Tag: ReggaeSumfest


Spice Talks About Her Black Panther Inspired Performance at Sumfest and What Her Life Is Like After Her First Season of Love & Hip Hop

“When I go to the airport the officers know me now, which is weird.”

Spice has been the Queen of Dancehall in Jamaica for years but after her debut on Love & Hip Hop Atlanta season seven, the icon is ready to dominate the U.S. charts, too. Spice recently dominated the stage at the Red Stripe Sumfest 2018 (Jamiaca’s biggest reggae and dancehall festival) where she took the stage as Lupita’s N’youngo’s character, Nakia, from Black Panther complete with an all-female army.

The Queen of Dancehall then changed into a “Spicier” look when she performed her new single “Under Fire” and an amazing Dancehall remix of Ella Mai’s hit song “Boo’d Up.” Spice’s performance didn’t happen without any hiccups though–in the middle of the set, police and the Fire Marshall rushed the stage because of the use of fire torches. The Queen of Dancehall addressed them off stage during her wardrobe change, leaving the audience to believe it was a part of her elaborate set.

VH1.com got a chance to speak with Spice after the show, for her take on the performance and to catch up on life after her first season of Love & Hip Hop Atlanta.

Avant Garde Media

Why did you decide to go with a Wakanda theme for your performance? 
Spice: I chose that theme because I am a strong black woman, [and] being the Queen of Dancehall, I wanted to represent for the Black culture.

What happened with the police on stage during your Sumfest performance? 
I felt disrespected by the officer and the Fire Marshall for interrupting my performance. I really wanted to deliver a good show and I feel like it was being sabotaged [and targeted] as a woman in the business. I was watching the performances from everyone else [at Sumfest] and there wasn’t anything happening when the artist before me was on stage, so I felt sabotaged and cornered. I’m outnumbered. I think [there were] only three women performing at the entire festival.

Avant Garde Media

It was still an amazing performance, regardless of the drama. What new music are you working on? 
I have my new song called “Under Fire” [which] I’m about to shoot the music video for [and] people are anticipating it because it’s the hottest dancehall song right now. I [also] just released a video for “Tik Tak” which that got 4 million views in a month.

On the Love & Hip Hop Atlanta season seven reunion, you said you made up with Tokyo Vanity, and mentioned that you ladies are working on music together?
You know what? Since the reunion we haven’t really spoken, so I don’t want to really elaborate too much, on what we’re working on. I think when we see each other again we’ll meet in the studio and plan, but we’re definitely cool, we have a nice vibe, she’s really cool and very fun to be around.What’s the status of you and Tommie’s relationship? 
We don’t speak. It’s done.

So now that your first season of Love & Hip Hop Atlanta has wrapped, do you notice any change in performing in Jamaica now that you’re on National television? =
I wouldn’t say that! I would be ungrateful if I said that because I’ve always received love in my country–all the time, major love. So I wouldn’t say [after being on] Love & Hip Hop anything in Jamaica has changed. Outside of the U.S., yes, because even when I go to the airport the officers know me now, which is weird. So, in America, yes my fan-base is growing. It’s time to get big in America now.


Cops Pleased With Incident-Free Sumfest

Published:Thursday | July 26, 2018 | Adrian Frater/News Editor


Assistant Commissioner of Police Ealan Powell, the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s commanding officer for the ongoing state of public emergency (SOE) in St James,, said he was very pleased with how the security measures instituted for the staging of Reggae Sumfest 2018 held up.

“We created a special entertainment zone (SEZ) around the festival and it worked very well,” said Powell, who had previously expressed satisfaction with the security plan before it was made public. “It was good that the festival was incident-free and the parish was peaceful.”

In the weeks leading up to the festival, some stakeholders in the parish worried about breaching the provision of the SOE to facilitate the staging of the festival, especially against the background of criminals regularly using crowded events as a cover to carry out nefarious acts, including murders.

“Honestly, I was quite nervous because we are again seeing a slight uptick in crime,” a businesswoman, who asked not to be identified, told The Gleaner earlier this week. “I am so happy that it turned out to be a peaceful event.”

While security measures were relaxed in downtown Montego Bay, Powell said the normal SOE measures remained in full force in the other parts of the parish during the festival.

“There was no relaxation of the security measures outside the zone (SEZ),” said Powell. “And now that the festival is over, we will go back to where we were before Reggae Sumfest.”

While the residents of inner-city communities are somewhat wary of the SOE because of the restrictions it comes with, it was interesting to note that during his Reggae Sumfest performance, Tommy Lee Sparta, who got detained for a short period under the enhanced security measures, gave it his verbal endorsement.

“It is the best thing for Montego Bay right now. At least nobody nah lose dem life,” Tommy Lee said. “De place wi lock down early, but we can’t complain ’cause the violence less, and that is the greatest thing.”

