Wed | Nov 29, 2023

‘Genuine reggae music still wins’

Kabaka Pyramid, team hailed for ‘excellent work’

Published:Wednesday | February 8, 2023 | 12:54 AMAaliyah Cunningham/Gleaner Writer
Kabaka Pyramid (left), accepts the award for Best Reggae Album for ‘The Kalling’ at the 65th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday.
Kabaka Pyramid (left), accepts the award for Best Reggae Album for ‘The Kalling’ at the 65th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday.

Ewan Simpson, chairman of the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA), has hailed Kabaka Pyramid for his Best Reggae Album Grammy.

The reggae artiste secured his first Grammy win on Sunday for his sophomore album, The Kalling.

“This is a great reward for Kabaka and his team, who have done excellent work on their own. They have been hitting the pavement, doing excellent work in terms of planning their own tour and bringing visibility to their own work. They have been doing great work, and the two managers are also immediate former directors of JaRIA, and they are still members. Kabaka has done many performances with JaRIA, and so we honour the entire team and Kabaka for this win; and it only goes to show that hard work, good strategy, solid marketing and genuine reggae music still wins,” said Simpson.

He also hailed the other nominees. “The other nominees have either been winners or nominees before, and so it is just about who gets the nod this time because they all were excellent nominees. They have all done excellent bodies of work. Koffee has been a winner, Shaggy has been a winner, Sean Paul has been a winner. So, I mean, it is just Kabaka’s time, and it is great to see him and his team have that as a notch in their belt. It was an excellent album, some great tracks on it, so we celebrate him,” Simpson continued.

Other nominees in the category included Koffee’s Gifted; Protoje’s Third Time’s The Charm; Sean Paul’s Scorcha, and Shaggy’s Com Fly Wid Mi.

“We [are] just some kids from Kingston, Jamaica,” a proud Kabaka Pyramid said during his acceptance speech at the 65th Grammy Awards ceremony.

Taking his team on stage with him, it was clear that the soulful reggae singer was almost moved to tears after winning the coveted award.

“I can’t believe it. Rastafari live. I know I don’t have a whole heap of time. I just wah seh thank you to the Academy. Thank you to all the other nominees. We are representing Jamaica, we are representing the Caribbean. Thank you for everybody supporting reggae music, positive conscious music,” his speech continued.

He also expressed gratitude to his management team, including Damian ‘Jr Gong’ Marley, who produced the album, and then dedicated the win to the late grandson of Bob Marley, Jo Mersa.

Also sharing the sentiment is Ephraim Martin, founder of the International Reggae and World Music Awards (IRAWMA).

“Kabaka was the one to watch. His positive lyrics and presentation speak volumes. I knew it was a tough competition, but I am not surprised. On behalf of Martin’s International and the IRAWMA team globally, we say a big congratulations to Kabaka and producer Damian Marley,” Martin told The Gleaner.