Wed | Jun 29, 2022

Sizzla talks Reggae Month and concert with 35-piece orchestra

Virtual show is going to be mind-blowing – Grange

Published:Wednesday | February 23, 2022 | 4:55 AMYasmine Peru/Senior Gleaner Writer
Sizzla, ahead of his performance with a 35-piece orchestra for Reggae Month 2022. The concert will be streamed on Saturday, February 26.
Sizzla, ahead of his performance with a 35-piece orchestra for Reggae Month 2022. The concert will be streamed on Saturday, February 26.

Come Saturday, February 26, Rastafarian singer Miguel Collins, better known as Sizzla, will make his historic debut with a 35-piece orchestra in performance for Reggae Month 2022. The Gleaner had a quick one-on-one with Sizzla recently, and he spoke glowingly about Reggae Month and the upcoming event.

“I am honoured being a part of Reggae Month. It is a great event, and I think we all should just support it,” Sizzla said.

“It is a month in which we can express ourselves through the music, an item passed on to us, from the cultural sense, [from] our fathers with the likes of Bob Marley and Peter Tosh and all the great reggae icons which went before us. They have laid a foundation for us and made life easier by creating this music which we can use to educate our people and show them the light. Reggae music is something that we can feed the people [with]. It is legal finance, and no one has any control over it but we ourselves from the struggle,” the black conscious Sizzla Kalonji declared.

Reggae Month, the only month-long reggae festival anywhere in the world, is being celebrated under the theme ‘Come Ketch de Riddim’. The roster for February is chock-full of events that are shown virtually every day on Reggae Month TV, which is streamed on various online platforms, including the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission’s YouTube and Facebook pages and the Facebook pages of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport and Minister Olivia Grange, and on PBCJ and TVJ.

REGGAE MONTH

Sizzla’s advice is “just be excited and be optimistic about the fact that you are representing your people. I am not only representing for myself as Sizzla or Jamaica for Reggae Month or Black History Month, I am representing for the peoples of the world who have been through this entire struggle.”

He also spoke passionately about Black History Month as a time in which we should recall the great deeds of our forefathers and all those wars they fought for us to be here and express it through the music.

Sizzla, who is acknowledged as one of reggae music’s most commercially successful artistes, during his career has released more than 56 albums – and many would add “and counting”. Several of his songs are already classics, and he has performed at more concerts across the entire globe than he can remember. But the Reggae Month concert for Saturday is special.

“It is just so special all these people coming together to curate this entire concert, fusing together the 35-piece orchestra, the Nyabinghi and the reggae. It’s a first of its kind, and I am honoured to be a part of it,” the Black Woman and Child singer said.

He added, “The whole choreography, including the setting of the stage, wasn’t really done by Sizzla. They structured everything without Sizzla, and this shows the love. They understood very well what was going on, and once you can understand that and get that structured for the nation, it is a wonderful thing,”

Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange explained the idea behind this first-of-its-kind concert.

“This is the first month-long reggae festival in the world, and Jamaica is the home of reggae, so for Reggae Month each year, we have to expand and add new concepts and really highlight our musicians and our singers. This year is our 60th anniversary of Independence, and we want it to be extra special. And one of the extra special things that we could do was to ask Sizzla to perform,” Minister Grange told The Gleaner.

“And Sizzla, when you hear his voice, it is like an instrument, you listen to him sing, and you can hear so many things. Sometimes it’s chilling; sometimes it’s thrilling, and to put his voice with a 35-piece orchestra for me, that was the ultimate. And my team, Lenny Salmon, we worked out the details and got Jon Williams involved, Dean Fraser, Ibo Cooper and an array of fantastic Jamaican musicians. When we go virtual to the world with this, it is going to be historic … it’s going to be mind-blowing,” Minister Grange promised.

yasmine.peru@gleanerjm.com