MAGNUM KINGS AND QUEENS OF DANCEHALL BRINGING JAMAICA’S CULTURE TO THE FORE
The Kings and Queens of the Dancehall contest continues in earnest and has promised is unearthing indigenous talent that has never been seen before on Jamaican TV.
TVJ has just completed airing of the auditions show for Portmore which followed the auditions from Savanna-Lamar, Mandeville and Ocho Rios. The response from the public to the Magnum Kings and Queens of the Dancehall Show has been overwhelming and many are hailing the show as a landmark achievement in the history of Jamaican entertainment. There have been five audition held all over Jamaica. These auditions were held in Ocho Rios. Savanna-Lamar, Manchester, Portmore and Kingston but many want to know why there areas were chosen for auditions.
This history of dancehall music in Jamaica stretches across the length and breath of the island. All parishes have contributed to the growth of the music. The first auditions for the Magnum Kings and Queens of Dancehall took place in Savanna-Lamar, Westmoreland with rave reviews. Not many people are aware that Westmoreland has a rich music heritage; being the birthplace of some of Jamaica’s greatest entertainers.
Singer and DJ David ‘Scotty‘ Scott is one of the most famous sons of Westmoreland. ‘Scotty‘ recorded a series of chart-toppers as the rock-steady style shifted to the new sound of reggae in the late 1960s and early 1970s. also hailed from Westmoreland, born in Grange Hill, Westmoreland Tosh was a founding member of the Wailers and went on to an outstanding solo career, releasing a wealth of material. Legalize It was his debut in 1976 and has been marked as one of the greatest records ever done. Another famous son from Westmoreland is Richie Stephens. Richie is the promoter of the largest dancehall show in Westmoreland; Unity Splash.
The Magnum Kings and Queens of dancehall auditions later moved to the home of the king of reggae, St Ann. St Ann has been central to the development of Jamaican music. Not only has the parish been the home Bob Marley but also Burning Spear, Max Romeo and Shabba Ranks.
One of the main aims of the Magnum kings and Queens of the dancehall competition is to ensure that all areas of Jamaica get the opportunity to present their best talent. One such area was the third audition site – Manchester, which has a rich heritage in music and has over the years produced some of Jamaica’s best entertainers. Garnet Silk, and Free-I are just some of the names that come to mind. Manchester also has a rich dancehall culture with Fayors Entertainment Center being one of central staging grounds for dancehall niceness on that side of the island. General Degree one of the sons of Manchester and co-judge of the Magnum kings and Queens of Dancehall competition has also represented the parish well as a promoter and dancehall entertainer.
Portmore was the last televised auditions show for the Magnum Kings and Queens of Dancehall. Portmore, St Catherine also has a rich heritage in dancehall, the home of Sting, Portmore is also the dormitory home of some of dancehall’s hottest acts such as, Spice, Deva Brat, Vybez Kartel and Mad Cobra to name a few.
The last audition show aired February 2nd on TVJ and will feature contestants from Kingston. Kingston is central to the history of Jamaican music and is the home of the largest concentration of recording studios in any one place this side of the hemisphere. There is excellent night life with nightly cultural explosions such as Passa Passa, Dutty Fridaze, Bembe and Uptown Mondays just to name a few. Kingston is the melting pot of dancehall music where all the varying styles, attitudes and culture that make the music truly unique converge.
It is fitting that the live shows for the Magnum Kings and Queens of the Dancehall are held in Kingston. The live shows which will begin in early February are to be staged at Weekendz the home of Bembe; of one dancehall’s premiere cultural experiences. Magnum kings and Queens of the dancehall will take dancehall to another level by bringing forward the next generation of dancehall stars on the big stage.