Toussaint Smith, Staff Reporter
Dancehall veteran Paul 'Jim Brown' Sinclair emcees a stage show at the Stardust Ballroom, New York. 1987. - Contributed
THE GLEANER has had its fingers on the pulse of the entertainment scene for decades. Naturally, our picture archives contain many a 1000-word story about those who have given us happy, memorable moments. In our new series, 'From the Archives', we pluck a pic and take a peek into the past, speaking to the central figure about the moment and subsequent events.
The story reads: Paul 'Jim Brown' Sinclair emcees after his performance at the Stardust Ballroom, New York, at a dancehall stage show. The show featured established dancehall artistes such as Pinchers, Admiral Bailey, Pliers, Louie Rankin and many others. Clinton Lindsay of Tamika Production staged the event. 1987.
Sunday Gleaner: Tell me about the event.
Jim Brown: Well, it promote and it gwaan good, about couple hundred people, like 500 to 600 people come out. As far as I remember, it was more of a fun event good macka, good original things. People stand up, listen artistes, dance and enjoy themselves.That was one of the main things me remember about that. Not even a bottle bruk, nuh shot nuh fire.
SG: What was it like performing with these other main acts?
JB: Well, at that time, to me, it was really exciting fi know say me deh pon stage wid man like all Admiral Bailey, even though we a foundation artiste long before dem man deh still. Dem come up and hold a rems all the time and Pinchers a gwaan good dem time deh to, wid tune like Bandelero and dem tune deh just come. But, to me, a did regular thing, cause a from 70s me a do dem thing ya yuh nuh, so each event just come like another one to me ... It affi really, really interesting or something happen. But a jus' so; me never stop yet, from 70s. Da show deh, to me, was a joy still, at the time to know say inna New York we deh a fling it dung inna yard style, the hottest in those time.
SG: Tell us about the name Jim Brown and why did you change it?
JB: Jim Brown was a name weh come way back when man like Clint East Eastwood, Lee Van Cliffe and all a those deejays in those times were picking names like every man say dem a choose dem movies star and thing. Me did like the style Jim Brown as a youth, cause before that, dem used to call me like Jah Paul, cause my real name a Paul Sinclair. So me never natty or nutten, but for some reason, people just call me Jah Paul (he laughs). Dem time deh me a wonder weh me a go change the Jah Paul to now, cause every man a say dem name Eastwood or Van Cliffe back inna dem time deh ... Me love Jim Brown, so me just say boy a Jim Brown yuh nuh, one down and two to go, cause me did have a little tune. So dem time deh me mek da Jim Brown deh and work wid it come right on, right on, right on. 'Til like late 80s, me start a get suspicious a dis two Jim Brown, politician, musician some people don't know a who and dem want know a which one, so in order to just single out meself back, me say yuh know me a come wid a new thing. So some yute used to see me and say Nastic so me just say a Jim Nastic then - nah go left the Jim but we left the Brown down a town (laugh)."
SG: Since then, where have you been?
JB: Jamaica, New York, Canada, Europe - me just move wid the tide and any weh the work deh, but a just music all a dem years deh. But me is a man weh keep a low profile in a sense weh, through me dun know weh the starlight or the limelight is and weh it can do to you me just want keep focus. Me nuh really run it down, so to speak. If me haffi come do mi work ya so, me just a come perform to me best, A-1 quality and fine, thank you, that's about it and move on.
SG: Being a veteran in the business, are you satisfied with dancehall today?
JB: No. Mi a tell the truth. Mi nuh satisfied wid it. Mi nuh see the fullness of the joy. Not even half of what it was in the dancehall itself; how the selectors and deejays even a swing it a change up the people dem minds to certain things. Mi nuh love it. Through that mi nuh go dance unless me a work right now, me a tell you, any weh me deh a perform me a perform and that's why me deh deh. Mi nuh really please fi wat a gwaan yah now, but me please fi see we still around fi really hold it up and can take on anyone of them this minute weh inna the dancehall and show dem say right now how we need fi deal wid it different.
SG: What's is different from nowadays dancehall compare to your era?
JB: Come right on, from 70's, 80s come right on and we nuh ease up, cause a it we still a deal wid inna 2005 yah now. But back in those days like 70s, 80s and come up men use to dance with their woman, because the songs dem weh we a play about love and the lyrics dem weh we a create is about happiness and joy or little fun, so that use to have people together, or you main interest is to come to the dance and listen some good music and yuh girl and yuh dance wid har. It's all about love. Now is a war thing 'put yu AK ova di wall' and ice dat and rinse that, so it's a whole different vibes. This is why I don't like it, because I know say it is an influence. It nuh make sense a man a go say dancehall is not an influence. I know, 'cause a years me inna it, so if yuh give dem the bad thing and the wrong thing a dat a go spread.
SG: What are you up to now?
JB: Keeping the music real, like me say, same way. Me have me own little label, now that Mr. Dodd pass off and thing. A him really did have me head back certain way. Me haffi do my own little thing now so me have my Jam Nastic Productions now. It me a bring forward. Me just finish an album name Real Nastic fi myself and me a take off two song offa it, one name Upliftment and the other Love and Unity whe fi release and a just that we deh pon. And a just more love, more strength and more music. Good music me deh pon right now and build me little studio - a just everything fi me father.