While the SOE has resulted in a 65 per cent reduction in murders in St James, the fact that murders are still taking place remains a serious concern for Powell.

“We can’t say we are where we want to be but significant progress is being made,” said Powell.

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Photos Of Stonebwoy At Reggae Sumfest

July 24, 2018 at 16:12

Photos Of Stonebwoy At Reggae Sumfest

Ghanaian dancehall artist, Stonebwoy performed over the weekend. Furthermore, this was at Jamaica’s biggest annual summer reggae festival (SumFest). It took place at Montego Bay’s Catherine Hall Event Centre in Jamaica.

Jamaica Summer Fest and Stonebwoy
This year’s SumFest marked the 26th biggest Jamaican summer festival. Also, the Ghanaian dancehall sensation had an invitation to perform at the event.

The Zylofon Music signed artiste is the first ever Ghanaian musician to perform in one of Jamaica’s biggest event like SumFest.

The BET Award winner in an interview with Downsound Entertainment after thrilling his Jamaican crowd, expressed his happiness. Moreover, he stated how honoured he is for being the first Ghanaian artiste to perform in Jamaica’s SumFest.

Stonebwoy’s performance lasted for 15 minutes, even more than some Jamaican artistes who graced the same stage. Before he came on, Dmajor, Harry Toddler and some others performed. Right after Stonebwoy came on stage Agent Sasco (Assassin), whom Stonebwoy featured on “Hakuna Matata”, another single off the “Epistles Of Mama” album.

Photos of Stonebwoy at Reggae SumFest



Gong Fest At Reggae Sumfest

Elijah Marley on stage at Reggae Sumfest on Saturday night.

While it was Damian ‘Junior Gong’ Marley who was celebrating a birthday, he was the one who left all those at the closing night of Reggae Sumfest 2018 with a musical gift.

The 2017 Reggae Grammy winner worked like an inspired man, digging generously into his own catalogue while also evoking memories of his famous father – King of Reggae, Bob Marley. As he sang and danced to his heart’s content, the son of the legend, who came off a tour in Europe to perform at Reggae Sumfest, made it clear that “there is no place like home.”

He sent the fans into a screaming and dancing frenzy with his popular ‘anthem’, Welcome to Jamrock, and his performance of Medication made the audience ‘high’.

In reflecting on his journey to age 40, the lanky ‘Gongzilla’ paid tribute to his parents for giving him the life he now enjoys. “My parents worked hard for me to have a good life,” said Marley, whose own son, Elijah, stole the hearts of many patrons when he strolled centre stage and gave his dad a lyrical gift – singing Stevie Wonder’s monster hit, I Just Call To Say I Love You, which had his dad clearly bemused, and his grandmother – former Miss World Cindy Breakspeare – singing along from side stage, beaming with pride.

Intent on giving patrons a lyrical gift, Junior Gong made light of his birthday, declaring, “me put it off till next year,” when joining him on stage Kabaka Pyramid told the crowd that, “he celebrated his birthday yesterday (Saturday) and I want you to say happy birthday to the ‘Gongzilla.”

The singer ended his set with a playful exchange with his son, who had returned to the stage to dance up a storm during the delivery of Welcome to Jamrock. As he ran across the stage, his dad playfully chased him, much to the delight of the fans. When finally caught, father and son laughed heartily as they hugged each other.

True to his fan-given moniker, Gongzilla smashed and trampled expectations, leaving Montego Bay in the blissful aftermath of his musical destruction.

Responses To Junior Gong’s Performance

“What a man … what a performance,” remarked radio personality Denise ‘Isis’ Miller, who was clearly moved by the performance.

Dr Sonja Niaah: “We have not begun to see the best of Junior Gong. He understands himself and the crowd in a very, very unique way. In so many ways he is already legendary. He recognises that he is part of an empire, whether he is speaking or on a stage.”

Professor Donna Hope: “Damian’s performance was impressive, stellar. He always delivers. His son giving him that tribute for his birthday was simply awesome.”

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 JTB takes Reggae Sumfest to the world

The stream presented a curated feed live from Catherine Hall, Montego Bay, featuring main stage performances along with features, artiste and media interviews, all hosted live by popular television host Sakina Deer.

The JTB Live Stream is hosted on the Visit Jamaica Facebook page, which has over 940,000 followers around the globe, JTB said on Monday.

“This year we wanted to give our audience a taste of what the greatest reggae festival on earth is like in a virtual setting,” said Donovan White, Jamaica’s director of tourism. “We know that there are lots of folks who for whatever reason could not be in Montego Bay, so we are using this platform to showcase not just our music but the culture, fashion, food and signature vibe of the Reggae Sumfest.”

