Play the Music! Music Week Ends with Big Bash Benefit Concert at Civic
Music Week climaxes this Saturday night at the Civic Center in Belize City. The line-up of local artists has been impressive, but on the last night of the event, a number of well-known hip hop performers from the U.S., including Desiigner, will be taking the stage in the benefit concert in honour of Fareed Ahmad, the affable barber murdered in December 2017. Included is King Kosa, who you will recognize having gained national attention from Channel Five’s Duets. News Five’s Duane Moody caught up with the artists today.
“Welcome to Belize…”
Desiigner, Hip Hop Artist
“Thank you, thank you, thank you. We about to shut it down. Heck yeah. Shout out to Fareed Ahmad. We on the mega stage; it’s Music Week. My big bro, Shyne mien, Zana Ray, the family out here. Belize, we home mien.”
“Is this your first time to Belize?”
“Yes, it’s my first time and it’s not going to be my last. We are going to keep coming back every summer if we can, make this thing lit, lit, lit.”
Duane Moody, Reporting
Earlier today, Hip Hop artist Desiigner from the U.S. touched down at the P.G.I.A. Desiigner and several other artists, including Bre-Z—better known as Frida Gatz from hit series Empire—as well as Kranium arrived today for Belize Music Week 2018. These artists along with several international DJs will be featured on Saturday in honor of Fareed Ahmad, who was slain late last year in Hattieville. Manager Zana Ray, who is a Belizean American, shared the excitement of the collaboration.
Zana Ray Rhaburn, Manager/Promoter
“I really wanted to bring the culture to Belize, the hip hop culture, the people I have been interacting with. I really wanted to make a staple in Belize, so me and Fareed were working on this before he passed away. And I definitely wanted to make sure I brought it back in lieu of how he died just to bring awareness to it. This is supposed to be a charity concert to go to the barbering community and try to start like a school for the kids that are left over as well as take care of his family and stuff like that. So I appreciate everyone coming out. We got Desiigner, I got Megan Wright, Bre-Z from Empire. We got Megan Wright my favorite DJ hitting the stage and we got Gizzle, she is also from Belize. So just wanted to bring the culture today and we got Kranium. Kranium’s in the building.”
Shyne Barrow, Music Ambassador, Belize
“Music Week is an annual thing; this year is particular special as Zana Ray said. Unfortunately her cousin was slain, but Fareed and I, his barbershop is in mu community so we had talked about his cousin who manages Desiigner and how the civic is opening up and wanting to do something at the civic. And Zana was supposed to meet with me before he passed away, but when he passed away, she came to bury him and we made a connection and that’s how Desiigner coming to music week happened. So this is a great thing for all of our artists to see that they are on a level with everybody else. I know that when I’m around greatness, it inspires me to be great. So I am glad that all the hip hop artist and R&B artists will be able to take the Fareed Ahmad stage with Desiigner and so we pay tribute to Fareed Ahmad who lost his life unfortunately. And at the same time, we can inspire our musicians and put on a great show for Belizeans.”
Also being featured on the hip hop stage is Belize’s very own King Kosa, who has made it big in the music scene, working with famed Jamaican producer Rvssian. Debuting right here on Channel Five’s Duets with Brian Gabb, Kevin Thompson is no stranger to the performing arts and extremely talented.
King Kosa, Belizean Artist
“I know it is KTV now, but when I was on it, it was Duets and me and my homie, Bryan Gabb, we came a long way. My experience on that show and the publicity light, I got insight in being public with my music. Even though I didn’t go the direction on my art, music and it was more like comedy, it was still an experience. It was good to have. Shows like these help you to promote yourself. You share your talent with everyone to see what you got. I got into music when I was twelve years old. When I really started wanting to take it seriously, I was like seventeen. My momma used to always ask me what you wanna do after school, but I could only think about music. I used to miss school probably a whole week just to be home writing, writing, writing…or making beats or like; cause music is, I don’t see myself doing anything else. So like me as King Kosa, King comes from a flower in concrete, a diamond in a stone.”
In its third year, Music Ambassador Shyne Barrow says that Music Week has grown leaps and bounds and is a fusion of everything Belizean; giving homage to artists such as Mister Peters, Andy Palacio and Paul Nabor, but also showcasing the landscape of Belizean musicians and artist in today.
“We’ve come a long way since Lord Rhaburn and Andy Palacio. We have a much diversified music landscape and I try to cater to that—not just one particular genre of music cause last night everybody and dehn ma who ina punta music mi deh deh—from punta queen to Supa G. Tonight we have TY, Dajah [and] Bastic. So we have every dancehall and reggae artist. And tomorrow night we will have all of the hip hop artist from Bing Bang, Kosa came all the way from Miami to Desiigner. So our music community is great and I cater to all of them and I invite everybody from north. We have rappers from San Pedro, we have DJ from Benque, we have singer from Benque; we have people weh wah sing Spanish music tonight, rappers weh wah rap in Spanish tomorrow. This is really the biggest music concert of the year. This is our Coachella, this is our Woodstock, this is our Rolling Loud so everybody come out and enjoy unuself.”