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Published:Friday | June 29, 2012 | 12:00 AM

DownSound eyes int'l market for Khago

DownSound Records has inked a production and booking deal with reggae/dancehall artiste Khago to boost his presence in the international marketplace.

"We believe that Khago is going to be a part of the transformation to uplift dancehall to its former self. That's why we are interested in doing albums with him that are geared towards particular markets," said Josef Bogdanovich, CEO of DownSound Records.

According to Bogdanovich, Khago's work ethic is only rivaled by incarcerated dancehall artiste Vybz Kartel.

"His wonderful work ethic is on par with that of a Vybz Kartel and his ability to flow, bar to bar, in lyrical clashes with artistes like Assassin and Sizzla means that this artiste is a powerhouse," he continued.

"We are marketing him as one of the future stars of dancehall music. He is a double threat because his reggae songs are very popular in Africa and Europe and his dancehall stuff is popular in the ethnic markets in the US. We believe he is a bonafide star," Bogdanovich concluded.

DownSound records was responsible for the exposure of reggae artiste Fantan Mojah and is currently promoting fresh reggae singer Nature, who recently released World Peace.

Popcaan reaps success in Europe

Deejay Popcaan recently blazed through a successful two-week tour of Europe, with back-to-back performances that thrilled his existing fan base and garnered him a number of new fans.

On his first tour of the continent as a headline act Popcaan (real name Andrae Sutherland) went above and beyond to please the packed crowds at each venue. Kicking off the tour in Lisbon, Portugal, the deejay travelled to Norway then Sweden and ended his European trip in France.

He commented: "It was overwhelming to see the crowds at the venues. They sing along and really enjoy the music. The response is great for old and new hits, and even very new songs like Fry Yiy and When Mi Party."

For the deejay, one of the most entertaining and memorable moments of the tour was the show in Paris. "It was a real mix of French fans and French-Caribbean fans, and the line after the show for photos was really long. Also, in Paris, I got a chance to see the Eiffel Tower and vibe at a street party," he said.

Popcaan is now busy with other shows such as the St Kitts Music Festival today, after which he jets off to Tobago tomorrow for another performance. Not wanting to disappoint his local fans, the deejay will be performing at Smudge in St Andrew and the Portland Jerk Festival, both on Sunday.

Popcaan will be hosting his first public birthday party on July 15 at Top Floor, Quad, dubbed 'Party Shot: A Birthday Celebration.' Music will be provied by Chromatic, Coppershot, ZJ Chrome and Dexta Pepp, with special performances from Sizzla Kalonji and I-Octane, among other special guest artistes.

On July 19, is Popcaan's birthday, he will be performing at Reggae Sumfest in Montego Bay, in what he dubs a "special performance" for Dancehall Night. "This is my first solo Sumfest performance so I'm going to do my best for my fans, the Gaza unruly fans, yuh zimme," said Popcaan. Before the end of July, he will hit Trinidad, Martinique, Guadeloupe and Suriname.

To kick off August it's all about the Dream weekend in Negril, where he will perform at the first ever Dream weekend live concert on August 1, then it's off to several shows in Canada. Popcaan will be back in Europe in winter heading off to Germany, Holland and Italy.

He recently did the video for The System for producer Dreskull, done by United States-based director Dayo, as well as a medley of She A Gwaan Good (ZJ Chrome), Popcaan Says (TJ Records), Whine (Young Vibes) and Naughty Girls (UIM), directed by Jay Will.

Brains, beauty, blend into Allure

New modelling agency Allure Promo Models is aiming to provide more than just attractive young women, but persons who are also intelligent and polite to represent their clients.

Dubbed 'The Beauty and the Brain Mix,' Allure Promo Models' ladies are seeking to step away from the 'any pretty girl can promote' stereotype.

Modelling is directly tied in with local events as promoters seek to sell their brands. However, according to managing director of Allure Promo Models, Rhomae Davis, educated models provide a lot more value for money.

"We strongly believe that product knowledge is essential for successful marketing promo. Our promo models are not only beautiful, they are specially trained professionals, articulate and well spoken," she said.

"The company boasts a young dynamic edge which is highly recognised throughout the Western region of Jamaica, and it is for this reason why our models are continuously acquiring gigs with various promoters and brands in new advertising campaigns, media events and parties," Davis said.

The promotional company is currently expanding its operations, as it now seeks to widen its market reach. The target market ranges from corporate companies seeking to promote products or services to promoters of events.

Chino gears up for hectic summer

As summer approaches, singjay Chino McGregor continues to go full-force with his catalogue of songs. The recent addition to his song list, Miss Universe, on producer Stephen 'Di Genius' McGregor's 'Bassline' Riddim, has been doing exceptionally well since its release a few weeks ago.

