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Ding Dong puts spotlight on dancehall

Staff Writer


Flanked by 40 dancers, Ding Dong put the dance back in dancehall on Sunday night at Chris Brown and Friends Under the Influence.

The dancer-turned-artiste was among the local star-studded cast of contributors who more than set the pace for the night.

As the first of the scheduled acts to grace the stage, Ding Dong says it was essential for him to put Jamaican culture on display.

“A that we forward yah for, enuh. You know how it go, we come fi represent the culture, represent the fun part of the culture, dancing part of the culture weh the world wah see and we do it the right way,” he explained.

Entering from stage right with a host of performers in tow, the artiste with his patriotic handcart, pressed Gas with his hit song of the same name.

With the men and women clad in white baseball tops with their names in fuchsia on the back, the company left no crevice of the stage un-danced upon.

Speaking on the work it took to pull off the gigantic feat, Ding Dong, whose given name is Kemar Ottey, told The Gleaner, “This took commitment, big up me team, the whole a ravers, the whole a the dancers them, everybody. Them know themself. We work day and night. It took about three day, four day, five days of rehearsal. We just put effort into it, everything we put inah it.”

While performing to a nearly full arena at the National Stadium, the dancehall veteran made to sure to pay homage to his now deceased mentor, Bogle.

“Listen to me, Bogle a the man weh we idolise. A him make me feel like fi dance. So you see fi get a stage like this, anuh normal stage, anuh normal platform. Me couldn’t do it and left out Bogle. Bogle affi deh deh. Him affi inah the mix cause a him carry we come yah suh. You know a Ding Dong Ravers and me is a man weh always pay love and tribute and respect to everybody. From Voicemail to Elephant Man, everybody we pay respect to.”

Alongside his hype man Scrappy, whose voice permeates every track the artiste produces, he performed his dance hits including Stir FryFlairyBounceGyalis Story and his other meteoric singles.

As the crowd erupted following his set, Ding Dong expressed his gratitude for the admiration of this generation of dancers.

“You just affi have love inah your heart, man. Love everybody, respect everybody who a dweet fi a living,” he said.

While keeping tight-lipped about the next dance craze to surely rock the nation, Ding Dong urged the public to get ready.

“Listen to me, me nah guh tell unuh. Dah one yah a go different, dah one yah a go worldwide. Get ready fi it, get ready! But fi now, drive.”

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