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Jamaica Day 3: Think locally, rock parties globally, by Davin Michael Stedman

Confession: my plan is to be a local musician, all over the world. It seems pretty obvious but it is a major shift. One of the positives of the internet among many disastrous developments is that I can be a positive grass roots influence on scenes and people in great music towns like Brighton and Kingston.

Kingston is remarkably small and successful scene wise, despite producing more music per capita than anywhere. It’s a factory, but there are established leaders like Chinna, Sly & Robbie, and Anthony Red Rose that actually work with younger generations, and one another. And they crank out PRODUCT.

It’s a unique situation, but it’s also because Jamaica by the way of this music hub have made their hometown a port of call where Africa, the financial British Empire, and the American global Empire all meet.

They know Babylon. They know a couple of them. The people of Kingston have folk memories of the fall of Port Royal, which was Armaggedon for British Merchants and their Pirate thugs.

But Kingston has some things we can all learn from besides watering down their brilliant adaption of African math and European harmonies. As they in turn keep adapting everything.

This island is a sonic Petri dish but it is also a model for what can be done when the tribalism of bands and producers meets the kinship of a local and global village.

This trip I am exploring what it means to break a record in East Jamaica, accounting for distinct advantages and basic but workable disadvantages.

What I do isn’t going to work for everybody. Maybe hardly anybody. But like an artist in Kingston, you either adapt or you don’t. You are either going to make it, or you won’t. For some music, akin to the Military in the USA, is a chance start a new life, get a wife. Or to even pretend to live that life.

Put if if there was one absolutely unique thing about Kingston, it’s that the VEGANS aka The Rastas are ready to whoop some ass. They would rather not, but if there was a VEGAN FIGHT CLUB, I fight with The Rastas.

Next stop…Nigeria with Mtrill Teria.

Oh, and I am going to publish travel books and launch 100 Miles of Music with Tyler Weber shortly.

How do flat Earthers and Lunar landing deniers respond to footage beaming back from Mars? Where is this footage being faked exactly?

When their grand kids are indentured workers on Mars, the irony will be pretty raw. If you don’t think there are going to be indentured servants on Mars, why are there indentured servants in Dubai?

I guess they get the Mulligan.

JAMAICAN DAYS: On my quest for a Jelly a day, I chopped it up with this street preacher, as I downed the sweet juices of a not yet ripe but ready Cocunut. All for just 150 Jamaican.

The man carving up the Jelly’s was not quite buying what the preacher was selling but his intentions were good. He spread the Word up his road in Patois, and it was a yard thick.

But we all agreed that my advice on how to capture the imagination of a German tourist was pretty good:

I told the preacher that when he encounters a German to regal him with the story that Germany owes its language to Martin Luther. Luther translated the bible from Latin, to a cohesive text of combining the dialects as the stubborn German rebel saw fit.

I then asked him what his favorite verse was. I told him I would post it, regardless of my particular faith.

Psalm 27:1-2 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.”

Pretty heavy stuff. There’s more. Now I want to hear it in Luther’s German. The flesh eating part is pretty Metal.

“So die Bösen, meine Widersacher und Feinde, an mich wollen, meine Fleisch zu fressen, müssen sie anlaufen und fallen.”

One of the gifts I brought to Jamaica was for Ras Isachar. He mentioned last February that his dream is to one day visit Africa. As a respected Selector he has traveled to Japan and Europe spreading Jamaica’s light. Africa still awaits.

Isachar has stayed in touch with me through out the last year, dropping valuable knowledge and insight, burning up his data along the way.

This last year, I got this crazy cool bronze medallion from Mamadou Diakite, and I love it. But I knew Isachar would love this hand crafted product of Mali even more.

He was the one who mentioned my bronze Seahawks Medallion was a symbol of sacred power. I agree. But I could do one better with the help of Mamadou and his horde of treasure forge by his friends in Timbuktu.

I will be joining Ras Isachar tonight on Roots FM during his midnight to 6 am shift.

Stay tuned, and seek him out in Kingston. He is a good friend. I want to do more to support the wonderful and well respected non profit station that brings so much good Roots music to airwaves 24 hours a day.

He designed his 6 hour show to highlight a female voices in reggae, to bring balance he feels is often omitted and often just forgotten in the promotion of Roots culture.

I’ll be up all night in Kingston.

This is the Boss. He owns a fleet of 200 taxis, but for the past ten years, celebrating Jamaica as a Selecta, has been his passion.

I am hopping in one of his taxis tonight to make it through the gates of this station and its compound. It is a nice lay out. I mentioned to the station manager that her station was a lot more welcoming and wonderful than some of the American Top 40 stations that were glorified mobile homes.

Nate Kuester, you would appreciate this. My favorite Anchorman used to count down the hits when I was a college kid.

We’ve come a long way baby.

We just finished the art for the debut single for my Brighton, England band, Sherlock Soul.

The vinyl should be coming out this April on Soniphone Records, and on iTunes and Spotify before I get back from Jamaica.

The artwork features John Loud’s robot he created for the group. His name is Sherbot. The art was designed by himself and his buddy Matty Tibble.

Now to book a tour of the UK and Ireland.

Best regards from Jamaica.

#brightonrockseattlesoul

– Musician and writer Davin Michael Stedman has many musical ventures and is one of the driving forces behind the Staxx Brothers. He is partying in Kingston, Jamaica right now.

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