The pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus has resulted in the entertainment fraternity finding creative ways to share their craft with an audience, with online performances emerging as the most popular, part of a global phenomenon.
Here in Jamaica local entertainment outfit Solid Agency, headed by Sharon Burke, has been doing its part to keep the entertainment fraternity alive during this period, and with the support of telecommunications firm Digicel, have been staging the Unplugged series featuring a number of local popular acts.
Last Sunday's instalment, for the first time, featured three acts on the Digicel Unplugged stage: Kemar Highcon, Teejay and Konshens, which proved to be a potent mix of the merging and the established within dancehall circles. Digicel can indeed take a bow for the much-improved technical quality of the presentation. Having had some poor technicals in the past, especially as it related to audio quality especially on the Instagram platform, Sunday's presentation was refreshing. With the international endorsement of its technical support for the Beenie Man and Bounty Killer clash for the Verzuz series on May 23, it was pleasing to witness a similar display of technical capability for a local event.
Each act was able to entertain the audience which peaked at just over 2,000 on Digicel's Instagram page, with tracks for which they have become known. At the end of the day all three represented themselves well and put on a good show.
Kemar Highcon was designated opener and the 'Sauce Boss', who also happens to be a Digicel brand ambassador, did his best to move the needle in terms of numbers. His catchy tunes managed to start the numbers growing, moving from 600 at the start of the stream to just over 1,100 at the end of his 25-minute set. Ype Get to Yuh, O Gosh, Run Di Road, his breakout hit So Saucy and Talk Bout were among the tracks he laid out in a light and lively presentation. His interesting choice in fashion came in for commentary during the broadcast, especially his colourful pants about which viewers had quite a bit to say.
The Uptop Boss did his fair share to continue the upward trajectory in terms of both numbers and the vibe of the event. During his performance the numbers of Digicel's Instagram page peaked at close to 2,500.
He gave his fans all the hits and popular tracks they wanted in what was another entertaining set. Nuh Let Me Go, Love Hurts, Hundred Milli, Owna Lane and of course Uptop Boss, were included in the set.
A technical glitch close to the end of his set resulted in the feed on Instagram being cut and when it resumed the numbers plummeted to 900. For the rest of the night the viewership would hover around the 1,300 mark, over 1,000 less than where Teejay had taken it.
Konshens was the night's closer. With an impressive catalogue and a steady following, the man who identifies Sherlock as his base, gave the audience a steady stream of favourites.
Stink A Road, Pretty Pon Di Outside, Good Girl Gone Bad, Gyal a Bubble, were among his openers. He even performed a soca segment, dropping the tracks he has recorded to cater to his fans from the Eastern Caribbean. He then continued his dancehall work with No Hesitation, Links, Real Friends, Bad Mind, and Winner, which included a segue in tribute to his brother Delus who died after committing suicide in 2016. The Black Lives Matter movement got its shout-out during his performance with Young, Black and Powerful and he rounded things out with Simple Things.
With the final staging in this series set for Father's Day, the team is obviously putting efforts into upping the production value. Patrons have become accustomed to a smooth running show with no breaks for band changes, however short. That no-break formula should be maintained. Producers should recognise that bathroom breaks or using time to get drinks or snacks are not necessary as the majority of patrons are watching on mobile devices, and, as the name suggests, these are portable.
The original article can be found here.