Category: News


Supreme Ventures goes Sumfest

Friday, July 19, 2019

Gail Abrahams

Gaming company Supreme Ventures Limited (SVL) will give away $50,000 to a lucky patron at Reggae Sumfest this week.

According to Gail Abrahams, vice-president of marketing, communications and sponsorships at SVL, there are plans to get Sumfest fans in a festive mood.

“Reggae Sumfest is a world renowned event, it is a platform for many upcoming performers, and it attracts thousands of patrons, both local and overseas. SVL is a strong supporter of entertainment and of honing new talent while at the same time offering a difference and even more excitement to an already exhilarating showcase,” Abrahams said.

“This is an open invitation to Reggae Sumfest patrons to be a part of the SVL excitement this Friday and Saturday night — join us at the Ultimate Lounge,” said Abrahams.

SVL will also promote its new mobile app.

Patrons are invited to visit the SVL booth, sign up and verify their SV Games mobile app account. After sign-up and verification are complete, each patron will become eligible to win $50,000.

SVL will host guests in what is being dubbed The Ultimate Lounge with Cash Pot, lottery machines, and other games.

Reggae Sumfest started on July 14. It culminates this weekend with its live performance segment featuring Beres Hammond, Chronixx, Buju Banton, and Koffee.

— Kevin Jackson

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MoBay experiencing spike in economic activity from reggae festival
BY HORACE HINESObserver West reporter

July 18, 2019

Deja All Inclusive Resort is one of the hotels in Montego Bay that has reported 100 per cent occupancy. (Photo: Philp Lemonte)
MONTEGO BAY, St James — There is a marked increase in economic activity arising from the 26th staging of the week-long Reggae Sumfest, which kicked off on Sunday in the tourist resort city of Montego Bay.

Robin Russell, chairman of the Montego Bay chapter of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), told the Jamaica Observer West yesterday that hotels in and around Montego Bay are now enjoying a 100 per cent occupancy level.

“All hotels are full. The closest hotel rooms are now available in Negril. Everybody is super excited and have been preparing for this week. So far, the events are very good; the street dance and the beach party were very good,” said Russell.

“If the reception from the first two nights of Sumfest is anything to go by, then this year’s staging will be one of the best ever. The line-up is great.”

President of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI), Janet Silvera, expressed similar sentiments.

“Montego Bay is doing very, very well. It’s a good feeling. There are a lot of festivities, the town feels better. I think more Jamaicans are going to come from overseas this year to attend Reggae Sumfest,” she noted.

“Downsound (organisers of the festival) has really hit a winning formula for the event this year, and I think that they are going to do exceptionally well with the festival because people are really looking forward to especially, Friday and Saturday nights.”

She attributes the buzz surrounding the festival to the great anticipation of the performances of reggae kingpins, Buju Banton, Beres Hammond, Chronixx, and others.

“In the history of Sumfest I don’t recall seeing the type of excitement that surrounds it this year, and I believe this is as a result of Buju, Chronixx and Beres Hammond, Koffee, and others,” Silvera said.

Russell, who is also the security manager of the festival, indicted that everything is in place for the two final nights of the event at the Catherine Hall Entertainment Centre venue.

“We are ready. The venue is ready, everything is ready. We have made extra preparations…we have acquired more parking lots. We have created an entertainment zone from the airport all the way to Freeport to facilitate Sumfest in the state of emergency,” Russell expressed.

Claudia Artwell, the venue manager for the Catherine Hall Entertainment Centre, disclosed that a safety team will be added to “the greatest reggae festival on earth this year”.

“We have a safety team that we trained this year along with the fire department. They are trained in basic safety. We are going to ensure that everybody is comfortable. We will be going around and checking if fire extinguishers are working, make sure that safety procedures are adhered to, and so on…right now Downsound is on the top of things,” said Artwell.

Commander of the St James police division Superintendent Vernon Ellis revealed that the police are prepared for the hosting of the annual reggae festival.

