Friday, September 7, 2007

WE Spotlight - HOT VEGAS

By Natasha G. Samuels

On August 28, 2007 Clifford Smith, affectionately known to dancehall reggae fans as Mr. Vegas, released his fifth album on the Los Angeles-based independent record label Delicious Vinyl Records. With hits like “Hot Wuk” and “Tek Weh Yuhself” the “Hot It Up” album is destined to be another “sell-off”compilation for the Jamaican born artist.

Mr. Vegas, is a living legend of sorts considering his swift climb to the top. His single, “Heads High” released in the late 1990’s and debut album of the same name was an instant hit and catapulted the “sing jay” to the top of the charts in Jamaica, America and Europe.
His efforts, right out of the gate, earned him recognition as the Best Reggae Artist from the British Music of Black Origin (MOBO) awards and the Tamika Reggae Awards. His crossover hit “Heads High” skyrocketed to the top of the charts and remained in heavy rotation on urban radio stations such as New York’s WQHT (Hot 97) and on mainstream music television programs on MTV.

Imagine, all this success from an artist whose career was almost derailed back in 1997 when someone broke his jaw with an iron pipe. His mouth was wired shut and many who compared the singer to Sanchez, Tenesaw and Barrington Levy (his idols) were convinced that the career of Mr. Vegas, who was a studio regular since 1986, was over. But determined, energized and focused Vegas overcame adversity and returned to the studio. Although his damaged jaw limits his ability to belt out reggae tunes as he used to before the assault, it forced him to adopt a new sound called singjaying, which has blessed our ears since “Nike Air.”

Vegas remains one of the most sought after artists by producers who pull him into studios on the regular to voice tunes. As a result of his busy studio schedule, Mr. Vegas’ pristine catalog of music includes “Hot Gal Today” from his sophomore album which was voted one of the all time best combinations by the American urban music publication, Vibe Magazine. His third album entitled “Pull Up” included the hit song of the same name (the Spanish cover which also catapulted Miami, Florida based artist Pitbull into international fame) and “Tamale” which was released on Delicious Vinyl Records.

Not only is Mr. Vegas hot on the tracks, he is also hot on stage. The artist remains in high demand by show promoters as evidenced by his schedule, which took him from Italy to Jamaica and back to the UK, in a five day period during his tour in August.

During his performances, it is not uncommon to see Mr. Vegas behind the safety ropes in the midst of a sea of his female fans who step on each other simply to touch and fondle one of our living legends from the dancehall reggae genre. “Hot It Up,” was subsequently released in Japan and Europe following the August 28th debut in North America and will be released in Germany on September 21, 2007.


thebrandnewheavies said...

what is a 'sell off' compilation ?

Natasha GailAnne said...

The lingo in my parts must be different. "Sell Off" means it sell off!! yuh neva hear dem seh di show sell off