The Gleaner, North America Jan 05, 2022 - Feb 04, 2023

THE WEEKLY GLEANER | JANUARY 5 - JANUARY 11, 2023 | | NEWS 12 Yasmine Peru/Senior Gleaner Writer STING IS the stage show which set the stage for what is now referred to as “trending”. Way before trending was a thing on social media, Sting was sure to trend. Post-event, Sting can always be counted on to be the talk of the town, whether uptown, downtown or midtown, and across spaces globally. Sting has a reputation of being the show that can make or break artistes, and with its return after seven years in the wilderness, Sting has announced that it is back and is here to stay. Sting, as expected, has been trending on social media since its Boxing Day staging, collecting hundreds of fans who were not present but who wished they were. We take a look at some of top award-winning moments – performance and otherwise – of Sting 2022 – The Return. 1. A’mari and Queenie Ladi Gangsta clash What a clash! Many of the persons who The Gleaner interviewed on Sting night, December 26, named this clash as one of the reasons that brought them to the venue. Queenie chose excitement and ‘bare tings’, A’mari chose catfighting and the rise of “dutty bungle”, but together they delivered the stuff that was necessary for the overall Sting experience. And if you want to prove just how popular they are, just take a stroll through TikTok, Instagram, Twitter and it’s like going straight down a rabbit hole stuffed with videos and memes of the two gladiators on stage at Sting 2022. 2. Sita D Lyrical Diva on point Sita D Lyrical Diva went down in history as the first artiste from St Vincent and the Grenadines to perform at Sting. She wasn’t billed for a clash, but this diva has studied the Sting playbook and she knew exactly what the crowd was expecting and she delivered. Her lyrics stung. “Sting…mi just a get warm. When some female artistes hear seh a female artiste from St Vincent a go perform pon Sting, some Jamaican female artiste run out. A’mari seh she a go cl**t mi inna my face. Sting oonu waan hear how mi a go respond? Telle mi!” From there it was only forwards for Sita who had what can be summed up as “plenty chat with nuff badness back a dat”. Her lyrics were craftily designed to get the Sting crowd in a frenzy and they roared with approval. 3. Top-class production and clean sound Held for the first time at Grizzly’s Plantation Cove in St Ann, Sting 2022 was a major production in terms of stage, sound, graphics, lights and just the overall set-up and design The Supreme team scored nearly full marks. This is what an artiste manager had to say. “I have been to shows all over the world, and I can tell you that many international shows don’t have the kind of technical production and stage that was present at Sing. Kudos to John Swaby and Steve Truckback. I spoke to Steve before the show and told him that my experience with Toots and the Maytals at that venue was the wind and the mic and he said ‘Yuh knowwe can fix it.’They did and the sound quality was second to none. Blizzy, Toots’ grandson, did the graphics, so the spirit of Toots is still in the thing. I felt good that my artistes performed on Sting 2022.” (Cabal ‘Jeffrey’ Stephenson) 4. Chris Martin sets the pace Hitting the stage at 3:15 a.m., a time when he could comfortably perform, Chris Martin was in control of the stage and his fans. The Big Deal artiste was full of energy, unapologetically reeled off his popular Cheater’s Anthem, instructed his fans to “represent fi yuh Mama”, did a tribute to the late Leonard ‘Merciless’ Bartley and pressed all the right buttons at the right time. Fully bright. 5. Pamputtae ‘nuh nawmal’ With her dancers and bold, sassy, Sting attire, Pamputtae brought a full show and the Sting crowd certainly appreciated it. 6. Fires blaze for Etana Gyptian, Droop Lion, Jahmiel, Kip Rich and Alozade Laing and Heavy D announced that Sting 2022 was for young artistes only; however, they managed to sign a few veterans who showed up and showed their true worth. Etana embodied the spirit of Sting in her colourful, bold, eye-catching outfit. Sting traditionally is known as that stage where the attire is just as important as the songs. Sadly, that element was missing this year, as only a few artistes came out in real Sting attire. Jahmiel’s jacket was on point. Back to the main point, these artistes Etana Gyptian, Droop Lion, Jahmiel, Kip Rich and Alozade gave performances that made a difference and fires literally blazed during some of their performances. Kudos to them, and especially to Etana for calling upon Fantan Moja and to Kip Rich for calling up Khago. 