“For the Reggae Sumfest we would have received additional assets to ensure that we secure the city in a proper way for the period,” Superintendent Ellis assured.

Sumfest 2019 features Buju Banton, Beres Hammond, Chronixx, Beenie Man, and Bounty Killa.

Other acts down to thrill the thousands expected for the festival include Tarrus Riley, Chris Martin, Romaine Virgo, X-Factor winner Dalton Harris, Agent Sasco, Spice, and Spragga Benz.

The 26-year-old festival staged under the theme ‘Our Music, Our Festival’, got underway with a beach party and will move to the main venue, Catherine Hall Entertainment Centre, from Friday, July 19 to Saturday, July 20.

Meanwhile, craft traders, restaurant operators, and other businesses are also cashing in on the influx of visitors to the resort city.

There is definitely an increase in business over the past few days, and we expect that sales will further increase on the weekend when the festival moves into high gear,” said a craft trader.

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From its inception, reggae music has characteristically been associated with Rastafarians, the tropics, and spliffs sending up plumes of cannabis smoke. Acknowledging this everlasting connection to music, Clyde McKenzie, organiser of the upcoming Reggae Sumfest symposium, wishes to propel conversations that inextricably align cannabis use with reggae music.

Along with topics such as the technical art of sound engineering and the correlation between music and violence, McKenzie has organised for a panel to open a discussion on music and herb on July 12 at the Mona Visitors’ Lodge at The UWI Mona Campus, during the symposium.

Regardless of the fact that many places around the world, including Uruguay and Canada, have recently embraced cannabis as both medicine and recreation, Jamaica is still tiptoeing towards accepting the product as viable in business and in health. But there is another connection that is well known, but perhaps undermined for its not-so-pretty history as a criminal element.

“There is a historical nexus between the plant and Jamaican music. Many of our leading exponents have really promoted or recommended the use of ganja in their music. The fact is that the Rastafarian movement is significant to our cultural music, as is their sacramental plant,” McKenzie told The Sunday Gleaner.

“The question we’re asking is how do we continue the synergy between ganja and Jamaican music; what can be derived from continued associations between the two; and what should be the nature of this relationship. How will the businesses that are marijuana-related invest? Will they use Jamaican music to promote it? Or how will they invest in Jamaican music?” he questioned.

To continue pushing the conversation, local music festivals like Rebel Salute and Reggae Sumfest have either dedicated features to the event (like Salute’s Herb Curb) or inviting the participation of advocates, activists and the few licensed entities that exist.

Since Jamaica began issuing licences to select growers who are developing medical and recreational dispensaries, a variety of players entered the fledgling industry. According to Joe Bogdanovich, some of those players will be represented at Reggae Sumfest.

“It’s a really significant industry, maybe a game changer industry, maybe in more ways than we actually know. I’ll say it’s all positive and constructive. It’s an industry that we recognise at Reggae Sumfest,” he told The Sunday Gleaner.

“Here in the island of Jamaica, it’s a situation where there are a lot of medical marijuana applications. From my understanding, it’s much more significant than just the other kind of marijuana. We do understand that it helps cancer patients, with dietary problems and all sorts of things,” Bogdanovich observed.

For the Sumfest principal, his position about the shifting global attitude to cannabis primarily aligns with medicine. However, the historical nexus, McKenzie highlighted, is not lost on the popular entrepreneur.

He added: “Marijuana was a common thing, back in the Peace Movement in them’60s that was revolutionary at that time. It’s something that comes all the way from Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and all of those people. This is just the continuation, an evolution of business.”

So far, Bogdanovich has secured the support of RAGGA (Rastafari Grassroots and Ganja Cluster), a group representing all the mansions of Rastafari at next month’s staging of Reggae Sumfest.

“RAGGA is one such licensed organisation and they’re definitely on board. Island Strains is on board, and a few others brands want to get on board, but they’re not totally approved as of yet. We’re working on getting that done,” he revealed.

