Kabaka Pyramid finds his ‘Kalling’ - Dedicates Reggae Grammy to Jo Mersa Marley, family and team

February 06, 2023
Kabaka Pyramid displays his Grammy Award after winning the Best Reggae Album category for his entry, ‘The Kalling’.
Kabaka Pyramid displays his Grammy Award after winning the Best Reggae Album category for his entry, ‘The Kalling’.

With his mother by his side, reggae singer Kabaka Pyramid, holding his first Grammy award, tried his best not to leave out anyone in his 'Thank you' speech after triumphing in the Best Reggae Album category.

Aware of his time limitations, Keron Salmon (the artiste's given name) thanked his parents, Marcia and Kiplin Salmon, his management team, his publicist, those who worked on his winning album The Kalling, and ended his speech by dedicating his Grammy to the late Jo Mersa Marley, the 31-year-old son of Stephen Marley.

"I can't believe it. Rastafari live! Ah know ah don't have whole heap of time. I just want to seh thank you to the Academy .... thank you to all the other nominees who are representing Jamaica ... We just some kids from Kingston, Jamaica. Big up to Uncle Dullu, big up to Young Pow Natallia who sang on my album. Ronnie my publicist big up yuhself for all the hard work. Much love to Damian who produced the album and Stephen Marley. And this one is for Jo Mersa Marley who we lost in December [27]," Kabaka Pyramid said at the 65th Grammy awards ceremony at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles. Damian Marley produced The Kalling, of which Kabaka Pyramid said, "Damian outdid himself."

Reggae Grammy watchers were eager to weigh in on his win.

Grammy-nominated producer and music executive, Cristy Barber, noted that The Kalling had favour this year.

"Words cannot express how proud I am of Kabaka Pyramid and his amazing management team and my Ghetto Youth family. We started that label together and it is amazing to see Ghetto Youth win a Grammy this year. It couldn't come at a better time," Barber said.

She added, "Kabaka's speech was so beautiful. He should make every reggae fan in the world, not just Jamaicans, proud to be reggae lovers. I was especially proud when Kabaka bigged up Jo Mersa on stage. I couldn't ask for anything more than that. They are out again ... voting loud and proud. That was the favourite album to win this year ... and it won."

Grammy-nominated producer and engineer Richard 'Breadback' Bramwell said he told Kabaka Pyramid that he was going to win, and he too felt good that the artiste was given a chance to make a speech.

"I voted for Kabaka because I am a [Recording Academy] member. Mi glad fi see the younger youths dem come and a enjoy the joy of the music. Kabaka put in the work. Mi glad fi see that him can come on the podium and talk. At one time we as Jamaicans inna the category reggae and dancehall never get the opportunity to talk ... is like back door deal. Congrats to Kabaka. Love goes out. Is a joy. And to see him go up against past Grammy winners, Koffe, Shaggy and Sean Paul, and Protoje who was getting his second nomination. Good work Kabaka. Good music," Breadback told THE STAR.

Koffee was nominated for her debut album Gifted; Protoje for Third Time's The Charm; Sean Paul for Scorcha; and Shaggy for Com Fly Wid Mi.

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