Change the Culture, Change the Future is the mandate of the EKCO Nation charity, and they have been using music and arts to influence this change. One of their initiatives is the bi-weekly Chilled Vibez production which is hosted at Happitude Bar and Restaurant.
This wholesome evening is used to promote “pure music” with live performances and DJ music. Fundamentally, they shy away from music that promotes violence, hatred, sexual immorality, greed, selfishness, lewdness and abusive language. Their team promises fun and fellowship, and they consistently deliver.
The latest edition featured the explosive Justin Excellency Canoville and the Pure Fire Band. Their performance radiated positivity and created a ‘feel-good’ experience. Excellency, who touts himself as both a reggae and soca artiste, delivered pure energy throughout. It was hard not to be captivated by his showmanship as he danced and leapt around during his stint.
The infectious beat of his songs ensured that the audience remained zoned in on him. In a heart-warming moment he brought his wife Shakila, a member of the band, to the forefront, as he delivered a tribute to her with his song Loyalty. Through his music he called for love in the community, encouraging the church to reach out to the youth. One of their upbeat numbers was Free Up Yourself. Excellency even included his controversial number Marriage, which speaks out against same-sex marriages.
During his set, the musician delivered testimony of some of the trials and tribulations he had faced as he changed the tone in a moment of introspection. With child-like innocence Rebecca Price joined him, singing the familiar Jesus Loves Me.
The musicality of the band was phenomenal, and all the singers had an opportunity to please the audience with their vocals. Excellency, who is Dominican by birth, paid homage to his hometown, infusing some Bouyon flavour.
Patrons stepped up to the microphone to offer their own testimonies through song in the open mic segment. The first performer was Romario Hunte, who emphatically delivered the message that you can still overcome all odds to succeed, despite having a rough start in life.
He was followed by Deborah Holder singing an original song, which she co-wrote with her husband. On her conclusion, hostess for the evening, Natasha Goslin, encouraged her to record the high-quality song. Another open mic performance came from Desiree, who sang a self- penned piece called I Love You.
Even when the main act was finished, patrons enjoyed a performance by Asher Dynamo Murrell with his witty Ra Ra Girl. (STT)