Among the other topics to be explored at the July 12 Reggae Symposium, are the relevance of radio in the advent of social media and the question of appropriation or misappropriation. Totally free to the public, the symposium only requires online registration via Reggae Sumfest’s website. Thee organisers say that space is limited and refreshment will be provided.

Reggae Sumfest kicks off on July 14 with ‘Morning Medz’, a breakfast party at Tropical Beach. On Monday, July 15, the festival will take to the streets with a Street Dance at the Old Hospital Park. The action moves to Pier 1 on Tuesday, July 16, with the All-White Party. It’s all black on Wednesday, July 17, when the party moves to the Hard Rock Café in Montego Bay. The Global Sound Clash takes place on Thursday, July 18, at Pier 1, and this will see top selectors Ricky Trooper, Pink Panther, Yard Beat, and King Turbo competing for honours.

The performances begin at the Catherine Hall Entertainment Centre on Friday, July 19. Among the artistes who are now in rehearsals for Reggae Sumfest Night 1 are Chronixx, Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, Spice, Agent Sasco, Dexta Daps, Squash Spragga Benz, Elephant Man, Munga, Govanna, and Dovey Magnum.

The curtains come down on Reggae Sumfest on Saturday, July 20, with heavyweights Buju Banton, and Beres Hammond as well as Protojé, Romain Virgo, Chris Martin, Dalton Harris, Jah9 and Etana.


Networking A Priority At Sumfest’s Reggae Symposium

Published:Friday | June 28, 2019 | Kimberley Small/Staff Reporter

The synergy between cannabis and Jamaican music; the relevance of radio in the advent of social media; the technical art of sound engineering; the question of appropriation or misappropriation and the correlation between music and violence are all topics to be tackled during the Reggae Symposium, on July 12 at the Mona Visitors’ Lodge on The University of the West Indies, Mona campus.

As part of Reggae Sumfest’s expanded week-long activities, the symposium casts a more scrutinizing gaze on the local music industry, with the hope to facilitate networking and learning opportunities for aspiring music business professionals.

Though he was not a participant for last year’s inaugural symposium, music scholar Clyde McKenzie revealed that he was present at the genesis of the idea to introduce elements that extend Reggae Sumfest into a form resembling major international music festivals.

“The trend is for festivals around the world to encompass as many different features as possible. In discussions with Joe Bogdanovich, I said that a symposium would be a nice feature. He was in agreement because his mind seemed to be going in that direction,” McKenzie told The Gleaner.

He continued: “Joe and Sumfest should be applauded for this initiative because it is another facet of a festival that we need to highlight. You need to be entertained, but you also need to be informed. The aim is for younger people in the business to get the opportunity to network with and learn.”

Free of charge, the symposium only requires online registration for attendants. “There is not a cent charged for it, and we’ll be making sure there will be refreshment and snacks so people are comfortable coming there. There is limited space. There are opportunities to register via the Reggae Sumfest website. First come, first served,” McKenzie said.

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Bounty Killer is really feeling himself right now and rightfully so.
The dancehall kingpin says he is proud of the fact that three years shy of 50, and after more than 27 years in Jamaica’s music industry, he is aging like fine wine. “Gyal dem say mi aging gracefully; handsome dem wah hold mi ransom and 47 fit me better than 27,” the Killa declared recently in an Instagram post, which attracted more than 10,000 and hundreds of comments from adoring female fans.

Bounty Killer, born Rodney Pryce in Kingston in 1972, grew up in the battle-hardened community of Seaview Gardens in Jamaica’s capital, Kingston. He celebrated his 47th birthday two weeks ago on June 12, 2019.

The artiste, who stands at six feet two inches tall, has credited the practicing of good eating habits learned from his late mother Miss Ivy, as well as doing push-ups, for his sleek form and youthful appearance.

