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Rebel Salute welcomes new talent

Published:Sunday | January 3, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Krista Henry, Staff Reporter

Pepsi-Cola Jamaica will be giving one lucky, upcoming artiste the chance to shine at Rebel Salute 2010, to be held on Saturday, January 16, at the Port Kaiser Sports Club in St Elizabeth.

The official title sponsor of Rebel Salute, Pepsi will afford aspiring deejays, singers and musicians an opportunity to perform at the reggae festival this year. At the launch of the show last Tuesday at the Hilton Kingston hotel, Pepsi's head of marketing, Denise Dixon, announced that Pepsi will tour four of the island's major towns, with a view to finding local talent to earn a coveted spot on the Rebel Salute line-up.

If the concerts reap success, Pepsi plans to keep on doing them throughout the next three years that they have signed on to sponsor the concert.

veteran singer Tony Rebel

Pepsi's brand manager, Ayanna Kirton, told The Sunday Gleaner that the idea was a good way to raise interest, not only in the brand but the show, and to allow persons to interact with Rebel Salute's leading man, veteran singer Tony Rebel, as well as the other performers.

The tour kicked off yesterday at Sugarman's Beach in St Catherine, with auditions. The next stop will be in Sam Sharpe Square, Montego Bay on Friday, January 8 followed by MX3 in Negril also on January 8, with the competition culminating in Junction Square, St. Elizabeth on Saturday, January 9.

According to Kirton, the judges will tentatively be Tony Rebel, a representative from Pepsi and, hopefully, each competition will have a different guest judge from the Rebel Salute line-up of performers.

positive image

At the launch, according to a release sent from Pepsi-Cola, Dixon mentioned the positive image of the show, explaining, "Rebel Salute represents what is clean and wholesome. This is what we stand for at Pepsi-Cola. We believe in supporting entertainment that does not offend, particularly in a time when our values are being eroded by so many negative influences."

She added that Pepsi-Cola understands the Rebel Salute vision to showcase the best of reggae and dancehall music and show the world that this is a place of excellent entertainment, good music and great vibes. Dixon also pointed out that on the night of the show Pepsi will show its full range of products, among them Tropicana juice and their Essential water brand.

As such, according to Kirton, they are looking for clean positive acts to go along with the image. She said, "We're looking for an enthusiastic response, it's a good product in terms of the concert, incident-free, upholding a positive perspective." Tony Rebel said at the launch that "The show has always found new talent, so we expect performances based on the calibre of what you'll see from those on the line-up. It's definitely a platform for progressing one's career, an opportunity to shine." At the launch, Rebel noted that people told him the first time they saw Tarrus Riley and Queen Ifrica perform was on a Rebel Salute DVD.

change in regular line-up

This year's line-up will see a lot of changes in personas from artistes, as there will be performances from Sasco - not Assassin, and the same going for Marion Hall - not Lady Saw, similar to when Beenie Man performed as Ras Moses at a previous Rebel Salute staging.

Also on the line-up are Freddie McGregor, Gramps Morgan, Bugle, Singing Melody, Tarrus Riley, Queen Ifrica, I-Wayne, Jah Mason, Richie Spice, Alaine, Leroy Gibbons, C Sharp, Hezron, Pinchers, Anthony Malvo, I-Octane and others.