Backayard magazine
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00103222/00003
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Title: Backayard magazine
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Publisher: Backayard Publishing, Inc.
Place of Publication: Kingston, Jamaica
Creation Date: 2011
Publication Date: 2012
Genre: serial   ( sobekcm )
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Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: issn - 0799-1797
System ID: UF00103222:00005


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BACKAYARD DEEM TEaMChief Editor Creative/Art Director Managing Editor Associate Editor Production Managers Contributing Editors 3G Editor Designer/Photo Advisor Fashion Editor Assistant Fashion Editor Stylist Florida Correspondents Contributing Photographers Contributing Writers Caribbean Ad Sales US Ad Sales US Promotions Distribution PR Director Online Amilcar Lewis Noel-Andrew Bennett Madeleine Moulton (US) Ross Moulton (US) Clayton James (US) Noel Sutherland Jim Sewastynowicz (US) Phillip Lobban Matt Sarrel Andre Morgan (JA) Cheridah Ashley (JA) Serchen Morris Dexter Pottinger Sanjay Scott, Leroy Whilby EL, Sam Diephuis, Vincent Picone Headline Entertainment, Micro Don Dada Audrey Lewis EL Anna Sumilat Novelty Manufacturing OJ36 Records, LMH Ltd. Audrey Lewis (JA) ja@backayard.com usa@backayard.comJAMAICA9C, 67 Constant Spring Rd. Kingston 10, Jamaica W.I. (876)384-4078;(876)364-1398;fax(876)960-6445 email: ja@backayard.comUNITED STATESBrooklyn, NY, 11236, USA e-mail: usa@backayard.com In Loving Memory of Sean Antonio Bennett


YEAHI SAID IT With every new beginning in our lives comes an ending in someone elses, It is as if this loss and states "for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction." But is it really equal though? How presumptuous would it be to quantify or put a value on life or living? If it is that existing or the United Nations Secretariat, there are 490,000 births and 250,000 to 300,000 deaths every day in the world that's 173 deaths per minute and 323 births per minute everyday. Currently there are approximately seven billion people living in the world and at this rate by 2032 there will be an additional two billion mouths to feed. Apart from the immediate life threats such as global warming, nuclear war and overall world genocide etc, our main concern will lie with the worldwide shortage of water and oil due to the urbanisation of 70% of earth's land surface. Fortunately we live on an island surrounded by water, so we shouldn't have any problems. Or will cost of living is that of any easternly situated US state, our debt is 130% of our GDP and minimum wage weekly falls between 4,500.00 to 6,500.00 JA (3,500 depending on who is paying you), things worse your salary increase doesn't appreciate when tax and other costs do! with mortgage being at minimum 30,000 per month. Well I don't know if your math is better than mine, but that doesn't leave a lot of options for the natives. Not to mention expenses such as gas, water, electric, food, telephone and just overall survival expenses which all adds up to a not the masses). So what happens now? How do we 'level-out' our economy? What are our alternatives as the will. Until then have a progressive new year and 2012 from everyone here at Backayard you for your continued love and support over the years, as we remain steadfast to representing our heritage and culture into 2012 and beyond. ELHAPPY 2012?


1. Might Crown Nike Sneaker Mighty sealed their third sneaker deal with Nike honor of Mighty Crown's 20th Anniversary in the business, was the hottest possible their year long celebrations. Consisting of the Nike Dunk High Premium and Nike Sky Force 88 Low, impressively, the sneaker pak marks Mighty Crown's fourth Mighty Crown is the only sound system in the world to get a Nike sneaker deal. Over the years, the name Mighty Crown has become synonymous with Reggae/ Dancehall music and culture Globally and as expected the sound continues to make an indelible and unprecedented impact on the Reggae/Dancehall and Sound System industries. in clean colors, yet with lots of special materials, applications and details on the upper. Both the sleek all black Nike Dunk High Premium and the silver Nike Sky Force 88 Low sneakers are customized with the infamous Mighty Crown logo through out and the Mighty Crown name uniquely engraved in the sole. But what makes these sneakers really blaze is a collage of all of Mighty Crown's sound clash trophies on the shoes' insoles -truly a testament of Mighty Crown's achievements.via: irishandchin.com2. SXSW 2012 Our cousins from across for reggae music and culture, when they at the annual South by Southwest 2012 concert this year. British Underground, an organization responsible bringing UK's top talent to South by Southwest for the past 10 years, presents this year's SXSW 'Bass Culture' panel and showcase, which explores the resurgence of reggae in the British music scene. Reggaes journey has played a vital role in the development of jungle, drum & bass, dub-step, grime, UK reggae and UK hiphop, evolving into an all encompassing diverse palette of sub-genres will be well represented by Bass Culture's most prominent artists including Gappy Ranks, Little Roy, Natty, Lady Leshurr, Rasites and Kenny Ken." via: WeLovePR3. 17 North Parade On January 24, 17 North Parade will release Live At The Turntable Club gave the rest of the world aural access to Kingston's lively music scene during a With electrifying live performances from Dennis Brown, Delroy Wilson, Big Youth and backing band Soul Syndicate, Live shot of the key players who paved the way for the roots genre. Reggae's most accomplished recording engineers legendary artists were at the peak of their musical careers when they captured these live recordings inside Kingston's famous Beatles Apple Studio on Saville Row. with revamped packaging that replicates the original gatefold vinyl sleeve and is complimented with an extensive booklet, have collection for all vintage reggae fans. A vinyl LP re-issue will follow in 2012. via: WeLovePR 4. I-Octane will release his debut album with reggae powerhouse VP Records and Scikron, which is owned and operated by Robert Livingston, former long-time manager of multi-platinum artist Shaggy. will reinvigorate the feeling of roots and dancehall at its purest. I-Octane has already proven himself as a powerful lyricist and unveils his uncanny ability to sing romantic ballads and socially aware tunes on this traditional reggae album. Dreisinger describes I-Octane as 's buzzworthy newcomer: a Rastafarian DJ in the vein of Sizzla or Capleton, comfortable moving from conscious music to hardcore favorite anthem showcases his signature Dreisinger adds. via: WeLovePR5. Sean Paul listing for Sean Pauls upcoming album, recently. Check them out below. No U.S. release date for the album has been announced as yet, but it will be released in France, Belgium and Switzerland on January 27, 2012, in Germany and Austria on February 10, 2012 and in the UK and Ireland on March 12. via: Headline Ent.6. Usain Bolt and Virgin UK Apparently Usain Bolt is Richard Branson and Richie Branson has always been Usain Bolt, mix up is all cleared up in this interesting fastest man Usain Bolt is a part of a cross-platform social media campaign to push Virgin Media's new tagline: "Keep Up". Since the launch of their mega-fast broadband service in the U.K. via: youtube.com/iamrichardbranson7. Thugsy Malone It's very rare that you enough as it is in the business to break, book shows or even get your music National Children's home over the festive season with his Christmas rendition of and danced with glee. toys, clothing items and a sweet treat. Home, were touched by the giving of time and love from the artiste. I love giving and helping others, whenever I give, it is from the bottom of 8. ATL Autohaus After less than 2 years in operation with the Volkswagen and Audi Ground-breaking Ceremony was held today at the Oxford Road site previously occupied by Mas Camp. Automotive said, We believe that Jamaica deserves the very best and this demonstrates Unbeatable spirit. Not only will this exciting new development be as good a facility 9. Aaron Silk Aaron has been busy working in the studio with several producers perfecting his upcoming album with main producer Lynford 'Fatta' Marshall and executive producer, Maurice Johnson from Unleashed Entertainment, (promoter of the popular 'Bikini Sundayz', held every 1st sunday at Waves Beach) His new releases "Only you" and "Gangsta Role" have been hitting the streets and airwaves and we can expect great things to come in the following months. 10. Bag of Rhythm is made from Birch Wood and durable canvas. It utilizes twin 1" tweeters, twin deliver amazing output with crisp detail and deep, powerful bass. A unique quality of the bag is that it is compatible with your and charging station so you literally just plug and play. It is dual battery operated so it is truly a portable device and makes it easy to carry your music wherever you may need it. Available in the Jammin Collection of House of Marley the Bag of Rhythm retails for $350 USD. via: houseofmarley.comThink youre 1 Drop Worthy?ja@backayard.com 9 10 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1BACKAYARD 6 DROP1ONEPLUGS & RELEASES 1 9 6 6 2 0 1 1 C E L E B R A T I N G email: info@tasteejamaica.com website: www .tasteejamaica.com find us on facebook: tasteejamaica


Enjoy the best vacations and take the opportunity of sunbathing and taking a refreshing dip in the pool, a profusion of activity at the beach, sleeping like an angel, relaxing in a spa, evening shows and scrumptious gastronomy. At Complex Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort & Spa, life is as it should be. allINCLUSIVE BACKAYARD 8


