Stage to Street to Screen
With all the battles Jamaica had throughout 2019, we have to take time to acknowledge the outstanding wins in entertainment. They were many and varied in music, dance, art and film, but we have taken the time to narrow the list to the top entertainment highlights for the last 12 months.
Koffee’s Grammy Nomination
At only 19, Jamaica’s young chart-topping Reggae singer Koffee is on her way to major stardom. The singer released her smash hit ‘Toast’ in November 2018 and her career skyrocketed thereafter. Since her ‘Rapture’ EP release in March, 2019 the young star has done international tours, talk show performances, sold out concerts and even has a Billboard episodic documentary of her life and art. Koffee’s year ended with a bangfollowing Rapture’s nomination for ‘Best Reggae Album’ for the upcoming Grammy Awards, 2020.
Carnival in Jamaica is a growing fraternity whether you attend for fun or to capitalize on the growing business arena. The Soca filled enjoyment is here to stay and seeks to only get better in the upcoming year. 2019 was a great year for patrons and business operators alike. Xodus, Xayamca, the long-standing Bacchanal and new kid on the block, One World Rebellion, all out did themselves. From the events leading up to the festivities and the main event, Road March, Jamaica Carnival 2019 was a major entertainment highlight. The incorporation of Jamaica native genre, Dancehall has created a hybrid musical experience for revelers as they enjoyed their favorite songs from local and regional entertainers. Though the price point for the experience is debatable the industry is going nowhere anytime soon.
Shaggy as Sabastian
Shaggy’s representation of Jamaica on the international scene is a point of pride for Jamaicans, Shaggy’s 2019 appearance on The Wonderful World of Disney Little Mermaid Live Musical was no different. The Grammy award winning entertainer played the role of the fairy tale’s Caribbean crab, Sabastian on stage. Shaggy’s portrayal of the Island sounding Crab, put to rest all debates surrounding the creature’s ethnicity. A Jamaican Reggae entertainer cashing Disney cheques definitely one in the books.
From Netflix’s series Top Boy to the iconic movie series ‘James Bond’, our little island Jamaica truly stood out when it came to film. UK based film, Top Boy, shot several scenes here in Jamaica. Despite the grit of the storyline, creators were able to show the beauty of our land, wood and water. The show was a success on the streaming platform. Jamaica has a long-standing relationship of 60 years with the James Bond franchise. March of 2019 saw the film returning to shoot its 25th Bond series. The film created significant income for a few Jamaicans who took part in the movie’s success.
The expected release date is April 2020. Joseph the movie, is a Jamaica/Ghana link up. The movie that was shot both here in Jamaica and Ghana highlights a Jamaican man tracing his roots back to Africa. The film, yet to be released stars, Jamaican actor Kevoy Burton and a few well-known faces in film and entertainment throughout the Caribbean.