Fri | Jun 2, 2023

Super Heavy Wednesdays celebrates one-year anniversary

Published:Wednesday | March 22, 2023 | 8:49 AMStephanie Lyew/Gleaner Writer
Architect and carnival event consultant Mala Morrison shares a frame with Super Heavy Wednesdays organiser and artiste Farenizzi.
Architect and carnival event consultant Mala Morrison shares a frame with Super Heavy Wednesdays organiser and artiste Farenizzi.
Disc jockeys Fyahstarter and Lucky entertain the requests of a Super Heavy Wednesday patron as she captures them on video.
Disc jockeys Fyahstarter and Lucky entertain the requests of a Super Heavy Wednesday patron as she captures them on video.
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The act of fusing and borrowing from music of different cultures has for long been a significant practice in music production, but locally, there is a still a need to sensitise the audience to the various sounds said Steve ‘Urchin’ Wilson, co-founder and organiser of Super Heavy Wednesdays.

An industry stalwart, Wilson, who is part of the management team for Grammy Award-winning artiste Sean Paul, has for many years promoted events and spaces, which encourage music collaboration. Along with business partner Terrence ‘Farenizzi’ Harold, he has kick-started several live music engines including Tuesday Night Live, Smoking Jacket, Brand New Machine (BNM), held in Jamaica, and in Manhattan, New York and now, Super Heavy Wednesdays, which recently marked its one-year anniversary and is about to extend its reach to Montego Bay.

“The original concept for Super Heavy was always, and still is to fill a gap in the entertainment marketplace, as we did many years ago at Fiction with our weekly BNM series. Farenizzi and I adopted an attitude and approach to identify what was missing and set out to provide it,” Steve Urchin told The Gleaner.

The duo thought long and hard about the concept. Once the location was secured, the audience started to grow, the live music feature was added, which has seen the likes of Leftside, Yeza, Mink Jo, Runkus, Joby Jay, Mr Lexx, Chi Ching Ching and Irie Souljah perform inside Janga’s Soundbar and Grill. It has also been endorsed by some of the major industry players including Marley brothers, Julian and Jr Gong and international celebrity Tyson Beckford.

The event has nurtured a space for creatives, set designers and stylists and specifically up-and-coming artistes, music and video producers to meet, exchange ideas, collaborate, get discovered and make on-the-spot deals.

“Sticking to your guns really pays off in the long run and we’ve been consistent with keeping the music Afrobeats and reggae or whatever it is we are offering on the Wednesday night, even when patrons ask for other types of music to be played. People realise the commitment to the vision and I think that’s why we have a dedicated following,” the promoter said. “It’s definitely difficult to pick out five top moments from the past 52 weeks but when Bay-C did his album launch and was joined onstage by Craigy-T and Alex we ended up with a TOK reunion performance. That was historic! Also, the album launch for producers Gold Up had a massive artiste and media turnout.”

Urchin shared that the team has seen significant growth in the audience and their acceptance – people who consume and listen to Afrobeats and reggae and encourage its fusion, as part of Jamaica’s evolving culture – but also want to invest in new talent.

stephanie.lyew@gleanerjm.com