Reggae star Sizzla Kalonji closed out night two of Reggae Sumfest, despite the rainfall that came down suddenly at the Catherine Hall venue, sending many patrons scurrying out. After a long night of performances and a tribute to producer Dave Kelly, Sizzla’s profuse catalog sufficiently entertained those who were determined to stay.
The 46-year-old, who was one of the few acts that refrained from using expletives, opened his set with the 2003 hit song I Was Born, from his Rise To The Occasion album, and transitioned to his 1998 song Good Ways from the album of the same name. Praise Ye Jah, the title track from his 1997 album followed— produced by the legendary, Philip ‘Fatis’ Burrell.
It was a uniformed and well-executed 25-minute presentation with Sizzla in his militant Khaki attire, complemented by female dancers fully covered in colorful dresses, the must-have flagman swinging the colors of the Rastafarian emblem, and his melodic back-up singers who wore red, green, gold, and black skirts.
Sizzla gave two members of his camp the opportunity to deliver their songs on the Sumfest stage.
He reeled out more hits including, his 2003 song Give Me A Try, You Got To Be Strong, Dry Cry, and his Dancehall hits No Way and It’s Burning—which revived the audience, before closing his set with his 2006 hit song Take Myself Away from the album The Overstanding.
Sizzla is by far one of the most prolific songwriters in Reggae and Dancehall, with a catalog that’s nearing 100 albums. His latest is Rise Up, which was released on Friday, July 22.
The 12-track set includes songs such as We Pray, Nuh Idle, Hard Ears, and So Beautiful.
He released his first album Burning Up in 1996 at the age of 20 on the RAS Records label. His self-produced The Messiah album earned him his first Grammy Award nomination in 2013.
However, Sizzla’s most acclaimed albums are his sophomore project Black Woman and Child, which was released in 1997, and Da Real Thing, which was released in 2002.