BAY : quick plugs MANIFESTO JA:Festival of ART ical Empowerment (Kingston, Jamaica)Manifesto Jamaicas Festival of ARTical Empowerment, which ran from November 18 to 20 came alive at the Edna Manley College of the Visual & Performing Arts, with a townhall reasoning, arts based workshops & presentations and live performances.Photos courtesy: Sabriya Simon / Manifesto JA Action or a Bag a Mout The Townhall Reasoning, dubbed The Arts & Vision 2030: Action or a Bag a Mout an analysis of Vision 2030 & its incorporation of the Arts as key to national development, aptly opened the Festivals weekend of activities. With speakers including Dr. Damien King, Dr. Kadamawe Knife, Herbie Miller, Andrew Davies, Clive Bowen, Justine Henzel and Lloyd Stanbury, the presentations covered the themes of National Development, Arts: The Business & Industry and The Way Forward. The presentations were rich in their message of the importance of the arts in all areas of life and development. A very dominant acknowledgement was also that of Vision 2030s inadequate provisions for the Arts in its Vision and a call to action, not only of the 2030 visionaries but the artists themselves as well. ARTical Village Activities continued on day two, at 10 am with Nyahbinghi drumming, to open the Festivals ARTical Village, which housed a wide array of booths as well as an entertainment stage. The booths included Fashion, Meals, Massage Therapy, Books, Photography, among others, with Music by Lee Tafari. Performances at the ARTical Village over the two-day period included; Dexta Malawi, Leslie-Ann Wanliss, LSX, Jah Ova Evil, Jessie Royal, Abbebe Payne, Mel Cooke and closed with a fashion show by MamaYashi Collection & Nahimana-nlightn Youth Wear. The Pickney Park was also a part of the days of activities, affording youngsters the opportunity to partake in games and learning activities. Workshops Spanning days two and three of the festival, over 20 workshops, coordinated by Manifesto Jamaica were held, facilitated by professionals in the respective areas. Workshops included Audio Engineering, Poetry 101, Fashion 101, Original Hip Hop & Funk Styles, Drumming, Kemetic Yoga, Entrepreneurship in the Food Industry, West African Dance and Jamaican martial art, Xaiyen-Dao, to name a few. The workshops were thorough and included practical exercises as well as lecture and discussion elements. With its community work a key component, over 20 volunteers were present, in support of the festival, with some participating in the workshops as well as performing in other areas of the festival. Meet the Artiste Meet the artiste presented a rare opportunity to attendees to hear, up-close and personal, about the life and art of a veteran artiste and this year, Bob Andy was interview and honoured for his work in music. This event also featured an acoustic performance by Cherine Anderson and Poet Mutabaruka as well as a conversation with art therapist, Rozi Chung. Herbie Miller, Director/Curator of Jamaica Music Museum, making the opening presentation at Manifesto Jamaica's inagural Town Hall Meeting which, in keeping with being dubbed a "call to action," was held under the theme "the Arts and Vision 2030: 'Action or a Bag a Mout?'" According to the attendees, who included the Planning Insitute of Jamaica's Vision 2030 Programme Manager, Richard Lumsden, the event was inspiring, eye-opening and thought-provoking. Bob Andy, this year's honouree, speaking during Meet the Artiste hosted by Donisha Prendergast.BACKAYARD 14the Uprising Roots Band performing @ Art'ical Empowerment Live. On drumsBlack Kush, congo drum-Warrior, bass guitarPot a Rice mutabaruka performing dub poetry at word in motion Artical Empowerment LIVE Saturdays activities came to a grand close with the presentation of ARTical Empowerment Live, Manifesto Jamaicas Main Live Music Event at the festival. The evening featured high energy performances from young as well as seasoned performers, including; Raging Fyah, Uprising Roots Band, Jah9, Protoje, Tifa, Chevaughn and Di Blueprint band. Artical Empowerment Words in Motion The Festival of ARTical Empowerment closed with Word in Motion; a Poetry and Dance infused event at the Edna Manley Colleges Dance Theatre. The evening represented a celebration of Manifesto Jamaicas year of activities, the 2nd Annual Festival as well as inspiration moving forward. Features on the programme included, from Canada; Keisha Monique, Michie Mee, The MAD Poet and Aquilla Roots; from Jamaica acoustic music performances by Shaq the MC and Cenc Love, poetry by Cherry Natural & Mutabaruka as well as a rare presentation of poetry by Tanya Stephens. The evenings dance aspects featured, among others, The University Dance Society, Edna Manley Dance Works, Renee McDonald & Kymmone Ennis. Manifesto Jamaicas 2nd Annual Festival of ARTical Empowerment was again successful, especially as the level of outreach achieved throughout the year and at the festival increased. Manifesto Jamaica, on a National Development level has the potential to mobilize the youths from innercity communities through Cultural and Artsbased activities, education and entertainment. Each year we hope to grow more as more persons realize that they can also be a part of it. Generally, thats what most people want, especially youths; to feel like they are a part of something positive. Said Natalie Reid, Manifesto Jamaicas Programmes Manager & ARTical Village Producer. According to Manifesto JAs Managing Director and festival producer LesleyAnn Welsh From the conversations I overheard patrons having in the parking lot, people really really enjoyed themselves and felt a good energy, so I'd production is concerned, I think we upped the value from last year, despite having less funding so we are grateful. A sound conviction about the absolute relevance of art in personal and national development is one that most, if not all, supporters of Manifesto Jamaica share. The relevance and blatant need for creative outlets and spaces are an undeniable truth Culture organization, its main objectives being to Educate, Expose & Empower youths through the arts and culture. Contact info: manifestojamaica@gmail.com or 876-547-4779 BACKAYARD 10


Baset Sekhmet Iyabynghi doing the Geb Wheel in her Kemetic Yoga Class kabaka pyramid M|J core team member/ performing artiste, live on stage at AE Live Two members from the dance group Black Panthers share a moment in the Original Hip Hop and Funk Styles workshop led by Martino Redwood. Daniel "Dan Java" Clarke and Donald "Blaxxx" Powell performing at Art'ical Empowerment Live. Both are graduates of the Change through Art (CTA) pilot programme. Dan Java was amongst the top three of the CTA graduates who auditioned for the show. He chose to share his 10-minute spot with his best friend, Blaxxx. Mama Yashi sews a piece in the 'fashion 101' workshop Audio engineers Mahlon "Debo" Moving of Raging Fyah (far right) and Oniel "Nelly" Nelson (second from left) showing two young workshop attendees the ins and outs of Digital Audio Recording at the "Audio Engineering" Music Workshop of the Manifesto Jamaica Festival of Art'ical Empowerment. Attendees got an opportunity to record and mix their own vocals in this excellent hands-on session. Jah9 & Protoje share a set at AE Live




Five Steez | Words AR | Photos ELBAY : eARLY ACCESSEARLYACCESSBACKAYARD 16The traditional path to music notoriety is both transparent and well-documented in Jamaica: create an easy-to-package reggae sound and sell it to a major record label. While many artistes attempt to ride this predictable path to riches and fame, there are still aspiring artists that are committed to taking alternative routes to music distinction. In regards to differentiation, Yard Nigga Rap proponent Five Steez has to be considered one of the ringleaders of this new order, embracing the world of hip-hop and bucking the trend of his indigenous reggae counterparts. Around the age of 14, Five Steez was issued a challenge online. I used to post my rhymes online on a particular message board and one day somebody said I was wack, Steez recalls with a chuckle. After that I found myself on so many message boards, posting lyrics and learning from others, until I got dissed again this time for not recording my rhymes because as a rapper, other posters claimed, I should be recording and not just posting lyrics, so then that was what I started doing. Since shedding his neophyte status, Five Steez has concentrated most of his energy on independent recordings, although he has stepped out for a few special projects. Two of these include his three-part mixtape series, Momentum, with Bronx legend DJ Ready Cee, and his King of Kings collaboration with fellow Jamaican Kabaka Pyramid and UKbased DJ Kingston. 2012 will yield the release of Steezs signature debut album War for Peace, which he sees as a perfect culmination of almost three years worth of work. That [three years] was spent conceptualizing, together, he reveals. Production efforts on War for Peace stem locally from the likes of Instincts, Damien and Dash the Dadz, as well as international producers Theory from Washington DC, Dj King Flow from France and the Poland-based Patent. War for Peace also features a host of guest rappers contributing to its esoteric vibe, such as Shaq the MC, Nomad Carlos and Kabaka Pyramid. Inherently a jovial person, Five Steez becomes stoic and introspective when asked SoWhy Hip-hop? If anyone could truly listen to hip-hop the way that I have, especially after being exposed to it at such young age, you would appreciate what it has to offer and how different hip-hop is from reggae or dancehall. It gives me a special feeling that many other genres dont, especially the lyrical content, or the style of lyricism. That is what led me to hip-hop and that is what keeps me doing it. Message board critics beware, Young Steezy is on a mission to prove that the only thing thats wack is anyone who doubts his ability to rhyme. B


