Review: Sanchez at The Troxy in London, England

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This time, last week (23/11/14), one of the most anticipated concerts of the year took place at The Troxy in London. Brought to us, courtesy of promotional company LB Entertainments, the event was headlined by Lovers Rock crooner Sanchez, flanked by EtanaAysha Loren, Cassandra London and Chardel.

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“Old Time Something Come Back Again!”

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That was a line, made famous in Admiral Bailey’s 1988 standard ‘Nowhere No Better Than Yard’ which was recorded under the legendary King Jammy’s label.

In this morning’s Jamaica Star newspaper, Robert Malcolme aka Gullybop/Gullyman/Daddy Kartel/Countryman said the same thing of his sudden rise to prominence with his slack, ‘old time’ toasting style. He set the internet ablaze last week, when his freestyle video went viral:

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Chardel strikes Gold

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“Everyone should know what it is like to feel like a winner…Reggae Star Factor gave that to me”

This talented woman describes “being filled with relief and joy” at the moment when her victory was announced. Chardel has been infiltrating the music scene for a number of years, taking the grassroots approach of gigging and performing at open mic sessions. She hoped that auditioning for Reggae Star Factor would be a move which would propel her to the next exciting phase of her journey…and was spot on!

Of course, Chardel is no stranger to success. She is the cousin of veteran deejay Cutty Ranks, was signed to Island Records as part of a girl-group ‘Sprinkler’ (1998) and penned songs for chart-topping artists such as Billie Piper. What’s more, she is a working mother with a fiercely determined spirit: “I have a real love for what I do! When you’re a mother, you become less of self and more for your kids but you can lose yourself in the process. I have to be an example and show them that it is possible to pursue your dreams.”

Having attained a Music Degree in 2003 which included modules such as Copyright law and Studio Engineering, Chardel has valuable insight into the professionalism which is key for any industry to run effectively. Unfortunately, this is extremely lacking within reggae!  She claims that the significance of Reggae Star Factor lies therein: “It is a movement. Reggae Star Factor stands for innovation and we need that. After all, the music is a global entity.”

Ahead of her impending tour, she will be supporting Lovers Rock Crooner Sanchez in concert at The Troxy (London, England) on Sunday 23rd November, alongside Etana and Aysha Loren.

London’s First Reggae Talent Search Platform

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Reggae Star Factor is a new talent search platform, with a unique aim of discovering some of the UK’s most promising reggae artists. Having kicked off in July 2014, the live series took place at The Tabernacle in London, where approximately 400 hopefuls flocked for auditions.

Each person took centre stage, in front of a panel of judges: Lovers Rock Queens Carroll Thompson, Sylvia Tella, renowned singer-songwriter Kareem Shabbaz, former Aswad musician Clifton “Bigga” Morrison and Journalist Andrew Clunis. By the time the finals hit, just 24 contestants remained with the intention of battling it out for the coveted crown. This was hosted by radio personality Bobo El Numero Uno and is the brainchild of music professional Diane Black with Jack Reuben, Caroline Williams and Ken Martin also collaborating on the project. .

There have been some recent changes in reggae music within the UK such as its continued marginalisation on legal radio and decline of album sales.

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Jack Reuben

Reuben said the following: “regardless of the changes, reggae music is alive and kicking. Talent is still out there and our aim is to expose it, in a way that programmes like the X Factor aren’t”. He continued: “we need to come together and build upon this industry so that, if nothing else, we can leave a legacy behind for the next generation”

Another concern of the Reggae Star Factor executives is the vast amount of artists who have to work full time jobs, in spite of their talent, as a result of a lack of infrastructure and governmental support. According to Reuben, this is akin to Restraint of Trade which is a legal doctrine that enforces restrictions on freedom to conduct business. He commented on the need to start an official body which represents the music.

It was only after the successful finale of this season’s Reggae Star Factor that many South London residents began to hear about it. However, by mid-season, the competition began to attract more audience members from across the Capital, setting a precedent for the next series.

The anticipated prize of an album production deal (Real Talk Productions UK), management (Launch Pad Arts) and a tour provided by MediaCom (Europe’s premier tour booking agency) was awarded to winner Chardel on Friday 7th November.

Check out http://www.reggaestarfactor.co.uk for information