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Seani B sits down with the hottest Jamaican acts

HITMAKER: Seani B spends some time with Masicka

A FEW months cannot pass without me hitting Jamaica for my quarterly top up of sun, music and wha gwan in the streets.

And while I was there I lived in the streets and in the studios of the bustling capital of Jamaica, Kingston.

The name that seems to be on everyone’s lips right now is Govana, the protégé of Aidonia.

I’ve been charting his rise since he was named Deablo a few years ago. But it was last summer that I started to notice that it wasn’t just me that was excited about him.

Aidonia had an incredible 2017 and I think some of that magic rubbed off on to Govana. Gyal Clown is an anthem surpassing those of his mentor right now.

The combination he had with Aidonia – Breeze – set up this incredible run he has had in 2018 so far.

Singles like Bake Bean and the newly released One and Move, produced by Good Good Productions, have had dancehall patrons dipping into their pockets for the now customary Money Pull Up dance.

Just like Bounty and Beenie and Kartel and Movado, you can’t say Govana without mentioning Masicka. Since the beginning of the year Masicka has had the game in a choke hold. His single They Don’t Know has held the ‘big tune’ title since January.

What he seems to have understood is that he needed a slew of songs to carry him into the summer as the hot name.

And he has done this with songs like Greatness, Changes, Dem Nuh Happy Fi We, Crab Inna Barrel and Victory, to name just a few you hear on a heavy rotation in Jamaica.

Another of the hottest songs on the rock right now is out of the Frenz For Real studio in Tower Hill, Kingston; Watz On Sale by young Artist La Lee is creating waves. It’s a fun, catchy song that reminds me of the records Danny Brownie and the Main Street crew made with Red Rat, Goofy and General Degree.

There is no way I could write this piece and not mention Rygin King. He is an artist from the second city, Montego Bay.

You cannot turn on the radio, go to a party or hear a car passing without hearing his song, Learn. You can see the emotion in people’s faces when this song comes on. It’s as if the lyrics touch every single Jamaican that knows about suffering and hard life.

Montego Bay seems to be the hot spot right now as another export who everyone is talking about is TeeJay with his song Up Top. This is grimey dancehall that reflects the city that was under a state of emergency a few weeks ago.

Talking about young and upcoming artists, I was finally able to sit down with another artist I’ve kept my ears peeled for, Meleku. He is son of the great Sizzla Kalonji (no pressure!).

I first heard Meleku perform at Protoje’s night In Kingston called New Wave. I was blown away and slightly concerned at the same time. Blown away by his talent, but concerned that he was mainly on hip hop-style tracks.

Sitting in the back of Big Yard studios, we had a chat about this and much more. And while he understood my concerns, he said he is part of the younger generation and through different genres they get to express their thoughts and feelings. With that said, he then blew me away with several roots reggae tracks that showed he fully had the DNA of Sizzla. No more complaints from me.

The final night I scored a hat-trick of parties. First stop was last week’s star interviewee, Kabaka Pyramid and his album launch where I bumped into so many faces that came out to show support for the Kontraband album. Agent Sasco, Wayne Marshall, Bling Dawg, Ari and Naro from Nightly Fix, Sevana, Captain Collin Hines plus Damian and Julian Marley were all in attendance.

Second stop was the Guinness Sounds of Greatness Clash on the waterfront for some sound war.

This clash ended in a dub dub clash between Game Changaz (Stainy and Chattis) and Notorious Int (Likkle Shabba and Bad Gal Marie).

Let’s put it this way, I wasn’t the only one in the crowd that thought the judges got it completely wrong, just like the Boom Clash a few weeks back.

I may have to have some words with producer Notnice and Beenie Man!

If I’m honest, as good as the clash was, in the middle of the night the host Bounty Killer gave what I could only say was one of his great motivational speeches for 10 minutes. Rodney Price has become a youth worker in the dancehall and this role suits him. Keep the speeches coming Bounty, they are not falling on deaf ears.

To close the night and my latest adventures in Jamaica I headed to Ding Dong’s ends, Nannyville, for Yeng Yeng Fridays. The boss dancer wasn’t in attendance but I can confirm that his latest dance, Flairy, continues his dominance of the dance space.

As always, I have to say just like Admiral Bailey (who I also saw out and about): “Nowhere no better than yard.”

Even though I know I don’t have to, I just want to say thanks to my extended family who always make me feel welcome.

Not forgetting everyone that approached me and gave me feedback on my various ventures, and thoughts on how we are trying to push the culture and the music forward...We nah stop now!

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