Davina Henry, Staff Reporter
It was a night displaying the burgeoning talent base in Jamaica at the Conscious Reggae Music album launch/showcase.
Hosted by Kei Dubb, an up-and-coming singer herself, the acoustic-themed event opened with an engaging performance from the Live Wya band. The band delivered songs such as Bloodshed and Another day in Paradise, which were all received with cheers from the audience.
The event was interspersed with cameo performances from the likes of other up-and-coming acts including Ras Minimum, Danhai, Stratdon and Indeca. Each performed an original song which certainly garnered new fans for their amazing talent.
Tony Rebel was up next and while many thought he would belt out a few lyrics, he was actually on hand to introduce the next performer.
Hailing her as a "formidable contender in the music industry", Tony Rebel pointed out she had the experience to go all the way, having worked with several top-notch reggae acts, including Queen Ifrica and Tarrus Riley.
By the time Nikki Burt hit the stage, the audience was panting for more. Sporting long, flowing blonde hair and performing original songs she had written, the energetic Burt took patrons on a journey that will cement her place in music.
Patrons grooved along to Irie and Mellow, Prove my Love, Dreams and Staying Right Here, which she dedicated to her "best friend and partner". She spiced her performance with some new tracks and some covers, which kept her audience engaged.
While the Music Matters band made their way to the stage to set up for the next performer, artiste Delus kept patrons entertained with What Tomorrow May Bring and Caah Mek Badmind Win.
Delus made way for Ultimate Shines, an energetic Rastaman, whose album was also being launched.
Delving straight into songs like Call on Jah, The Pickney Dem, Love Can Save the World and Angel, Shines's performance was punctuated by social commentary, which aided his set.
But the night belonged to Nickeishia Barnes.
After a heart-warming introduction, the songbird showcased just why she had made it to the finals of the Digicel Rising Stars competition several years ago.
Dressed in a black outfit from head to toe, Barnes did Sweetest Mistake, Natural Woman, Bloody Streets and a cover of Just Give Me You. Proving that she was indeed a seasoned performer, Barnes ad-libs and on-stage moves had the crowd waiting for more.
"I was beyond surprised to see so many people. I invited many persons but I knew it was a Sunday and people would be concerned about having work the next day, but I was overwhelmed by the turnout. It was pretty successful in my estimation. I'm grateful," Barnes told The Gleaner.