Several soulful 'Reasons' to party
Mel Cooke, Gleaner Writer
When Krazy Kris, who plays on KOOL FM, decided to put on an all-soul music party in 2008, it seemed that many thought his disc jock's moniker was all too real. "A portion of people bun it out, say it can't work," he said.
However, it did, beyond all expectations and the capacity of the Waterfall, Liguanea, St Andrew, venue. Officially, Krazy Kris said Waterfalls holds 600 people. On the night of the first Reasons, he gave away 200 tickets, collected from 600 persons and turned away about another 1,500.
Tomorrow night, when the latest edition of Reasons is staged at Jewels International Resort on Port Henderson Road, St Catherine, he is aiming for bigger figures. Krazy Kris said the most recent party pulled in between 1,400 and 1,600 persons; tomorrow night, he has 2,000 to 2,500 in mind after the 8 p.m start.
It is not only the party series' track record that he is depending on, but also the disc jockey line-up of himself, Collin Hines and Señor Daley. Over the years, the disc jockeys Krazy Kris has called on have been enthusiastic. "Most of the DJs have a collection of soul they don't get to play. Most of them don't have a show they can get to play so many slow jams," Krazy Kris said.
He does. "I am a lover of soul music from birth. When I started at KOOL, I began a Monday show from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. which is all soul. It was well received," he said. "We call it Lovers' Monday."
Then, before Reasons started, Kris held a birthday party which went over well, with many requests for a repeat. However, doing it as a regular event would require a format. "There were dancehall parties, retro and so on, so I decided to do a soul party. When I looked at the market, I decided if I did something else, it would be just another party," he said.
He did not want a name which simply stated the soul format; Reasons made the cut as the name of one of the biggest slow jams from Earth, Wind and Fire. There were other venues between Waterfalls and Jewels, as Reasons was also staged at Curphey Place and The Building.
Apart from the format, another constant at Reasons has been the gender balance at the party, as the women have always outnumbered the men several times over. Plus, Krazy Kris said, "They really dress up. They get a chance to put on good clothes and come out."
Not that the men have not made their presence felt. "We have had a couple proposals (over the microphone) at Reasons. I got word it will be happening again tomorrow night," Kris said.
In the earlier years, Reasons attracted an audience of mostly persons 35 years old and up. However, over the past three years, Krazy Kris said he has been seeing persons as young as 18. "People like that it is safe. Nobody is in any hype. It is all about love and being loving, so it is super-safe," he said.
And it is not monotonous. "What a lot of people don't understand is that you have uptempo soul, the slow soul and the mid-way. How we play, you have to be dancing or singing. You must have a reason," Krazy Kris said.
Tickets cost $800 presold and are available at Woody's Restaurant in Naggo Head and on Passage Fort Drive in Portmore, as well as Jewels and KOOL's Braemar Avenue, New Kingston, office.