EARLYACCESS Richie R.A.S.BAY : eARLY ACCESS to has to be way easier than actually making the music that, you hope, would inspire people to get up and shake their thang thang. Unfortunately, as most club DJs could attest, pleasing a crowd of fervent music lovers on a night to night and sometimes even song to song basis, could be as challenging as trying to solve a rubix cube in one hand while trying to juggle and eat an apple in the other. No such worries for Richard Anthony Spence, aka Richie R.A.S, who has built his reputation solely on his uncanny ability to give people what they want when they want it. Whether it is through his many online mixtape releases or his live performances, Richie has always had an almost telepathic connection with his fans. I listen to many different forms of music and most importantly I am open to the opinion of others and especially the audience, Richie says. This is important because of the way I try to do my mixtapes. I dont really stick to one formula. Variety is what the people want most of the time and that what I try to give to them. This is made even more evident by the fact that two of his most popular mixtapes are from 2 completely different forms of music. My best downloaded mixtapes are: s School Daze a 90s dancehall mix and Soca Splash AKA Island Mas. These are the mixes that have gotten the most following around the world,he explains. Having played at parties in California and Guyana it could be said that Riche R.A.S has used his internet popularity to good effect however it is within the island of Jamaica he claims he has had his most memorable performance to date, an opportunity to play alongside one of the icons of dancehall music Rory from the Stone Love sound system. I played at an 80s/90s party alongside Rory. At that time, the series was called s vs LPs and they were actually trying to recreate the famous House of Leo vibe from the late 80s up to the mid-90s. It was a blast cause you know that Rory hardly plays locally anymore, so to play with him is a honour within itself. Armed with the knowledge that he has the gift to help people enjoy themselves, Richie R.A.S has laid the groundwork to what should be a long and interesting career as one of Jamaicas most sought-after disc jockeys. No matter how much he achieves moving forward, he will always be humbled by his beginnings. I started off playing at house parties and car washes. It was word of mouth through a network of good friends that carried me to where I am now. B BACKAYARD 18


BAY : off the recordANDYHow did you get the name Bob Andy? Well, I got out of school at an early age. I started at a school in hills of Kentucky, Westmoreland then I went to Rusea Primary School off Chisholm Avenue. I was trying hard to get a secondary education but it wasnt in the stars. So I dropped out of school pretty young I would say at age 14. I started discovering the piano off of my own volition. I loved music as a child I was always taken by the image of the dog listening to speaker His Masters Voice that used to freak me out. When I started looking at 78 recorded discs under the title of the song used to be a name in brackets and then the singers name. I always wondered what the name or names in brackets was all about, I found out later that it was the writer of the song. I think somehow that triggered something in me. I didnt know anything about marketing or advertising in those days, the fact that the songwriter name was in brackets even if the songwriter was the singer their name would still be in brackets. The fact that you will probably never know who the writer was in terms of visual but the fact that his credit was there meant alot to me. So I moved into a place where there was a piano, one of the daughters of my foster mother played actually. But it mostly spent time there not being used and I had time on my hands so I spent time checking it out. I was able to find notes and put melodies to the notes I found. So when it came time for me to participate in the business for the creative side like I was telling you earlier on. By the time I went to Studio One, after I left the Paragons, most of the people I ran into were my idols. So to be able to rubbing shoulders and to be able to be writing songs that they would like enough to use was really a thrill for I. After awhile I decided to put my voice on some of these recordings so one day Coxsone said to me, So Keith wah yuh waan go pon dem record yah. At the age of 17 and half, I was working at Bellevue Hospital training in psychiatry and when I was about to put my name on the song I remembered that they used to call me Andy at the hospital short for Anderson. I wanted to use Bob because that is what they called my child at time Baby Bob remember, yuh nuh, at that time Bob Marley wasnt Bob Marley he was just a part of the Wailers actually they used to call him Robbie. So I took the Bob from my childs name and put it to Andy and the secret to that was as a child I was popular at school and I would have been embarrassed to have started something and have failed. If I used my right name they would have found out but if I changed it to another name nobody would have known I tried and rest is history. It is a good name. Some people like to say Bobandy like it is one name.So how did you get your start in music with the Paragons?It was a church movement, I mean I have told this story countless times but it is always a good story. We started singing as a duo, Don Evans and myself and there were lots of duos out in Jamaica at that time: Alton & Eddie, The Charmers, Keith & Enid, The Blues Busters, Higgs & Wilson and they were all doing well. Tyrone (Don) felt that would have been a hard field to come into so we became a trio then a quartet then a quintet then a quartet then a trio then a duo, we kept changing until we were satisfied we got the sound we were looking for.When did you get satisfied with the sound? Well you could have alot of sounds but they wont necessary blend and we were looking for a blend. The blend really is chemistry so you can have 10 people singing harmonies and it sound very good BOBMastering the art of longevity is not an easily accomplished task and it is made particularly more dicult by the standards set forth by the music industry. It requires adaptability, perserverance, and above all else, a unique and impressive skill set. Luckily for Bob Andy, and luck for his legion of devout fans, he not only possesess but thrives in all 3 categories. Andy, a bonade global reggae legend, burst onto the scene in 1966 with his smash hit, Ive Got to Go Back Home. In the years since, he has gone on to impress fans and critics alike with a range of talent, from vocalist and writer, to producer and stage actor. He has engendered a string of solo hits, among them, Feeling Soul, My Time and Going Home. Along with Marcia Griths, he formed the Bob and Marcia duo that delighted a global audience with hits like Young, Gifted, and Black, and the well-received album, Kemar LP. As the Promotions Director for Tu Gong, he was responsible for nding and honing the talent of artists such as Ernest Wilson and Tyrone Taylor. Andy has also tried his hand in acting, with a stint that included a starring role in the lm, Children of Bablyon, along with a string of stage performances. He has been honored with an array of awards and special recognitions, including the Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander, as set forth by the country of Jamaica. Having led as diverse and accomplished a career as one could aspire towards, Andy took some of his precious time with Backayard to discuss his distinguised career. I WAS WORKING AT BELLEVUE HOSPITAL TRAINING IN PSYCHIATR Y AND WHEN I WAS ABOUT TO PUT MY NAME ON THE SONG I REMEMBERED THAT THEY USED TO CALL ME ANDY PHOTOS: S AM DIEPHUIS | WORD S: AR BACKAYARD 20


but when you have the right tones you get a blend. And so when we brought John Holt in, one of the greatest singers of all time, he was a good fit in the group. I had my other dreams so I left the group in 1966 they went to Treasure Island and I went to Coxsone Records. Paragons had done some of their early recordings at Studio One with Coxsone and I liked how Coxsone worked and he liked my talent and admired my talent. I stayed and developed the Bob Andy myth and legend.Y ou were in your early twenties at the time?In 1966, I was 22 and I worked at Bellevue from [the age of] 17 to 20. I started recording at Studio One at age 20. I had to do a couple of exams to become a nurse, I passed the first one but I was so busy with the group that I decided to leave the work. Mostly because I wasnt able to give enough time to the profession and music was what I really wanted to do so thats what happened.While you were working with Sir Coxsone, were you doing mostly writing for others?Actually, starting out I had to audition other artistes and when I saw how recording was done, I went down to where Tuff Gong is now on Marcus Garvey Drive. It used to be called Federal Records owned by the Khouris. I took the mono track by the time I took it down to Coxsone it became a two track. I went about learning overdubbing with the facilities given to me and I did alot of the harmonies and alot of the songs do there Marcia (Griffiths) and myself. Mainly, that was how we used to earn because royalties wasnt happening at that time because most of the songs have not been released for me to get any money from it. I liked her voice and her too and I had some songs in the embryonic stage so I finished them, gave birth to them and sung them to her and she like them. We started recording after recording I liked what I heard. We sang a song for Delroy Wilson he liked it, we recorded it. We sang a song for Ken Boothe he liked it, we recorded it. So I thought if my songs sound so good with other people singing it let me see if I could try some and I put my voice on a couple of the songs and they liked them very muchWas this all at Studio One? Yes, all at Studio One, Coxsone environment. Those were very dynamic times we were just coming out of independence and we had certain fervor. I not even sure that we even knew what independence fully meant. The celebration of the fact that we were shedding the skin of colonial system with the instruct of black power writings: Stokely Carmichael, Eldridge Cleaver, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, social and political consciousness just grew. So when I heard Babylon for the first time I really liked the song and I realized that I dont have to sing about being in love and I can sing about other things. So that really appealed to me to this minute, I have a propensity to reflect on socio-economic issues that concern people of all cultures. What calypso was to Trinidad, mento was to Jamaica, once you hear that mento guitar and rhumba box you know the thing that you pick with your fingers. When you find a band that can manage that even today like those mento guys who are now famousThe Jolly Boys Jolly Boys, they are big now with album and music videos and they started out doing mento. So, all the songs that I recorded were never really released cause Coxsone kept them for dance clashes. So my whole repertoire for him was only being played in the dance. So I wouldnt have anything to sell to generate royalties. So someone came from Federal saying that they wanted to see me there. They had heard my work in the dancehall and I did a song for them called Games People Play the cover version. In two weeks it was number 1 on both radio stations. Which year was that? So Coxsone started releasing the songs he had in the dancehall. What was the response to the release of the songs?Well Games People Play was such a success and my recordings with Coxsone had developed a dancehall following so when they were being played on the radio people knew them. So I had developed a fan base through the dance was now reaching out to new fans. Right after that someone called to asked me to a cover of another song Young, Gifted and Black in 1970. I invited Marcia and asked her to sing the song along with me and Judy Mowatt and Norris Weir of the Jamaicans. So it was just after two covers one after the other and I went solo in the space of two years. Which label was Y oung, Gifted and Black released on?It was released on Harry J Records and when it went to England it went on Trojan. Marcia and myself traveled all across Europe. Was it based off of that hit you traveled outside of Jamaica for the first time? I went to the Bahamas, went to Florida, the Cayman Islands just as Bob Andy on my own fame. But I travelled across the big pond for the first time when we were called to present the song on Top of the Pops. In 1972 we did another cover Pied Piper and that also went into British charts so we toured on that again. When we came back from Europe in the mid seventies, Marcia was invited to become a member of the I-Threes so we really didnt do any work together again at least not as consistent. This was because she was now otherwise occupied with her solo career and her engagements with the group. Sometime after I did a film Children of Babylon in 1979.During that time between 1979 and the last time you recorded with Marcia. Did you mainly release singles?I was somewhat disenchanted about my life. Marley was hat at that time, Third World, Maytals After my experiences in England and the Eastern Bloc I became a bit disillusioned. I just went off learning to play and watching alot of tennis in America. I was fortunate to be in a film called The Mighty Quinn but with all that was happening I spending whatever money I had recording. I didnt have a distribution deal or anything but writing is what I could do producing is what I could do and playing was what I could so I just put them together and kept myself occupied. Which is the reason why I have such a vast and varied catalogue today. So you were stockpiling tapes for future use?Yes, for future use and the future is now. The new album will be Bob Andy song book branding so it will be Bob Andy Song Book Volume 2. We are trying to get that ready for Christmas if not early next year. Which will be a album comprising of songs that has been recorded but never released. So they are still brand new to the audience. After that successful concert (Bob Andy Unplugged) recently we have to make use of the amount of press we are now receiving. Make more songs for people to hear, enjoy and ultimately purchase if they see fit. There is a time gap from the 80s up to the present day in your musical output. What kept you occupied during that time period?I did some work in England with the last remnants left over from the Bob and Marcia days. When she was touring with Bob Marley, I wasnt necessarily doing alot of recording but I was touring England and places like Japan. I went to Japan when I made the album Friends. I made the album Freely in the 80s as well, I wasnt really up front but I never stop creating. I had a label which started out as Jamrock became eventually I-Anka and my publishing company was called Andisongs. They were registered in England, I started my publishing from a very early stage. My favourite artiste was Sam Cooke and I read alot about him. He was a youngster that started to understand publishing from a very early stage. Also one of the grandfathers of Jamaican music, I mean he was one of the unsung heroes, Joe Higgs of Higgs and Wilson fame was somewhat responsible for somewhat coordinating the Wailers. He saw me writing up at Studio One and said that there were associations BAY : off the record S TARTING OUT I HAD TO AUDITION OTHER ARTISTES AND WHEN I SAW HOW RECORDING WAS DONE, I WENT DONE TO WHERE TUFF GONG IS NOW ON MARCUS GARVEY DRIVE IT USED TO BE CALLED FEDERAL RECORD S OWNED BY KHOURIS.


