The seventh Season of Magnum Kings and Queens of Dancehall is in full swing with the 5th and final auditions set to take place this Sunday (December 15) at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre in Kingston.
With over 2000 talented Jamaicans Auditioned so far in Sav-La-Mar, Ocho Rios, May Pen and Portmore, Kingston is expected to carry the biggest crowd; attracting all those who have tried and failed to secure a place at the other four auditions as well as those who have waited until the last minute to show their talent.
Marketing Director, Wines & Spirits at J. Wray & Nephew Limited, Gary Dixon, says Kingston is the heartbeat of Dancehall so it is only natural for it to host the biggest and most exciting of the 5 auditions: “Every year Kingston continues to impress and this year we expect no different. Over the past 6 seasons some of the best talent to grace the Magnum stage were unearthed at the Kingston Auditions. Kingston will be the last chance to get Into the competition this year and based on history people from all over Jamaica will be there to show the best of their talent.”
Judges Miss Kitty, Skatta and Professor Nuts select the best from each auditions. These auditions’ finalists are placed in a pool for the Judges to then deliberate and select the Top 28 Live Show finalists (14 Princes and 14 Princesses) who will compete for the title of 2014 Magnum King and Queen of Dancehall.
The Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre will be buzzing with activity this Sunday December 15 between 9am and 3pm when talent from all corners of Jamaica will seek their final chance to Be the Boss by taking the first step towards Magnum stardom.
Following a week of high publicity, with Skatta being called out by dancehall artiste Khago for an apparent diss the previous week and claims by up-and-coming artiste Dazzla that I-Octane, last week’s guest judge on Magnum Kings and Queens of Dancehall (MKQ), stole the concept of his She Want it All Night/Move Up Yuh Body song, the contestants were all expected to deliver exceptionally.
However, the twelfth live show did not prove to be balanced, as the three remaining princesses (all deejays) did a better job than their male-counterparts (two sing-jays and a deejay) who were unwilling to “start the war” as is custom.
Even when contacted neither were willing to say that they wanted to clash the other. And hence begs the question, what will happen this Saturday?
Skatta continued another week of controversy, as he donned a copy of the Jamaica Star, with the front-page story calling for an apology by Khago following on the 11th show. As he walked on stage a dub undertone about the newspaper story could be heard. He opened the paper, shook his head and Nah Apologize by Sizzla started to play to rousing applause.
SETTING THE TONE
The audience was again treated to another surprise the MKQ Top Ten Song “Can’t Stop We” was premiered for the first time. Produced by Chimney Records, the single featured impressive vocals from SASSY SILVA, CHARLENE SKYLAR, MAKARIE, MINORI and KONFYDENCE for the princesses. While, SHACK, JONNAH, JAH BOUKS, PAYNE and BUCK 1 represented for the princes. The song was well received and quite shrewd to say the least.
Take a listen
After the song premiere lyrical face-off princess MAKARIE and the crackerjack SHACK were both packed and sent out of the ‘Magnum Mansion’; their destination, home, after receiving the lowest votes based on their performance on the last show.
The show took a different format this week, with all the princesses performing first, followed by the princes; all doing two songs each: a popular one from this season and a new one.
The self-proclaimed Commander-in-Chief, CHARLENE SKLYAR, was the first to bat as she did Step to me Lively. She surprised the audience, as she performed to the challenge Skatta gave her the week before, which left him saying, “yuh step lively tonight, a swear…yuh step up! Ratings”. Fellow contestants and rivals SASSY SILVA and KONFYDENCE earned her wrath and judge Professor Nuts liked it and encouraged it by adding, “this a wah mi want see long time”. The guest judge SPICE, despite loving the act, told her to improve her confidence.
