Sting with a difference - Supreme Promotions banks on young reggae acts
STING 2012 this year will have something a little different - young reggae acts.
The event's promoters are hoping the difference will create the best Sting in the outing's 29-year history.
In collaboration with DownSound Records, Sting will have a segment called Four The Hard Way, where rising stars Chronixx, Droop Lion, Jahsent and Iba Mahr will be the featured acts.
According to Supreme's CEO, Isaiah Laing, "These four young men we predict to be the next big names of reggae, just wait and see. We have been doing this for years and have an eye for spotting true talent."
Chronixx, given name Jamar McNaughton, has been steadily making progress with his career. This month sees the young musician embarking on his first overseas tour with performances for South America, Europe and California. His popularity internationally appears to have arrived more quickly than local interest has been able to keep pace with.
Kenya and Sweden have embraced the singer as his track, Behind The Curtains, is a hit there. With his music being heard more frequently now on Jamaican airwaves, his songs Beat and A Mic, Warrior, Rain Music and Odd Ras have all gained recognition, expanding his growing hometown fanbase.
Chronixx is looking forward to performing at this year's Sting to showcase his skills to a projected 30,000 patrons.
The 20-year-old singer is the son of musician, Chronicle, from whom he acquired his stage name.
Though new to the spotlight he has been working for the past seven years as producer, songwriter and background vocalist for well-known acts such as Popcaan, Munga Honourable, Lutan Fyah and gospel artiste Jermaine Edwards.
Droop Lion is another growing act, a conscious young singer who seems headed for the horizon of mainstream success.
The prolific songwriter finds his inspiration from the harsh realities of inner-city living. Losing his mother at nine months old has built a resilient attentiveness to humanity and social commentary, which is transparent in the messages he chants.
The Tivoli incursion, which left more than 70 persons dead, motivated him to pen his sensational record, Freeway.
Droop Lion intends to bring awareness to the Sting crowd. The Port Maria High School past student is fully cognisant of his social responsibility and yearns to share this awareness with the population at large.
The 24-year-old Jahsent Obatala is lyrically equipped to blaze the Jamworld audience with a vibrant performance.
With scorching tunes such as Voice of the Poor, Tun up Di Riddim and Fyah Anthem, the Sting crowd is guaranteed to witness a firestorm on stage come December 26.
With a strong background of music in his family, Jahsent is ready to carry on the tradition. Born Barrington Dawes to a mother that was a popular dancehall artiste and her father a former saxophonist, the Portmore-raised youngster was inspired to follow a similar career path.
Jahsent is prepared to give a phenomenal show to his home crowd and persuade with words of wisdom.
Iba Mahr, who also hails from the parish of St Catherine, earned his peculiar stage name from close friends, who believe the roots singer is strongly connected to the Motherland.
The African name 'Iba' means humble and calm, while 'Mahr' is an acronym meaning Mario of Harar (Harar is a small province in Ethiopia).
The budding cultural act has been doing successful gigs across the island and opening shows for established reggae acts. He performed at the Wyndham Hotel's Plug 'N' Play and received overwhelming response from a packed audience.
This experience he intends to recreate for the highly anticipated Boxing Day event.
Iba Mahr is a past student of The University of Technology and is able to brag about being the writer behind all his songs. Though fresh to the game, he already holds a catalogue with tracks such as Will I Wait, Sound The Alarm, Had It and Lost It and Where You Are.
When asked about the diverse topics he covers, the singer said, "I take pleasure in doing love songs. Essentially, I am inspired to sing about real life occurrences, but in reality, as an artiste, I create melodies then connect words to them to craft stories that reflect other people's lives. The energy, mood and my emotion at times may affect how a song might turn out. Feelings, be it the sombre, joyful or sorrowful, also play a part."
"I now see the music making a paradigm shift from roots and culture, not that it has died but just needs to be played more. Regardless of what is being played, the people need redemption songs, especially in these times of division and world crisis. I can only say that reggae music is a medium through which we connect and touch people in any situation, so I work to preserve its legacy."
Chronixx, Droop Lion, JahSent and Iba Mahr collectively make the fantastic four, with great expectations to fill in Supreme Promotion's Four The Hard Way showdown.
This new breed of buzz-worthy acts are ones to watch and are highly endorsed by the longest running one-night reggae show on earth.