instrumentals she sang on were nice, they fit the vibe of the event perfectly. She’s a sultry dancer, this lady has a little wiya waistline. She sang, “No Fame” followed by a love song she had written earlier that day. Next up was a reggae remix of “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” she saw mommy kissing Beenie Man under the ganja tree! Her final song was, “Rudy” for the rude men and women. We had a small music interlude by Rory Stone Love on the DeeJay stand before Runkus graced the stage.
Runkus (photo by: Romario Lynch)
Runkus came to make us move our feet with his first song. His performance was soothing yet very entertaining. I could be biased, have you ever seen Runkus perform? In just a note you could be spellbound. He went through faves such as “Kindness” and “Foundation” then slowed down vibe with “Energy”. He wouldn’t be the Runkus we knew if he didn’t do a little remix as well, he did a freestyle on with Sister Nancy’s “Bam Bam”. He carried the mood back up with his new song “my Gf.” Then closed off with some requests from the audience, “burn everythinG” and “Run”.
The photos used in the article are by Romario Lynch.
Zia Benjamin on
Twitter & Intsgram: @Ziabenjamin
Twitter & Instagram: @Runkusinno
Bae Vibes for updates on
Twitter & Instagram: @BaeVibesJa
The music was LOUD or turned all the way up, Stones Throw Bar had quickly become one of my favourite event spaces because of the intimacy of the space. The stage was small and perfect for an acoustic performance. The main seating area is a big thatched roof gazebo; with decorative “Christmas lights” or pepper lights as we call them, attached to the roof, hanging right above the stage.
Bae Vibes was the event; it is a seasonal event that seeks to bring people together, and what better way to do that than with music. “Bae Vibes” translated from Patois or Jamaican Creole is “a massive amount of vibes”. As a Jamaican, when I saw the Bae Vibes flyer, it enticed me, ’cause anywhere there’s good energy that’s where I’d like to be. This event is a fete where music takes control, the Deejays play from a variety of genres, encouraging mingling and dancing between the patrons. This was my first time at Bae Vibes, and this season was different because it includes live performances.
Dj Stamma played first, warming up the crowd with a mix of genres, starting the session with some old school R&B, “No Scrubs” for example, a bop! He went to current R&B, and Hip-Hop to Dancehall and made it all come together beautifully. This Bae Vibes had free activities for the ladies or Baes. Henna Tattoos from Mark (@HennaThreads), Caricature drawings from Djet (@DjetLayne_Carics), and Jell-O Shots. I had to partake in all of this!
Fun Fact: Mark makes his own henna paste, he adds tea tree oil and lavender to it; it smelt so good to me. The instructions for the henna are to allow the paste to dry for 6 hours, then remove the paste but keep the area dry for 24 hours.
Since I went alone, if I wasn’t jamming to the music, I’d be people watching; listen, I was taking notes. There were short shorts or “batty riders” with loose fitting tops, Bongo pants (or joggers) and Kimonos in an array of prints. From the Afrocentric crop tops to the Chokers necklaces, and Big wooden hoop earrings, I was enthralled by the styles. First on stage was the Bae, Jane MacGizmo.
It was my first time seeing Jane McGizmo perform live, I like her energy, she spoke to us and introduced herself, she seemed like a very down to earth person. She sang an unreleased song, “King”, a sultry song about pleasing her king. Next up was “Babylon” the first single she released, and a crowd favourite.
“Free from Babylon, come mek we shut it dung!”
Her band held known faces, Jason Worton-Lee on guitar, iOtosh on bass, and Teflon engineering the instrumentals. Next she sang “Who I Am”, she wrote this track in studio for a TV series, it gave me a disco feel. Her final song was her most recent release, “Too Late” another crowd fave, she was very soulful in singing this one, it made me feel like I’d lost my lover too.