Miss Independence was executed by KONFYDENCE. Professor Nuts told her he found her persistence to his liking, given that many persons would want to see her drop out; the audience shouted ‘yes’ and lamented that she should have been sent home long ago. She seemed touch and on her return to the stage was hurling her frustration at everyone. Starting with, “mi tired every week the judge dem deh pon mi like house”. For much of her performance she lacked impact, got some applause, earning the biggest when she threw words at Skatta.
SASSY SILVA had the crowd in her palms as they sang to her ‘Prayers Me a Use”, which once saved her from an elimination. “CHARLENE and KONFYDENCE a go have problem tonight, because a Sassy the crowd a say,” said Skatta.
Skatta told her, “mi respect your fighting spirit”. However, Miss Kitty was more blunt, “no judge is here to get you… We are here to help you, to build you. If we were not on you, like we were, we would not have gotten this. Congrats on a job well done”.
An easy going JAH BOUKS launched into ‘Curves’, as his popular song. Patrons were heard saying, “mi think him did a go do the one how him woman a give him bun”. Nevertheless, he was commended by Professor Nuts for remaining himself throughout the competition. The second time around, Miss Kitty was his target with a groovy lovers selection, which caused her to beam and say, “I felt that JAH BOUKS. It was almost effortlessly done and packed with emotions”.
PAYNE pulled off his set with his “lyrically show-off self”, as Professor Nuts would say, in between “him hard”, “lyrics a fire” from several audience members.
Mr. One-One, JONNAH, was the last exhibit for the night with melody, theatrics and creativity on overdrive. The lyrics of his first song was modified to big up his campaign team, while the second saw him wearing a white thobe (a long robe worn by Muslim men, which is usually tailored like a shirt, but it is ankle-length and loose), sandals and rod in hand like Moses to deliver the people— as the intro to his gospel-themed song suggested.
The females ended the night declaring war on each other. CHARLENE SKYLAR promised “anyone a dem step to me dead”. KONFYDENCE had this to say, “mi a show them the real KONFYDENCE”. “A mi seh me a di general so me just a come fi murder them and done, ” SASSY SILVA opined.
The curtains were drawn on the show with SPICE executing her new single “Twerk” and dance of the said name
Last Saturday, Magnum Kings and Queens of Dancehall was mostly about strong performances, as the remaining 10 contestants showcased their talent in the second week of ‘the Magnum Mansion’.
The night had its surprises, including GLAMITY (Professor Nuts’ Wild Card) who was featured heavily in the contestants’ lyrics the previous week, was sent packing as she had the lowest votes. We all were in for another surprise as two of the better contestants, JAH BOUKS and TURBO J, agonizingly had to face-off for a single spot in the next room of ‘the Mansion’.
In the end JAH BOUKS was given a pass by Professor Nuts and Miss Kitty, for what they termed his “consistent performance”.
Fresh from his face-off, JAH BOUKS started ‘the Mansion’ show and earned top commendations from the judges. MINORI and PAYNE followed; earning a modest though notable response from the D’Entrance.
MAKARIE performed a song from her 2011 appearance in the competition with much more confidence and versatility, as she proclaimed herself to be a lyricist and the female version of Kartel.
BUCK 1, the contestant many believe should have been sent home, had to contend with an almost stiff audience. Skatta Burrell knocked him, “da performance nah buck a swear… It was almost annoying. You never settle pon di riddim.” The audience agreed, paving the way for a grieving KONFODENCE who took the stage. However, she fell short in connecting with the crowd and the judges.
It was star-boy SHACK who got the tempo going again with his “clean, ever fresh” chorus. Champion rider Charlene Skylar followed suit fully loaded with punchlines and better breath control than previous weeks.
JONNAH diverted from his usual theatrics to capture Miss Kitty’s heart with an Usher-like performance. In the midst, dancing, singing and popping a ring as he proposed to Miss Kitty on stage, which earned him several salutes, ‘farwuds’ and audience requests for more.
