“Swag buck”, “Swaggarific”, or the aged “Walk Out/Up inna the Video”, are the common street slang within the dancehall scene. Not surprisingly, Magnum Kings & Queens of Dancehall have been commanded by the lyrics of prominent dancer turned artiste, Ice, yielding to his words “Fashion Ova Style”, to deliver fashion and dancehall talent in one package.
“The fashion segment was designed to give the complete package of what dancehall means…Jamaicans are fashion forward, they like to dress up and look good, while turning some head,” explained Natalie Parboosingh, producer with the series and choreographer of the weekly fashion segment on Magnum Kings and Queens of Dancehall.
In its fourth year, the show has been known to unearth the freshest talents of DJ’s and Singjays including but not limited to acts such as Tanto Blacks, Bumpa and Chozenn.
“Image matters in dancehall and increasingly we have seen a lot of our fashion trends coming out from artistes and other industry persons in dancehall,” remarked Natalie.
Continuing, Natalie noted: “Your appearance has a lot to do with how you come across to an audience, whether as a performer, artiste, or otherwise. It’s the first thing that people see and so it is one of the factors that determines the impression you leave.”
Since its first Live Show four weeks ago, Magnum Kings & Queens of Dancehall Season 4 has punctuated every show with edgy fashion from local designers and some of the freshest model faces yet to be discovered.
“Each week we showcase a different designer with a different swag. They (fashion designers) all have different styles, which we’ve seen so far with Carla Lee, Semoya Lawson, Drenz by Richie Drenz and D’Luk Designz all bringing their own creativity to the show.”
Natalie was quick to note that the designers have also been challenged to compete: “Each week, the featured designer presents one avant-garde piece. At the end of the 14 live shows, all the avant-garde pieces will be posted on Facebook and fans will be given the opportunity to vote for their favourite; the winning designer will win a grand prize of J$50,000.”
An enthusiastic Carla Lee, the designer featured on the first Live show this season with her collection Fashion Forward, commented: “It’s a good opportunity. It really gives you additional advertising, getting persons to know more about you and your line. So far I’ve been receiving more persons calling expressing an interest. I hope that the Avant-Garde competition will really give me more exposure.”
“It’s an extraordinary opportunity, one of the best mediums you can possible think about; it’s the number 1 entertainment show on TV and it’s in collaboration with Dancehall,” expressed Richie Drenz of the line Drenz. Drenz, who was feature on the third Live show described his experience on the Magnum Kings & Queens of Dancehall Live stage as a “golden-opportunity” to showcase his art.