His tendency to spend copious amounts of time with his own children, as well as chilling with, and mentoring other youngsters through his foundation, may also be having some impact on the Killer maintaining his youthful looks.

Less than two weeks ago, he was in the company of several at-risk boys in Kingston, providing motivational talks as a part of #OurSons – an interactive session for boys and young men under the Bounty Killer Foundation.

The doting dad was also recently captured in a photo, sitting in the stands at one of his younger daughter’s school’s sports day where he took time out to give her his undivided support.

The self-proclaimed Poor People Governor shot to prominence in 1992 and became a household name following the legendary clash with arch-rival Dancehall artiste Beenie Man a year later at the Sting 1993 show, at Jamworld in St. Catherine.

This year at Reggae Sumfest, Bounty will square off with Beenie Man, in a much-anticipated friendly musical rivalry stint on Friday night, July 19, at the Catherine Hall venue in a segment dubbed ‘One night, one stage, two legends,’ a performance the artiste has predicted will be explosive.

His almost three-decade musical span has seen the release of iconic tracks such as the sound-system clash classic, Dub Fi Dub, Copper Shot and Spy Fi Die in his early Dancehall days, appearances on Multi-platinum discs, recording with some of the biggest names in world music, a joint Grammy and a plethora of other accolades.

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Chronic Law Drops Feel-Good Single “Live Life”
by J.D. Smith  June 26, 2019
Chronic Law drops a new track “Live Life” listen to it below.

Here we go again another Chronic Law another BIG SONG. “Live Life” his new track outlines the changes his life has gone through over the years. “But my life change up perfect, Nuffa dem seh mi aguh dead early, Nuffbwoy mi see hype and when dem reach up high dem drop like bird sh*t.” This track distributed by Johnny Wonder’s 21st habilos distribution is primed for DJ decks this summer. Another one in the theme of summer happiness has entered the dancehall sphere.

Chronic Law is one of the new breakout acts in dancehall this year. He is aligned with the new 6ixx crew headed by Squash. Law will be taking the stage at Reggae Sumfest in July when the 6ixx crew is expected to close Dancehall Night.

Gwaan do it Law Boss, Live Life!


06/26/2019 by Press Release

Through the celebration of this five year anniversary of The Dread & Terrible Project, Chronixx will be headlining both Uganda’s Pulse Jam Fest on June 29th, and the annual Reggae Sumfest concert in Montego Bay, Jamaica on July 19th.

This Friday (June 28), Jamaican reggae star Chronixx releases the deluxe edition of his seminal project, Dread & Terrible (via Soul Circle/Seed Distribution) on its five-year anniversary. This re-release contains 11 tracks such as his now-certified classics Here Comes Trouble, Capture Land, and Spirulina. Another standout is the previously unreleased Jah Is There, produced by Chronixx. The song was intended for Dread & Terrible, but did not make it in time for production. The introspective track is accompanied by an animated lyric video by artist Tom Kariv.

Since Dread & Terrible broke into the Billboard Top 200 (#179) in August 2014 and topped the Reggae chart, Chronixx has become one of the most critically-acclaimed artists of the past five years while setting the tone for today’s generation of conscious reggae artists. Chronixx, born Jamar McNaughton, made his breakthrough television debut on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in the summer of 2014. It was a pivotal moment that introduced American audiences to his wise lyrical stylings, and unprecedented both for reggae and the unsigned 22-year-old (at the time). The Dread & Terrible Project reminds him of a simpler time when he was starting his journey. The pinnacle release was a prelude to his GRAMMY-nominated album Chronology (2017).

“[Musically] I was at a crossroads where I could’ve said ‘I want to be this artist or that type of artist.’ I think choosing to go this path and represent something that could benefit a lot of people positively was the main experience I [had],” says Chronixx.