around the world that I could become a member of and you would have your work protected. I sent in a copy of my songs and they received it and made me a member of the Performing Right Society which is a copyright protection organization. I was a member from the mid 60s but that still doesnt prevent people from trying to take your work. Someone can successfully reregister your song and the society will hold all royalties until the courts decide. Studio One and myself are currently in the courts and I wont say much more about it because it is in the courts. It is life. I had Hanging Tough album with one of my favourite musicians Wllie Lindo and had another album for myself. After that been quietly recording and I am looking to make some of these things available in the near future. Which process do you enjoy more, writing a good song or recording?My desire back then was to craft the song I possibly could. If it was plumbing I was doing I would want to do the plumbing to best of my ability because that is just how I am. I came to understand at a very early stage that perfection in this plane is not constant for humanity. The earth is perfect as it is and we are perfect as we are. But we do have perfect moments, a perfect moment that affected my life happened only 3 years ago. The guy who landed the plane in the Hudson (River) was one of the most impressive thing I have ever seen in my lifetime. Michael Jordan midflight switching the ball from right to left hand is another for me. So I always wanted to perfect the moment so when I write songs it is with that in mind which is probably they have stood the test of time. Do you have a favourite song that you were a part of? Let me tell you, a person might have 6 children and love them all and without telling the others they might have a special affinity to one for whatever reason. The album I put together in the 80s, Friends I loved the title track on that. It has a message that will outlive my generation and stay for generations to come. It is my dream that youths can coexist peacefully. I have watched and experienced the various genres of Jamaican music evolving. And while you might not be particularly impressed with some of the material that comes out, each generation should be allowed to have a say. One of the strong points about our music is that we reflect our reality. It could be smutty but it is reality and is up to you if you want to associate yourself with that sort of thing. It is how some of these people manage to feed their family and help others to go to school and stuff. It is a long story about negative music suffice to say I dont look at life in negative numbers. I never see music as negative or positive, if you love music some music you will just love more than others. Unchained is another one I really loved because it was what I was going through at the time. To realize that what I thought was my pain I had so many fans who emphasized. No money can supplant the feeling you get when someone comes up to you and tells you how much you have impacted their lives, it is a marvelous privilege to have. As an artiste, I have to maintain and assume responsibility; the fact is if you are a public figure you are a role model. Going to Manifesto at Edna Manley and seeing the fine artistes being developed, pleases me greatly especially at this stage of my life. It is good that the youths remember that music is very important as it is the soundtrack to life. If I could leave the youths with anything I would leave them with lyrics from my song Life: Discover your ability, Develop your creativity, Cultivate humility because as the song says the more you give to life is the more you get from life. B BAY : off the record DISCO VER YOUR ABILITY DEVELOP YOUR CREATIVITY, CULTIV ATE HUMILITY, BECA USE AS THE SONG SAYS THE MORE YOU GIVE TO LIFE IS THE MORE YOU GET FROM LIFE.


BAY : off the recordVIRGOWhich Parish are you from?Well, I am originally from St. Ann, Stepney to be exact. Is a small community close to Nine Miles, yuh know where Bob Marley born and grow up. How did you get into music?I grew up a fan of music and ever since I discovered my talent it was always music. How did you discover your talent? Alright di first person that told me I could sing was my close neighbor. Everybody inna di community know her as Auntie Mama. She was passing by one morning and hear wi cause wah wi do wi normally tape record ourselves on di cassette every Sunday morning before we go to church. Yuh nuh, me and mommy and my brother would play di tape. She heard one of di recording and she seh yo I could sing and it was really from that day, everybody including people close to me started saying that I could sing. How old were you then? I was around 8 or 9 somewhere around that. Meanwhile going to church I used to love as soon as wi go for break at the top of devotion in Sunday School every morning, I used to go di mike and sing. That is what I used to do because I used to love hearing di echoes of my voice inna di church. So people inside di church knew I could sing and everybody started to find out. Through community concerts and di hol ting, I became the lead singer of my high school choir after singing at devotion one morning. We entered high school choir competition in 2006, it was after that people was telling me I should enter Rising Stars. So it wasnt you that got up one day and decided to enter?No cause mi a seh mi a get di love from dem people yah, yuh nuh, and everybody a encourage mi. It wasnt like a few of my friends come to mi and seh Yo you fi enter Rising Stars, people were saying I really think that you would win. That was what gave mi di motivation fi enter Rising Stars 2006, I never got through but 2007 I went back. What did you think was the reason you didnt qualify in 2006? Well, I sang a song that somebody song the previous year and they said that I chose the wrong song. So I came back in 2007 wid suppim that nobody never heard in competition before When A Man Loves A Woman by Percy Sledge. I decided to choose suppim that was popular but not currently popular and that was it. So how was the competition week by week? It was challenging, yuh nuh, because most of di time I have to travel back from St. Ann to Kingston. At that time I jus finished CXC at Aabuthnott Gallimore high school and it was challenging cause mi haffi try get votes for myself. I used to keep community events to raise funds, me and mi ROMAIN BEFORE THE INFILTRATION OF TELEVISION B Y REALITY SINGING COMPETITION SHOWS, ARTISTS SUCH AS ROMAIN VIRGO MAY HAVE GONE VIRTUALLY UNNOTICED. BUT THANKS TO THIS PLATFORMS DRAMATIC UNFURLING OF THE MUSIC INDUSTRY, THE EMERGENCE OF VIRGO TO A LARGE-SCALE AUDIENCE HAS BEEN MADE POSSIBLE. IN 2007, VIRGO EMPHATICALLY PUT HIMSELF ON THE MAP B Y WINNING JAMAICAS PREMIERE TALENT COMPETITION, THE DIGICEL RISING S TARS COMPETITION. IN THE 4-PLUS YEARS SINCE WINNING THE COMPETITION AT THE TENDER AGE OF 17, VIRGO HAS METEORICALLY RISEN FROM A PRECOIOUS YOUNG SINGER TO BONAFIDE REGGAE HEADLINER. HE RELEASED HIS FIRST SELF-TITLED ALBUM TO COUNTRYWIDE ACCLAIM IN 2010, CONTAINING HITS SUCH AS MI CAAN SLEEP, W ANNA GO HOME, AND WHO FEELS IT. THIS RELEASE LED TO VIRGOS FIRST EXPERIENCE ON TOUR, TRAVELING TO BOTH THE US AND EUROPE IN THE MONTHS THAT FOLLOWED THE DROP OF ROMAIN VIRGO. THE YOUNG ARTIST REMAINS COMMITTED TO HONING HIS CRAFT ALL WHILE PURSUING A 5 YEAR COLLEGE DEGREE AT EDNA MANLEY COLLEGE, WITH PERFORMANCES AT A NUMBER OF DANCEHALLS IN JAMAICA, INCLUDING P ASSA P ASSA AND WEDDY WEDDY. HE HAS ALSO HAD THE HONOR OF PERFORMING AT T ONY REBELSS IMMENSELY POPULAR MUSIC FESTIVAL, REBEL S ALUTE, AS WELL AS A PERFORMANCE AT R YMAN A UDITORIUM WITH LARRY GATLIN AND THE GATLIN BROTHERS IN 2010. SO HOW HAS VIRGO MANAGED TO NAVIGATE HIS PATH TO THE TOP OF JAMAICAS REGGAE SCENE? AND HOW HAS HE HANDLED FAME THAT HAS AT TIMES LIKENED HIM TO JAMAICAS VERSION OF JUSTIN BIEBER? BACKAYARD SAT DOWN WITH THE ARTIST TO FIND OUT WHAT HELPED GUIDE HIM ON HIS JOURNEY TO BECOME REGGAES NEXT STAR. PHOTOS: S AM DIEPHUIS | WORDS: AW BACKAYARD 26


