Kingston, Jamaica; Veteran reggae singer Mark “Warrior King” Dyer is making a major reconnect with his Jamaican audience with his most recent single “Nuh Fraid”. Released in January 2018, the reggae melody delivers a playful blow on the gangster culture in Jamaica.
Explaining the concept behind the single “Nuh Fraid” and how it relates to Jamaica’s crime problem, Warrior King says “We ah try tell the people fi overcome fear because we are children of the most high, so no weapon that is cast against us shall ever prosper.”
“Everybody knows that the work takes me all over the world more time but it is always a pleasure to be home in Jamaica. But since I have been back this time around, I really realise how bad the crime is. The situation in Montego Bay is very sad and people are living in fear; and It is not just Montego Bay, it is affecting the whole of Jamaica. The problem is hardening our young and I want to do what I can to inspire people through music,” shares the artiste often times referred to as a humble lion by his fans.
Acknowledging “Mark “Warrior King” Dyer Day” (June 11) as one of his greatest achievements throughout his 17 year musical career, the“Virtuous Woman” singer plans to use the gesture declared by the first African-American Mayor of Buffalo, New York, Byron W. Brown in 2017 as a platform to carry out charitable work.
“I plan to use Warrior King Day as a vehicle to help the youths. It takes a village to raise a child and we as Jamaicans need to stop turning a blind eye and help these young people because they have whole heap more influences and distractions than we had as kids growing up. I pledge to play my part,” divulges the candid singer.
Warrior King’s passion for the empowerment of black people is evident in his lyrics. The singer appears unapologetic on “Nuh Fraid” with staunchly lyrics that reference black historical triumphs and an underlying message of unity.
“Nuh Fraid” is produced by Dameon Gayle of Warriors Musick on the Straight Step Rhythm. Other acts featured on the beat are Turbulence,Busy Signal, Fantan Mojah, Chuck Fender, Lutan Fyah, among many others.
Warrior King departs for a tour of the United States mid February through to late March.
PopularFAME 95FM disc jockey Denvo ‘DJ Denvo‘ Thombs has launched an extracurricular academic programme dubbed the Kids Mix DJ Club for students attending local primary and secondary institutions across the island.
According to DJ Denvo, the Kids Mix DJ Club is an ideal programme for institutions which are focused on exposing students to untraditional career opportunities and hobbies.
“We are pitching the programme to schools which have already introduced a new-age syllabus… schools that are in search of something different and new; and creative ways to get students excited about learning,” shares Denvo.
The Kids Mix DJ Club forms part of the offerings of Thombs’ Dub Jamaica DJ Academy, formed in 2013. He is also credited for the creation of the syllabus for the Music Technology DJ Programme now available at the infamous Alpha Institute.
The extracurricular programme is a weekly one hour activity which has already started in prep schools; namely, Sts Peter and Paul Preparatory School and Reach Academy – in Kingston.
Vanessa Khouri Salazar, Principal at Reach Academy is pleased to have introduced a new adventure to her students.
“We always try to think outside the box; and honestly, we didn’t have to do much thinking here. Our parents are very excited about the DJ club. So now the kids are exposed to seeing new careers and realising that what they hear on the radio is actually a skill set. Now they [children] are open to hearing about new careers, and not just the same lawyer or doctor. It’s okay to be anything and now they have another avenue to choose from,” explains Salazar.
As a father of three, DJ Denvo remains steadfast in his views on including trades and the arts as essential methods to engage the minds of youngsters; ignite creativity and provide alternate career options in a constantly changing global market place.
“People are not aware of how technology can help with their children’s development,” says Denvo.
The charismatic and well spoken DJ goes further to explain that “As DJs, we play in ‘sets’, and the Kids Mix DJ Club operates in accordance with our meaning underscored by the acronym S.E.T.S.: Structure, Expression, Team Building and Self Confidence. So our aim is to expose kids to how they can actually use the skill of a DJ to develop these qualities within themselves.”
The Kids Mix DJ Club is open to students as young as seven years.
Director, producer and screen play writer Joshua Coates of 20/20 Visions Entertainment Group out of Los Angeles has locked in billion dollar grossing film producer Mark Lipsky for the upcoming film So Enticing, to be shot on location in Jamaica later this year.
