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Earth Kry among top 10 in Global Reggae Contest

Published:Saturday | May 23, 2015 | 5:00 AM

Upcoming reggae band Earth Kry has qualified for top honours in this year's World Reggae Contest which is organised by Reggaeville.com in partnership with local recording studio, Harry J Records.

The main event will take place this August in Ostroda, Poland, where the top five bands will perform live before the winner is announced.

Over 100 entrants vied to be named in the top 10 originating from all over the world.

"Feedback to our contest was really overwhelming. It is a really nice surprise for us. It just confirms that reggae is a global culture. We are happy that artistes see the potential of the contest and the fact they all want to come to Ostroda," said Piotr 'Piter' Kolaj of Positive Music Promotion, the promoter of Ostroda Reggae Festival in Poland, one of key reggae events there, now celebrating its 15th anniversary.

This year, Earth Kry is the only band from Jamaica to make the top 10. Other entrants came from Brazil, Poland, France and Germany. Fans are encouraged to log on to the website Reggaevillle.com and vote for their favourite pick before voting closes tomorrow.

The Earth Kry band was born and nurtured within the halls of the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in Kingston, where four budding musicians hoped to hone their skills. Their journey began with a twist of fate which brought together keyboard player Phillip Mcfarlane, drummer Kieron Cunningham, bass guitarist Kamardo Blake and guitarist Aldayne Haughton, to play a series of small gigs.

Fusion sound

Drawing inspiration from Bob Marley and The Wailers, The Beatles, John Holt, Black Uhuru and Steel Pulse, the group soon cemented a wholesome fusion of roots reggae, souls and rock genres for a fresh but universal sound.

Much like the iconic reggae outfit The Wailers, the band chose its name, Earth Kry, to signify its mission to voice the grievances of the downtrodden through the vibrations of their music. Befitting was their debut single, 9 to 5, which echoes the daily tribulations of the working class who are barely able to make ends meet from the menial wages they receive.

Since 2013, the band has spent much of their time backing other notable artistes in recording sessions while further developing their signature sound. Through the guidance of former Third World band member Ibo Cooper, as well as musicians Lambo Robinson and Maurice Gordon and producers Stephen Stewart and Sam Clayton, the band works towards releasing their first EP, and then debut album Hard Road in the near future.