Royal Blu came with a vibe to make some ladies fall in love with him, I’m sure of it. El Fuego Don went into “Blue Mahoe”, my favourite song off his just released EP; in this song he’s singing about the earth and protecting it. Next was “The Motions” you could hear the different ranges in his voice clearly in this song, I enjoyed it. Then he went back to the EP by singing the title track, “sinG with God” featuring Runkus; these two artistes are a power duo, and it shows whenever they combine, the energy was on a different level when they performed this song. The closing song of the set was “Meanwhile” featuring Leno Banton, this continued on the high energy of the last song, gaining participation of the crowd. We were the chorus at the appropriate times; we turned singers crooning out the “meanwhiles”.
Fatalic Sound then took over the Deejaying, they went full force with the Dancehall, picking up where the high energy of Royal Blu’s performance had left off. The dancers rolled out in the largest space of the venue, and other patrons like myself, danced and enjoyed ourselves where we stood. It was a good night.
Bae Vibes will be every Monday for the month of December, so come on out, and have a good time.
Jane MacGizmo on
Twitter & Instagram: @JaneMacGizmo
Royal Blu on
Twitter & Instagram: @TheRoyalBlu
Bae Vibes for updates
Twitter & Instagram: @BaeVibesJa
Hey guys, summer is coming to a close, so let’s make the best of it. The events are still up and running, here is a short list of things happening this week. Comment below if you’re interested in checking out one of these events!
This holiday started off great, I didn’t up early yet I cleaned my room, cooked some lunch to carry to work the following day and got ready in a timely manor to touch the road. New Wave was the event, featuring live music acts, my favourite way to relax.
When I got to Stones Throw, the first thing I saw was a beautiful girl, she stood out in the dim venue. She was chocolate, with a piercing gaze and her hair tucked neatly away under a gorgeous turban.
The host for the evening was Chereese LaVonne, who welcomed us to the space. She then introduced the featured artist for the evening, Natali ‘@NataliSimone’ Daley, the creator of the girl who caught my eye. Chereese asked what inspired her work, which she replied African art, and line art. As you can see in the photo of miss chocolate, as I’ll call her, Natali’s line work is amazing.
There were two other special guests for the night, so while Dj Jimmy Q controlled the sound, Chereese introduced Jody. Jody is the creator of @Juwire.Ja, she makes copper jewelry. The next guest was a representative from @876Extracts, they make marijuana edibles. The two guests had their products on sale.
While we enjoyed the pleasant vibe we had a Dj change, where Dj Stamma got his time to woo us, I must admit both these Dj’s were lit. Soon after that Chereese introduced the first performer, Elad Gideon.
Elad Gideon came on with a bang, doing his remix of “No No No” by Dawn Penn, showing us his rapping skills. That flowed into his next song, Just Life, this one speaks of life, you know how it goes sometimes, and that’s just life. As his set progressed I was more and more pleased, Elad Gideon has a way with words, his word play was definitely working for me. He sang Wild Life, Money Up featuring Kasique, and finally his freshly released single, Wheel of Fortune.
Giark has a unique, rootsy voice, he sang Kingsun, and I liked that you could see him feeling the music. Then he sang his new song, So Nice, which I especially liked, it’s a love song with a smooth groove.
Ziah brought something new to New Wave, he did live looping, which is simply recording the accompanying sounds on a device, and letting it play on a loop, with that he was literally a one man band. He sang his soon to be released song, Streetz, his voice had a raspy sound to it but he also sang falsetto… Ziah’s coming with all kinda tricks to the music scene. His final song was a love song, which says “Woman you energy, it feels like home to me” but before he ended he gave us a short solo on the violin.
It was my first time hearing all three of these artistes perform, and I look forward to seeing them again. They each have a different vibe, so it was very refreshing, I enjoyed it.
Photos by Romario ‘@leBossLYNCH’ Lynch, click the hashtag to see more: #SeenByLynch.
How has February been treating you so far? To put it frankly this has been my worst Reggae Month to date but the month isn’t over, and there’s still more events scheduled. I’ll be sharing a few upcoming events that I know about with you, check them out below. Continue reading “Upcoming Events!”→
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.
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.
A Sankofa Session is a place filled with good energies, painting, and good music. The founder, Iset Sankofa, deejays her favourite selections of African Music and World Music; for the patrons to enjoy while relaxing, and painting. Sankofa Sessions are at Ashanti Oasis Restaurant, 12 Braemar Avenue, every Tuesday, from 8pm to 1am with an entrance fee of just $300JMD.