Featured on the stream were interviews with artistes like Argentinian reggae sensation Dread Mar I, D Major, Press Kay, Yanique the Curvy Diva, along with CEO of Downsound Entertainment Josef Bogdanovich.

AdvertisementJTB said the successful Facebook Live broadcast also continued for the second night of the show, capturing audiences around the world to witness the “Greatest Reggae Show on Earth.”

During the broadcast, JTB said Deer welcomed Reggae Sumfest performing artists J Boog, Keznamdi, Naomi Cowan and D’Yani to the JTB booth for exclusive interviews, giving viewers an exciting behind the scenes look at the festival featuring real-time updates from the performers themselves.

Other notable VIP guests included Dr. Horace Chang, Minister of National Security and Mitch Watson, president of the United Nations Association of Jamaica and sprint phenom Briana Williams.

Local and international members of the media also joined the JTB to conduct interviews with artists, sponsors and event organizers.

These included Jamaica Gleaner’s Janet Silvera, Sean Kelly from Canadian radio station Mix 97 FM, and Reggae Sumfest Inspire Award-recipient Patricia Meschino from Billboard, JTB said.

Building on its success from the first night, JTB said its booth attracted hundreds of attendees on the closing night of the festival, and captivated audiences across Jamaica and major United States markets through its “dynamic, all-encompassing Facebook Live experience.”

Posted 12:00 am, July 24, 2018

 Reggae Sumfest wows foreigners

Reggae Sumfest was truly an international affair, with visitors jetting into the island solely to be a part of the week-long activities in Montego Bay, St James.

These tourists were not to be outdone by locals as they danced, screamed and blew vuvuzelas for their favourite artistes; consumed local dishes such as rice and peas, jerk chicken, curry goat, oxtail and ackee and saltfish; and (some) even had their share of the famous Jamaican herb.

From all indications, they had a great time over the period, so Loop News sought their feedback. Check out the responses in the video edited by Ramon Lindsay below.




‘Generation Next’ Shines At Sumfest

Published:Saturday | July 21, 2018 | Shereita Grizzle
Imeru Tafari charting his own course in the music industry independent of his mother Queen Ifrica. -Kenyon Hemans photo

The next generation of reggae stars are ready to chart their own course as they look to come out from under the shadows of their superstar parents.

Abatau, son of reggae star Tony Rebel, and Imeru Tafari, son of Queen Ifrica, both put in great performances when they graced the Reggae Sumfest stage early on Saturday night. The two held their own and gave two very engaging sets, showing just why they are ones to look out for in the near future.

In their post performance interviews, both artistes said that it takes some amount of work to cut their own path in the industry as people constantly associate them with their parents. They are however, ready to build their own legacies and believe they have what it takes to establish themselves independent of their famous parents.

“Music is natural for me, it’s something that just come out and I don’t feel any pressure to live up to my father’s name. It’s a blessing to get the music genes from him and I’m grateful,” Abatau said. “As long as a music me a do, me happy. I’m just being myself. I’m my own person outside of my father and I’m ready to do my thing, not just live up or build on fi him thing.”

Imeru Tafari shared similar sentiments. “If me never love music den me wouldn’t a do it. My mother guide me when she find out I have the talent, but she nuh have nothing to do with this course I’ve chosen,” he said. “It’s not a matter of building on her legacy, she did what she thought was for her and I’m doing what I think is for me. I am who I am and I can’t get away from that. I just have to show people that I’m worthy just like she had to show people she was worthy of them calling her own name and not just associate her with her father (Derrick Morgan).”

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Video & Setlist: Damian Junior Gong Marley @ Reggae Sumfest 2018

On his 40th birthday (July 21) Damian Marley headlined Reggae Sumfest 2018, which was his fourth appearance within the past 10 years.

On his set he welcomed Kabaka Pyramid on stage to perform their combination Kontraband.
During Could You Be Loved Damian was joined by his son Elijah, who sang a verse of  Stevie Wonder‘s  I Just Called To Say I Love You in honor of his father’s birthday.

After the performance Junior Gong was interviewed by Nikki Zand he gave a little outlook:

We just did a tour in Europe for three and a half weeks. Right now we are taking a little break off the road. Sumfest was actually the last stop for touring for a little while. I’m looking forward now, to going forward in the studios. I’m working on an album with Third World. I’m doing some production on that album, which I hopefully finish up soon and then starting doing some music for myself, too

Later that night at Sumfest, Damian Marley joined Cham on stage to perform Fighter.

