Hitz at the Mill turns into live reggae party
Compared to other start-up events masking a similar concept to Hitz at the Mill, hosted by Hitz92FM, the live reggae party, shows potential to grow into something of a larger nature - even outside of Kingston Music Week.
It is the first time that the RJRGLEANER Communications Group, experimented with nightlife parties for the seven-day long celebrations, and though the Reggae Mill Bar was not full to maximum capacity, the energy far exceeded the numbers.
"We created events of our own, as it was felt that there was an opportunity to do our own events, not to compete with others, but to position the stations as an integral part of the musical landscape and as a critical part of the Kingston Music Week," said Dr Dennis Howard, general manager of radio services at RJRGLEANER Communications Group.
An all-star line-up of young musicians opened the live show, among them, songwriter-turned-artiste Mackeehan, known for writing the lyrics of Etana's Warrior Love and Jah Cure's You'll Never Find; reggae-soul singer Chevaughn and Blvk H3ro (pronounced Black Hero) who engaged the audience with his single, Mucky, along with a few spur-of-the-moment acts.
Hitz at the Mill, placed emphasis on homegrown reggae musicians; most showing strength in vocal delivery and others displaying a wide range of skills. The only element missing from the party, was an actual live band, as most of the recording artistes performed with tracks or rhythms played by the disc jock. However, Ziah and Shaqu, two up-and-coming musicians, made certain to take along instruments for their set.
Ziah showed exceptional mastery of music by using his iPhone along with a Blueboard wireless floor controller to loop sounds from an electric violin, a shaker, bass guitar and voice harmonies, which had persons in awe. Shaqu accompanied Ziah with additional percussive beats from drums and tambourines. Reggae lioness, Lila Ike also joined on stage to sing Biggest Fan, with the support of two musicians.
The power of nostalgia took over, as event headliner D-Major, took the stage. The artiste applauded Hitz92FM and the RJRGLEANER radio services team, for exposing young talent.
"Tonight was only a small percentage of the talent that is out there, over the week we saw some amazing talent that hold the future of Jamaica's music industry. I never realised that D-Major had such an awesome catalogue, but when you hear all the songs together (live) it's more commanding. He had the crowd support and definitely stepped up to another level, leaving us expecting great things from him," Dr Howard said.
Singles such as Real Know Real, Girl of My Dreams, That's What Love's About, and Deal is Done, had the females in the audience captivated by D-Major. To add to his set, D-Major also remixed Barrington Levy's, Too Experienced.
It became more moving as Christopher Martin and Ice Man joined D-Major to sing their 2013 collaboration (missing Chevaughn who stepped out before) Till You Do Me Right, produced by Truckback Records.
At the end of the live show, the audience demanded more and did not show any signs of wanting to leave the Reggae Mill Bar.
DJ Tropical continued playing hits until the few remaining fraction of persons departed.