Mel Cooke, Gleaner Writer
Keteis Oyonde, singer and co-operator of Veggie Meals on Wheels, describes the 'Live it Up Fridays' series of concerts hosted at the Regal Plaza, Cross Roads, business as a process of "creating our own media". This is in the context where "some music that we hear we no want to hear".
So the objective of the series, held weekly since the start of June, "is blocking the negative vibe and work on some positive vibe", Oyonde said. "We have a choice. We have free will."
"I find it very relevant that we are creating our media and people are talking about evolution and change to fit other people's agenda. Some things I hear in music now I never used to hear about," Oyonde said.
Tonight's concert will be a departure from the accustomed venue, as it will be held at the Bob Marley Museum, 56 Hope Road, St Andrew. Ras Malekot, Lutan Fyah, Ras Takura, Singing Bird, Keteis Oyonde, Exile di Brave and Callaloo Man are some of those who will perform.
The venue change is to facilitate a fusion of 'Live it Up Fridays' and celebrating the birthday of His Eminence Archbishop Abuna Yesehaq. That celebration starts at 7 p.m. and the concert follows at 8 p.m.
Among those who have performed on 'Live it Up Fridays' are Mosiah, Iyahblaze and Empress Sativa. Oyonde said the intention is "to promote young artistes with fresh, positive messages ... . We are serving the people. We serve the people physical food, but them need mental and spiritual food". The hosts have included Denise 'Isis' Miller and Exile di Brave.
There is no mistaking, though, that there is promotion of the Regal Plaza set-up which, in addition to Veggie Meals on Wheels also has clothing, hair-care and African-cuisine outlets. "We have a means of promoting the different businesses as well, and have it in with the whole vibe, giving the artistes an avenue to express themselves," Oyonde said.
Although there is a stance against negative lyrics, Oyonde said persons who are willing to adjust their output for 'Live it Up Fridays' are accommodated. "Youths doing slackness, here is a medium. You can do good lyrics on this show," she said. "Music was made to reach people and lift them out of their little dungeon and let them know there is a better tomorrow."
Another component to 'Live it Up Fridays' is a sound system from an inner-city community which plays at each staging. So far, admission has been free.
After this staging, the schedule will change to a monthly event, still held on Fridays, Oyonde saying that the options are the first and last Fridays of each month.