Sumfest 2019 just got even hotter with the official confirmation of the young phenom Koffee to the line-up for Festival Night 1 on July 19 in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
Kudos to the team at Downsound Entertainment for showcasing female Reggae & Dancehall stars at this year’s Festival. Most of the women who will grace the stage in Montego Bay this July 19 & 20 for Reggae Sumfest 2019 are already known and their talent admired throughout the world, so it will be an exciting moment for fans [present & live-streaming] when these queens take their rightful place amongst the genre’s male stars.
This year Sumfest patrons will be treated to performances by: Etana, Jah 9, Spice, Koffee, Dovey Magnum & Chauna The Controlla. Each woman has made a name for themselves in their respective subgenre – reggae & dancehall, now they get to show the world as the Festival Nights 1 & 2 will be live streamed.
Grammy-nominated songstress Etana has been touring the world since her album “Reggae Forever” was released in 2018. With a sultry voice and strong lyrics she is gaining global attention as a force to be reckoned with in the reggae world. Etana’s name means “The Strong One” in Swahili, and it’s a title she more than lives up to with her music and presence. Since debuting in 2006 with the thought provoking single “Wrong Address,” the Jamaican-born singer has established herself as one of the most powerful and distinctive voices in reggae, blazing a new trail in a genre that has long been male-dominated.
Spiritual Rasta singer Jah 9 has performed on many continents and is an ingenue making her mark with a unique style and voice. She has quickly catapulted into headliner status and also leads Yoga sessions called “Reggae On Dub” [Sumfest’s performance will be singing].Old school blues improvisation, meets hard hitting lyrical prowess, in a rich imaginative blend of vocal clarity and complexity. She sings with a voice that belies the dimensions of her physical body, from a soul much older than its current vessel. Her philosophy is profoundly spiritual, and her style is Jazz on Dub. Jah9 is signed to VP Records and recently released her sophomore album, titled “9”. It debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard Reggae Charts.
Grace Hamilton, a.k.a Spice is almost a household name in Jamaica and abroad since debuting on VH1’s reality show Love and Hip Hop Atlanta in 2018. Later that year, she released her first full-length project, a mixtape titled Captured, which debuted at number one on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart. Dubbed as the fashion forward “Queen of dancehall” by Vogue magazine, Spice created history as the first artist alive in her genre to peak one million Instagram followers.Although known for her sexy lyrics & dance moves, Spice is also a businesswoman and philanthropist – In 2018, Spice founded the Grace Hamilton Women Empowerment Foundation (GHWEF) in Jamaica. The foundation was set up in order to “uplift young women and groom them towards success”. The foundation aims to enrich women through business and entrepreneurship.
Koffee’s following started to build and was further enhanced in 2017 when she jumped on Upsetta Records’ Ouji Riddim, made popular by Jamaican legends Busy Signal and Luciano. Her version was Burning, which you can hear being played all over Jamaica right now. Burning utilises a heavy bassline and features a beautifully hypnotic chorus. “Burning came from a disappointing experience,” remembers Koffee. “I applied for 6th Form but I didn’t get in and I felt really disappointed by that. So Burning was an inspiration to myself, to push myself forward to say, ‘You can’t let this out your flame’. Literally it was me parking a fire within myself to go forward and excel in something else, because education didn’t look like it was working out. I say ‘Me have a burning sound, me a burn the city down’; I meant, like, lighting a fire in Kingston, bringing that energy.”
She quickly caught the eye of those in the know; in January 2018, reggae hero Coco Tea bought Koffee onto the stage at Rebel Salute; her idol Protoje also asked her to perform with him, while Chronixx, one of the island’s biggest contemporary reggae stars, invited Koffee to join him on Seani B and Mistajam’s recent 1Xtra shows broadcast from Big Yard studios in Jamaica. Now Raggamuffin is lighting up Jamaican airwaves, with Koffee preparing her debut EP due for release later this summer.Shauna The Controlla
Dancehall entertainer Shauna The Controlla [formerly known as Chauna Chyn] now signed to Downsound Records has seen her popularity skyrocket recently as evidenced by 3.4 Million Views in only a few months on her newest video “Dreamland” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YoKgqBvMoY. Fans will be surprised by Chauna’s Sumfest debut as rumors are its going to be hot.
Born in Spanish Town, Jamaica. Dancehall entertainer Dovey Magnum rose in prominence after Lady Saw, long considered the Queen of Dancehall, praised her performance when Dovey opened for her and called Dovey her twin. She has been involved in music since her teen years, while growing up in Jamaica, she started her own ladies music group called “Magnum Ladies” in high school. Now based in Atlanta, she was named Atlanta’s top newest reggae recording artist three years in a row. She’s released a total of six LPs.
In a July 3rd article in The Jamaica Gleaner, Festival organiser Joe Bogdanovich told The Gleaner his decision was based on the diversity and availability of the female acts.
“Jah9 is a very serious reggae artiste and she’s an independent lady and has been working her way up internationally, and she has some good songs. She has a solid fan base so you can check her off,” he said. “When it comes to Etana, she’s such a powerful artiste, she’s independent and doing well and doesn’t cause problems. She is somebody who has great lyrical quality and also has a great fan base. I think Spice is one of the most entertaining female artistes in the business, and I think she has earned the reputation of being the queen of dancehall right now.
“Dovey Magnum is someone with Jamaican roots. She is a little controversial and has a lot of fans, and so she has a certain fan base and we are appealing to that. Shauna Controlla is another young artiste that we are supporting and one that has a lot of dynamics that many don’t know about. It takes a lot of perseverance to succeed in this business and she certainly has been challenged and keeps getting better and taking on the challenges. They may not be what everybody wants but we can’t get everybody every year and that’s why I chose them.”
Koffee, the youthful reggae sensation, will also appear on the show that has been billed the Greatest Reggae Show on Earth.