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Former clash opponents to tour Europe - Runkus, Royal Blu booked for festivals

Published:Tuesday | July 4, 2017 | 12:00 AMKimberley Small

From being clash rivals in high school (although they studied at different institutions), Royal Blu and Runkus are to perform at a string of festivals, for their Class Is In tour.

The young artistes will be sharing stages in Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. Both incorporate rap and trap techniques in their music, sometimes infusing ska and jazz inflections. "We're just two young youth, trying to make two worlds meet," Runkus told The Gleaner.

He is the son of recording artiste Determine, noted for his performance of Kette Drum with Beenie Man. The young artiste's performance at the recently staged Tmrw.Tday Culture Festival in Negril demonstrated potential as the delivery of his original songs, Inner G and Burn Everything, elicited rowdy responses from the audience.

Runkus toured Europe last summer. "It feels amazing to go on shows, ... for the music - especially when you have new music to perform, and the fact that I'm doing this with my brother," Runkus said..

Royal Blu believes that this, his first international tour, is long overdue.

"Not to sound entitled or anything. Recently, I was saying to my friend, it's been a long time coming," he explained. "What better experience than to have your friend with you doing shows? From being in high school, clashing, to now? It's a nice feeling,"

Royal Blu is particularly excited to visit Germany, home country of his friend and frequent collaborator Foresta. "I know a lot of people in Germany. I plan to meet up with Foresta and finish up some stuff while I'm over there," he told The Gleaner. "I'm performing a lot of new music, some produced by Foresta and Natural High Music," he said.

The festival tour will still offer some firsts for Runkus. "This will be my first time performing in Holland and it will be at a two-day festival," he said. "The festival puts on a competition, where whoever can share the post or something like that, can come and and ride with us!

"It's little things like that. Each one has a special thing. I'll be performing at Boomtown in the UK, and it will be my first time in Switzerland," Runkus continued, noting the magnitude of Germany's Summerjam Festival and that it will be his first time performing the UK.

Royal Blu is booked to participate in Rote Fabrik (Switzerland); Alte Paulline (Germany); Roots in the Park (Netherlands); and Reeds (Switzerland), among many others.