SASSY SILVA, whose relatively advanced age has been a mocking discussion by fellow contestants on stage, stepped out in a look we barely recognized backstage to show her 29 year-old age. She too received several salutes and found favour with the judges to cap a spot among the 10 contestants in ‘the Mansion’.
The show ended on a high, as guest judge for the night I-OCTANE took rounds as he performed several of his top singles, while TANYA CARTER, out of Belize, treated the audience at D’Entrance to her chart rising single “Ex-Boyfriend” produced by Christopher Birch.
Last Saturday the remaining contestants in Castle Blue for the Magnum Kings and Queens of Dancehall fought viciously to stomp their mark for the weekly talent show in a two-fold facelift; to be selected by Guest Judge and promoter of Follow Di Arrow to perform on the show of the said name and to send a warning to Castle Red they would be no walkover ahead of the Magnum Mansion, when they would combine with Castle Red. As was promised in promos Castle Blue got a facelift, with the introduction of two Wild Cards, one of whom was brought back by Professor Nuts, and injections of confidence among all.
MAKARIE triumph over JADE in the faceoff to return to the stage to cruise to an engaging performance beckoning “mi nah fi beg fi mi nails dem do”. PAYNE got an easy chance to perform again as JAH B literally got nervous and messed up, singing off key and without confidence. PAYNE used it to his advantage, delivered and returned to the stage later using a creative concept with a tin to recount experiences on the campaign trail. Several persons from the audience liked it and dropped coins and paper monies in the tin he had, he also got a $1000 note from Judge Skatta Burrell while Host Yanique dropped $10 saying “$10, 20 anything”.
A motivated GLAMITY was reintroduced to the competition as Professor Nuts’ Wild Card, spinning lyrics about her early departure in a song and gave her word that she was back to stay. GLAMITY received several ‘forwards’ (local dancehall terminology for endorsement) and pushed “mi badda than a category 5 hurricane”.
JONNAH who followed later tackled “Young Unemployed” on the Life Riddim echoing sentiments of not being able to find a job despite being qualified, a recurring cry among recent graduates. He was celebrated for his efforts by audience members and got a standing ovation from Miss Kitty.
SASIQUE and the Producer’s Wild Card pick MAD ATTITUDE followed the previous contestants delivering memorable performances. The former left the audience with ‘any man inna bed after 9 a waste a time’, while the latter got head bobbing to “Creep In” as they did just what the lyrics said.
Though KONFYDENCE and SHACK started off the performances last Saturday they were weak when compared to the others. So too were REAL STEELE and HALONI, who performed close to the end.
KONFYDENCE, who has been lacking in confidence over the weeks, took some confidence to the stage but it wasn’t enough for some audience members and the judges. REAL STEELE delivered a less than favourable performance about ‘Fren-emies’. While HALONI complemented his performance with a guitar for an acoustic vibe. At the end he got commended for bringing something different, but doubts were left in some minds as to whether or not the guitar helped or hindered him. Though votes are what determined the return of the contestants, it wouldn’t be surprising these contestants would be in the bottom two to face-off.
In the end Follow Di Arrow promoter Dexton Ennis selected GLAMITY and JONNAH as the top performs for the night.
Other highlights of the evening came with fashion designs by Minka, showcasing her latest embroidery designs and her website http://www.minkaluv.com. While rising dancehall sensation from the JOP Camp DIABLO sang “We Run Road” and other songs from his catalogue.
Castle Red takes center stage this Saturday with face-offs expected with CHARLENE SKYLAR vs SEXY KAYDA, for the Princesses, while MOVAC vs CHECK for the Princes.
Last Saturday TVJ aired the 5th episode in the 5th season of Magnum Kings & Queens of Dancehall. The show featured ten of the 20 remaining finalists, down from 24, competing for the coveted first place to be called King & Queen, and be rewarded 1 million with other prizes.
