The fifth night of the 2022 Rototom Sunsplash brought together different generations of artists to create unprecedented connections, through an impressive programme.
Almost every night, the ‘foundation’ artists are in charge of heating up the Main Stage with the first set of the night, and this Saturday it was the turn of the iconic artist Horace Andy, who started in the ghettos of Kingston at the end of the sixties to achieve world success in the nineties, as the leading voice of the British band, Massive Attack.
We are talking about an artist that stands out for his peculiar voice, imitated in Jamaica throughout the years, who experienced the seventies in a climate of great fruitfulness, starting with the legendary Studio One, the key label of reggae, to collaborate afterwards with many other producers, such as the excessive Bunny Lee, for whom he recorded several roots & culture classics.
Musically guided by the excellent Asante Dub Band, Horace appeared on stage in a colourful attire, demonstrating to be in excellent shape, to deliver a set list made up of his greatest hits, during which he did not missed a beat.
From ‘Every Knee Shall Bow’, one of his favourite songs of all time, to hits like ‘I Don’t Want To Be Left Outside’, ‘Money’, ‘Fever’, and ‘Skylarking’, amongst many other jewels. A selection of gems, difficult to choose from.
At 71 years old, Horace demonstrated that he still has an excellent voice and an admirable interpretative capacity, so there was nothing left to expect from his show.
After Horace, we stayed in Jamaica to discover the potential of the new generations hand in hand with the great activism and presence of Hempress Sativa, worthy musical heiress of the singer and drummer Albert Malawi. Once again, we enjoyed with a great band that smashed roots rhythms to accompany the repertoire of this pure artist.
Wearing a beautiful African dress and with her hair tied up on her head, Hempress Sativa moved about the Main Stage with a special magnetism, unleashing her energy and powerful sing-jay style with militant lyrics.
Hempress Sariva thus took over Xana Romeo and Aza Lineage, in an edition of the festival characterized by the presence of great female voices from Jamaica, to let us know that theirs and other young female performers’ strength of the Jamaican present will shape the history of reggae on the island during the upcoming years, changing the paradigm that historically has considered reggae as a male dominated genre.
El último tema del set de Sativa fue el triunfante ‘Wa Da Da Deng’, producido por el productor de Mellow Mood, Paolo Baldini. Un particular juego de referencias en la primera aparición en el Sunsplash de esta fascinante artista.
The last song of Sativa’s set was the triumphant ‘Wa Da Da Deng’, produced by Mellow Mood’s producer, Paolo Baldini. A particular set of references in the first appearance at the Sunsplash of this amazing artist.
Thus, the Italian group most acclaimed abroad by the new generations, was accompanied by the fabulous Spanish vocal trio, The Emeterians. The Italian musicians provided a great sound drive to the three from Madrid, who offered a great roots show, feeling really comfortable in front of the festival’s audience.
Given Mary Jane’s pregnancy, it was her brother Fel who was in charge of announcing to the massive that The Emeterians would be four that night instead of three.
Their set, vibrant and beautiful, competed in intensity with their debut on the Main Stage in 2019.
After the departure of the three from Madrid, it was the turn of Jacopo and Lorenzo, the terrible Mellow Mood twins, who immediately captured the attention of the audience with their dynamism, interpreting various tracks from their new album, released practically yesterday.
There was an energetic combination with the Spanish Sr. Wilson for the ‘Manana’ song, while the end of the concert was marked by the return of The Emeterians, to perform a great interpretation of ‘I&I Chant’, present on their new album.
At this point of the night, it was the turn of the headlining act, that is the Nigerian contemporary afrobeat star, Davido, who has consolidated himself as an important symbol of the musical connection between Jamaica and Africa. A show that was especially eagerly expected by a large part of the younger audience.
Although Jamaican dancehall has long been a major influence on young African artists, it is during recent years that this fusion has spawned the famous global phenomenon of the afrobeat, which in turn is influencing the Jamaican scene with a comeback movement.
Born in Atlanta but raised in Lagos, Davido is one of the main protagonists of this movement and the expectation of the audience was rewarded with an absolutely stunning start, accompanied by the beats of the band’s incredible drummer.
From the first bars, the first rows shouted and sang in unison the hits of his three albums and, especially, they sang songs like ‘A Better Time’, from 2020, in a concert that became an impressive crescendo of energy that left the festival’s audience absolutely satisfied. A night that has undoubtedly added an important piece to the history of Rototom Sunsplash, awaiting the return of the legendary Burning Spear, who will close the festival on Monday.