The 2009 Virginia Reggae Awards Review

ras imekaThe 2009 Virginia Reggae Awards culminated with the annual show case of Virginia Reggae talents. The event was held at MP Island cafe in Va. Beach. on May 16.

First, we THANK everyone for participating in the entire process, from the submission of names to voting and finally attending the V.R.A's. We also would like to thank these lovely people for their services to the VIrginia Reggae Awards and the Virginia Reggae Community:

MP Island/ Oneil & Staff: For allowing and staffing the Virginia Reggae Awards ceremony.
Performers: Ras Attitude, Steve Martinez, I-Ancient, Isareal Bands: Session Rockers, The Itations Band, United Souls
Host (s) Katt and Ras Imeka
W.I.U: West Indies United (For donating the Virginia Reggae Awards Banner)
Sound Engineer: Kirk Walsh and Ed Dred (United Souls). Super work.
Photographer: Ayan Shelton (Jersey Goodas daughter). We would have absolutely no photos if this young lady didn't volunteer her services.
All families and friends of Virginia Reggae.

jah Gu BNyahbinghi drums opened the 2009 Virginia Reggae Awards ceremony. Jah GuB skillfully manipulated his hands across the drawn skin to created the pulsating heart beat which brought life to the entire night. Upon completion Bro Jah GuB was joined on stage by The Itations Band who then proceed to back him as he belted out an unscheduled but very well accepted song.

At this point, with Ras Yonachak at the lead The Itations band took the pace up another notch as they ripped song after song, signifying to the audience that they would be a band to contend with not only in VA but world wide.

Next up was Israel, a very young talent with a bright future. Israel's performance with the Itations band was awesome and was certainly a blessing for Israel as this was his first performance with a live band. Before closing out his performance, Israel called some friends to the stage. Collectively, they along with Israel make up the group, Emperor Sound, a 2009 V.R.A nominee. They proceeded to sing a song called " Bless me" as a tribute to a young man (Skelly) who lost his life. This was not planned but it certainly moved the people in attendance.

Now it was time to present the first three awards:

Katt and Ras Imeka both beautifully clad, took the stage to make the presentations.

new artistFirst up was the New artist award. The Host' called the three nominees, Nubian, I- Ancient and Emperor Soundz to the stage and presented them with their nomination plaques. I-Ancient was then declared the winner and presented with the Virginia Reggae Award.

The Virginia Reggae Ambassador was the second award given. The nominees were Ed Dred, Lady Cham and Bad Joe. Ed Dred recieved his nominee plaque after which the winner was announced to be Lady Cham. Ras Imeka, accepted the award in her behalf.

Sound System award was next. The nominees were Elegance, Love People and Cool mo. The host invited all to come to the stage DJ Cool Mo accepted his plaque. Love People sound won the 2009 sound system award.

IancientThe next performance was on tracks. Tracks are where many artist get their initial start, especially on the roots dancehall scene. Roots Dancehall artist, I- Ancient, the Trinidad native, residing in Northern Virginia, who terms himself the Ganja patient took the stage with children in tow. These two young ones waved their colors as the elder performed tunes which while unknown to many, convinced us that he did deserve the new artist award which he had won earlier.

Next on stage was the United Souls band. With the excitement and energy very high, you would think it could get not more intense. United Souls then proceeded to give the audience a performance no one will soon forget. This band is pure energy and good vibes.

United Souls then called up Steve Martinez to perform songs from his new album. Diamond touch one of the songs from the album went over well with the audience. Steve Martinez is someone to be watching for.

Awards time again.

slamThe Media award nominees were The movement with Quick Draw and Jersey Goodas, Slam dvd Video and Caribbean Shakedown with Bad Joe. As usual the host invited the nominees to accept their plaques. The winner was announced to be Slam DVD Magazine. Katrice took some time to sincerly thank the voters for making them the winner and reminded all of us, that, they do very hard work and certainly appreciated the award.

Favorite Album was the next award given. The nominees were Abbey Kyat for Bouk time, Tuff Lion with Ten strings and SOJA for Stars an Stripes. Abbey Kyat was present to accept her nominee plaque. The winner was announced and Tuff lion's' Ten strings" was named the winner of the 2009 Virginia Reggae awards.

Tribute: At this point during the ceremony the host had a few minutes to do whatever they felt. Katt and Ras Imeka asked the attendees for a moment of silence to remember those who had passed recently.

humble arkPromoters award was next. The nominees were, I.G.M, Humble Ark and Lion heart promotions. I.G.M and Humble Ark were presented with their nominee plaques but the eventual winner was announced and Humble walked away with the 2009 Virginia Reggae awards. Jahboo of Humble Ark, recently lost his father and used this used the time to let us know that it was his parents who financed many of his shows, so we can assume that this award is somehow a small tribute to his Father and Mother.

Producer's award was next. The nominees were Sleepy Wonder for "Jah will be there", Tuff Lion for " Coming of the King" and Fidelity recording for "Change the world". Sleepy wonder accepted his nominee plaque and was the actual winner of this category. Sleep Wonder thanked everyone and told the audience that the VRA meant more to him, than any other award he had been nominated for, as this was his home town award.

Time to rock the session:

Session Rockers took the stage and as soon as their lead singer, Ticia opened her mouth, it seemed as if everyone mouth simultaneously fell open from shock. Her voice was warm, soothing and powerful. They had the audience captivated. Ticia even had the kids doing acrobatics and other antics which i am sure excited the audience. Keep an ear open for this band.

Surprise surprise:

The 2008 Hosts, Lora and Jersey Goodas were then invited to the stage by the 2009 hosts, Katt and Ras Imeka, who then presented them with certificates of appreciation on behalf of the V.RA's. The certificates were presented for their awesome job in 2008.

sleepyFavorite song award: The nominees were Futuristic's "That one", Sleepy Wonder's "Radio Retaliation" and Nubian's " Number one girl". Nubian and Sleepy graciously accepted their awards and then the inner was announced. The winner, Sleepy Wonder had now won his second 2009 Virginia Reggae awards.

The favorite band award was next. The nominees were, Session Rockers, United Souls and The Prisoners. All three bands were in attendance to accept their plaques but the winner was, The Prisoners.

At approximately 7: 35 Ras Attitude blessed the stage and blessed it he did. Ras Attitude had everyone moving, chanting and showing love unlike Virginia has seen before. Hit upon hits upon hits rained down on us and then Ras Attitude was joined by Sleepy Wonder, who was not scheduled to perform but i am sure most will agree that this took the event to a next level. No words can truly describe the vibe at this point, it was just amazing. Ras Attitude and Sleepy Wonder are International stars and they make us proud to call them Home Grown artist.

Final awards time but before that happened.

Certificates of appreciations and gift baskets were presented to the Hosts, Katt and Ras Imeka. The presentations were done by the 2008 host.

ras attitudeFavorite artist was the final award to be given. The nominees were Tuff Lion, Ras Attitude and Sleepy Wonder. Each of these Home Grown artist are globally known and a few people made guesses as to which one would win. With shouts and screams the audience welcomed the Hosts naming the 2009 favorite artist to be non other than Ras Attitude.

The Hosts close out the night but we invite you to stay in touch for the 2010 Virginia Reggae Awards. Submissions begin this November.

For the Children: Kids we hope you enjoyed the Virginia Reggae Awards and your gift bags. Thank you for allowing your parents to be a part of the event.

A special thank you to Vanessa(from MP's staff) for securing the lost recorder for one of the bands.

PS: If you attended the Virginia Reggae Awards, we would appreciate some feed back as to how you think it went. Through your thoughts we can work to further improve the event.