Friday, January 6, 2012

Three Sides to a Story: The Truth, The Whole Truth and Nothing But The Truth!

September 13, 2011 four (4) persons entered the offices of New Image Promotions, their mission was to book Roots Reggae artiste Fantan Mojah for two shows in Africa.  The promoter identified himself as Nhamo Chitmbe and the persons who accompanied him were a known sound system owner/operator Caveman, a woman who said her name was  Oli Matataal and a musician with Fantan Mojah's Macka Tree band called Oniel.  The group sat down in the presence of Fantan Mojah and his Agent Sophia McKay to negotiate a price for the shows.  

The price offered to him by Fantan Mojah's agent was stoutly rejected by Miss Matataal who explained that she was from Africa, informed about the territory and was of the opinion that we were asking for too much.  We ended up settling at a price Ms Matataal advised the promoter prior to our meeting, was reasonable for Fantan Mojah.  A contract was drafted and signed bearing the signatures of Sophia McKay and Mr. Nhamo Chitmbe to seal the agreement.

Two days later, the woman re-visited the offices of New Image Promotions, this time by herself and her mission was to have me sign an agreement which gives her authority to book  Fantan Mojah, of course this action was flatly rejected.  It was then that I discovered that she was acting as an agent and that she had spoken to two of Fantan's musician to whom had given her an 'estimated' cost for the artiste to which she in turn added a 20% commission to arrive at a figure which she subsequently quoted to the promoter;  all of this was done without myself and Fantan Mojah's knowledge and approval.  I myself had spoken to Caveman prior to his visit to the office and our arrangement was for him to meet at our offices with the promoter to settle on our agreement.  

The woman's attitude and mannerism was totally unacceptable, rude and  threatening. She  stormed out of our offices after being told that she will not receive a commission from New Image Promotions because we had 'no prior agreement' to book the shows as well as the fact that she rejected our offer to the promoter in his presence when we tried to negotiate a cost.  She returned about a week after seemingly calmer than her previous visit to settle on the same agreement but again was told that it was not possible.  Ms. Oli Matataal left, stating that she no longer needed to speak to me and would go directly to Fantan Mojah.

Several days or possibly a week after, Ms. Matataal engaged in a telephone conversation with Fantan Mojah to which myself and few of Fantan's friends and associates were present.  While we did not hear clearly what she was saying on her end of the line, we understood that she was not only trying to sell herself as a better agent, undermining Fantan Mojah's own agent but also broker a deal for payment of the 20% commission from the previous bookings.   In that conversation, Fantan Mojah communicated the same information to her, telling her that  all bookings are dealt with by his Agent and that he, himself does not get involved in that aspect of any negotiations, what transpired after that telephone conversation is beyond me. 

Ms.  Matataal have contacted me several times after and more recently 1 week ago asking me to speak to Fantan Mojah about paying her and I have consistently told her I would not get involved as I have told her before that it would not happen.  

Is Macka Diamond Victimized?

Despite continued effort to make good of her music career, female Dancehall artiste Macka Diamond believes that she is often harshly and unjustly criticized and unfortunately by members within the Jamaican industry.  Though 2011 has been strenuous on the industry and arguably for various reasons including a worldwide recession and the inability of local artistes and industry players to stimulate or re-energize the Reggae/Dancehall brand; Macka Diamond has worked hard throughout the past year at sustaining her own image and brand.  She was able to garner an islandwide approval from the fans after the release of an all summer long, runaway hit titled 'Cowfoot.' Thereafter, Macka released a second album, 'Don't Disturb Me' on iTunes and was named the International Reggae and World Music Award (IRAWMA) International Female Rapper/DJ of the Year as well as listed as one of the 10 Most Fascinating People of the Caribbean  She also became the first female Dancehall artiste to be featured on WorldStar Hip-Hop dot com after the release of her 'Power Wine' video  and have done over 20 gigs internationally including the world premiere of movie, Redemption of Paradise to which she played lead roll. 

Despite all this achievement in a time when many artiste have not been able re-vamp or make a significant impression on the fans, Macka Diamond has not been nominated in any significant category of the Star People's Choice Award!  Although this is not encouraging for her she said, she refuse to take issue but what annoys her is that she was placed in the 'Worst Dressed Female' category of the Awards and she believes this is a direct attempt to further humiliate her!  "This demonstrates the disregard persons have for individual achievement in this industry.  If they don't like you, no matter how well you do, your work is not contemplated; and that is one of the self inflicted wounds this industry suffers and will continue to suffer if nothing is done to curb the actions of those who fail to put professionalism before personal vindictiveness" said a somber Macka Diamond. "I don't care if they believe I am the worst dressed artiste, that is not my grouse because in my opinion I believe women in Dancehall should be creative and represent Dancehall so my dressing is by choice and I make no apology for being creative, an important ingredient that is lacking locally.  However, while I like Hip-Hop and RnB music and the images the artistes of these genres project, I believe there must be a distinguishing difference between Jamaican music and any other.  It might not seem significant here in Jamaica but it certainly makes a statement on the international side." 

