Soul in the Sun Night Two saw the greats come out in their legendary style. You could tell we were in a whole new world of music here when everybody came out in a suit and the lone woman on the show was in a sparkly skirt and heels. We were amongst iconic entertainers who know exactly what it takes to entertain. Their level of respect and appreciation for their craft shone right through. The night begun for me with an epic performance from Jamaica’s own icon Richie Stephens. I spoke with him briefly after his performance and asked what his secret was for longevity in the music business, because I mean, Richie Stephens is Jamaica’s go-to RnB man.
Cheesing way too hard. He said it was his love for the music that keeps him going. His desire to honour the talent that God has given him. “I take care of myself, I am very deliberate in my doing, by trying to keep fresh, trying to keep energized, trying to keep fit,” said Stephens. I also asked him his thoughts on the local reggae industry right now and he had some words on that.
I was asked this question in a different way in Canada recently, they wanted to know if reggae was in trouble. I said no, reggae artistes are in trouble because reggae is alive and kicking. The unfortunate thing is the big reggae acts around the world are non-Jamaican acts. And why do you think that is? It’s because it’s a lucrative music, it’s still a music that is respected and loved around the world, not necessarily in Jamaica. Now what we can do and what I think can be done is for us to take a look at reggae as Jamaican people and ask ourselves if we’re going to allow this potent genre to leave us! To be taken by other people, because we always complain about people taking the music but I would say that we’re giving it away. We can’t stop people from doing our music and people loving our music is a wonderful thing. The genre of reggae music is very nice, people love the message in it, people love the beat but for some reason we’re concentrating on dancehall acting like Jamaica only produces dancehall, there’s no balance anymore right here in Jamaica. So we really need to go back to the drawing board.
Words of wisdom on the local reggae industry from veteran Richie Stephens. Do you agree with him? He made way for Regina Belle who is one of my all time favourites so I was in heaven. She performed some of my fave love songs including Is This Love and Make it Like It Was before bringing out Peabo Bryson for an epic performance of A Whole New World. That was a real treat to be able to see them do that song and it was magical. Her energy was extremely high and her hair was bouncing all over the place. I made a note to ask her about her hair maintenance as it seemed as if it was all natural. You’ll be surprised to know that she uses Jamaican line Ettenio to maintain her natural hair. I will be speaking to the creator of the line soon to see how that relationship came about, expect that some time this week on the blog.
Howard Hewitt was up next and I am not familiar with most of his songs so I took this time to mingle with friends. He gave a great performance if I were to go by audience feedback. They were digging it. Freddie Jackson took the stage after and man oh man he was probably the favourite of the night. The people could not get enough. At one point they were rushing him off the stage due to time constraints to which he responded “11 number one albums and you telling me I have 5 minutes left to perform.” When he finally ended his set he received the loudest encore of the night which he unfortunately could not give. Freddie needs to come back to Jamaica.
Soon after Peabo Bryson came on and did a mix of old songs and popular songs to which I say his set was lukewarm. I did love those songs that I knew for sure but I would have given more time to Freddie who was absolutely wooing the crowd. Speaking of wooing, awwww Mr. Jeffrey Osbourne. He closed out the show with hit after hit after hit and when it was finally time to woo woo woo he went into the audience to find others to woo woo woo with him. We were all woo woo wooed out by the end of the show but man was it a good time. Jeffrey’s voice was definitely the best of the night, that man still got it. Well, maybe he tied with Freddie. I have some highlights but Loop’s are much better so here you go, check out these snippets from the show.
Who gave the best performance to you? Will yo try to be at next year’s staging?