Coppershot celebrates 25th anniversary
On December 7, Coppershot will celebrate its 25th anniversary in the sound system business with an event headlined by international dancehall stars Sean Paul, Cham, Bounty Killa, Munga Honorable, and Chi Ching Ching,
Word from one of the sound's prominent personalities, Marc Chin, is that patrons shouldn't be overly concerned with the line-up as it will be a celebration for fans, friends, and family of the past, present, and future.
"You going have one bagga odd people weh ah guh pass through because ah Coppershot ting and yuh know people just going to come out and support," Marc Chin told THE STAR.
Coppershot's friends list is extensive not only because of longevity - but because they recognised their lane and stuck to it. Where some sound systems work to build their clout by 'killing' other sounds in clashes, over the years, Coppershot's primary concern has been to build vibes.
"Coppershot is more of a vibe sound, a juggling sound. You come out to party, that is our arena. But the clash thing, we take it on as fun. But we have won clashes before. Ask Trooper. We kill him ah Europe," Marc said.
"Ah nuh Europe alone. We kill him ah Portmore, too," Cutty quickly jumped in.
Coppershot have also been winners of Jamaica Cultural Development Commission Cultural Clashes two years in a row.
"They had to retire us because nobody could beat us. But we're a juggling sound, we're not a clash sound! So people like Bass Odyssey, we not throwin' out nuh word out their fi unu fi set up nuh clash! We are a juggling sound," Chin said.
A sight to behold
Building the vibe is just one part of the equation. Coppershot selectors have also figured out another. Dressed in a brown cowboy hat, white pressed shirt, denim pants, and brown boots to match, Cutty is often a sight to behold.
"Mi nuh hype, but mi just like dress different so when me go out deh, at least them remember the dressing. Mi always carry sumn different," the well-dressed mic-man told THE STAR.
Cutty then recalled a year at Dream Weekend when he wore a red onesy, now known as the 'Power Rangers' suit.
"Me tell yuh, dat talk 'bout fi 'bout four years straight. Nuh care which sound did guh ah di concert or di party dem an mash it up. Dem nuh memba dat. Dem just memba dah suit deh."
Coppershot also believes that they are not just a juggling sound, but a history-making one. Coppershot is the first sound system to perform in the Middle East. "Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, me nah talk Dubai weh the regular people dem go," Cutty offered.
Marc added: "Right now, it's probably easier to tell you where we haven't been than where we have been. Coppershot has spread their wings all across the nation, region, and the world. If it's not me and Cutty on tour, it's some of the other guys. We have basically covered the length and breadth of the globe."
They also have bragging rights as the first sound system to set up in Ireland.
"Apart from hardwork and determination, you have to remain consistent. Every night you go out and perform, you have to make sure you don't drop below certain standards. Even on a bad night, your patrons are not supposed to know that you had a bad night. We can talk 'bout it and say we never do this right, but your patrons not supposed to know that. We're supposed to come out every night, shining and firing. And that's been Coppershot for the past 25 years. That's why we're still here - relevant in both arenas," he said.
Because of this post-analysis approach and attitude, it's difficult for either player to recall their worst execution.
"The only thing that really comes to mind is one ah dem Guinness clash we did back in the day, and something went wrong in the second round and we were just never able to recover from it. But at the end of the day, we spoke about it and that was it. We left it there at that venue. And we jumped on a flight right after and mash up the next show. We always bounce back, even after a bad night," Chin stated
In all it's history, it's simple to discern what makes Coppershot the life of the party.
For Cutty, it's undoubtedly his memorable, outlandish style, and his intense, energetic, sharp, and witty lyrics on the mic. For Marc, it's his dedication to building vibes.
"For me, being the life of the party means, going into a party and not having any expectations. I'll pull anything out of the box. I'll surprise you. I actually play music you didn't think you wanted to hear."
Before it rolls around to their 50th anniversary celebrations, Marc and Cutty both hope to have handed over the reins to the next representatives.
"That's why you have the young yute dem now. Fi dem time now. Next young yute dem pon di sound, ah fi dem next 25 years," Chin said.