The spotlight is back on Chronixx this week anchoring the remix to Ed Sheeran’s I Don’t Care featuring Justin Bieber and Koffee. Together Chronixx and Koffee, the buzzing newcomer he has taken under his wing, put their Jamaican birthplace of Spanish Town on the world’s radar on Ed Sheeran’s new summer anthem.

Dread & Terrible Project – 5 Years Deluxe Edition
01. Alpha & Omega
02. Here Comes Trouble
03. Capture Land
04. Rastaman Wheel Out
05. Eternal Fire
06. Spirulina
07. Like a Whistle
08. Jah Is There
09. Alpha & Omega (Dub)
10. Here Comes Trouble (Dub)
11. Capture Land (Dub)

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Kingston Experiencing Tourism Renaissance
JUNE 21, 2019

Story Highlights
Although Kingston is officially listed by the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) as one of the island’s six resort areas, the city has not always enjoyed first-call status it relates to tourist arrivals.
This, however, seems to be rapidly changing, as the nation’s capital has been gaining traction as a cultural and musical destination, and is now being given a second look by travellers, mainly the millennials.
Investors have been taking note of the upward tick in visitor arrivals, and are seeking to exploit this positive development.
Although Kingston is officially listed by the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) as one of the island’s six resort areas, the city has not always enjoyed first-call status it relates to tourist arrivals.

This, however, seems to be rapidly changing, as the nation’s capital has been gaining traction as a cultural and musical destination, and is now being given a second look by travellers, mainly the millennials.

Investors have been taking note of the upward tick in visitor arrivals, and are seeking to exploit this positive development.

Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says he is not surprised by the renewed interest in Kingston, noting that “this can only further add value to what is an already very attractive tourism product”.

He tells JIS News that the development of the AC Marriott Kingston Hotel and the R Hotel is not only a major boost for the city’s tourism offerings, but will assist in showcasing the metropolis as a viable alternative to the island’s northern and southern coasts.

“Jamaica’s tourism product is getting more diverse by the day. Our arrival figures are now at a stratospheric level where, for the first time in history, we welcomed some two million visitors in the first five months of the year and earned US$1.7 billion in revenue,” he notes.

Mr. Bartlett adds that he expects the boutique R Hotel in New Kingston and also the AC Marriott to not only increase Kingston’s rooms but also play a part in attracting more visitors to Jamaica.

“The presence of products like these adds to the statement that Kingston wants to make… that it has arrived and is ready for the status of a big city tourism destination. So we are also excited about building out these very important elements of what true city tourism is about,” he further says.

The AC Marriott, designed by Synergy Design Studios, is a Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart-led Sandals Resorts International development located on Lady Musgrave Road in the New Kingston/Golden Triangle area, and adjoins the family-owned ATL Automotive Group’s BMW and MINI showroom.

Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett (centre), joins Sandals/ATL Group Deputy Chairman, Adam Stewart (right); and Senior Communications Strategist in the Tourism Ministry, Delano Seiveright, in raising a toast to the development of the newly constructed AC Marriott Kingston Hotel, during a recent tour of the establishment.
The hotel represents the family’s first major tourism venture outside of its Sandals/Beaches resorts brand.“The AC Marriot in Kingston is very special. It is not just a facility that enables people to walk in, sleep at night or have a drink. It is a place for recreation, rest and conversation. But more importantly, it is also a creative centre where people will get a chance to enjoy the culture while making a contribution to local development,” Mr. Bartlett arguesAdditionally, the Minister says he is equally impressed with what the R Hotel brings to the table, noting that it represents the new drive in Jamaica to not only increase numbers, but also add value to the experiences of visitors to the island.He praises the owners for outfitting the hotel with Jamaica-made furnishing and promoting local culture and food through the establishment’s Gene Pearson Gallery and Red Bones Blues Café.
“This is an exciting part of this retention strategy that we have, because when the supplies that the tourist consumes are bought and produced in Jamaica, then the dollar remains here. This has resulted in an increase in retention from 30 per cent to 40.8 per cent,” the Minister points out.

