Intimate setting a hit with the fans, artistes
Davina Henry, Staff Reporter
What started off as a mini series to ring in the celebrations of Jamaica's 50th Anniversary, has now grown into one of the biggest and best live series in St Andrew.
The Behind the Screen series, which takes place every Tuesday at the chic Usain Bolt Tracks & Records lounge is as a result of a partnership with Solid Agency, Red Stripe and Tracks & Records.
The Gleaner-sponsored series, which sees one-hour live performances from some of Jamaica's biggest stars kicked off on July 10 and has progressively grown each week.
The series kicked off with Tanya Stephens and has also featured performances from other artistes including Beenie Man, Yellowman and Professor Nuts, No-Maddz, Tifa, Romain Virgo, Tessanne Chin, Queen Ifrica, Konshens, Sizzla Kalonji, I Octane, Chris Martin, Protoje, and Assassin.
"We wanted to have a live series coming up to Independence time for Jamaica 50. At that point we were having a lot of meetings at Tracks & Records. We knew they had a stage so we said why not have it at this venue and we approached them and that's basically how it started," said Marlon Burke, operations manager at Solid Agency.
As with most new ventures, the first few weeks of Behind the Screen were slow, however, as the weeks went on, there was hardly enough room in Tracks & Records and sometimes, not enough.
"Starting with the week we had Tifa, we had a lot of press there, the vibe was good, she was doing her video launch and from that night onward the crowd has significantly grown," Burke went on to say.
Artistes Konshens and Sizzla Kalonji had arguably the two biggest nights in the series, with promoters having to turn fans back.
The growth now has artistes offering to be a part of the series, a vast contrast to the early stages where promoters had a task in finding performers.
"People are now calling to see if they can get on board. In the beginning it was a task to get artistes for the following week. More people are calling saying they want a night to perform. It's easier now. It's getting great PR, so it's not really a hard task," Burke told The Sunday Gleaner.
Even with the series growing each week and with patrons being turned away because of a lack of space in the venue, Burke insists that there are no plans at the moment to relocate.
"We have an arrangement with Tracks & Records so right now that is the home of the series. If persons want to come out to see their artistes then they need to come out early," Burke explained.
Behind the Screen was originally slated to run for 12 weeks but will be extended until December 18.
Next week, reggae crooner I-Wayne is slated to hit the stage.