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Luciano uses Rebel Salute stage to expose young artistes

Published:Saturday | January 19, 2019 | 3:53 PM

Luciano, the Messenger, is usually a crowd favourite. The reggae music veteran has set foot on innumerable stages, so much so that it's difficult for him to put a confident count on exactly how many times he has performed at Rebel Salute in its 26 years.

Now, filled to the brim with experience and the example of a timeless, sturdy catalogue, the Messenger believes that it is time to pay it forward and push the up-and-coming performers to the fore.

However, the veteran reggae artiste may have overdone it when he invited a string of young acts to the stage, at daylight on the first day of the two-day festival. This was much to the annoyance of the tired audience.

"I'm working on some young artistes. I wanna help promote them and give them a chance to expose their talent," Luciano said.

The displeasure was not palpable to the point of boos, but the patrons, who got to their feet and crowded the barrier fence to cheer on the  Messenger upon his arrival, answered with and exasperated "no", whenever the locks-swinging singer asked if he could call up just one more person.

Among Luciano's protégés are Mawga Don and 19-year-old Pinky Famous, daughter of Oneil Famous.

Pinky Famous managed to easily pull whoops and cheers from the momentarily engaged audience with a refined, delicate, and smooth tone, reminiscent of rocksteady greats. 
Like her tone, the young vocalist's tastes tumble backwards through time. Currently, her biggest influence is Phyllis Dillon, who hit the airwaves in the 1970s. 

"She is the person I listen to most. I do all her songs every day," she said.

IN PHOTO: Pinky Famous on the Rebel Salute stage on day one of the two-day festival.

Pinky Famous told The Gleaner that she has been singing since she was four years old, and began professionally at age 11. 

"My daddy is the one who said, 'These songs fit you, you know, so practise them'. So I did that, and it's working," she said. 

Luciano told The Gleaner that he was determined to give the youngsters the opportunity to shine on stage.

"I don't pay them no mind because every day you come and hear me sing all my song dem. Dem get a chance now to hear some other young messengers," Luciano later told The Gleaner.

The Messenger, who did not perform some crowd favourites, apparently needed more time on stage.

"I heard before that we're gonna get 30 minutes so I was a little surprised to hear that five minutes cut off. It's the fastest 25 minutes mi ever see in mi life when we just getting warm, getting psyched up. I know they wanna hear certain songs like It's Me Again Jah. I wanted to do that, too, but I dunno. It's not so easy to work in a 25-minute slot when you know you geared for a two-hour. At least an hour would give me a chance to deliver the sermon," he said.