Jamaica Rum Festival


Five Questions with Capleton

Reggae and dancehall’s resident ‘fireman’ returns as a headliner for the Jamaica Rum Festival slated for June 25 at The Aqueduct, in Rose Hall, Montego Bay. The event, presented by Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum in partnership with the Jamaica Tourist Board and the Tourism Enhancement Fund, is in its fourth year and showcases Jamaica’s cultural offering, including rum, food, art, and music, woven with interactive activities like seminars and rum-tasting. Capleton brought literal fire to the last in-person staging of the event in March 2020 and had patrons waving everything from rags to phones, as they choired his hit catalogue, including Or WahJah Jah CityIn Her Heart and Small World. As he prepares to take the stage with other headliners, including Sanchez, Romain Virgo and Tessanne Chin, the St Mary ambassador speaks about the upcoming event, blazing the fire for over two decades, and all he’s been up to in this week’s Five Questions. You are no stranger to the Jamaica Rum Festival stage. What can patrons expect? Yeah man, tun it up, bun it up. Rum Fest; it’s not a dumb fest, it’s not a gun fest, you know what I mean, it’s a fun fest. King of fire representing for good over evil. It’s all about the Jamaica Rum Festival, yuh done know; drink responsibly, tun on dah fire yah. It cya cool. In promoting the upcoming show on your social media, you highlighted that you are not endorsing alcohol. How do you determine what events align with your brand and personhood? The whole world knows what I represent when it comes to the music and to the culture. So, you know, I’m doing an alcohol (sponsored) event – that cannot affect my brand in no shape or any form. You know the message is most important, so it’s all about the message. It’s all about the fire. You know what I mean? Rastafari to the fullest. You recently performed in Mexico with the Prophecy band. What was it like performing for your fans overseas, considering the pandemic’s impact on the global entertainment sector? It was my first show after the pandemic. It was highly elating, and the people were very receptive. I was in Mexico for the first time; it was a joy, it was a pleasure. The people love the music, [and] you know music alone shall live. You know people endorse our culture in the four corners of the Earth globally. So, it was a joy for me, and it was a blessing, and I ‘fulljoy’ myself. You are known for your consistent, energetic performances. What’s the secret to ‘blazing’ and maintaining the ‘red-hot’ fire all these years? You know, we value the music and value the importance of the music, stay true to the music … . You what I mean? Eat natural, drink natural… . Stand up for the music. It’s all about equal rights and justice and salvation fi we. And naturally, it’s an in-born thing, too. We just deh yah fi do it; defend the music, defend the culture, and as I said, I keep it real, keep it authentic and know the power of the music. What are your plans for the summer? We definitely ready to turn up the summer, enuh, ‘cause you know how the summer go already [don’t it?] … And there are a lot of bookings in the pipeline, so I’m definitely looking forward to it. Ready fi the road and ready for the people. Mi just ready, and mi jus deh yah. More fire!

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