Jr Gong pleased with African tour

July 24, 2017
Damian Marley

Local audiences have grown accustomed to the news of their favourite artistes catching flights around the Americas and Europe on promotional or concert tours.

Lately, much attention has been cast in a different direction based on the increasing consumption of reggae and dancehall in African countries. After the release of the collaborative Damian 'Jr Gong' Marley and Nas album Distant Relatives in 2010, the reggae and rap stars initiated plans to tour the continent, which never came to fruition.

"What I've always said over the years is, why can't we tour Africa the same way we tour the United States or Europe?" Marley questioned.

Seven years later, he took the first leap in normalising Jamaican musicians on tour in Africa.

"It's not my first time to Africa, but what I'm most proud of about this trip to Africa is that we were able to play more than one country. More time when artistes go to Africa, they might play one show or two shows and then leave and go back home," he told THE STAR.

Between May and June 2017, the artiste engaged six concert audiences, performing in Johannesburg and Durban, South Africa; Nairobi, Kenya; Saint Pierre, Reunion Island; Port Louis, Mauritius; and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The Nail Pon Cross deejay previously performed alongside his brothers in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (2005), and Accra, Ghana (2006), as part of the Africa Unite concerts.

"It was a challenge, but we were able to put six dates together and do a likkle small tour. I was very proud of the fact that we were able to do that," he said.

Marley was especially proud that this time around, his presence on the continent was not buoyed by the memory of his father.

"In previous times when I went to Africa, it was really like Bob Marley tribute concert, in honour of my father, which is right. But at the same time, these concerts that I just went to play at were just normal concerts. I was doing my set and my music, so that was kinda cool to know seh we tour Africa just like we tour anywhere else in the world. I hope we continue to build on that kind of mentality of touring Africa," he said.

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