Monday, December 19th, marked the end of the 5 week series "New Wave" held every Monday during the period, at Stone's Throw Bar on Manning's hill road in Kingston. The brainchild of Protoje, and Jason Panton (Minds behind Live From Kingston and Dubwise), launched on November 21st, with an objective to highlight emerging art, sounds and visuals within Kingston.
Each Monday I arrived at New Wave, with camera in hand, and it felt more like a study for me. I was really in awe every week, not at the event itself, but just how many different walks of life within Kingston were seen in New Wave. each week the venue permeated a youthful exuberance that, while seen frequently online, didn't have the opportunity to manifest itself in a physical space very often. I would see new faces every week, that would inquisitively inquire about the event, only to appear the following week with a friend. The various cliques and groups showing up, representing friends performing, or partaking in whatever activity. Also the support of the photographers and videographers, was greatly appreciated, as New Wave is surely a well documented event.
I hate feeling like I'm rambling, but It really feels like i'm witnessing the post-reggae revival, all the work that, that era put in, I could literally see it manifesting in a space like New Wave. In the Sounds, the fashion, the vernacular. It all feels confident, new and vibrant again, you can see a creative consciousness that is awake in the minds, and it was truly a joy to see. (Very Culture as I like to say)
The 5 weeks featured the musical talents of Blvk H3ro, Leno Banton, Sevana, The Drumkeys and Jeeby Lyricist, A cinema feature with two short films (made in Jamaica) - Enhanced and Sugar, A fashion feature with Club Diamonds, Rouxvolution and Quaint by GSC. | Powered by the DJ skills of Jimmy Q and DJ Stamma, with guest DJs Shacia Payne & Wav.Empress
But lowkey the most important feature (in my opinion) of New Wave I would say was the AUX Cord Segment, where anyone from the audience, could plug their phone or laptop into the AUX cord, and play whatever they wish. I remember seeing this feature met with shyness the first week, but by the closing week, there was an entire line by the DJ booth. It became an opportunity where anyone could play their own song, and get feedback from the audience, a real sharing experience for many who don't have a platform to share their work.
In closing, I'm not sad New Wave is finished for now, I believe- good things in short bursts are appreciated more. People will have a fond memory of the period of time they spent at New Wave and how wonderful it was, so when it comes back- whenever it does, it can be met with the same energy, or maybe even more.
Looking forward to seeing you next year!