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Rebel Salute puts icing on the cake - Busy Signal feels blessed to be able to perform for adoring fans

Published:Thursday | January 17, 2013 | 12:00 AM
Busy Signal

Leighton Levy, Gleaner Writer

It has been less than two months since Busy Signal returned home to Jamaica a free man. Since he arrived home after spending six months incarcerated in a Minnesota jail while lawyers fought for his freedom from drug-related charges allegedly committed more than a decade ago, the entertainer has been busy recording and delivering outstanding performances at Sting 2012, the New Year's Eve celebrations at the Kingston waterfront, and since 2013, at the Superjam show at the headquarters of Pulse on Trafalgar Road.

Those performances have been warmly greeted and set the talented entertainer up nicely for his next anticipated appearance at Rebel Salute in St Ann this weekend.

As he prepares for Rebel Salute this weekend January 18-19, Busy says he feels blessed to be back doing what he does best.

"The blessing is tremendous; Sting, the waterfront show for the Government and for the people, Pulse the other day and then now Rebel Salute, it's just the glory to just see my own Jamaican faces, my own people, my own race, just my being home and just here performing for the fans alive and free. It's just a whole different type of blessing," he said.

His performance at Sting has been widely regarded as one of his most powerful performances ever. Before one of the toughest audiences for reggae/dancehall performers, Busy shone and had the massive crowd captivated. He puts the performance down to a more divine influence and his support crew.

"A God. God over all things," he said.

"I feel I have the best band and the best management team. People can see the level at which we coordinate and collaborate and let the thing get to a level that people can truly appreciate whatever we do, whether music or performance or introduction to whatever we do."

But God, he said, has been really good to him.

"God gave me an extra boost in the blessing. Personally, I feel that. The freedom has also played a very big role. I'm more free. I'm lighter, I'm more frisky. You know from morning we're always busy, literally, and we always keep the thing vibrant - but right now its triple that, quadruple that in terms of what happened a couple months ago."

That freedom, along with his respect for his fans, Busy believes, is what allows people to connect with him when he performs.

Give-and-receive situation

At Superjam on January 3, fans held onto every word as Busy performed a wide variety of songs. He believes it is this ability to share with his fans that continues to serve him well.

"It's definitely a give-and-receive kind of thing," he explained.

"You are in an environment, you're performing and the people are feeling the vibe from what you are saying, then they are now giving back to you, the reception is very great in terms of lyrical content, how you do your word play. I mean, nothing stops my artistry in terms of what we are delivering to people."

At Superjam the connection, he said, was very emotional. It is one of the things he believes that separates him from many other performers in reggae/dancehall today.

"People see the emotion and when I do a song with real emotion they see it. Mi no play this big 'iron-man' role and me no play di dash weh music role. Next song, pull up, dash. Mi no dash music. Mi appreciate wha' mi do and mi deliver music to the people dem. Whenever dem a get dem live performance, dem a get dem live performance," he said.