7. Well-behaved patrons Sting patrons deserve a prize for good behaviour. They patiently waited out the band changes, supported their favourite artistes and did their best to support the vendors inside the venue. It’s a pity, though, that Skeng and Jahshii fans did not get to see them perform. Did Jahshii really say that he went to Sting but his management had instructed him not to perform? “Sting is a show weh jus a forward back andmi woulda love fi deh yah and a perform fi di fans dem ... but, unfortunately di contracted part neva guh right, but we deh yah, an we enjoy di show same way. But big up Sting and big up di whole a di people dem weh forward. Actually, from yesterday management seh yuh nah perform a Sting because yuh know – mi jus lef dat to management,”Jahshii told Onstage on Tuesday morning after Sting. 8. Va l i ant ’s ca r pa r k performance After making a too-brief appearance on the Sting stage, Valiant, in an unexpected move that is being hailed, took his performance to the car park. “Sting performance was not what we expected due to lack of stage time. The idea of performing on the car top was a calculated move ... however, it quickly turned into a mini stage show,” Valiant told The Gleaner. Brilliant move, Valiant. 9. Dovey Magnum’s outfit Talk about doing a stint on stage at Sting ... that was the length of Dovey Magnum’s moment. However, it was clear that Dovey was prepared – from head to toe. Real sexy bad gal outfit that is a strong contender for the prize ‘Best Dressed Sting Performer’. 10. PabloYG vs Malie Don and Animosity vs Mercenary Animosity came out the victor in his clash which was entertaining enough, but the other clash is up in the air. Some folk say that one contender had a lead and that was the fuel that sparked whatever it was that caused Sting to end in disarray. But, perhaps like Moyann’s very rude and nude bodysuit, the less said the better. Yasmine Peru/Senior Gleaner Writer THE FAMILY of Joseph ‘Jo Mersa’ Marley is mourning the sudden death of the reggae artiste who passed away on Tuesday, December 27. Joe Mersa, the first child of Stephen Marley and grandson of Bob and Rita Marley, was also the nephew of Dancehall Queen Carlene. REPORTS ARE that themusician, who was asthmatic, was found dead in a vehicle. He was living in the United States. “He is my youngest sister’s first child. I was there when he was born at Nuttall Hospital weighing 10 pounds 2 ounces. This is so sudden,”a distraught Carlene Smith shared. She said that her sister, Kerry, is beside herself with grief. “Right now, all I can do is be there for her and try to comfort her through this pain. She is crying ... crying. He had asthma from he was a child ... and yuh know howwe stay ... that little one going to get a little special treatment. It feels unreal right now. I spoke to him earlier this year and he had plans to come to Jamaica. He was even working on an album,” Carlene added. Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange, has led the entertainment fraternity in mourning the death of the artiste “whose untimely passing at the young age of 31 years old is a huge loss to the music as we look to the next generation”. Minister Grange said in a release that she was“deeply saddened by the news” and shared that Jo Mersa was part of Jamaica’s grand 60th celebrations earlier this year. “We were graced by Joseph, whose stage name was Jo Mersa, performing at our Jamaica 60 Launch in Miramar, Florida, United States in May this year. I extend my deepest condolences to Stephen; Jo’s mom, Kerry, the Marleys and other family members. My heartfelt sympathies to Joseph’s friends and associates and to the reggae music fraternity and fans everywhere,”Grange said. Dancehall artiste Bounty Killer took to social media to extend his condolences. “Jah know star, let’s all just cherish each moment from here on since none of us never know the time. My deepest sincere condolences goes out to #StephenRagga and the whole Marley family.” Producer Walshy Fire wrote, “Jah knows. His talent and intelligence was insane. Love you, king. So glad I got to work with you.” Born on March 12, 1991, Joe Mersa Marley spent his early years in Jamaica, where he attended Saints Peter and Paul Preparatory School, before moving to Florida at age 11 “where he keenly observed his father and his uncle Damian as they created music in Stephen’s Lion’s Den studio”. His bio on states that “by the time he was four years old, Jo was appearing onstage alongside his father, his uncle Ziggy and aunts Cedella and Sharon and their children as part of the group’s rousing concert finales with Jo often taking the mic and chanting the lyrics to the Melody Makers’ biggest songs, much to the delight of their audiences”. He attended Palmetto High School and Miami Dade College where he studied studio engineering. Jo Mersa made his debut in 2014 with the five-track EP titled Comfortable, which was released on the Marley family’s imprint Ghetto Youths International. He also appeared on a Grammy-winning album Strictly Roots by Morgan Heritage. Joe Mersa was married with one daughter. ‘It feels unreal’ Family mourns death of Jo Mersa Marley Jo Mersa. FILE Sting 2022 A’mari and Queenie battling at Sting 2022 as a ‘referee’ tries to keep them apart. FILE – 10 memorable moments