In an article published in the Saturday, June 2, edition of The STAR, Chino spoke about his inspiration for the single, his other half, Yendi Phillipps.

"The inspiration behind the song Miss Universe is quite obvious. It wasn't written, so to speak. I had the basic idea or concept and structure in my head prior to recording it, so recording time took approximately 30-45 minutes. There will definitely be a video shot very soon for Miss Universe, as well as a follow-up single, Be Around," he said.

Chino will be releasing his third Japan-market album this summer, which will feature a number of previously released singles, in addition to exclusive tracks. One of the exclusives will be the Seal Di Link remix, featuring Japanese singer Akane. The original version was featured on Chino's debut US album, Chino.

His sophomore Japan album, Never Change, held the second spot on the Japan iTunes Reggae Chart for a number of weeks.

"There's a lot in store for this summer. Lots of singles, the album, tours to a number of markets, ranging from the US to Europe and Japan. So right now I'm putting in the work so I have a wide array of songs for the fans from each market," he said.

Chino is known for From Mawning, Ruff It Up, Protected, Yeah Yeah and Driving Me Insane, among other songs.

R Kelly cancels appearances

R Kelly has cancelled a number of public events following a "health emergency".

The 45-year-old singer was due to launch a book on Wednesday in New York and appear on the Today show and Jimmy Fallon show, but was forced to pull out after suffering from problems relating to surgery he had on his vocal chords last year.

A representative for R. Kelly told "The book launch is postponed due to a health emergency that has sidelined Mr Kelly in Chicago. We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this has caused.

"Initial indications are that he is suffering from complications from surgery he had last year to treat an abscess on his vocal chords. It is unclear how long Kelly may be sidelined."

In addition to his health issues, the R&B singer has also suffered a number of financial setbacks recently. Earlier this month it was revealed that he owed US$5 million is unpaid taxes, dating back to 2005. In 2011 he was also forced to sell his mansion in Chicago due to failure to keep up with mortgage payments.

Despite paying tax bills of US$2.6 million in 2008 and US$1 million in 2009, he still owes the US federal government more than US$4.8 million.

Theresa Kemp plans 'Evalutionary' campaigns

Manager of reggae artistes Prophecy and Raging Fyah Band, Theresa Kemp, is celebrating the progress of her artistes. Also the founder of Evalutionary Management and Music Promotions, Kemp believes she is blessed with a natural musical ear and ability to identify true reggae talent.

According to Theresa Kemp, she is a true reggae patriot because of her global voyages, travelling with artistes promoting reggae music. Kemp is also working with Tasha T and David Sagitar.

Evalutionary Management and Music Promotions is based in New York

"Music is both my passion and my mission, so despite the hectic schedule and the many other challenges that come with the territory, I must say that being an agent of positive change, through my work and mission, gives me a sense of prime and fulfilment that words cannot describe," Kemp said.

According to Kemp, the outfit has been doing comprehensive promotion for its artistes, including new music videos, EPKs and organising promotional tours. Notably, Prophecy recently completed an extensive tri-state promotional campaign, where he was very well received.

Wholesaler ventures into entertainment

Local wholealers 'Uncle D Twins Stars', based in downtown Kingston, have delved into entertainment production and are on the verge of hosting their water party, Rum Bar Double Shots, on Sunday.

It is expected to become an annual event.

Publicist for the Uncle D Twin Stars, Theresa Small, said Rum Bar Double Shots is expected to cool down the summer.

"This is summer and, in the interest of the climate and the heat, we thought it best to create a concept that would stir up some excitement, as well as stimulate sexiness and a cool environment at the same time," Small said.

The party will have various attractions, such as waterslides, pools, water balloons and water trucks. According to the publicist, one of the aims of the promoters is to make the event interactive.

The venue is Stone's Jerk Hut and Lounge, Braeton Parkway, Portmore Pines, Portmore. DJs slated to play are DJ Nicco, DJ Dwayne, Renaissance Disco, and DJ Six Killa. Gates will be open from 3-11 p.m.

50 Cent released from hospital

In Da Club rapper 50 Cent is recovering after being treated for minor back and neck injuries, following a car accident last Tuesday morning in New York, USA.

A spokesperson for the 36-year-old star - whose real name is Curtis Jackson - said in a statement: "Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson was involved in a car accident in New York early Tuesday morning. He was taken to New York Hospital, Queens, where he was treated for minor neck and back injuries. He was released this morning and is doing fine."

The Candy Shop hitmaker's SUV - which was being driven by someone else - collided with a truck on the Long Island Expressway. Bruce Miller, who was driving the rapper's car, suffered "minor" injuries and has been released along with 50.

The rapper has had near-death experiences in the past, most notably in 2000 when he was shot nine times in a violent attack. He was injured on his hand, arm, hip, legs, chest and cheek.