While many Montego Bay-based artistes have performed at Reggae Sumfest since its inception in 1993, none has ever generated the type of buzz being created by Tommy Lee Sparta, Teejay and Rygin King, who are listed among the top acts for this year’s staging.
“This year is fi MoBay. Everybody a plan fi shub out fi Tommy Lee Sparta, Teejay and Rygin King,” said businessman Bruce Black, an ardent fan of the annual music festival. “Gully, Flankers, Glendevon, Norwood, Salem, Canterbury everybody ready.”
Tommy Lee Sparta, who hails from Flankers, was not officially booked last year and only got a cameo appearance in Beenie Man’s performance. Now that he performing under his own steam, he plans to sizzle.
“Me always ready fi perform fi MoBay people. MoBay a fi mi place,” said Tommy Lee Sparta, who was recently detained under the provisions of the state of emergency (SOE) but was later released without being charged, paving the way for his Reggae Sumfest appearance.
With new releases like Happy Life, Cure Fi Dem, Bait and Bad Gal Duppy added to his well-loved catalogue, it should be pandemonium when the son of Flankers screams “Sparta”, which is usually enough to send his fans into a frenzy.
TeeJay, a native of Glendevon, is one of the brightest talents to emerge in western Jamaica in recent years, and based on his solid fan base in the region, his performance is much-anticipated.
“I am really looking forward to this performance because the fans are expecting something special,” TeeJay stated recently.
While his catalogue is not as expansive as some of the other artistes’, with his eye-catching music videos dominating social media and his songs like Dollar Bill, Pray, Roll Out and Remember doing well, expectations are high among his fans.
“Me going specially to see TeeJay. Teejay is my artiste,” said Angella Scott, a Glendevon resident who has been watching the singer’s musical evolution since he was only six years old.
Rygin King, whose hardcore lyrics have endeared him to the streets of western Jamaica, is already being hailed as a future superstar, and based on his vocal quality, lyrical content and ability to please, the Reggae Sumfest stage might just turn out to be the perfect launching pad.
With his impact growing with songs like How We Grow, Tuff and Candy Crush, his fans believe he will make a mark on the show.
“Me confident seh Rygin King a tek Sumfest. Him not bad, him fully bad,” said Glendevon-based auto mechanic Ralston Mitchell. “Just listen how the youth deal with him lyrics de flow and de pattern. Him nuh ordinary.”