Yemi Alade and Beenie Man Erupt with Energy – Day 2
National Landmark ‘Pigeon Island’ was the setting to what would be an explosion of dynamic sounds. Local artist Stacey Charles (a.k.a S.I.C) opened the stage with her clear yet powerful voice, drawing in the crowd.
Next up was French dancehall artist, Krys. He was electric as he got people moving to the dance ‘Azumbo.’ Krys even jumped into the crowd and danced with a patron before bringing two members up on stage with him to display their abilities in what he termed the ‘booty shake.’
Then it was time for Taj Weekes to bring to the audience a surge of consciousness with sophisticated reggae tunes. He performed ‘Blood on the Streets,’ a song reflecting his poetic and humanitarian inclinations. In Weekes’ interview, he went deep, saying that the ‘songs are already written, it’s the level of consciousness you bring to the table.’
Afterward, Nigerian sensation Yemi Alade took the Roots and Soul Festival by storm. She emerged onto the stage and immediately began looking for her ‘Johnny’ somewhere in the eager crowd. There were many apparently.
Donned in a stunning Nigerian rockstar getup, Yemi hit all cues during her enticing dance routine and lit up faces with her own quirky expressions. With her energy levels off the charts, Yemi’s backup dancer gave her the side eye as he left the stage and Yemi stubbornly continued her amazing spectacle of African movement and vocals. She stepped off with a boss-like attitude, her irresistibly eccentric persona leaving the crowd in awe and ready for more action.
Jamaican artist Beenie Man then brought his A-game with a spectacular performance. The dancehall veteran was unstoppable as he expertly executed hit after hit of several fan favorites. ‘Girls Dem Sugar,’ ‘Who Am I,’ and ‘King of the Dancehall’ were just a few among his endless top tracks.
But perhaps the most intriguing part of Beenie Man’s show was when he hilariously kept saying ‘Hush’ to his band so he could engage with fans in between the hits.
Romain Virgo Is Passion Defined; Ja Rule and Ashanti are Lit – Day 3
The final day of the festival took place again at Pigeon Island. A large early turnout showed promise of a much bigger crowd to come.
Shayne Ross started things off with his smooth, sexy voice that captivated the ladies in the crowd. He sang his hit ‘Take You Home’ before wrapping it up by singing Happy Birthday to a special lady named Jasmine.
Morning Sun and the Essentials began with an exclusive song called ‘Sweetness.’ The band brought to life endearing classical reggae, being the first group to inculcate the sweet sounds of a saxophone and a trumpet into their delightful performance.
It was Romain Virgo that ultimately stole hearts at Roots and Soul 2018. The Lovers Rock Reggae specialist came out in a shimmering black suit. Ladies went wild when he started off with his original hit ‘Rich in Love.’ Then spirited hands waved back and forth to the popular rendition of ‘Stay With Me.’
Romain then raised the adrenaline when he invited a special lady on stage to be serenaded. To the crowd’s dismay, Rachel was a bit distracted by her phone at first but eventually put it down to be wowed by the gorgeous artist up close and personal.
Finally, the highly anticipated New York artists Ja Rule and Ashanti entered the house and brought it down. Ashanti stunned with a black and silver bustier mini dress paired with knee-high silver heels which she later switched out for a more comfortable black pair.
The old school duo fired up the crowd with the hits ‘Mesmerize,’ ‘What’s Luv,’ and ‘Always on Time.’ Ashanti also sang early 2000s classics like ‘Foolish,’ ‘Happy,’ and ‘Rain on Me.’
Then it was the men in the crowd’s turn to get some action. Ashanti invited three men up on stage and they sat handcuffed and blindfolded as the artist and her two backup dancers seductively danced on, near and around them to the provocative throwback ‘If I Was Your Girlfriend.’
The finale to the three nights of stellar music was an eruption of confetti as Ashanti and Ja Rule jumped off the stage and thrilled the crowd face to face. They left the packed grounds mind-blown and their thirst for revelry well-quenched.
Videos of the event can be found on Instagram using hashtag #rootsandsoulfestival and information about upcoming events by following @soleilsaintluciasummerfestival.