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Jamaica Day 8: This Night in Jamaica, by Davin Michael Stedman

Photo by Lenni I-Music

I have a good story about my first radio interview with Anthony Red Rose. We were at KLAS Sports Radio in Kingston with DeeJay Cat.

I was still pretty exhausted from the trip to Nine Mile and I had a lot weighing on my mind at that moment, but I had to bring that A game. I have done plenty of radio interviews, and it was prerecorded for air Friday, so the stakes weren’t as high as accidentally dropping an F bomb and shutting down a beloved station and alienating an entire nation I love. Saturday’s radio interview is live.

I don’t want to jinx myself but I have never slipped on the air. But when I mentioned that I knew that ‘Free Your Mind’ is a hit when Megan Lueck started daggering me in the kitchen when I showed her the song, my publicist and the DJ were staring at me mouths open kind of shocked. I immediately asked,

“Can I not say that on the radio in Jamaica?”

A less seasoned musician might say,

“Oh —-, I can’t say dagger on the radio. —-. Oh —–, I just said —- on the radio.” A Port Royal Pirate disappearing into a whirl pool, never to be heard from again.

Daggering is in fact illegal in this country. When you hear the logic behind the ban you will be impressed by the staggering competitiveness of Jamaican dance that left injuries (even death) that will leave you covering your eyes in its wake during the peak of Dagger Fever.

The DJ and Susan snapped out of their surprise a beat or two later and said,

“No you can say that.” They were just shocked. I was as well. I was the one pinned against the wall.

The other twist was that my lovely publicist mentioned there was no acoustic performance planned when I asked her, but Deejay Cat insisted after listening to the song that I play the guitar for him on his show.

I didn’t panic. The Ace, Lenni I-Music grabbed my acoustic from his van and I tuned up quickly and started to play. The thing was Anthony Cameron and I have never played the song acoustic together before. Especially not his perfect finished product.

I don’t always volunteer that I believe in God. The Bill Maher in me is doubtful, but in situations where you are playing for an entire island with incredible music taste are the times I say,

“Yo God, it’s your guy Davin, I got this right?”

“Seen”

Now I REALLY don’t want to mess this up because Red Rose is GODFATHER on this island and he has hopes as high as I do about this song and working together.

Well we did it. We’ll do it again sometime but I what I am really looking forward to is playing this song with him with a band only he can put together, in front of an audience of Jamaicans, including many of my friends that have supported me from the moment I met them on this island of the sort of Magic that Gandalf would DJ if he were subbing for Jaime Fox on In Living Color.

Next stop the radio station Suncity Radio 104.9 FM this Saturday. Then we shoot the music video Sunday and Monday. Then maybe TV?

Special thanks to Susan Smith at Power House Global Media. She is the REAL DEAL. I do PR, but she is the publicist that books television shows and all popular media on the island. You don’t work out of Sly & Robbie’s One Pop Recording Studio, unless you are as good as it gets.

THIS NIGHT IN JAMAICA: 7 British DJ producers filled the living room for a meeting with The German.

They are a new group from the UK that has come to Jamaica to discover unknown Dancehall artists, to help them make a name in the Kingdom.

In the process they are gathering the musical firewood to launch their new act,
Kaotik Kartel. I thought the name had a ring to it and I dug their logo, but I had to say, “As an American, those three K’s seem unfortunately symbolic, like you made a name kicking Anti-Fascist ass in Charlotteville.”

They couldn’t be a better group of mates. I can’t wait to hear what they do on their debut album. I can’t describe them as lads and blokes because in my American accent, I want to punch myself in the face.

I thought as I chattedwith them about the collective experience these 7 guys have in the UK free party rave scene. How they all gravitated towards Reggae in the twilight of those giant parties, coming down gently to the soothing pleading shouts and punctuated cries of Jamaica.

They are in good hands with the German. They will be recording here the next few days. Swarms of Englishmen, moving in pairs and small packs, as dancehall singers throw couplets in the air in their African and Old Enlish blend of Patois. These Brits will capture and catalog their achievements like Butterflies.

At midnight they filed out to a street party with The German in search of an unknown Dancehall King or Queen.

When I met them, the term rapscallions came to mind. Not so much the meaning, just the sound of it. The way it rattles in the air.

Davin’s new song has been released. Listen here on Reggaeville: DAVIN MICHAEL STEDMAN & ANTHONY RED ROSE – FREE YOUR MIND FEAT. SLY & ROBBIE WITH LENKY MARSDEN

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

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