In order to celebrate its fifteenth anniversary in great style, Rototom Sunsplash has already started to work on this summer’s cast and we can now confirm various names of great prestige.
As we all know, reggae music is the main form of communication in Jamaica and has been so for various decades; it is a vital language, continuously evolving at the pace of the new generations of artists who use it to tell the story, daily life and contradictions of ghetto life.
The present of Jamaican music will be represented this summer by the mellow voice of JAH CURE, a singer whose vocal extension is exploited in a vast array of great ‘conscious’ tunes and heart-rending love songs. With his CD ‘Parables’, TARRUS RILEY has become a sort of musical hero for the Jamaican people, who appreciate his poetic vein and sincere message: in 2007 he was awarded six Reggae Academy Awards – best reggae song, best solo male vocal performance, best reggae recording and best video for his ‘She’s royal’. Tarrus also won the ‘Breakthrough artiste award’ thanks to ‘She’s royal’ and the ‘People choice award’ for the most popular song. It is therefore with great pride that we present Tarrus Riley to the Italian reggae massive.
Another debut at the Rototom Sunsplash festival is that of COLLIE BUDDZ, one of the best newcomers on the international reggae scene: he triumphed in all dancehalls worldwide with his song ‘Come around’, which is also the title track of his successful CD. Her recent number-one hit ‘Daddy’ focuses on the sexual abuse of children within many Jamaican families.
The author of this track, QUEEN IFRICA, has proved once again that she is one of the most inspired female voices of reggae music, and we are looking forward to her debut this summer at Rototom Sunsplash. Another debut is that of ALBOROSIE the artist of Italian origin who resides and works in Jamaica and who thanks to his talent, evident in hits such as ‘Herbalist’ and ‘Kingston Town’ has now worked his way into the heart of the reggae lovers round the world.
At the 2008 Rototom Sunsplash we shall also meet again many other old friends whose songs always make us dream, namely BERES HAMMOND, ALPHA BLONDY andLUCIANO. Dancehall fans and all those who love roots reggae will be certainly happy to know that we have confirmed LADY SAW and CE’CILE, as well as LEROY SIBBLES & BARRY LLEWELLYN from the Heptones. Ce’cile conquered the dancehall scene at the end of the year 2000 with her provocative ‘Changez’ and since then this gritty lady has produced some of the best bashment rhythms and lyrics of our times. Ce’cile owes a lot to Lady Saw, the first dancehall queen in Jamaica who with her provocative attitudes characterizing her long career clearly states that she accepts no discrimination from men in a land where women are constantly underrated. The Heptones were fundamental at the times of rocksteady and gave us great masterpieces even during the Sixties: we will have two members of the original band at Rototom Sunsplash this summer, namely Leroy Sibbles and Barry Llevellyn.
Like all the greatest editions of the festival, also 2008 will feature SUD SOUND SYSTEM. Their new CD, called ‘Dammene ancora’, should be released in May, and will be very “international”, with a long guest-list of Jamaican artists. We are looking forward to hearing their new tracks this summer at Rototom Sunsplash. The confirmation of the presence ofBUSHMAN, born Dwight Duncan, is contemporaneous to the release of his magnificent new CD, ‘Get it in your mind’; this artist from St. Thomas can be considered by all means one of the most important voiced of Jamaican new roots.
Other historical names are those of INNER CIRCLE and MICHAEL ROSE. In over thirty-five years of career, Inner Circle have changed extensively, and achieved legendary status at the time of the great Jacob Miller, their late lead vocalist. The hefty Lewis brothers can be considered as a real rhythm machine, which has masterfully combined reggae with rock and black music, and we are really looking forward to seeing them on stage. The hyperactive Michael Rose, in-between various solo CDs, often goes back to his former band partner Duckie Simpson, to reform Black Uhuru, the great roots bands that won a Grammy Award in 1983 for their masterpiece ‘Anthem’. His is another great return to Rototom Sunsplash.
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