Reggae and dancehall entertainers are oftentimes mentioned for having a competitive nature, whether by their attempts to surpass previous musical achievements or to outdo peers. And over the years, the platform that has thrived off that spirit of competition is the old-fashioned sound clash.
The sound clash culture remains a fundamental part of local music, reaching the global stages, says former Black Kat Sound System selector Di General Pink Panther, who is currently preparing to participate in the upcoming Reggae Sumfest Global Sound Clash, which is scheduled to take place on Thursday night, July 18, at Pier One in Montego Bay.
“Across the seas, sound clash has definitely earned its respect as more people are getting involved – no longer an underground event – its influence is strong and very present,” Pink Panther told The Gleaner.
Before Japan’s Mighty Crown won last year’s Sumfest edition of the Irish and Chin World Clash, Pink Panther held the most titles for the event with six trophies.
“Last year, the emcee made a mistake in announcing my elimination. I was not supposed to come out of the competition but that was just because of all the confusion in voting – it was not a fair decision to me,” he said.
In addition to Pink Panther, this year’s sound clash will feature sound systems and selectors, Yard Beat from Japan, the Canada World Clash champions King Turbo, Germany’s Warrior Sound and Ricky Trooper, who is the other selector representing for Jamaica.
Like the cartoon character from which he takes his stage name, Pink Panther is expected to deliver an unpredictable set.
PINK PANTHER’S CREATIVITY
“I know most of the clashes I have done in recent years have been overseas, but I am ready with songs specifically arranged for the Reggae Sumfest audience and getting the dubs together from all the artistes people can think of to show that unique creativity Pink Panther is known for … this is a straight win,” he said.
Ricky Trooper, who was eliminated in the second round in last year’s clash, says he will be back with a bang.
“For last year, me never take the competition serious and it was cause of the personal vibes me have with Tony Matterhorn – it mess wid me concentration,” he said.
“As much as how people might think when two selectors have a personal vibes gainst one another, it will motivate them fi guh harder, it doesn’t help,” he continued.
For the 2019 staging, the St Mary-born selector says he is focused.
“I am just going there to be my best. Clash is part of my life and the more positive vibes the better,” he said. “One thing fi sure, mi nah mek the sound man dem from overseas leave with this one … it is a matter of cultural pride and pride fi mi country.”