family used to go on the road and collect. Because even though people seh dem a vote fi mi, mi still try put in my part inna it. Obviously your family was completely behind youYeah man, my mommy wasnt there at that moment she was abroad on the work program. But my uncles, cousins, sisters and brothers, everybody in my community was very supportive. The competition was all about votes, if you dont get enough votes you not going to stay in di competition. So wi decide seh whichever way wi haffi get di votes we will definitely try and get it. But it was good I really enjoyed it. Being that it was the 4th edition of Rising Stars and knowing what could it do for your career, was it ever nerve-wracking for you in the competition?Yeah because everybody know what this competition is all about. People come from this competition in years before me and it is still a challenge to get out there. I dont people enter the competition for jus di moment, people would enter di competition to build their career. Going to di competition I was kinda worried especially being di age that I was, yuh nuh, 17. I was saying to myself I cant write songs as yet and what I am going to do after. But mi end up a seh once mi get into music mi haffi face up to reality and and di challenge. So yeah man mi di kinda nervous especially performing on stage each night especially being so young and di type of music I would choose to sing each night was way way older than me. Judges were saying I was singing songs that were way too old for me so it was a challenge from all angles. So you took all of this criticism constructively?Yeah yeah that is wah yuh haffi do. Imagine you going to a competition and all yuh getting is applause and good comments probably you wont even work as hard as you need to. Di criticism were there bout mi jus work pon dem whatever dem seh fi do mi jus mek sure mi come back di next week and correct that. Each week it jus grew until di end of di competition when I was di winner.A fter winning the competition, what happened for your career?I started working with Donavan Germaine from Penthouse, Tony Rebel I think told him about me. Which was very good because people inside di business was already seeing mi as somebody that is very promising and tings like that. And then mi start work wid Donavan Germaine, di first song I did wid him was part of di contract. In di contract, you get two singles and a music video. Caan Sleep was di first big song I found wid Donavan Germaine and it was an original song, yuh nuh, I wrote that song. I was inspired by what was going on in this country at that moment. I also wanted people to see me inna certain light as a new artiste, yuh nuh, something positive. Yeah man, Caan Sleep was a big song and it took months to reach the position it ended up reaching cause even though I was getting airplay on some radio stations. You still had people coming up to me and saying that they need to hear something from me. Which meant that alot of people wasnt hearing it but still was my first big song then after you had songs like Love Doctor, Who Feels It Knows It, Rain Is Falling and the others. Were you going to school during all that time? During di time I found Caan Sleep, I started Edna Manley College. Why did you decide to go to Edna Manley College? Edna Manley was always apart of my dream even before everything start. When I was in high school I was saying to myself if I really wanted to be that artiste I wanted to be not jus somebody who jus jump on the stage and perform but to know the music to a certain level maybe even play a musical instrument, yuh nuh, mek myself more rounded suppim like that mi di a look forward to. That was di whole reason for coming to Edna Manley.How was that experience for you?Well I took a break from school because of the demands of everything, yuh nuh di touring and everything. Edna Manley has helped me to grow from level A to a much higher level. Wid di whole development of my voice and performance, learning how to use up my vocals Edna Manley has done that for mi. June Lawson and Michael Harris, who stood by in terms of vocal training and everything. I must say that di school have developed and teached mi a hol lot of tings that I didnt know. When you come into di business as a young artiste it is good that you can know di history of your music. At Edna Manley, I didnt learn everything because as I seh I am not in school now but most of what I know now is from Edna so I give thanks. When did you start touring in your career? Touring came after my album, yuh nuh. Produced by Penthouse distributed by VP Records it was self titled Romaine Virgo and it was released in 2010. I did my first tour in di US it was a promo tour for di album which was for 2 weeks I believe. Further in 2010 I did a European tour, mostly club shows, that was in di winter season. This year summer again, Europe and Caribbean shows and all the other shows that are around. How does it feel to have people respond to your songs the way that they do?It feels good and mi feel like when an artiste developDo you write most of your own music by the way?I write 98% of dem, nowadays wi go inna di studio and whole a vibe most of di time but I still write, yuh nuh. But when yuh reach to a point when people a respect fi yuh is a totally different ting to people jus liking yuh. Whatever music yuh put out, when dem see yuh this light, dem will love it. Mi think a that a wah we do and that a di reason we get that kinda love from di people dem di type a music wah we put out. Mi jus think that to be di age that I am at right now I could be doing anything but mi choose to stay on di positive side. Something uplifting something wah everybody can listen to is something somebody a guh seh dem son or dem daughter caan listen to this, it can play anywhere. I can go on a gospel show and perform that is the type of music I do. How was it for you to perform at the Country Music A wards? Jah know, It was amazing and unbelievable, yuh nuh. I always wanted to perform or at least collaborate with an international artiste, yuh nuh, some big star. And I got that opportunity through di album that we did for VP Records. Through Cristy Barber from VP Records, she was di one that gave me di opportunity to work on Reggae Gone Country. I did di song and they sent it over to Nashville and singer of di original song heard it and he said he wanted to put on some vocals on it. It was amazing, when I heard that he really wanted to do the collaboration trust me it was unbelievable and finally meeting him and di whole vibe. Seeing that he loved di ting, him tell mi that mi tek di song and put in my own way and him really feel good when him hear di song. That uplift mi and motivate mi fi do more songs like wah mi a do and continue do wah mi a do right now. What would you say that 2012 have in store for you?2012, Mi have a next album coming out. I have some tours coming up and more music. Mi try fi gi di people dem space. My type of music wah mi do is not di type of music that tomorrow morning it would be number 1 if I should release it today, it tek time fi grow. So 2012 is all about music for me, di album, di singles, di shows and everything like that. Are you signed to a particular label or whatever deal comes about you shop it around?We have a contract wid VP Records and as I said we work as a team because everybody want to see di best not only for me but for di music itself. We nah crowd di market and 2012 would be a good time to put a next album. So VP, Donavan Germaine from Penthouse, Darwin Brown from Vikings Productions, Shane Brown from Jukeboxx Productions jus a work together as a team to mek sure seh everything go di right way. B BAY : off the recordIMAGINE YOU GOING TO A COMPETITION AND ALL YUH GETTING IS APPLA USE AND GOOD COMMENTS, PROBABLY YOU WONT EVEN WORK AS HARD AS YOU NEED TO




