Richie Spice teams with former managers - Fifth Element returns after drug conviction
Fifth Element returns after long absence
With international reggae singer Richie Spice as its standard-bearer, the dominance of Fifth Element Records makes its return to the entertainment industry with unbridled passion.
Now under the moniker The Element, the record label, that years ago launched the international careers of several artistes, intends to repeat that feat, with its three principal directors at the helm - Chief Executive Officer Eaton Evans, President Claude Sayers and Managing Director Richell 'Richie Spice' Bonner.
"The Element's focus has always been and will always be culturally charged music. With our return, people can expect what we have always been about, the core of our message - positiveness, righteousness, upfullness, music of the highest standard, all coming from the teachings of His Majesty. What The Element is all about will never change," Evans shared with THE STAR.
Sayers added: "We are about enhancing the welfare of the entire human race through positive and righteous reggae music. That is what The Element stands for and that is what Richie Spice is all about. So, us now forming a partnership with the singer is only destiny."
Richie Spice agrees that after working with the record label for several years, being a senior partner is only a natural progression. "The music needs back that extra strength, extra push. Yuh nuh, more force and energy to push it to that level. With what we intend to do, it will give cultural artistes that strength on a different level, and enhance the music on a higher grounds, higher heights," the singer stated. Already plans are in place for a new album from Spice and an upcoming tour, among other things.
Formed in 2000, the Fifth Element Records label shot to international prominence with Devon Wheatley, Evans and Sayers as the chief architects. Based in Jamaica with offices overseas, the international entertainment organisation embarked on artiste management, booking, record distribution, producing and event promotion. Its roster of artistes included Chuck Fenda, Etana, Anthony Cruz, Richie Spice, Jigsy King, Natural Black, Omar Silk, Lij Amlak and Jah Penco, to name a few. Several of these artistes have risen to international fame with successful careers.
The label also produced several chart-riding singles and albums for some of reggae's biggest names, among them, Beenie Man, Capleton, Sizzla and George Nooks.
"We started the company because of the deep love, commitment and passion we have for the reggae industry, and that hasn't changed," stated Evans.
Several years later, it all came to an end when Evans and Sayers were arrested for smuggling and later extradited to the United States. Now, both are back in Jamaica with every intention to pick up where they left off. "We have paid our dues, done our time, and now we are back and ready again. It's ironic to see that what we went to prison for, they are now in the process of legalising it. That's life for you," said Sayers. "It is what it is. It was just our destiny to go through that and help set the tone to make it (ganja) free and legal. Now we are back to pursue the music, our first passion, and, of course, legally get involved in the cannabis industry. We are coming with what we are coming with, and we are gonna come harder this time."
Given its proven track record and high success rate, already several artistes have approached the label to work with them. "Coming back in the business, I see a gap in the way how reggae music is supposed to be represented out there. And I see Richie Spice and some other artistes as the ones to bridge that gap. The Element and Richie Spice complement each other," stated Evans. "Although Richie Spice is the main focus right now, we do intend to be working with other artistes going forward."