DJ Naz stood top of the pile at the 2019 Guinness Sounds of Greatness (GSOG) series opener held in Buckfield, Ocho Rios in St Ann, last Friday.
The only female in the sound system face-off, she went up against DynamQ, Digital Wave Sound and Presto Mix. However, after battling it out in the Dub fi Dub and Tune fi Tune, she was declared the “Champion Sound” by a landslide against DynamQ.
“It was nearly a missed opportunity as I met in a car accident two days before. Having experienced several stumbles along the way, I felt defeated and had opted out of the competition,” said DJ Naz. “Luckily, my amazing friends convinced me otherwise, which gave me the confidence to rise up against my opponents.”
Nathan Nelms, brand manager of Stouts and Malta at Red Stripe, said he was pleased with the start of the competition.
“Tonight was incredible. We not only created an atmosphere that took people back to old school dancehall, but we allowed for patrons to create some lasting moments,” he said. “Guinness has been synonymous with dancehall since inception and what we witnessed here was nothing short of the ultimate sound clash experience. DJ Naz brought an authentic presence to the stage as she embodied what it means to be ‘Made of More’.”
The judges were Notnice, Bishop Escobar and Delingy from Bass Odyssey, while Badda Bling and Jade did emcee duties.
In the end it wasn’t much of a contest. Female selector DJ Naz easily won the first competition in the 2019 Guinness Sounds of Greatness series held Friday night in front of a massive crowd at the Buckfield playing field in Ocho Rios, defeating Dynamq in the play-off.
After the first round, where DJ Naz, Dynamq, Presto Mix and Digital Wave played, it became obvious that DJ Naz and Digital Wave were in different class to the other two.
And when Digital Wave was disqualified because they played a song with a curse word, from thereon in there could have only been one winner.
So it came as no surprise at the verdict reached by judges Bishop Escobar and Notnice, along with guest judge Damion Delingy.
The selectors competition saw each entrant being given 15 minutes in the opening juggling round, with surprise (unadvertised) sound Presto Mix leading the way.
Presto Mix opened with Sizzla’s Praise Ye Jah
, Ballistic Affair
by Leroy Smart and Hallelujah
by Sanchez but earned a cool reception. Although they picked up a bit during the session, it was clear it wasn’t going to be their night.
Declaring herself “(reggae veteran) Joy White’s daughter,” Naz made a dramatic entry in a black cape and immediately ignited the crowd. She touched Change Gon’ Come
before swinging into a slew of Bob Marley songs, including Natural Mystic, Who The Cap Fit
, Crazy Baldhead
, as well as Dennis Brown’s Promised Land
and Here I Come
before dubs from Nesbeth and Bounty Killer. The crowd rose for her.
Dynamq came into the clash with a reputation as a leading African sound but found the going tougher than expected in Jamaica. Dubs by Tanya Stephens, Govana, Bounty Killer, Mavado and even new reggae sensation, Koffee, failed to ignite the audience.
Digital Wave from St Elizabeth rocked the crowd and some in the audience expressed that they were the leader after the juggling round. They actually showed imagination and were the only team to play hip hop. They started with Father God
and Lord I Pray
and got a good response throughout.
But the promise of a showdown with DJ Naz fizzled with their disqualification. In the end, Presto Mix and Dynamq squared in the challenge round to see who would play DJ Naz in the dub-for-dub round to choose the winner.
The two were given the task of playing five songs each, by artists whose names begin with the letter B, which saw the selectors drawing on tracks by Baby Cham, Buju Banton, Bushman, Bob Marley, Bounty Killer, and Beres Hammond.
In the end, Dynamq prevailed and came up against DJ Naz in the final, dub-for-dub round.
Dynamq’s heavy reliance on older specials such as Serious Times
by Admiral Tibet, Cocoa Tea’s 18 and Over, Stealing
by John Holt, backfired as DJ Naz featured current dancehall acts on her specials. This was except when she played Sizzla’s Rise To The Occasion
and when she later expressed her sympathy for her opponent.
“In a way, mi feel sorry fi Dynamq Sound,” Naz said, as she replied to Gregory Isaacs’ Love is Overdue
special with Mighty Diamond’s Have Mercy.
The crowd went wild during the performance of Teejay, who delivered his popular hit songs including Uptop Boss, Braff, Owna Lane, and Shub Out.
The seven-week long competition will feature some of the hottest local (and international) sound systems.
Guinness Sound of Greatness continues next Friday in Santa Cruz, St Elizabeth, and will feature Shadrock Sound, Black City Sound, King Tafari Sound and Twin Tower Sound as well as a special performance by Jah Vinci.
The finale is set for 214 Spanish Town Road on Friday, June 28.