Next weekend the Royal Watler port terminal in George Town will host some of reggae and soca’s biggest stars.
Fever 2009 is headlined by Beenie Man and will feature Barbadian reggae artists Peter Ram, Biggie Irie and Lovindeer will also take the stage. For biographies of the three main artists, see below.
Local artists will also perform on the evening, including Big J, Jamesette Anglin, Anthony Ricardo, Excellent Medley, Glamaton, Stuart Wilson, Mikey Spade and Jah Shawn. The artists will act as the opening performance for the concert.
Local music production company Yardman Music is putting on the event. The company, owned by Chris Durrant, hosts the concert biannually, Mr. Durrant said.
‘We do it according to the availability of the artists, as well,’ he said. ‘But it’s a nice spirit in Grand Cayman right now, so it’s a good time for the concert.’
The event has a number of sponsors, including Cayman Free Press magazine What’s Hot, HOT 104.1FM, Real Wood Cabinets, PartySurfers, QuikCash, LIME, Appleton Estate and Heineken.
Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the gate and are available at Funky Tangs, Reflections, QuikCash and Real Wood. VIP tickets are available for $50 in advance or $60 at the gate.
A pair of VIP tickets is being given away by Cayman Free Press – to enter, log on to www.caycompass.com/competitions. The entry deadline is Wednesday, 10 June.
Beenie Man, born Anthony Moses Davis in 1973 in the Waterhouse district of Kingston, Jamaica, is a reggae entertainer and a dancehall artist, known by many as the King of Dancehall.
Starting from the young age of five, Beenie Man was encouraged in his musical pursuits by his uncle Sydney Wolf, who played drums for Jimmy Cliff. His family’s musical talent didn’t stop there, either – he is the younger brother of reggae artist Kirk ‘Little Kirk’ Davis.
Bunny Lee produced Beenie Man’s debut album, titled The Invincible Beenie Man: The Ten-Year-Old DJ Wonder, in 1983. That same year, Beenie Man had his first hit single, Over the Sea. In 1984, Beenie Man recorded some material with Barrington Levy, but his musical career was put on hold while he finished school.
In the 1990s Beenie Man returned to the international music arena, and enjoyed success after a performance at the Reggae Sun Splash festival in 1992. In 1993, Beenie Man had his first number one single in Jamaica, called Matie, and he won the DJ of the Year award the same year.
In 1994, Beenie Man was signed by Island Records and released the critically-acclaimed album Blessed, establishing his reputation internationally.
In 1997, Beenie Man had his first real break in the United States, when he recorded Who Am I, which quickly went gold. In 1998 he signed with Virgin Records to release albums in the US.
In 2000, Beenie Man released Art & Life, featuring Arturo Sandoval and Wyclef Jean of The Fugees fame. He won the Grammy award for Best Reggae Album that same year.
In 2002, he joined forces with Janet Jackson for the song Feel It Boy and then in 2004 he released a remix of Dude featuring guest vocals by fellow Jamaican Ms. Thing and rhymes by Shawnna. This was his biggest break in America, cementing his fan base on both sides of the Atlantic.
In April 2009, Beenie Man signed with Brookland Entertainment, a new record label formed by Eric nicks and The Trackmasters, in preparation to release his new album The Legend Returns.
Peter ‘Ram’ Wiggins
Known as Mr. Freestyle in Barbados, Peter Ram is no stranger to the stage.
Ram has shared the stage with the likes of Beenie Man, Merciless and Elephant Man. At the Digicel launch in Barbados, he appeared with Lil Rick and international reggae sensations Shaggy and Bounty Killer and is a guaranteed opening act for most reggae shows on the island.
Ram expanded his career in 2005 and turned to acting when he appeared in his first feature film Tek Dem Out. He has also been the face and voice behind Total Sport, a sports brand retail outlet in Barbados for the past three years.
In July 2006, he released Woman By My Side, which was remixed for Trinidad Carnival 2007, featuring 2006 Power Soca Monarch King Shurwayne Winchester of the band Traffik, who is also one of the top soca artists in that country.
The song’s video was added to VH1 Soul’s Island Soul programming. It was scheduled to originally receive three spins per week and then be added to the catalogue. It was also added to Music Choice TV, a video on-demand channel. The video has landed Peter Ram the no. 3 position on MTVN Tempo’s Cross Caribbean Countdown – the only dedicated network to Caribbean music and culture.
Crop Over 2007 was another great year for this artist, who continued to show consistency by earning a position in the Party Monarch Finals and performed at all the major Crop Over events.
Peter returned to Barbados’ 2008 Crop Over season with the megahit Tight, Carnival Praise and African Song. These were well received and resulted in him being one of the most popular artists for the season.
This popularity crossed borders and Peter went on to take Trinidad by storm for their 2009 Carnival season.
With a commanding stage presence and smooth voice, Biggie Irie’s career started in 1986, with a reggae group called Exodus.
After Exodus, Biggie worked with The Splash Band and Spice & Company before launching his solo career.
However, in 1998 Biggie Irie and the Israelites was formed and they immediately embarked on two regional tours: the inaugural Spice Jazz Festival in Grenada and the Surf Club for two weeks in Bermuda.
But it was the US release of the CD An Introduction to Biggie Irie in 1999 and The Spirit of Unity World Tour that same year that cemented his position as a solo artist in the world of reggae music.
Since the release of his single Nah Goin Home for Crop Over 2006, Biggie has and continues to enjoy resounding success at all major carnivals. This song was also remixed for the road in Trinidad, featuring Maximus Dan, and created history as he was the first ever non-national to win the International Groovy Soca Monarch Competition, held in Trinidad in February 2007.
At the fifth annual International Soca Awards in September 2007 he captured the Soca Song of the Year for Nah Goin Home. The track also won Best Groove Song of the Year.
Biggie Irie released Band on Fire and Jump If Ya Jumpin in 2007 – both of which continue to be steadily rotated on local, regional and international radio stations. In 2008 Biggie released Big Girlzz – his homage to the plus-sized ladies he is so fond of – and songs Breakaway, Carnival Again and Snap Yah Finga.
Lloyd Lovindeer is a Jamaican dancehall DJ from the 1980s, best known for his song Panty Size.
Known for his avoidance of talking about himself, there is not a lot of information available about Lovindeer’s background, but he has discussed his start in the entertainment industry.
He started his career off in music as a member of the dancehall band The Fabulous Flames during his high school years.
The group broke up in 1980 and Lovindeer spent some time in Canada, working for an insurance company, but disliked the wintry weather so returned to Jamaica.
Writing songs with lyrics that could be called social commentaries, such as The Blinking Bus or Man Shortage, Lovindeer initially found it difficult to find a producer interested in recording them.
Clearly, however, that problem did not last long, and Lovindeer is now known for his songs with witty lyrics and plays on words.
In 2007, Lovindeer released his double album The Sounds of Jamaica.