company, Flames Productions, is currently working alongside VP Records on the release of Queen Ifricas follow-up to her critically acclaimed hit, Montego Bay, as well as involved with several other projects, including his latest album, Love Solider. Amidst this bevy of impressive work, Tony Rebel is probably better known for a different act of achievement: the planning and staging of one of the largest single-day reggae roots celebrations in the world, Rebel Salute. Born Patrick George Anthony Barrett in Manchester Parish in 1962, Rebel gravitated toward music at an early age. His initial venture into professional work began at the age of 21, when he entered a music competition in the town of Mandeville. He took rst place in the DJ portion and second in the singing category there, achievements which he still excitedly recants to this day. Rebel continued pursuing his musical career in his hometown of Manchester for two years before deciding to take his talents to Kingston, the musical epicenter of Jamaica. Unfortunately, he was unable to place in any of the competitions that he subsequently entered. Not one to easily be deterred, Rebel used these setbacks as fuel to work even harder at his craft, laborious efforts that would eventually lead to the recording of his rst-ever song, Casino Gambling. It would ultimately serve as a witty piece of social commentary, one that became an idyllic platform to promote Rebels considerable talent to the Jamaican reggae world. While Casino Gambling helped Rebel make lasting connections that would eventually pay dividends in his career, it wasnt until he permanently moved to Kingston that his career really took off. Rebel recalled the move, I came to Kingston to live in 1988 and I met Donavan Germaine at Penthouse Records. That was where I started to record more seriously until I got the hits with The Armour in 1990 and then Fresh Vegetable in 1991, and the rest is history. It wasnt long before major US labels began calling. After a thorough negotiation period, Rebel decided to sign with Columbia Records, the same label who at the time boasted headliners such as Luther Vandross, Nancy Wilson, and the King of Pop, Michael Jackson. With a reputable label now backing him, Rebel collaborated with rapper Queen Latifah to issue his rst bonade hit, Weekend Love, a song which quickly ascended in popularity and hit the US charts. Soon after his partnership with Columbia was sealed, Rebel began to formulate plans for what would later become the framework of Flames Productions. Motown started from a basement and became one of the greatest labels at the time, Tony opines. So being in the A&R ofces (at Columbia) everyday, I realized that we could do anything and that every journey begins with a single step. When I came back to Jamaica, I took my rst step and created Flames Productions. Soon after the idea for Flames Productions was engendered, Rebel Salute was conceptualized. Originally designed to be a celebration of Rebels birthday (which he shares with MLK Jr.), the event was re-purposed in an effort to share the grandeur of roots reggae music with the world. Adding to the esoteric nature of the event, Rebel strove to make the concert alcohol and profanity free. We never invite no artist that sing any slackness or involved in any gun talk, it would have to be songs that are inspiration and motivational. Originally held in Fayors Entertainment Centre (in Manchester Parish), Rebel Salute became such an incredible success that it was forced to move several times before it found its present home at Port Kaiser Sports Club, on the coast of the parish of St. Elizabeth. Tony explains: In 2000 we moved to Port Kaiser and it was very suitable for Rebel Salute. It is close to both the sea and a river; I also think that because of the bowl like design of the venue the acoustics is great. The sound seems to go to the hill and then bounce back. With an extended amount of time needed to plan this yearly pilgrimage, Rebel relies on a close knit staff to help him run his business affairs at Flames Productions. The familial group of workers includes two of Rebels daughters, Jahyudah, who handles entertainment law, and Kenya, who is in charge of accounting. Rebel is fortunate to also be able to work with his son, Abatua, who sings for the label. Eased into the rough and tumble world of music by his father, Abatau made his noteworthy debut at the 2010 staging of Rebel Salute. My son especially, we could have put him out and have him become a little sensation. But he needs to go to school to learn more and learn to play instruments so anytime he does go out there he will be accepted, Rebel says. With all of his success, Tony Rebel can now afford time to reect on his unbelievable journey, one that took him from the farmlands of Manchester to his current status as reggae icon. In doing so, he would probably be the rst to tell you that none of his achievements would have been possible if it werent for the persistent motivation to honor the memory of his friend and fellow reggae legend, Garnett Silk. It is awful to talk about [Garnett passing] even now because a lot of things that I do throughout my career is things we used to sit and talk about. We wanted to have our own studio and start our own label. We still carry through the message to teach people and strengthen people and really uphold the music that was our vision from that time. No matter the source of his motivation, Rebels relentless determination for success set a precedent for the next generation of Jamaican artists to follow, and has left an enduring mark on the roots reggae world for years to come. B BAY : off the record HisMY SON ESPECIALLY WE COULD HA VE PUT HIM OUT AND HA VE HIM BECOME A LITTLE SENSATION. BUT HE NEEDS TO GO TO SCHOOL TO LEARN MORE AND LEARN TO PLAY INSTRUMENTS SO ANYTIME HE DOES GO OUT THERE HE WILL BE ACCEPTED


BAY : off the recordKALONJIHow did you start your musical journey?Well naturally it was from continuous practice. Cause you leave primary school in the evening and went to the river with some friends, swimming having a joy. Natural inspiration from having fruit trees all around the spring and having that water touching your skin. So when yuh forward home, yuh start doing your homework and di likkle work your mother leave for yuh to do until she come back. Wash up yuh plate, sweep up di yard and tek care of yuh sister dem ting deh but we still find time fi ramp cau yuh know wi still a yute. Radio a play and yuh know we a listen and we get nuff inspiration from Bob Marley, Dennis Brown plus other great musicians. So we a grow we inna it based on di environment weh yuh are from it causes you to think about alot of tings. When yuh go out into the world, tings yuh used to mediate on becomes reality as yuh grow and mature. Di quickest ting we could grasp as yute was music so we DJ til we write one or two lyrics and from there it start reach four, five, six, seven, eight lyrics. It was like this until mi start attend high school then mi parents start free mi up so mi coulda start go one or two likkle party and dem suppim deh. We all start go on some likkle stage show wid other DJs from other communities. Which Stage Show was your first? Some likkle shows right in August Town Square we started blazing a fire. Because we always a read and watch wi likkle documentary and SIZZLA SIZZLA KALONJI IS ONE OF THE MOST RECORDED REGGAE ACTS STILL ALIVE. O VER 21 OF HIS ALBUMS HAVE MADE IT ONTO THE BILLBOARD T OP REGGAE MUSIC CHARTS. ADD TO THAT THE COUNTLESS OTHERS THAT HAVE NOT MADE THE CHARTS AND YOU WILL END UP WITH QUITE A FIGURE. BUT WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? DOES HE RELEASE ALBUMS BECAUSE HE CAN OR IS IT THAT HE HAS THAT MUCH TO SAY? EITHER WAY, SIZZLA HAS BEEN DESCRIBED AS MANY THINGS: AN ENIGMA, A LEADER, AN INSPIRATION, A MENACE. IN AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW, THE MAN BORN MIGUEL C OLLINS SITS DOWN WITH BACK AYARD TO GIVE US HIS OWN OPINION. PHOTOS: S AM DIEPHUIS | WORDS: AW