Check the full Reggae Sumfest 2018 setlist below

01. Intro
02. Here We Go
03. Make It Bun Dem
04. Set Up Shop
05. More Justice
06. Hey Girl
07. Beautiful
08. Affairs of the Heart
09. Upholstery
10. Medication
11. The Mission
12. Love & Inity
13. War/No More Trouble
14. Move!
15. Everybody Wants To Be Somebody
16. Nail Pon Cross
17. Kontraband feat. Kabaka Pyramid
18. Living It Up
19. Could You Be Loved feat. Elijah
20. Road To Zion
21. Welcome To Jamrock


Spice Channeled Her Inner Wakandan To Put On An Epic Battle At Jamaica’s Reggae Sumfest

Spice is coming for America’s headtop.

You know Spice has every mon grab a gyal with her tun up tunes. Why would this have been any different?

This past weekend, the Dancehall Queen shut down the stage in her homeland during the 2018 Reggae Sumfest in Jamaica. Her performance ’fit debuted Black Panther pride as the Love & Hip Hop Atlanta breakout star donned a costume that would even have Killmonger going, “OK, I see you sis.”

Posed up with her dancers, Spice captioned:

Wakanda forever. They say i’m black so i came out in my Black Panther theme 🤣 Proud of the skin i’m in representing like a strong black woman. How did you like my Lupita look ?

Do you think Nakia would be proud or nah?

She let off a banger while rocking her natural hair and talking about the rumors that the people dem talk about.

People know more about me than I know about my own self. “Dem say mi do my breast but if mi take off mi brassiere tonight this drop dung flat” 🤣🤣🤣 @busysignal_turf mi did haffie flip this 🤪🤣 Cause “a nuff a dem stay so

Then a battle went down where Spice performed her waistline off, wining her body to the tune to see who can take it best.

And in an epic pyro moment, the fire department really was about to soon come when the artist added literal “more fire” to her set.

This isn’t the Spice we we’re used to. Whether rocking her smurfette blue hair or a natural due, Spice always delivers. #BlackandaForever.

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Sumfest Inspire Awards – Recognising Musical Excellence

Published:Saturday | July 21, 2018 |  Janet Silvera/ Senior Gleaner Writer
Journalist Patricia Meschino accepts the ‘Golden Pen Award’ from Director of Tourism, Donovan White.

Living legend Bob Andy, internationally acclaimed duo Sly and Robbie, the Godfather Chris Blackwell, and promoter Copeland Forbes were inducted into the Reggae Sumfest Hall of Fame while crooner Beres Hammond received the Lifetime Achievement Award during the Sumfest Inspire Awards on Thursday night.

The five shared the spotlight with the undisputed King of the Dancehall Moses ‘Beenie Man’ Davis – who was named ‘Sumfest Legend,’ and Jamar ‘Chronixx’ McNaughton, who was recognised with the Reggae Sumfest Rising Star award.

Twelve other awards were presented to individuals who have walked alongside the 26- year-old festival founded by Summerfest Productions and now owned by Downsound Entertainment.

Bob Andy, renowned for his Fire Burning lyrics, who placed his hand on his first musical instrument the piano – 60 years ago, said that he had no clue his life would have led to this. Admitting that the road that brought him to Thursday night had been long, rocky, and at some points smooth, the stalwart said that the beauty of his job was the fact that he didn’t leave anyone crying, “Or rip anyone off. All I had to do was give love in my music”.

In accepting his award, Blackwell, one of the most influential figures in the local music industry, said that his first three records went to number one, but his career peaked because Jamaicans could hear themselves in his music.

“After my music came hundreds and thousands more records, which were made in Jamaica more than anywhere else in the world,” revealed the man who brought Jamaica’s King of Reggae, Bob Marley, to world fame.

For Copeland Forbes, Thursday night was one of the greatest moments in his 50 years in the music industry. “There is nothing like being recognised in your own country,” said the man who has received over 250 awards worldwide.

Hammond, who will be performing on Saturday night, and who has dedicated his life to reggae music, was absent from the event, and his award was collected by CEO and founder of Downsound Entertainment, Joe Bogdanovich.

First Artiste Booked

Beenie Man was the first artist to be booked on Reggae Sumfest when the festival started in 1993, and he has performed at the event a total of 23 times. He boasted that no one could beat his track record.

“I can’t change a bulb, I can’t patch a tire, this is all I know,” said the artiste while collecting his award.

The evening’s other awardees were ace journalist Pat Meschino, who has been standing in the press pit covering the festival for 24 years and who received the ‘Golden Pen’ award; while On Stage‘s Winford Williams, freelance photographer Alan Lewin, and freelancer writer Marlon Tingling were named Special Honourees. Williams’ profession in the entertainment industry grew with the festival, which he has been covering since it began.

“My passion has always been to be part of something that would help to expose our music, so it was easy for me to be part of this,” stated Williams.

For Lewin, this award was his Grammy. Hermine Shaw received the ‘Big Up Award’ for putting food into the festival for 25 years.

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