Lipsky, known worldwide for his role as executive producer for big screen hits Coming to America (1987), Another 48 Hrs (1990), Boomerang (1992), Beverly Hills Cop III (1994) and The Nutty Professor (1996) – along with other notable works; also produced flicks such as Harlem Nights (1989) and Vampire in Brooklyn (1995) – among others. He was also executive producer on 15 episodes from the original Arsenio Hall Show (1989). In fact, his motion picture exploits have grossed approximately US$1.5 billion at the worldwide box office level alone.
While taking on other producer roles in recent years, Mark Lipsky was also consulting producer on Iniquity (2012), directed and written by Joshua Coates. This was where the two developed a synergy which nurtured a great friendship and working relationship. Lipsky has also been instrumental in securing funding for Coates soon to be released film For Thine is the Kingdom.
“I feel honoured to have the opportunity to work with Mark a third time around. He has several motion pictures already in development but he has agreed to take on this additional project because he shares my vision and my passion and sincere love for Jamaica. We are focused on producing one of the best films Jamaica has seen,” shares Coates.
Lipsky, who is currently president of WOF Films based in New York, also managed the careers of Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, Arsenio Hall, Dan Aykroyd, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and managed the affairs of Saturday Night Live television show owner Loren Michael. He was also the head of Eddie Murphy Productions for over a decade.
Mark Lipsky’s connection to Jamaica goes as far back as 1993 when he assisted with the production of a musical collaboration between Shabba Ranks and Eddie Murphy titled “I Was a King”.
Excited about giving back to the Jamaican economy, the director/producer; guided by JAMPRO, Jamaica’s trade and investment promotion agency; is working with a 90 percent Jamaican cast and crew for the US$1.5 million budget film. Coates has also partnered with Jamaica’s Sharon Burke of Solid Agency to help produce the picture. Burke has already assisted with casting for the film – as Coates adds to the growing list of producers.
Of the many notable celebrities in talks with the producers, Coates is excited about the main character “Peaches”.
“We are pretty much just ironing out the details with dancehall star Shenseea for the leading role. I truly believe that young lady, along with some other very talented Jamaicans I have come across, will deliver beyond the box office standard and provide a true representation of Jamaica’s rich heritage and culture,” shares Coates. “What’s ironic is how much Brooklynn Evans [who will play young Peaches] looks like Shenseea. Brooklyn is actually one of the first cast members I signed.”
According to Coates “We are in the process of wrapping up funding and casting and expect to shoot over two months during the third quarter of 2018 and hit the box office some time in 2019.”
Jamaica’s Film Commissioner Renee Robinson says that JAMPRO is happy to facilitate the project and provide the agency’s usual assistance to produce the film. She believes the feature is a great opportunity for Jamaican talent, and that JAMPRO is looking forward to working with Coates and Lipsky to complete the movie for release in 2019.
The movie So Enticing is an adaptation of a sultry murder mystery written by Jamaican author Coil Don Rose. Coates’ highly anticipated February 2018 release of his movie But Deliver Us from Evil is expected to be a success benchmark for So Enticing.
Newcomer to the local entertainment landscape, Kalia-Shea, is making steps to remain in the music business “All Di While”. The self written one drop reggae melody is Kalia-Shea’s first single, produced by Trevor ‘Skatta’ Bonnick of the group Inner Circle and Donovan ‘Benji’ Belnavis of Ruff Cut Band – released on August 25, 2017.
According to the petite, outspoken 25 year old, she brings an air of trendy eccentricity to the reggae industry.
“People may look at my looks and want to put me in a box. Well, all I can say is, don’t expect to see Kalia-Shea in only long skirts and dashikis. I may wear locks and follow Rastafarian traditions, however I embrace my sexuality – but with class. I am here to remind other young black women that our skin colour is beautiful and more of us need to carry ourselves with respect and confidence because we are powerful beings,” says Kalia-Shea.
The model turned singjay hails from Spanish Town, Jamaica and is a firm believer in the benefits of cannabis.
“Almost all the songs I have written so far makes reference to hemp. I believe the plant is one of the best natural medicinal sources for mankind. It has been condemned for way too long and is very underused; and I am unapologetic about promoting its use through my music,” shares the unconventional entertainer.
A music video is expected for the debut single in the coming weeks. The singer is excited about the project, as she produced and assisted with the direction of the visuals which features Everaldo “Evie” Creary from the group No-Maddz as her love interest in the video.
“The video was shot in a fresh, natural mountain vibe in a log cabin with Kingston in the backdrop. I tried to keep the storyline relatable to the lyrics of the song. It shows a queen expressing her love for her king man. There is a super fun performance shot in the middle of the road in the hills where I wear a beautiful orange outfit with a trail; and we added a fun dream sequence too – just to keep it as creative as possible,” she explains.