BAY : off the record we all come from a family of RastafariansWhen did you become a Rastafarian or was it a natural thing from birth?It was a natural thing as a family of black people. Rastafari culture of I and I is from Icient (ancient) days, is just for di parents to instill di culture within the yutes. So while getting bigger every day we continue doing di stage shows more professional each time. My dad had his own sound system and I used to practice on it every day DJing on the sound. Y ou didnt play on the sound? No, no just DJ, the only thing I played was guitar when I was younger. Fingers were too small to hold anything else. So is a culture we had bringing out the best through proper development. When did you meet producers?Well in my community one of my bredrin Larry linked me with another bredrin named Caveman. Both he and Larry was from a community called Nannyville while me and Larry went too Dunoon Technical. So every evening when we leave school I personally went by Caveman and sing and sing like mi a idiot. Mi jus a sing and Caveman jus a record and mi still haffi come home and do work. My father own a garage weh mi all haffi come home and work wid him plus mi wake up from bout 3-3:30 all a sell a market too wid mi mother. Nobody nah sleep, we still play football and a ramp said way. And we always a play music because is an active community when it come on to music because as you know you have Silverhawk coming from this community. Then yuh have di carnival that go on over by student union and yuh nuh sleep again cause after yuh might find a gold chain or a gold watch fi hustle, yuh nuh, di life wah we did a lead was adventurous. During that time Caveman link wi up wid Mr. Harris down by 2b Grove Road which was where 809 band used to have their rehearsals for Sunsplash and dem shows deh. So as di big singer dem run out we jus run in as yutes and try fill in any likkle gap wid di musicians from di band. I was getting live experience wid a band and plus was DJing on Caveman sound so a big ting that and we utilize everything. Yuh had alot of DJs there not only Sizzla there holding a joy so when one riddim kick off 10 man attack it and kill it. (Everybody Laughs). That was the likkle magic artiste had during dah time period.Were you always called Sizzla K alonji? Well dem used to jus call mi Miguel. Mr. Harris now, who responsible for bringing Patra, Shabba, Buju and a hol lot more inna di business, everybody liked cause him used to help wi set wi publishing and tings like that. One day him jus look pon mi and call mi Sizzla to how mi a move down deh. HOT!! When mi and Caveman a move is like a gang is not like now when certain artiste come out and they jus come out like that. We go through the rough teaching and rehearsal and it come like seh that if we coulda have more at that time we should have cause we now see where it is needed. Where did your career move to afterwards? Mr. Harris had Luciano also and he had a link wid Fattis (Philip Burrell). So you find seh Dean Fraser made alot of songs for Fattis and yuh know that Dean Fraser is 809 band so one night him was leaving Grove Road and him seh Come we a guh a studio tonight and we guh and link wid Fattis. When we met Fattis we thought something was wrong with him because he acted like him crazy about the music more than anybody else. Him have bout 4 dub tape inna him car 24 track and a bere riddim deh pon that. The riddim dem wah deh pon that is some old school Sly and Robbie, Robbie Lyn, Chinna Smith, 809, Third World. Di hol a dem man deh deh pon dem riddim deh and you have Dennis Brown, Shabba voice pon it. When me hear dem riddim deh and hear dem voice deh it come in like mi late. (Everybody Laughs).So mi start deal wid the case so til yuh find seh we nah ease up no day no night. We deh a studio two years straight in and out we basically live a di studio round a Anchor, 7 Windsor Avenue. Fattis start tek song and jus put out and him put out a tune called No White God and it jus start run di place and we jus start do di work from deh so. Which year was that? Around 1994, go through up into cause it took awhile to build di career. After we leave school now I started to record more often. Mi remember even my first big stage show which was White River Reggae Bash. Which I did wid di Xterminator crew wid Fattis, Luciano and Mikey General dem. Did your family always support your choice of having a career in music?Yeah man!! One ting wid I & I family dem nuh really fight di yutes, yuh nuh. Cause dem need that that is wah dem send yuh go a school fah. Yuh need to educate yuh self so that yuh can maneuver whatever route you waan to tek. Yuh parents pay for your school fee, yuh nuh, so a dem own yuh knowledge so it even better mi see yuh mek a business weh a yuh a govern it than mi siddung and work fi a next man. Him never pay my school fee yet and mi siddung 20 years of my life a work for him. I should be smart enough fi run my own business like him. So we jus run di business and di music come our way and di music for di poor and it defend di poor. It is an instrument from the almighty to lead the sheep forward to Mount Zion so we jus use di music as a medium to express ourselves. Sometime you speak to the yutes and di words falls on deaf ears but when you put on a likkle mediation in di lyrics and put it inna di music and dem grasp it faster. So we start work wid Dean Fraser more and after White River we start tour down Jamaica. As a likkle DJ any weh mi see nuh stage show mi jus done it! Dem time deh mi never business bout nuh other artist mi jus know seh once mi hear di riddim mi gone. Mi never business wah nobody a talk bout number one when mi done do wah mi a do you can show mi number one. After that now mi start get popular, mi start guh pon tour wid Luciano and mi start voice up some different songs now wid Bobby Digital. Bobby send over two riddim and seh to mi seh DJ sing two song fi mi and buss mi label and buss yuhself too. Him did have Shabba and Coco Tea pon di label at the time after mi do di work on dah label deh tings jus tek off fi mi again. Mi start voice many different producers til mi start call in couple young producers and voice fi dem. Which was di wise ting cause when mi a sleep dem out deh a promote my song dem. Well wid music video mi is a man weh nuh too like music videos mi nuh too like di camera ting. Which is why world nuh too see much video wid mi but music, mi will give yuh hol heap a dat hundreds of music fi gi yuh. When did you start to branch off from just making music into creating a business? Ok, that was when we started building the studio. My first business move was to get myself well rooted in this business so we created Kalonji Music. We started to do albums under Kalonji Music and start to know di business from that angle which is to actually go round and shop di song mi voice. One time mi di deh up a New York and mi link up back wid Jay-Z and Dame Dash and tell dem fi gwaan put mi name pon some sneakers and shirts. Mi register a Sizzla clothing line, Dame dash used to give mi a strength right dehso. A different bredrin did setup a ting called Kidus dem did waan mi produce some spring water. We try setup Sizzla youth foundation and other tings like that, but wah, it tek money. We a burn a fire pon a system we are not only in di music to make money but to maintain di culture and lead di people that is the main cause. But often time we MY FIRST BUSINESS MO VE WAS TO GET MYSELF WELL ROOTED IN THIS BUSINESS SO WE CREATED K ALONJI MUSIC. WE STAR TED TO DO ALBUMS UNDER K ALONJI MUSIC AND STAR T TO KNOW DI BUSINESS FROM THAT ANGLE WHICH IS TO ACTU ALLY GO ROUND AND SHOP DI SONG.


have been targeted by certain parts of society and dem fight wi down on certain tings but is up to you to find comfort within yourself, Tek yuh hand mek fashion so we jus maintain di music fi now. Tell us more about your plans for the Sizzla Y outh Foundation.The foundation exists solely to assist the yutes in any way we can. For di world community but registered here 40 August Town Road. I jus see it as a next channel where I can help di kids. Alot of people in di world love Sizzla and mi nuh waan dem to love Sizzla and jus give to Miguel Collins. I waan dem to give suppim through di foundation wah mi can promote and advertise, suppim wah you can watch on di internet in your bedroom. Something with di proper accountability and transparencies weh mi can get di yutes involved, a likkle NGO weh di government know about. Anywhere in di world weh mi can represent through di Sizzla youth foundation giving to yutes and giving back to community. I hear that you have received many awards over the yearsAlot of people have invited me to alot of awards but I havent been to alot of awards. Barbados have given me a lifetime award, me and Beenie man and Rihanna. I have never signed on to any big major company so when award show go on we nuh get nominate for it. But we jus work wid Jah and di tour is our reward. Jah blessings! I forgot to mention I got some serious sponsors for the Sizzla Youth Foundation already such as Shaka Zulus grandson and his wife, the king of Zimbabwe anywhere I go people want to sponser it. I want it to start right yahso di root so when mi wake up mi can see wah a gwaan. Because nuff time we keep likkle inauguration parties up a di top. Block!! Di hol road block we and di police ever inna war. Dem tell wi fit tun di music down and when dem gone wi jus tun it up back again and music a roll. No disrespect a jus di joy. So mi waan setup a way weh that hol energy wi put it inna an office as di Sizzla Youth Foundation and give it back to dem inna different style and fashion suppim dem can inherit. Have you always lived in Jamaica?Well, I have toured the world, yuh nuh, anywhere di music tek mi I will go there and sing fi di people dem. I have been to Europe, America, Canada and di rest of di Caribbean but Jamaica and Africa will always be my home. Africa is my bigger home, I have been to Senegal, Gambia, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Ethiopia. I dont leave Jamaica unless I am going to work, yuh nuh. I dont leave to buy clothes or sport mi nuh deal wid that. So I have been to all these places and met either di chief, di president, House of Parliament whoever. I have always gotten a good response because years they been hiding Africa from di people in di West. Mek it seem like Africa is a verybad place and it really isnt. Where does all these beautiful countries in west get all dem glory and strength it is from Africa and they jus wanna hide it. So when we as artistes and musician weh di people dem love go these places, we haffi be on our best behavior and be natural and go into the length and breadth of the communities and show di world what it is like in Africa because camera follow Sizzla. If Sizzla go dehso and people a suffer di world will see that and when dem see di people response to di music dem respond dem will seh Oh a that a gwaan. So going to these places is not only good for the career as an artist but to introduce the world to these places. I see all over Judgement Y ard writings in Hebrew and Amharic. What gave you inspiration to study these languages? Well we see seh di bible come from Hebrew and it a show yuh seh a di conquering Lion from di tribe of Judah and we know seh a Haile Selassie that from di throne of di Most High David. When we check back Bob Marley and di rest of di Rasta man dem weh a lead it over di years and mi seh to myself yuh know seh mi fi learn Hebrew. Mi fi learn di language of di ancestors, di language of di father. So same way mi woulda write a song and mi jus tek up di hol scroll of Hebrew and swot it. Mi jus get serious and seh mi jus a go swot it like how mi swot song. So mi start read it and tek mi likkle time and catch on wid it and day by day likkle by likkle di yute dem catch on to it. We tek time learn di likkle Amharic same way and put it in and that is where it is at. We a guh gi dem a language which a fi dem from dem time deh and mi tell yuh from mi a study da language a hol heap a tings mi start learn. Because wi a artiste again is good fi learn a few of these phrases to put inna some song, it will gi wi a bigger reach out there.Anything you want to leave the people with? We want di yutes to come together because unity is strength. Put down di crime and di violence and tek yuh hand mek fashion. Study hard only di tings that will better yuh life because di mark of di beast deh yah, yuh nuh. The micro chip a come and dem a tell yuh bout 2012 first it was 2000 now is 2012. And mi know seh dem caan destroy wah Jah planet cause a nuh dem create it. Tings a get harsh than before so yutes haffi get dem self prepared and turn to di farming. Jus keep di love bredrin. One love no crime no violence and praise Rastafari. Think bout Africa and try get some big house and guh live over deh. Yuh done know white people a guh Africa hard. When you look at planes going to Africa is more white people than black people. So mi waan di yute dem open dem eyes and check out what is happening in the world. Read everything watch everything only then you can mek a good decision. Jah Bless. B WE WANT DI YUTES TO COME TOGETHER BECA USE UNITY IS STRENGTH. PUT DOWN DI CRIME AND DI VIOLENCE AND TEK YUH HAND MEK FASHION. S TUDY HARD ONLY DI TINGS THAT WILL BETTER YUH LIFE. ONE LO VE, NO CRIME, NO VIOLENCE, AND PRAISE RASTAFARI. THINK BOUT AFRICA AND TR Y GET SOME BIG HOUSE AND GUH LIVE O VER DEH. YUH DONE KNOW WHITE PEOPLE A GUH AFRICA HARD BAY : off the record


Reggae music has brought forward some of the very best artists/bands in the world. But one group of talented men prepares to take the world of reggae by storm. C-Sharp started out as a regular student band with a fanbase of classmate. Ten years later, they are spreading to wider Jamaica and the world. The unique sound and vibe they bring to the reggae world is the one people are waiting to hear from the children of reggae. Their album inspires fan with songs like Reggae My Song and the remake of the Heptones Book of Rules..Simmodon THE INVITATIONC-SHARPRating: **W e will deliver your cupc ak e s at an e x tra charge**