Macka Diamond said she will continue to work her butt off and will only retire when her body tells her to do so.  As for the fans, she believes it must be frustrating to them (the biggest supporter of the music) to know that their own opinion counts little resulting in them hardly if ever, given a chance to choose what they like and often times have to 'suck up to' what is fed to them. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Coming Soon!!!

Get ready to rumble!!!! When Tafari drops a new video for his newest Reggae/Dancehall track, 'Fire.' The video was shot on location in Kingston Jamaica and directed by his brother Isat.  Keep it locked, this one it promises to be hot!!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Bramma's First International Gig for 2012/Pumps Up Promotion on New Tracks

Bramma's first international performance in 2012 will be an appearance at the Unity Fest in Florida.  He accompanies Freddie McGregor and other members of his Big Ship Family and shares stage with the likes of Reggae/Dancehall fire chief, Capleton.  It is always like starting fresh at the beginning of each year for the artistes as they now focus on getting the momemtum back up by pumping up releases dropped in late December or January.  With a refreshed slogan to the name Dancehall fans have come to know him, Bramma 'Da Gorilla' pushes along with single Never Worry released December 2011 on Big Ship label already he is feeling pumped up from the feedback.  Zimbabwean radio jock DJ Smiley says the Harare Dancehall fans are loving the song and 'the feedback is impressive.'

Just the tip of the iceberg, Bramma's Pressure Dem on new juggling pushed out on the Tenement Yard riddim is also getting consistent plays on Jamaican radio.  Also on stream is the 'super-mad colab,' Haters Warning' with Esco, Chino, Chan Dizzle, Ward 21, Rolling X and Bounty Killer as Godfather.  Producer Esco invited Bramma and others to unite in lyrics and create a track that is aimed at sending a strong message of unity to fellow artistes in the industry as he believes there are too many envy and hatred among artistes in general.

A video for Bramma's Never Worry single is already contemplated and will be shot soon.  He has come out early in hope of touring this summer as well as picking up as many gigs as possible throughout the Caribbean, United States and Africa.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Macka Diamond Ring in the New Year with Weekend Birthday Celebration/ 2011 Reign as Female Rapper/DJ of the Year

Known across the length and breath of the Dancehall circuit for her relentless work ethics and mastering the art of re-inventing her image, Money O Diva Macka Diamond ring in the New Year with what promises to be an exciting weekend dubbed, 'Macka Diamond Birthday Weekend.'  The first of three, the 'Pre-Party' kicks off on Friday January 13 at Club Impulse located at the center of Kingstons' night life city, New Kingston.  Party goers and seekers as well as guess will then roll out on Saturday January 14 to the  'Rock n Roll Club' in the cool parish of Mandeville and from thereafter to experience the grand finale on Saturday January 15 cool it down at the, 'Pool Party' at Club Cali in Trelawny in the parish of Westmoreland.

Special Guest Artistes will include head of the Alliance, Bounty Killer and Future Fambo as well as selectors Panta from Black Kat Sound, Foota Hype, Gary Chucks, Kirk Riley the party animal, Little Richie and the Rich Squad, Black Shadow from Canada, Alex Frass, Richie Pooh, DJ Sparks, DJ Satday, Dancers Shelly Belly, Latesha, M.O.B., Global Dancers and more.

Awarded the 2011 Female Rapper/DJ of the year by IRAWMA, Macka shun throughout the year holding down the summer with one of the hottest songs in the dancehall, 'Cowfoot' which became viral for its eclectic dance move choreographed by popular dancer, Shelly Belly.  Macka went on to release a series of other tracks and collaborations with several artistes across the Caribbean, United States and Canada.  Relentless in her efforts to live up to expectation as well as accomplish personal goals, Macka dropped her 'Don't Disturb Mi' album on iTunes and there after placed focus on promoting a track called 'Wine' by releasing a video that hit the World Hip-Hop dot com website and quickly garnered over one hundred thousand views in the first week.  She was placed in the Top 10 list of 10 Most Fascinating People of The Caribbean highlighted for her hits like, Cowfoot, Tink Mi Easy, Try Wid Him, Hoola Hoop and Mr Teki Back as well as her continued success of having been in the music industry for over two decades.

Macka Diamond is also successful at producing a weekly 'Cowfoot Fridays' event in Kingston.  The socializing, after work party type event began at first as an streetside event in Gregory Park, St. Catherine creating a haven for fans of the popular Cowfoot dance.  The support from fans swelled so the Diva decided to have a series of events across Kingston and St. Catherine and as summer ended it was moved into one of the popular clubs in New Kingston.  Cowfoot Friday thereby became a 'Celebrity' type event supported by Dancehall giants like Beenie Man and Bounty Killer each week.  Wishing her continued success in 2012 and beyond, congratulations Macka Diamond