Leading the pack of rising superstars, Jamaica’s hottest ‘sing-jay’ Mavado will be representing Dancehall’s newest generation at the JAMROCK Reggae Fest, this Sunday, June 3rd. Billed as a tribute to the ‘Past, Present, and Future’ of Reggae music, Mavado is one of the big surprises that promoters LinkUp Media have in store for the thousands of patrons set to storm the Westchester County Center this Sunday.
Already 90% sold-out, Mavado will be one of the feature acts from the newest class of Reggae entertainers, along with Collie Buddz, Tarrus Riley, Etana, Mr. Peppa, Khari Kill, and Kristopher at the JAMROCK Reggae Fest. The show’s headliners include Dancehall stalwarts Buju Banton, Shaggy, and Capleton alongside Reggae Icons Marcia Griffiths, Sanchez, and Frankie Paul. The Dancehall Gladiators Crew– Brigadier Jerry, Mumma Nancy, Ranking Joe, Mikey Jarrett, and Carlton Livingston will represent the best of Dancehall’s past, with Cutty Ranks , and Lady Ann. Reggae Lovers will enjoy 10 hours of non-stop Roots, Reggae, and Dancehall with a full line-up that also includes Lukie D, Tony Curtis, Thriller U, Bigga Haitian, Rayvon, Brian & Tony Gold, Singing Melody, General Degree , and the hilariously controversial comic duo Twin of Twins.
“New York always show me love,” states Mavado. “Mi always love to perform fi di New York people dem. Right now, it’s all about Mavado and the JAMROCK Reggae Fest on June 3rd.”
The singer behind the eerie wails of “Anywa-ay!” and “Gangsta for life!” which have recently dominated the airwaves was born David Constantine Brooks in the gully called “Cuba”¡ªa micro-ghetto within Kingston’s “Cassava Piece” community, famous to reggae fans from the haunting Augustus Pablo melody of the same name. In an era when dancehall MCs replaced the ranking dreads of Pablo’s day, the two main influences on the direction of Brooks’ young life were his grandmother and the music of Bounty Killer.
“To tell the truth” he explains, “it was me gran’mother that first really bring me inna studio, ’cause she bring me inna church to sing. She always tell me to sing for her and that really give Mavado the courage to get fe love music an’ t’ing.”
But if the sweet sounds of gospel provided the motivation, it was the gruff voice of Bounty Killer that proved to be the more powerful influence. “As a youth, Sanchez an Wayne Wonder are really my two singer dem, Sanchez have the voice of the angel. But me an’ my friend always say ‘Yo, Killer are the wickedest!’ So long as it’s Killer, it’s just my song, trust me!”
Idolization became mentorship when local reggae selector Foota Hype introduced the young singer to his soundclash hero. To Mavado’s amazement, “Killer start to show we the ropes” of the music business, introducing him to the Daseca production crew.
“Them are the yout’ which really bus’ Mavado, them come up with the Anger Management riddim, I sing for it, Killer endorse it and the thing just work,” Mavado states.
Indeed, “Real McKoy”–Mavado’s 2004 debut single on the Anger Management beat¡ªmade him an overnight sensation in the Jamaican dancehall and established the blueprint for his future success; a sweetly melodic voice combined with a persona more like a gangsta rapper. Dressed in “full black” and speaking to the harsh reality ghetto youth could understand, but in haunting, otherworldly tones, Mavado carved out a unique style somewhere between the angel and the warlord. It was the next tune “Weh Dem a Do” with it’s “fly-ay ay up to the sky” hook over the club-tempo Red Bull & Guinness riddim that brought that voice to the overseas market, and magazine covers and adds to mainstream stations like New York’s Hot 97 followed.
“We have been getting emails, calls, demands, and even threats to put [Bounty] Killer and Mavado on the Reggae Fest,” states David “Squeeze” Annakie, CEO of LinkUp Media¡ªthe award-winning JAMROCK Reggae Fest promoter. “Mavado is a big edition to the show, people are going wild, and tickets are flying out of here left and right. We are dangerously close to running out of tickets!”
“You never know what other last minute surprises we have in store for our patrons,” he adds before singing “now hear dis¡.”
The JAMROCK Reggae Fest, will be held on Sunday, June 3rd at he Westchester County Center, 198 Central Ave White Plains NY. Tickets are on sale now at the Westchester County Center Box Office, VP Records Retail Stores in Queens and Brooklyn, Super Power Records in Brooklyn, Moodies Records in the Bronx, and all Ticketmaster locations. Tickets can be purchased online at www.reggaefest.com, and www.ticketmaster.com. Tickets are $102–$52 and $82 TICKETS ARE SOLD OUT. For more information call the box office 914-995-4050 or Link Up Media
Raine Martin, Publicist