Wednesday, 18 July 2012

MUST BE THE MUSIC: How Konshens and Cham are keeping dancehall superfresh and fun

It is virtually impossible to go anywhere (with the exception of church, perhaps) and not hear someone playing “Gal A Bubble” or “Tun Up” by dancehall heartthrobs Konshens and Cham, respectively. From radio playlists and video countdowns to nightclubs and street-side events, the pulsating tracks (among other sizzling cuts) have become play-it-to-death staples from the canon of these two top-flight stars.

And it’s little wonder, considering that both Cham (aka Dameon Beckett) and Konshens (né Garfield Spence) are at the top of their game. With their distinctive sounds, frequently hard-hitting lyrics and crowd-pleasing stagecraft, they presently stand out from the pack as dancehall’s hottest bad boys, delivering some of the best work of their respective careers. Moving forward, the evidence suggests that they intend to ratchet up their current dominance of dancehall past this summer and well into the future.

But more to the point, they stake their claim as the reigning crowd favourites, the hot commodities that promoters are increasingly turning to to satisfy their enthusiastic patrons. What’s their secret? Well, it has become quite obvious that, apart from capitalizing big time on the youthful, wholesome images that they so appealingly project, these are men who sharply study their industry and have discovered what the listening public wants to hear (fun, fresh party records) and have smartly made it their business to deliver.

But tapping into the popular cultural psyche is one thing; holding on to it while staying fresh and consistent is the true test. Konshens and Cham know this, clearly, and have responded accordingly. And it’s paying off.

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