For his part, R Hotel Director, Joe Bogdanovich, says with the establishment’s opening comes new possibilities for the expansion of Brand Jamaica through business tourism in the capital.

“Kingston has enormous potential for both business and conventional tourism, and we in the industry must continue to innovate in order to make Kingston the premier city to conduct business in the Caribbean,” he points out.

Senior Advisor/Strategist in the Ministry of Tourism, Delano Seiveright, notes that “the development comes on the heels of other major tourism developments in Kingston, including the… 220-room AC Marriott Kingston Hotel and the 2020 opening announcement of the new 168-room Tapestry Collection by Hilton hotel on PanJam Investment Limited’s multipurpose complex on the downtown Kingston waterfront”.

R Hotel is the city’s first extended-stay business hotel. The newest addition to Kingston’s room stock is a collaboration between noted architect Evan Williams and entertainment mogul/investor Joe Bogdanovich.

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Daddy 1 ready to prove lyrical potency
by Stephanie Lyew – STAR Writer
June 20, 2019

Another name coming from the famed dancehall alliance known as the 6ix is Salt Spring native Daddy 1.

Armed with a story and catchy chorus lines, Daddy 1 says he is ready to prove himself lyrically loyal to the 6ix and worthy to dancehall fans worldwide.

Daddy 1, given name Adrian Bailey, is the youngest member of the alliance, next to Bobby6ix, brother of frontman Squash.

“We grew up together in Salt Spring and ever since then Squash has been like a brother to me, and in 2016 him give me a chance to start do music,” Daddy 1 shared.

The 20-year-old says he received the name from his mother.

“From them hear the name, them say it different and all that was left to do was show that I am different; I always knew I would get a buss because my style is different and because of the love and determination I have for music,” he told THE STAR.

The newcomer has already released more than five tracks in 2019, some of which he said, “Like Next Level, Custom, Out Here and Anthem are attracting dubplate business from selectors and sound systems as far as Japan; although new to this, money can be made.”

He said that people have become more curious about him since hearing that the 6ix will be on Reggae Sumfest.

“Dem want to know what this young deejay bringing to the stage but it’s a great feeling to even know we going be at this event, and me want the people know me have it under control,” he said.

With a personal style Daddy 1 describes as ‘cool and deadly’ in the way he dresses and how his lyrics are constructed, he believes there is potential for a Grammy as a trap-dancehall artiste.

His most recent release, Women’s Empowerment, is a female anthem and possibly one that will have females, new and old, in the music industry going wild.

Daddy 1 gives respect to his own mother Shelly, while in the same breath ‘bigs up’ artistes and disc jockeys like Shenseea, DJ Sunshine, Koffee, and Jada Kingdom, for being independent.

“Ah just two girl me hear ah talk weh never even know me a Daddy 1, and me squat ah listen and one a dem say she don’t want no man unless them say 6ix and me go write the song Anthem – is just music,” he explained, “and the females deserve it once them a put in the work.”


Published:Sunday | June 23, 2019 | 12:16 AMSade Gardner – Gleaner Writer
Ian Allen

Elephant Man is a music junkie, period.

A saunter through his mansion in Havendale, St Andrew, revealed stereos blasting local radio station ZIP 103FM near the poolside while music from a flatscreen TV filled the halls of the main floor.

Ele himself is a walking music library. For almost every life experience he recalled, he trailed off in a beat, thumping his chest, snapping his fingers, and deejaying his best impersonation of Bounty Killer, Shabba Ranks, Beenie Man, Mad Cobra, Simpleton et al, with joy in his eyes and gratification on his face.

He attained no formal training for a talent that would earn him scores of chart-topping singles. Instead, the Seaview Gardens-bred artiste honed his craft by toasting among friends and isolating himself in a room with Celine Dion on repeat, as he taught himself to reach challenging notes.

