‘Joe a mi brethren’ - Elephant Man talks special friendship with Sumfest organiser Bogdanovich
Though Elephant Man counts every performance as special, his own anecdotes paired with life's incomprehensible sense of humour reveal that Reggae Sumfest is a special stage for the 'Energy god'.
His anticipated set on Friday signals his return to the festival after five years, and also the first time he will be performing on the show since his friend, Pep, took the reins.
Who is Pep, you may ask?
"Joe Bogdanovich, some people nuh know him as Pep, but a dat me call him 'cause a my brethren, and he was my manager back in the day," Elephant Man told THE STAR.
"When me used to live a Seaview, Pep have him likkle camera, and him come and pop out mi window. Dem time deh, we have we dutch pot a di window fi know who a come inna di house, and me hear noise and dem seh one white man out deh. Mi look out and seh: 'Pep, a wah happen to yuh'?"
In his best Bogdanovich accent, he continued: "Him seh: 'Ele, get up maaayyynn'!"
Pep's interest in dancehall music is long-standing, and he spotted the stardom in the young deejay and invested in him.
"Him see the talent, and him carry mi go Miami to Bob Marley Studio fi mek one tutor teach me proper English. Dem time deh Pep did live a Los Angeles and was flying back and forth to Jamaica," Elephant Man said. "Mi likkle and young and believe in myself. Me deeven know seh Pep rich. Me know him coulda help himself, but me never did a watch nobody."
Elephant Man added: "After the man teach mi proper English, mi come back a Jamaica and did wild all bout. One day me deh a Jammys, next day me deh a Bobby Digital. Me just waan unleash the songs and my energy. When me buss, Pep always seh him proud a me, and when him see mi a Europe him always seh: 'Yow Ele, when you gonna come back, man. We need to do this Sumfest rehearsal'. A mi brethren, man."
With his last major performance in Jamaica being Rebel Salute last year, Elephant Man is eager to get 'jiggy' at the Greatest Reggae Show on Earth.
"Sumfest performance a go special. We always give the crowd we all and we best, and people know that. We always tun up the thing for the fans dem, so Reggae Sumfest a go mad," he told THE STAR.