Capleton eyes on Latin America

FIERY singjay Capleton hopes his headline appearance at the February 4 Greenland Music Festival in Cali, Colombia will broaden his fan base throughout Latin America (LATAM).

It will be Capleton’s first appearance in the South American country. Recently, he told the Observer that Colombia is among the countries in that region he is looking to make a mark.

“There are so many places I haven’t been before where the music is dominant,” Capleton said. “Wi getting a lotta call from places like Brazil, Venezuela and Chile.”

Last April, Capleton performed for the first time in Argentina, appearing at a festival in the capital Buenos Aires. He is scheduled to do a show in Venezuela in March.

The Greenland Festival is a multi-faceted event built around spectacular pyrotechnics. According to its promoters, it is also geared ‘toward the unification and promotion of the most positive thing in our land. In order to promote tourism, our talent, climate and culture’.

In addition to Capleton, Aska Lyrical and Ras Elijah are the other Jamaican artistes on the show.

Latin America has become an increasingly fruitful stomping ground for dancehall artistes in recent years. Brazil is arguably the largest market.

That country has been hosting reggae performers since 1980 when Bob Marley and Jacob Miller toured.

But Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica and Venezuela have also opened up in the last decade. Sean Paul, Anthony B, Bushman and older acts like Gregory Isaacs have all done shows in those countries.

Capleton’s (given name Clifton Bailey) last studio album, Iternal Fire, was released in 2010 by VP Records. He says he is currently in the studio recording some ‘crazy singles’ but has no plans to put out a follow-up anytime soon.

“Mi like gi the album dem some space. It gi the people enough time fi get used to the music,” he said.

The St Mary-born Capleton broke through during the early 1990s, with a succession of risqué hit songs that included Number One Pon The Look Good Chart, Alms House and Lotion Man.

His music took a more spiritual tone later that decade at a time when the dancehall went through a cultural transformation. His conversion to Rastafari resulted in several hard-hitting albums such as More Fire and Reign Of Fire.

Commercially, his biggest songs are Tour and Wings Of The Morning, which were minor hits in the United States. Their success earned him a stint with Russell Simmons’ Def Jam Records.

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