Shea’s signature orange ensemble in the video was designed by Amelia Morgandy; while the video was directed by Krusha and edited by Rila. Other artistic contributions to the production were made by Esther Beckford; makeup artist Alice Francis; Siwatu Jewellery and Victoria Silvera’s Touch by VLS one of a kind tea cups and pots.
Kalia-Shea is working with other popular local producers to grow her musical catalogue and to position herself as an indomitable reggae act with a blend of pop and dancehall. Shea is already making waves and building connections in music. She is booked to perform on the annual Holiday Give Back stage show in St Elizabeth on Saturday, December 16 with Richie Spice, JahDore, Iyara and Dre Tosh; along with other appearances in the coming weeks.
“All Di While” is available online via major music streaming platforms.
JahDore is set to headline the November 22 edition of the 100 Live band series on Hope Road with Dre Tosh, Dje and Kalia-Shea. JahDore, popularly known for his past hits “This Love is Over” and “Fake People” has returned to the spotlight in recent months with his single entitled “Free”.
JahDore, an experienced reggae singer, saxophonist and keyboard player who has toured the world extensively while performing with reggae icons Jimmy Cliff and Luciano ‘The Messenjah’, is planning a spectacular performance for the weekly Wednesday showdown at 100 Hope Road in Kingston.
“I plan to show the diversity of JahDore while captivating the audience. Is always a joy to perform in an intimate setting, so the audience can really feel the vibes and we feed from each other energy,” shares the musician.
His supporting acts are also keen on performing in a close knit setting. Dre Tosh, grandson of reggae royalty Peter Tosh along with the soulful Dje and eccentric Kalia-Shea are poised to deliver engaging sets.
According to JahDore, the occasion will grant patrons the opportunity to be reminded of his image, style and sound. He is also looking forward to performing another one of his fast rising hits “Cologne”.
The 100 live series has fast become a staple for many music enthusiasts looking for good entertainment in a great ambiance. The venue prides itself on providing varied menus for its patrons with affordable drink specials.
With the world noticeably opening its doors to musical crossovers, expanding cultures and new talent, New York born Pierre “Qew Lunel” Davilmar Jr is paying homage to Jamaica after releasing his first album, Universal Language.
The writer and international reggae recording artiste, who possesses an authentic soothing reggae sound, is respectful of the genre and its origin.
“Reggae music started in Jamaica. You always pay respects to the founders. Jamaica is the mecca for reggae and it is only right that I honour the culture that has inspired me so much,” shares Qew Lunel.
Much like Gentleman from Germany, Alborosie from Italy and other acts who have embraced the genre and who have come to be well respected in the reggae fraternity, Qew Lunel, who released his album in March 2017, believes there is room in the market for talent like his.
“I am from Haitian ancestry and the people I surround myself with are from many different Caribbean islands. So, I believe that’s why my sound and vibe reflect the real essence of the genre,” explains the singer.
Qew Lunel’s mandate is to create music with a message. His inspirations stem from musical icons such as Beres Hammond, Bob Marley, Damian Marley, Stephen Marley, Warrior King, Sanchez, Chronixx, Dre Island and Gabby Ranks.
Lunel’s 15 track album showcases work from producers such as Njenga Giggz of Xtrim Records; Gustavo Ashanti of Master Kush Dub System; Decap of Decap Beats; Sean Devine; Scarecrow Beats and Lion Riddims.
Meanwhile, Empress Sherley, Treesha, Harmony and Tajahniya are featured on catchy collaborations such as “Only You”; “Love”; “Marijuana Love” and “Who Jah Bless No Man Can Curse”. The soulful, melodically clear sound of Qew Lunel comes through on his other tracks: “Straight Line”; Backwards from Love”; “Trying Not Ta”; “Lose Mi Cool”;“Take Off Dem Cuffs”; “Bun Dem”; “Rasta Lovin”; “The Devil’s Plan”; “Troubles and Hard Times”; “Mama Jenny” and “Sweet Vibes”.
While Qew Lunel has plans to visit Jamaica in the coming months to deepen his connections in the industry, he continues to make appearances across the tri-state area. His next performance being at the Afro-Caribbean Society’s annual Afrojam concert on November 22 in New York.
Universal Language is available on all major music download and streaming sites.
