In entertainment, we see just about everything there is to see when it comes to artists and their sometimes non-explainable behavior. Usually, the crazy behavior is related to their personal lives, making it easier to dismiss. In the case of Chaka Demus, the non-explainable behavior is professional and involves his fans which is where our disappointment lays.
Kingston Class Reunion hired Chaka Demus and Pliers to perform in Toronto. The original date of performance was July 2nd, however had to be changed to July 16th. The date change was agreed to by Jeffrey of Free People Entertainment, who manages Chaka Demus and Pliers.
Being the professional organization that KCR is, the artists as well as their travelling entourage were accommodated at every request including obtaining a visa for additional associates to travel. The artists received their visas, however, Chaka’s ‘assistant’ and Jeffrey did not receive theirs. This was not the fault of KCR as all paperwork and documentation was submitted at the same time.
When Chaka Demus learned that his assistant could not travel, the artist decided he was not going to come to Toronto to perform. DJ Wiz, a representative for KCR called Chaka Demus and Jeffrey, when it was explained that the assistant is Chaka’s girlfriend and baby mother and he could not travel without her. DJ Wiz explained that there was nothing he could do about the girlfriend as he cannot influence the decision of the Visa officials, nor was she a part of the performance of Chaka Demus and Pliers. Chaka would not hear of it.
After days of phone calls, Chaka agreed to travel. When the flight arrived in Toronto, Pliers and Tiger were present no Chaka.
Once again phone calls were made, another agreement reached with a new ticket purchased; still no Chaka.
To accommodate Chaka Demus, DJ Wiz called a well respected elder from Jamaica, Mr. Patrick Roberts (former executive with Shocking Vibes Records) to accompany Chaka Demus on his travel from Jamaica to Toronto. Mr. Roberts spoke to Chaka who agreed to travel with him. A third ticket was purchased for both Chaka and Mr. Roberts to travel to Toronto on Saturday July 16th. Mr. Roberts arrived at the airport; Chaka did not.
The disappointment felt by the promoter, the fans and media towards Chaka Demus is very high. The city of Toronto was greatly looking forward to his performance with Pliers, and sharing the stage with Tiger. The Canadian Reggae and Dancehall community feels shunned.
We share this information with you because, had we known this artists history, he would not have been chosen to perform at Kingston Class Reunion’s event. We know now that he conducted himself in the same manner regarding an Australian tour last year, and a European tour this year. Jeffrey, his manager is well aware of Chaka’s practices and chose to say nothing. We, Kingston Class Reunion choose to say something so other promoters don’t experience the distress we felt.
The show went on…
Tiger and Pliers have become the toast of Toronto with their exceptional performances! Rocking the crowd with hits like “Bam Bam,” and “When,” Tiger did not allow the effects of a stroke to stop his music career. He often laced the crowd with anecdotes between songs such as ‘it’s nice to be important but it’s important to be nice,’ much to the crowds glee!
“Her Love Is Burning” and “Tease Me” had the Toronto audience in the grip of Pliers hands, especially the ladies who could not take their eyes off the veteran entertainer! At one point, Pliers addressed the crowd by saying “yuh done know, it’s supposed to be Chaka Demus and Pliers, but right now, ah Pliers alone who ah represent; big up Toronto people!”
Special mention goes to Mel Dube whose performance of her original song “Bring It” was as hot as the heat wave gripping the East Coast. Ammoye, fresh from her trip to Serbia (to perform at the Exit Festival), maintained her status as Canada’s Female Artist of the Year with her performance of “Sorry!”
Rounding out the opening acts was Uncle Jonny who won the crowd over with his song “Jamaican Girls.” One fan said “Uncle Jonny gets it right – Jamaican girls are the best in the world!”
During his performance, Uncle Jonny paid tribute to his good friend Sugar Minott in honor of the anniversary of the Icon’s passing. Fans pulled up the song “Mr. DC” as the vibes were high when reflecting on the greatness he contributed to the industry.