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From St. Croix, Virgin Islands: Bevan Smith Jr.

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JJ Rocks Article # 51: From St. Croix, Virgin Islands: Bevan Smith Jr
From St. Croix Music Magazine, Issue # 10, July, 2007
This is one of those success stories that Im proud to write. Its about a man who came to me for guitar lessons and soon after started to sing on my studio tracks and now he is in a popular reggae band on the island called Black Star. This is about my friend Bevan Iyame Smith Jr.

Iyame has all the right ingredients to be in an authentic reggae band. He works for the energy department so he is very aware of environmental issues and it shows in the lyrics that he writes. And of course he has the look of someone who could have been in Bob Marleys band. But most of all he really cares about reggae music. He is always concerned about his guitar tone and how it fits with the sound of his band. He has called me often to discuss tones, solos, what reggae bands are popular, and what reggae shows that he has attended.

One thing that I really respect about Iyame is the fact that as soon as he knew his basics on the guitar he started playing in a band. He never seems to be concerned about being a guitar virtuoso, only about what works for him and his role in the band. And even though he still does show interest in learning more about soloing, he still puts the overall sound first. That is a sign that points to a real group member musician and not someone who is only out for his own goals.

My very favorite thing about Iyame is his ability to create great lyrics and sing them in a way thats not rap, but sort of an island poetry chant that has incredible rhythms and complex twist and turns. I never heard anything like that before and I have heard many bands through this magazine. In my opinion, if Iyame was to market his style of reggae/chant type of singing, it would be so fresh compared to current day typical rap music that people would instantly fall in love with it.

So lets all welcome Bevan Iyame Smith Jr. to our musician of the month column and I know that we will probably get mail concerning his recordings and how to get them. All I have now are the tracks that he did over some reggae pop songs that were intended for an original musical play. But I think if I keep asking him to record more that all of you readers will one day have something to download that you will be talking about for a long time.

JJ Rocks - The Spotlight Zone