Chanel DaCosta, the face behind the popular LASCO iDrade television commercial is making major moves to cement her stay in the creative industry. The 23 year old, who sings, dances, acts and models, among other things, most recently landed the role of House of Flowers (H.O.F.) Decor’s bride at the Jamaica Bridal Expo held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre late September.
The blushing bride was the centre of attention during H.O.F. Decor’s launch concept staged as a wedding ceremony in a garden styled setting and reception set in H.O.F. Decor’s lavishly decorated 20 x 20 booth space at the prestigious event.
Not yet married, but a true romantic at heart, Chanel had no challenges being in character for the company’s debut.
“It wasn’t difficult. I have been in love before. I think it is something that everyone should experience. It’s definitely an amazing feeling. I think that love is out there, and you can definitely have more than one love in a lifetime… I am old school. I definitely want to get married first, then have my kids after,” shares the beauty.
The Jamaican born Chanel DaCosta is a citizen of the United Kingdom and an all-rounder. In addition to her many ventures, the budding biochemist, project manager and actress has been dancing since age three and has had many modelling exploits.
DaCosta has already worked with esteemed productions including the 2017 Caribbean’s Next Top Model, season four, and the 2017 Crop Over Carnival Campaign in Jamaica dubbed “No Crew Left Behind” through the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI). She has also been part of various commercial promotions as well as marketing internships with Jamaica Producers (2015 and 2016); and worked as a performing arts and group counsellor at Edutech Summer Camp along with short administrative stints with ELDAC Consultancy and Scorch Limited.
DaCosta, who has resided in Jamaica for most of her years, is currently wrapping up her Bachelor’s Degree in Biochemistry and Management Studies at the University of the West Indies (UWI); and is also a Sales and Marketing Executive at Jamaica Island Roasters and Co-Director of ChloMo Projects and Events.
Her original interest in pathology has inspired her to pursue a medical degree, commencing in 2018. However, Chanel admits that her passion for genetic engineering and charity work with Angels of Love, a local non-profit which assists critically ill, disadvantaged and underprivileged children with cancer, has inspired her to specialise in paediatric oncology after medical school.
“My work with Angels of Love has inspired me to perhaps go into the specialisation after med school. But really and truly, I won’t know until I start practicing – to see what I like.”
The effervescent scholar also admits that her specialty could also be in sports medicine based on her interests in sports and nutrition.
“Fitness and nutrition and general well being are big parts of my life. I started track from around age seven and I competed in prep champs. I was a sprinter. I did up to 200 metres, relays and medleys. I did football and badminton for a while before I fell in love with rugby and competed on the Trinity College School Varsity team at the CAIS [Canadian Accredited Independent Schools], CISAA [Conference of Independent Schools of Ontario] and OFSSA [Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations] Championships for three years. Going to the gym has been a hobby for the past four years and I’m also into yoga and meditation.”
When asked how she locked in her lead role in the iDrade commercial, the fitness expert stated it could have possibly been due to her participation in the inaugural Guardsman Games in 2016.
“I was on the A Team the first year. It’s a cross-fit, obstacle course with running as well as mental puzzles and team work. Maybe after they saw me compete they thought I’d be able to do what was involved in the ad, which was similar to what I did in Guardsman Games. All the circuits in the ad are real. Believe me, it was real sweat,” shares DaCosta.
Chanel attended Covenant Christian Academy and Preparatory School before passing the local Grade Six Achievement Tests in 2006 to attend the revered Campion College in Kingston. In fourth form, her curiosity about the world and the need to experience new things led to her secure a scholarship to continue her secondary studies at Trinity College School, a coeducational, independent boarding school located in Port Hope, Ontario, Canada.
“I like to travel and experience different cultures and new languages. They had a lot of sports, arts and academic courses which peaked my interest,” she shares.
While at Campion and Trinity, Chanel participated in numerous clubs and charity based initiatives. However, it was at Trinity that she really followed up on her charity work and theatrical talents. She landed many roles in multiple theatrical productions, showcasing her acting and singing skills as well as her skills on the handbells and the recorder. She has since continued to participate in theatre while attending the UWI.
While studying French and Spanish from 2006 through 2013, her ardour for varied cultures has also caused her to commence studies in Portuguese, German, Italian and Dutch; while her travel interests have led her to visit countries such as Spain, England, Belgium, France, Poland, Italy, Nicaragua, Netherlands, Barbados and the United States.
According to Chanel DaCosta “Happiness is a priority in my life. I am sure that once I am happy and enjoy whatever I do, I will be successful.”