“Musically, mi did always know a waa gwaan. My house did deh two gate from Shabba Ranks’ house. Bounty Killer live bout five minutes up the road. Ninjaman never come from Seaview, but anytime him come, we run up the road and look pon him from head to toe cause a our god that. We learn from them man deh, even Supercat. Dem tek music serious and nuh play round wid performance,” Ele told The Sunday Gleaner.

‘We’ included childhood friends Nitty Kutchie and Boom Dandimite, with whom he would later form Scare Dem Crew, with Harry Toddler from Waltham Park Road, Kingston.

Though he had an endorsement from Bounty (he even got a gig cutting grass for his mother, Miss Ivy), Ele’s mother did not approve of his musical ambitions.

Given name Oneil Bryan, the Norman Manley High School student earned his moniker through his ‘Dumbo’ nickname derived from his sizable ears. First deejaying on ‘Vietnam corner’ in Phase One, the 16-year-old took his skills to the neighbouring Waterhouse community at King Jammys studio, where things took a new turn.

“Jammys and everybody start record Killer, and Killer seh him buss, but him friend dem still deh deh. We seh come mek we start Scare Dem Crew cause we nah go buss solo,” he said. “Killer used to call we out pon shows, and a so we start get recognised.”

Ele fashioned the idea of members dyeing their hair to distinguish themselves from other crews, and Toddler was game. Kutchie kept his hair black, but Dandimite later got on board. With tracks like Many Many, Nuh Dress Like Girl, and Girls Every Day, the group bore success before disbanding in 1999.

Dancehall was on a new wave by the new millennium, and the following year produced Elephant Man’s solo album debut, Comin’ 4 U, on Greensleeves Records. His biggest record is the 2003 dance number Pon De River, Pon De Bank, which spearheads a slew of dance hits like Signal the Plane, Blase, Scooby Doo, and Fan Dem Off complementing earlier tracks Online and Log On.

His catalogue supports his affinity for music, with a range of sampled works like Bad Man a Bad Man, remixed from R. Kelly’s The World’s Greatest; Willie Bounce, sampled from Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive, and Bun Bad Mind, a take on the gospel single Hear My Cry Oh Lord by Marvia Providence.

His star factor was supported by his signature lisp, spirited performances, and variegated outfits, and it did not take long for international acts to notice. His collaborative projects boast names like Janet Jackson, Busta Rhymes, Mariah Carey, Lil’ Jon, and Kat Deluna. He also did a stint at P Diddy’s Bad Boy Records, which released his Grammy-nominated album, Let’s Get Physica l, in 2008.

Growing fame accompanied some bumps in the road. Father to 20 children, Elephant Man’s personal life has been blasted in the media, with claims that he is not an active father. Then there were the court cases, a repossessed car, and other rumours swirled. “We’ve been through it. When you’re a likkle youth coming from nothing to something, people a go talk things, but at the end of the day, never mek a rumour be true,” he said. “Me take care of my kids, but sometimes you and the mother have a dispute, and you know how that go. Memba mi deh ya good one time and dem seh Ele have AIDS. Me seh, weh dat come from? Mi nuh dead, mi deh ya. That’s how people is. Me stay strong cause the fittest of the fittest shall live, and God nuh waan no weakness inna Him camp.”

Now 42 years old, he recently completed a European tour and is getting ready for festivals like Reggae Sumfest and Reggae Rotterdam in July. He still assesses the dance circuit and gives kudos to artistes like Ding Dong and Chi Ching Ching for continuing to spread Jamaica’s dance culture.

And for that little kid or music fanatic who happens to stumble across the history books of the entertainer’s life, he hopes to be immortalised as “that hard-working dancehall artiste who took dancehall to that level like the Reggae Boyz. Just like yuh can pick out the footballers who did certain things, when it comes to dancehall, you should be able to pick out Ele in the top five and say he did this or that. I’ve gotten a fair run. Me sell gold, me get Grammy-nominated, me fanbase large, and there is proof to show it.”