The last seven weeks (counting the combined audition shows on January 5th & 12th) we’ve seen performances to laugh at, questioned and downright send packing. Last Saturday, we got VIP Access to experience the weekly talent show, and boy-o-boy the comments were brutal. From the comments we put together a review in the first of our weekly MKQ Scoop until the final show.
The face-offs were first with Princesses Charlene Skylar and Glama, while the duo Ziphead & Elegance faced Buck 1 for the Princes. The obvious choice for the crowd were Charlene and Buck 1 the judges agreed and gave them a second chance.
The 5th live show got on the way with Castle Red’s SUSPENSE giving a value-for-money performance, while sporting a hairstyle of pencils, rubbers, a lunchbox and a small knapsack that got tongues wagging. Asked by us to explain her style she said, “mi affi keep dem inna ‘suspense’ everytime”. In her song SUSPENSE counseled young girls on engaging in relationship with bus drivers and conductors.
Fresh from completing a degree in psychology at the Florida International University, Sanjay returned to Jamaica some years ago to pursue music which is his heartbeat and one true love. Many viewed his musical ambition with skeptism, he had to be an educated uptown yute with too much time on his hands or a wannabe DJ whose interest would burn out fast. Some may even cite his current work in TV as a presenter and producer as proof of him not being serious about his music.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Sanjay, a long term planner who is always looking towards the bigger picture, is grateful for his opportunities and experience learning and collaborating with industry talents such as Luciano, Vybes Kartel, Tami Chynn, Aidonia and Ce’Cile. The knowledge he received from working with producers like Christopher Birch, Steven McGregor, Mikey Bennett and Arif Cooper has helped to broaden his musical horizons considerably and inspired him to learn about all aspects of the music.
His time behind the camera as a producer for TV shows such as The Magnum Kings and Queens of Dancehall has given him a keen appreciation for the value of team work and good production work. His stint before the camera as host for TVJ’s Intense has introduced his charismatic personality into the homes and hearts of thousands of Jamaicans.
Sanjay’s dedication to the industry is even more evident by the fact that he has now started his own record label ‘Portland Cottage Productions’ named for his place of birth and from this label has released his latest single the very infectious ‘love the way you move’ for which he performs lead vocals alongside upcoming singer J Edge. The video for ‘love the way you move’ was directed by Ian Guthrie and Carl Durrant.
‘Love the way you move is my way of saying to Jamaica that music is still and will always be my number one passion’ Sanjay stated. ‘I am serious about getting better and working with genuinely talented people like J Edge and most importantly I wanted this single to show all the people who have supported me from the beginning that I am appreciative of the love and acceptance no matter what hat I am wearing,’ he concluded
Sound cloud: http://soundcloud.com/sanjayisthename
For Booking and Press Info contact:
L. Nicole Brown/Imagine Dat Entertainment Agents/876. 946.0234 /946.0963
Listen & Watch Sanjay LATEST song and video with J-Edge below:
The music industry is tough business, and for the past 4 years the Magnum Kings & Queens of Dancehall judges have the task of getting these contestants ready for the crown and prepared for the reality of the Dancehall industry.
From the auditions to the very live shows, the comments of the show’s three resident judges, veteran dancehall performer Professor Nuts, internationally renowned producer Skatta Burrell and popular media personality Miss Kitty, seem to be the driving force for the King and Queen hopefuls.
Scatta Burrell explains that their job is to mentor young talents and give them the tools to deal with the unforgiving entertainment world: “When we comment on a contestant’s performance it’s not that we want to be harsh, cruel, bring them down or whatever, but it’s because we want the best or we see and believe that they can do more.”
For its fourth season, Magnum Kings and Queens of Dancehall shifted gears, increasing the number of finalists, chosen only by the judges, to 28, which forced them to split into two groups: Castle Red and Castle Blue, giving more fresh talents a chance at the crown and mounting competitive spirit. So what do the judges think of this year’s contenders for the King and Queen of Dancehall?