The space is as beautiful as the energies it attracts; the walls were adorned with paintings that seemed to be from previous Sankofa Sessions. There was jewelry on sale; bracelets, necklaces, and earrings made of beads laid on a table near the entrance, some sparkled in red, gold, and green as you walked by. The small restaurant was packed with vibes as wonderful music pelted through the air, while the artists manipulated the paint. When I arrived Biko In Motion was selecting the music but soon after, Iset took over the Dj stand. As usual with these events, I enjoyed the ambiance, the Marijuana scented ‘incense’ was quite lovely. I caught up with my friends until it was time for the performance, this week was a BLVK H3RO take over.
The set started with the Reggae Soul Band taking us into an acoustic vibe, (I must say the band sounded great!) BLVK H3RO then stepped up to the mid-stage mic, joining them. He started off with “Mucky Mucky” then smoothly took us to “Final Destination” followed by “My Story” all the while having a light chat with the audience between the songs. He expressed to us that he loved acoustic sets for that same reason; so that he could have a more face to face connection, rather than his usual performance style of being all over the stage, and jumping about. The next song he sang was a sweet love song, “M.A.R.Y.” then he took the energy up a notch with the final song of his set, “Herb” he definitely got the crowd moving with that one, and made it even nicer by dropping in a little of “Move Your Feet” by Runkus.
It was a great performance, I enjoyed it, and I agree with H3RO that acoustic set gives a more intimate connection, it was nice. Don’t forget to like and follow Sankofa Sessions on Facebook and Instagram. BLVK H3RO as well, Facebook & Instagram.
I knew I couldn’t miss this concert from the day I saw the lineup. I’m a big fan of Zosia, I love her voice; and the rest of the lineup, I came to find out was just as amazing. The name Love, Light & Fire was integrated into the working of the show. Zosia, the first act, represented Love, Vanessa Lee represented Light, and Anna Mariah brought the Fire.
Love: Zosia McGregror, the lady in red, she started off the night on a lovely tone, (pun intended) she had a beautiful connection with her band as she belted out her songs. She sang covers, and originals such as: “I Love You,” “Lover’s Rock” and “Pretty Girls;” I think Pretty Girls was my favourite as it had strong words of encouragement to pretty girls everywhere, telling them things will get better some day… Maybe not today but tomorrow. I can’t explain or should I say describe the magnitude of how amazing Zosia’s voice is, if you get the chance, definitely go listen to her live.
Light: Vanessa Lee, it was my first time hearing this Barbadian, she has spunk and a nice vibe, I love her voice, it honestly reminds me of Lauryn Hill. To me her voice rang beautifully in her original song “Conversation and Weed,” it’s a sexy song (that I can’t wait for her to release!) her voice and the lyrics made it entertaining. She won me over with that one.
Fire: Anna Mariah, she tun up di ting from the end of Rising Stars to now, she sounds more refined. Her voice is amazing as well, can’t deny that, and she proved it with the Whitney Houston medley she did; she sang the songs strong and her high notes were on point; she even confessed that she was getting over the flu at the time. Her cover of “Here” by Alessia Cara fully gave me life, after a few more covers, she sang two original songs, “Sail Away” and “Rush,” they’re both good but I liked Rush better. I also made a video of the end of her performance, you can watch it below.
I enjoyed the concert, the only problem for me was the venue, it was my first time at the Spades Lounge actually, and I had wondered how it would be conducive to a concert. Though it was just three acts, and an intimate setting, it wasn’t a good venue choice to me.
Some of the photos are from Keon Prendi Photography, and are watermarked.
“I think that’s why many reggae artistes are focused on the message of the music and not the stardom.”
Taken from the article ” ‘My Success Is Not Measured By What People Think’ – Reggae Star Chronixx” read more here…
And that my friends, is why I love reggae music, the lyrics.
Protoje will be my example today; not only does he preach that he sings for himself and not the masses, he has a couple songs around that theme. ‘Music From My Heart’ (The 8 Year Affair) and ‘The Flame’ (Ancient Future) are two prime examples.