Bembe Gone Global

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By: Dave Lindo

BembeSquad.jpg

Bembe Thursday, the 'hype' dancehall event staged each Thursday at Weekenz in Kingston, Jamaica has become a global phenomenon in less than two years.

The idea for Bembe originated when former Stone Love selector, Richie Feelings, jokingly told his friends that he is a bembe marble and staged a dance of the same name.

As Jigsy, a member of the Bembe Squad explained, "A bembe marble is one of those big marbles, so Feelings said that he was bembe marble. The owner of Weekenz approached Richie to do a weekly event at his spot so he (Richie) linked us up and we decided to do it and call it Bembe Thursday. At first we took it as a joke - we never dreamed that it would get so big.

Feelings also invited selectors Razz and Biggy, Jigsy and Penny Bling to form the Bembe Squad. In a very short time it became the place to be on a Thursday night in the capital city. "People from all over started to attend, by midnight the place is normally jam packed." Jigsy said.

"Bembe is for the girls, still we have a ratio of 10 -1 on a weekly basis and we play just vibes music; all kind of music to suit everyone."

From the onset, Bembe Thursday has always been an early event with the vibes increasing by 10 pm and ending at 2 am. "We only go later when we have a special event like a birthday party or something," Jigsy said.

The event has become so popular that presently it has spread across the various continents. "It global right now, you have Bembe in England on a Friday, Bembe Wednesday in Japan, Bembe Thursday in Cayman and Miami, Bembe Sunday in Canada and even in Australia they have Bembe."

Asked how the Bembe Squad manages to play at so many events, Jigsy said, "We basically rotate among ourselves. Both locally and overseas, we go to the other countries when they are having (a) special event.

Most of the top artistes pass through Bembe Thursday, as well as top selectors including: Coppershot, Chromatic, ZJ Liquid and Bun Bun.

Jisgy disclosed that Bembe will be on fire this summer, "It will be just crazy vibes. We will be having some big events including my birthday party on August 7, 2008.

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