Top Interviews in 2014

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Took a bit of a writing hiatus from January to February, after hanging out with the likes of Jah Bouks in Jamaica, over the Christmas period.

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In March, popular entertainer Vybz Kartel was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of an associate. This divided global opinion; I weighed in on the matter via online magazine Bashment Vibes.

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Founder of BashmentVibes.com/Gleaner Journalist Orantes Moore and I, in January (Kingston, Jamaica)

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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.

Sanchez UK Tour: Business As Usual

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On Sunday 19th October, Sanchez and Etana were scheduled to headline one of the biggest reggae concerts of this year, with support from Brit songbirds Aysha Loren and Cassandra London. However, extenuating circumstances meant that the event did not go ahead as planned. This news came as a disappointment to scores of patrons who were teeming with anticipation. However many are comforted by the fact that the London date at ‘The Troxy’ has been rescheduled for Sunday 23rd November. The Birmingham and Manchester venues are also expected to follow suit with alternative dates (21st and 22nd November respectively), which will be conveyed to the public accordingly.

Sanchez-112There has been a lot speculation about the reason behind this abrupt turn of events with many believing that Sanchez (right) had issues obtaining his visa in time. Vision Newspaper can confirm that this is untrue! Some may recall that he performed a string of dates in July and August in the UK, such as ‘The Frontier’ in Yorkshire and ‘O2 Academy’ in Oxford. These dates actually formed the first leg of his tour. LB Entertainments undertook the return for the second leg.He was expected to arrive on Thursday 16th October. However, an unfortunately tight connecting flight schedule from Canada saw Sanchez miss his flight back into the UK.This threw plans into a bit of a Frenzy!

In the meantime Etana arrived in the UK slightly ahead of him, on Wednesday 15th October, rearing to go and immediately delving into rigorous rehearsals.

Aysha Loren and Cassandra London were doing the same. This is an event which was promoted three months prior to the appointed date and, by all means, necessary preparations were made by all involved parties.

In light of the current situation, LB Entertainments had to make an executive decision – either proceed with the shows minus Sanchez or postpone it. They chose the latter which, on the basis of customer satisfaction, was probably the best decision; particularly given the fact that three of the UK’s most recent reggae/dancehall events have gone ahead without its original headliner, for one reason or another.

Robert Popat of LB Entertainment illuminated the situation by saying the following: “We thought that it would be a real shame to stage the concert without Sanchez. What’s more, we decided to look after the people that feed us and give them what they paid for”

In the spirit of true professionalism, the promotional team have made some successful efforts to inform their public of the aforementioned changes. All billed artists are very much looking forward to the new date, where stellar performances and positive vibrations are promised.

Although many have opted to retain their tickets, a refund is available. In the meantime, look out for future promo material coming from Sanchez and we’ll see you on the 23rd November

In the meantime, look out for future promo material coming from Sanchez and we’ll see you on the 23rd November!