The inaugural staging of the Essence Livity of Reggae Festival was truly a showcase of reggae’s primest offerings. From Kumar Fyah’s enrapturing set to Mortimer’s magic, there was no miss when it came to the line-up curated by organiser Frankie Music. It’s only a pity more people weren’t there to experience it.
A scanty audience formed an intimate one at the Police Officers’ Club in Kingston on Sunday night, as performers went all out at the Reggae Month-endorsed event.
The effortless pull of Mortimer drew attendees to the foot of the stage, as he crooned singles from his Fight the Fight EP, including Careful, Style and Grace and Misery. The singer expressed gratitude to fans for their support before yielding to the yells of, “sing Lightning!”.
“For the first staging, it was really great,” Mortimer told BUZZ. “I think it was a good attempt at togetherness, and I think that’s very important cause we need more of that. Big up to Frankie Music for putting on this show and giving everybody the opportunity to showcase a piece of dem soul and heart to everybody.”
Sharing this sentiment was Kumar Fyah, whose soulful performance of songs Remember Me and Better Place had phones out and bodies swaying.
“It was a wonderful experience. Frankie has been my brethren for years, he produced one of my biggest songs, Jah Glory so I had to be here,” he said. “I had my show in St Elizabeth last night and Frankie called saying mi a go burn out and mi seh, ‘mi a go burn out and come to your show for the love for reggae music’. I really enjoy singing and sharing myself.”
Doing some sharing of her own was powerhouse vocalist Sherieta Lewis, who delivered some ‘exotic soul’ via tunes from her Conversations in Key EP, including Don’t Fail Me Now, Conversation and Woman2Woman.
Feluke’s spirited performance of songs like It’s A Shame and Soul Alive was well-received, and the same can be said for Chevaughn who turned it up a notch with Edna Manley College musicians.
Heavyweight Rockaz, Christopher Martin, Mackeehan, Kim Nain, Shawn Antoine and Darrio and the Fyah Force band were some of the other performers.
Frankie Music wants to make the event an annual affair and said his Raggamuffin collaborator, Koffee, is a sure thing on the future staging.
“She talked about it this year, but because of all the other things that happened she couldn’t make it. But we know she is willing to support everything Frankie does and Frankie supports everything she does,” he told BUZZ.
See highlights from the festival in the gallery below.
The Grammy award-winning producer celebrated his birthday on February 1 and gave the show his thumbs up.
“It was great, it was everything I expected and it was good to see the people come out to show me love, respect and appreciation for what I’ve done over the years and what I will do,” he said. “Everyone tonight was different and everyone enjoyed themselves, and they were able to express themselves like how we do in the studio every day cause we are all friends. People can expect real talent and different vibes for the next show.”