The Fluffy Diva Judge affirmed: “Openly I have no favourite, but Castle Red is obviously stronger than Castle Blue…and certainly when you hear the talks on the streets and look back at the contestants they coincide with persons from Castle Red.
“I would like to see the contestants working on their clarity, which is very important, because the judges as well as the viewing public need to hear what they are saying. Harder lyrics, they need to leave us with that punch-line, leave the audience with something that when they go to vote they remember.”
Agreeing, Skatta remarked: “Castle Red has some stronger contestants particularly the males and you can see that the competitive spirit is somewhat stronger than Castle Blue. Not to say that Castle Blue isn’t delivering, but they need to step up. Not to say Castle Red is doing everything well, but they have certainly been the group that have grown with the show and that’s something I would like to see Castle Blue doing, more than just delivering as if they are still at the first live show…we expect the contestants to be assertive, project, controlling their breathing and working on their clarity.
“Your breathe control is a serious part of your stage presence and much more of the contestants need to work on that to give a smooth comfortable delivery. Don’t exert too much lyrics at the beginning and lose yourself half way and fight to finish…work on your 4 gears…relax, start smooth, and then increase and cruise in.”
Professor Nuts, the lone successful artiste on the judges’ team had more to say about lyrical content, performance and appearance: “As a contestant in this competition your lyrics have to constantly be outstanding. But outside of that you have to have a signature.”
Explaining that ‘signature’ the comedic artiste notes: “Actions speaks better than words. So you have to dress the part. Make your appearance or swag, as the young people call it now, by adding something else to your performance. This could be your first forward that helps build your confidence and gives you the energy to make you less nervous to tackle the stage.
“Nervousness can affect a performance. Sometimes you find that if the contestant was anticipating a response from the crowd and not getting any there is that fall in confidence and not everything comes across as how it should…not getting that reaction makes them lose the concentration.”
Voting and Campaigning
Miss Kitty also addressed issues that sometimes talented contestants get voted off early: “It’s always hard to see good contestants leave the show, but we have to reinforce if you see someone you like, vote for them, even if it’s just one time. It all boils down to the voting and that is the causality that you have with shows like this. So, if you as the public see a performance you like, support the person. Outside of that the contestants have a part to play…this is like their job now, they can’t stop at a performance on a Saturday night, they have to get that pan to beg, go on street and campaign to ensure people know them.”
Miss Kitty also mentioned: “This is the beginning of the training as an artiste and so they have to hit the pavement running, because at times it’s not going to be easy, they will have to take that CD to wherever just so that disk jocks get it or do an interview at a radio or TV station. This is the beginning of their publicity, the sooner they know they better.”
Beyond the Competition
All three judges agreed that they were all looking forward to continuity from the winners of the competition.
Skatta noted: “Really looking forward to seeing someone going out there, after six months I want to see them standing
strong and moving forward.”
In the meantime Miss Kitty confessed: “Magnum is a platform to start your career and I hope to the winners, both male and female, make a solid ground for themselves after the competition like a Tanto Blacks or a Chozenn.”
Professor Nuts: “Longevity, not just come and go. Also I want to see a lot more of the Queens and females doing much
better, when you look at it mostly the males have been doing better…Press Fyah, Tanto Blacks, Chozenn, Juggla and Singer Jah. Since the 2000s females have been dominating dancehall but it’s not reflected in the competition.”
Skatta: “Don’t let the support that you getting now make you feel comfortable, keep going stronger each week.”
Miss Kitty: “Always be consistent and never be complacent. Don’t be fooled, the same mouth that praise will boo you if you flop; so if you raise the bar, keep it up or raise it higher.”
Professor Nuts: “Build a performance character, fill it with the traits you want to be known for and get into that character before you go on stage, so that you can continuously deliver to expectations and beyond.”
Watch the judges advise the King and Queen hopefuls on 4th Season of the number one Dancehall show Magnum Kings & Queens of Dancehall every Saturday night on TVJ at 9:30PM.