Fever concert boosts local artists

Promoters of Fever Concert 2009 have put in a concentrated effort to show off the local talent Cayman boasts, with an hour-long opening act comprising of a number of Cayman’s top musicians.

Chris Durrant, owner of Yardman Music, one of the producers of the concert, has even announced the prize of a one-song recording contract at one of Jamaica’s top recording studios, Big Ship Studio, for the best performer.

‘We’re going to try to let the crowd judge it,’ said Mr. Durrant.

Performers include Jah Shawn, Richie B, Kurt Riley, Anthony Ricardo, Stuart Wilson, Jamesette Anglin, Big J, Glamaton, Excellent Medley and Mikey Spade.

‘It’s an effort to boost Caymanian artists on island. The prize is one that would help them in their career,’ said Mr. Durrant of his inclusion on local performers in the much-anticipated concert.

‘We have good talent here in Cayman and I’ve been working for them for over a decade.’

At one point, Mr. Durrant explained that he brought a producer over from Jamaica, who looked at the artists Mr. Durrant was working with.

‘He said they are all very good artists and if they got the right production, they could make it as big as any other international act So we are trying now to get one of them in the studio to record in the studio.’

Mr. Durrant grew up in Jamaica, a keen music fan listening to the likes of Bob Marley, Dennis Brown and Gregory Isaacs. When he moved to Cayman, he decided to start his company Yardman Music after noticing the difference in environment.

‘It’s a lot quieter, and I wanted to bring something to [the island],’ said Mr. Durrant. ‘We started out with the Valentine show.’

At the time, Mr. Durrant was dating Michelle T, who is now his wife, and who was a popular artist back in Jamaica. Her brother was also a popular performer. He had them headline the first Valentine show in 1994 and his list of performers has grown ever since.

‘I was the first one to carry Bounty Killer, Morgan Heritage, Mr. Vegas and Sean Paul. And I was the last one to carry the great Dennis Brown, the Reggae Prince, as they call him,’ said Mr. Durrant.

He is looking forward to Beenie Man’s return to the Cayman stage. ‘The last time we brought Beenie Man here, to the Lions Centre in 2007, we had more than 3,000 people. We are looking to top that this year,’ he said.

Mr. Durrant is also anticipating an interesting audience, with a mix of the two Caribbean music styles reflected in the crowd.

‘We anticipate having the calypso crowd, the eastern Caribbean crowd, along with the reggae crowd from Cayman and Jamaica,’ said Mr. Durrant. ‘Ticket sales have already been trickling out so we are excited.’

Local performers are also looking forward to the opportunity to perform.

‘It is a privilege to be associated with this promotion,’ said musician Stuart Wilson. ‘I am humbled to be in such great company and look forward to benefiting from the exposure. Though I am unable to use my band, I still expect a par experience/performance.’

Excellent Medley is inviting speculation on what his hairstyle will be on the night. He is as known for his wild and wacky hairstyles as he is for his music.

Anthony Ricardo will also take the stage. The performer looks forward to being a part of a production featuring such well-known talents.

‘It’s always great to be a part of something greater,’ he said.

The headliners, will, of course, draw the crowds. Beenie Man is an international reggae and dancehall artist who has enjoyed considerable success and released more than 20 studio albums, along with many compilations. Other successful musicians Lovindeer, Biggie Irie and Peter Ram will also perform.

The event is sponsored in part by Cayman Free Press product What’s Hot magazine, HOT 104.1FM and LIME.