JAH MELODY ITHIOPIA LOVE CRAZY RICHIE SPICE LETS GO 77 KLASH BROOKLYN ANTHEM CODE FOR THE STREETS LUCIANO WISH YOU WERE MINE RatingREGGAE/DANCEHALL CLASSIC RAISED THE BAR AIGHT NOT SPECIAL POP DOWN sBAY : REVIEWS Ok to be completely honest, I cannot be considered as the biggest Sizzla fan. I mean since his rise to musical relevancy in mid 90s, I can only say I am familiar with only a few of his tracks most of which were from one album Da Real Thing which was released all the way back in 2002. So this was my rst foray into his catalogue for quite awhile and you know what I quite liked it. The theme of the album was obviously love and not just any love but the type of love that exists within a relationship. The production, mostly done by Dre Knight from the Narcotics, while not using the traditional reggae sound doesnt stray too far from what Sizzla fans have gotten used to over the years. My favourite tracks are, in no particular order, Good Life, Come On and Lady but all the tracks on the album merit a chance to grow on you. All in all while Welcome to the Good Life is by no means a classic however it would be a quite a good addition to any fan of Sizzlas musical library. AR A clean mixtape is what DJ Supastylz sets out to deliver and for the most part, he achieves this. The theme of the mixtape is very much based around hip hop culture and there is not a single dancehall track throughout the entirety of the mix. That isnt to say dancehall artistes are not fully represented, because they are, but Supastylzs focus is on displaying his versatility rather then the simple promotion of dancehall. Whether it is mixing dancehall talent into hip hop beats or taking the right freestyle and applying it to several unique tracks, DJ Supastylz mashes it up successfully. A ve-minute house/dance music breakdown provides a massive crescendo in the nal minutes of the 75 min set. All in all, a very good effort by DJ Supastylz. AWWELCOME TO THE GOOD LIFESIZZLAFREESTYLE MIXTAPEDJ SUP ASTYLZ Rating: Rating: THEY CALL ME MR. MELODYSINGING MELODYRating: When you are a part of a music group, it is often hard for an individual to standout and particularly so if the group has enjoyed some measure of success. This is the conundrum that befalls vocalist Singing Melody, who divides his time as a solo act and part of the group L.U.S.T. His latest release They call me Mr. Melody has some good original matter such as Must Be the Girl featuring Stacious, Call it the Blues and the upbeat Smile featuring Jamaican music legend Daddy U Roy. However, it is Singing Melodys rendition of Howie Days hit Collide that really stands above the rest as a song that is certain to be put on repeat by listeners. They call Me Mr. Melody is an interesting and solid effort by one of Jamaicas best singers and while it might not be a classic, this album should have enough melody to keep even the harshest critic entertained for an hour or two. ARRating:LIFE TEACHINGSI-WA YNEThis is the third album from I Wayne and it is apparent that he has matured as a songwriter, skillfully expressing his emotions and an impressive caliber of social commentary. As their titles overtly tell, tracks like Real and Clean, Pure as the Nile, Empress Divine and I Care for You are raw proclamations of love. Other standout tracks displaying a wide range of issues include Burn Down Soddom, Herb Legalize, Life Teachings, and The Fire Song. This album is one of the best roots reggae albums as we head into 2012. Many thanks to the talented group of musicians who contributed to this project and made it a classic album from start to nish this is a must-have for any true roots reggae. MUSICPHILLWORDS OF TRUTH PETER RUNKSRating: The beauty of reggae music is the prevalent theme of overcoming struggle, righteousness and love. So it was no surprise for me to receive Bahamian Peter Runks album Words of Truth in my inbox. What was a surprise was the excellent quality of the record. What I truly enjoy about the album is that while Peter is a devout Christian it took until the last track aptly titled Save Your Soul to realize this. The rst 16 tracks are a mix of strong important life themes rather than just preachiness about loving God. Fantasy, featuring Avalanchee, She Needs Your Love, Watch How Da System A Gwaan and Cant Keep A Good Man Down are especially poignant tracks from this album. Overall, a very smooth and inspiring compilation which will likely be looked upon in the future as a landmark release for Mr. Runks. AWRAGING FYAHJUDGEMENT DA YCHECK MI FRESHDANGER MA TICBEER SOCA 2012KUR T RILEYRating: Rating: Rating:Sweet baselines, snares and hi hats all can instantly have you working out when you listen to the compilation of this album. How can one band catch ones attention so quickly? Its because of good intentions owing through their music that makes you wanna groove. With their hit song Far Away driving the ladies crazy, Raging Fyah has no problem making their mark in the world of roots reggae From Yaad to Abroad. This album as studio professionalism written all over it, this is truly a shining star of a band. Simmodon Drastic changes within the music industry over the years have precipitated artistes to lean more towards making more of their work assessable freely over the internet. Low initial overheads and the unlimited scope of the World Wide Web makes going the downloadable mixtape route essential for any new act with visions of being taken seriously as a viable artiste that labels/ companies can invest in. It was against this backdrop, I was introduced via Mixtape Yardy to Danger Matic and his Check Mi Fresh release. What I was especially impressed by was that Danger didnt fall into the same trap as many dancehall artistes who are based outside of the isle of Jamaica. Which is to feign knowledge about situations which are only really applicable to the people living in or are who are from Jamaica. Granted, he didnt really mention what his day to day struggles were going up in T dot but at least he kept things bouncy and relatively light with his songs about the usual: girls, parties and occasional drug use. Check Mi Fresh is quite listenable and only lacks a true standout track which would have possibly set it apart from the other dancehall mixtape releases this month. AW Public self-proclamations often have more than one result. It could, for example, plant a seed to help launch the proclaimer into instant stardom. Muhammad Ali said, I must be the greatest and became the heavyweight champion at age 22. Or, a proclamation could have the opposite effect. If unfullled, it could create a massive obstacle. I was reminded of this after listening to Kurt Rileys Beer Soca 2012. For a total of an hour and 5 minutes, Kurt takes his time introducing fans of the genre to the new hits of the upcoming carnival season. With the help of his, now considerable, range of soca music contacts Kurt doesnt disappoint. For a casual fan of the music like myself, Beer Soca 2012 provided an easy listening experience and has me interested to see which one of these songs will become the crowds favourite over the coming months. Is Kurt Riley really the best soca DJ in Jamaica? Well, if soca icons Bunji Garlin, Fay Ann Lyons and Alison Hinds say so, then who am I to argue. ARBACKAYARD 42 YOU THINK YOUR ALBUM OR RIDDIM IS WORTHY TO GO UNDER THE GUILLOTINE? E-MAIL IT TO US: JA@BACKAYARD.COM


s s s s LOST ANGELOVERPROOF RIDDIMSMUDGE INTENSITY INSIDE DI RIDDIMFor every complaint that you hear about current dancehall riddims sounding more and more like watered down hip hop tracks, there are at least ten releases as evidence of this point. While people can bemoan the type of dancehall being put out, they cannot dispute the quality. And Chimney Records latest riddim release dubbed Intensity is 100%, bonade quality. While it has usual up-tempo bounce designed to catch the ear, what ultimately drew me to the project was the song Get Crazy by Bounty Killa. Grung Gaad really seems to be on a mission to reclaim a certain level of relevancy within dancehall that he has not seen since the early 2000s. With this song, he just might have his wish heading into the new year. Other notable tracks: Wreck The Runway by Beenie Man, How Some Bwoyby I Octane, Dont Fight Mi Down by Tarrus Riley, Straight From Mi Born by Lyara and My Body by Keida AROverproof Riddim was undoubtedly the breakthrough riddim of the year. Teaming up with Roach proved to be a good move as he helped to get the big acts on the riddim creating a remarkable longevity. Overproof has been the hottest riddim since the summer of 2011 proving its longevity. Favorites on it include Mavados Settle Down, New Zealandborn British singer/songwriter Daniel Beddenelds Sometimes You Just Know, Aidonias Caribbean Girls, Tifas Dash Out, Khagos Tun up Di ting and Konshens Bad Gal. GIE GIE & IVOR YSmudge riddim reminds us of a summer riddim despite being released late last year. It has that dance-type vibe similar to the Summertime Riddim. It was produced by TJ Records and the runaway song on it was from Popcaan with Party Shot. Other noteworthy songs on the riddim include Laden with Style Dey Shot and Bugles Live Fi Dis. Even though it was released in late 2011, it is still considered to be a good riddim that shot! GIE GIE & IVOR YThe Lost Angel riddim was another good production which featured a host of Gaza artistes. The most popular song on the riddim was Popcaans Only Man She Want which had girls singing every word and guys disliking the fact that their women had so much interest in what he was saying. Kartel had the second best song on it which proved once again how versatile the Worl Boss is. The riddim was a good riddim but it was also an example that music should not be restricted to one camp. Other artistes on it could have possibly increased its popularity. GIE GIE & IVOR Y






BAY : WWW WWW?WHERE.WHEN.WHOBACKAYARD 50Magnum Christmas Party (Kingston, Jamaica) (New York) Photos by: Vincent Picone