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January 31, 2013
Star Entertainment


Rebel T sound system

'If a pouchie wants to play, they have to pay' says Rebel T sound system

Rebel T sound system recently triggered some amount of controversy in the local music industry, by instituting a new rule whereby the sound has refused to allow 'pouchies' (selectors not connected to a sound), to use its equipment to play at parties.

"If a pouchie wants to play on Rebel T, he has to pay $10,000, that is negotiable. The pouchies dem a undercut the market and they don't have to pay the capital cost of having a sound system, boxes and carrying equipment all over the island. The promoters are willing to pay disc jockeys $60,000 and dem caan draw the people dem that we draw," Rebel T owner Father Dozer said. "When we book for an event, we string up from 3 p.m. and we have to pay early selectors to build the vibe, but they want to show up at 2 a.m., use our equipment for free, and leave. That can't work anymore." Dozer said that, in order to survive, major dancehall sound systems have to be creative and cut costs. "Because of the Noise Abatement Act, there are not that many promoters willing to take a chance to keep an event, so we have been earning less and less over the years, so we have to keep adapting to survive in this business," he reasoned.

Rebel T has carved out an enviable reputation as a 'juggling' sound over the years. Started in 1995, Rebel T sound originated in Portmore, St Catherine, and 18 years later, the sound is still packing parties from Jamaica to North America and Europe.

With selectors Najeer, Craig, Garnet Silvera and Eddie Famous at the controls, Rebel T has remained a potent force on the sound-system scene.

One of the proudest moments in the sound's stories history was the night that the sound decimated Bodyguard en route to winning the Guinness Sounds of Greatness 2008.

surprised everybody

"When we killed Bodyguard at the Guinness show, that was our greatest dancehall moment. Along the way, we defeated Fire Links, Bass Odyssey, and we whipped Bodyguard in the finals. People were very surprised that we did so well because we were known as a juggling sound at the time, but we surprised everybody and beat everyone," Father Dozer recalled.

Over the years, the sound has racked up an impressive array of awards, including Best Sound for three consecutive years at the Portmore Awards 2000 through 2003, Best Spending Crew at the Caan Cool Dancehall Promotions in 2003, and Best Juggling Sound at the Dancehall Awards 2004. The sound has performed at events all over the world, the majority of the gigs in North America, England and Rebel T even went to Ghana in 2010.

"We are booked every weekend, overseas and local. Rebel T is in demand, we have remained relevant over the years, we are one of the few sound systems that have lasted almost 20 years, and we're still standing," Dozer said.

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