Thu | Oct 29, 2020

Apollo Series takes a bow - Last event for 2019 tomorrow

Published:Friday | November 22, 2019 | 12:22 AMYasmine Peru/Senior Gleaner Writer
Kalm Medz is booked to appear on the Apollo Series on Saturday.
Kalm Medz is booked to appear on the Apollo Series on Saturday.

Teacher, businessman, and live-show promoter Simon Brown is quite passionate about nation-building, specifically as it relates to the exposure of creatives. Brown, the chief organiser of the Apollo Series, an event designed to showcase the talents of aspiring and emerging artistes, says he is thrilled with the reception the event has received since its 2018 inception. Another instalment is scheduled to take place tomorrow at The Haven, Hillcrest Avenue, in St Andrew, and this presentation brings the curtains down on the 2019 series.

“It is a way of showcasing the high level of musical talent here in Jamaica, and the event has gone way better than I expected,” an excited Brown told The Gleaner of the event, which is staged by ACTION, a company whose acronym means Advance Creative Talent In Our Nation.

“This is the eighth show overall since the series started, and I have seen how the careers of some of the artistes have grown,” he said. Brown explained that some acts who were initially accepted for the open stage, a standard feature of the event, have since returned as featured acts, a testament to the strides they have made over the time.

While not taking credit for the career of rising female artiste Lila Ike, Brown named her among the notable acts who have appeared on the Apollo Series. “I am so happy for her. She was a featured act early in the series, and she has been a big supporter ever since. I definitely wouldn’t say that we ‘buss’ her or anything like that, but it’s great to know that she appeared on our stage,” Brown said.

He also singled out rapper Scantana, who has since hit the big screen with his debut acting role in the popular Netflix series Top Boy.

On Saturday, featured acts will include Silva Don, part of the trap danchall music scene; photographer-turned-singer Joby Jay, and upcoming poet Kalm Medz. “This will be a diverse, eclectic show,” Brown said, adding that all three have been capturing ears and eyes on Kingston’s live entertainment scene.

Silva Don appeared this summer at the concert Fi Di Culture Live, and Joby Jay most recently performed at the acoustic series UNPLGD. Kalm Medz has connected to audiences with his poetry at numerous shows recently.

An interesting feature of the Apollo Series is its ‘rotating stage’, which allows featured acts to perform twice so that patrons who arrive late can still see the main acts. Brown noted, “If patrons are here for the whole show, what they end up getting is two performances. You cannot beat that.”