Bling Ras carving a niche

Friday, December 28, 2018

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When Bling Ras performed at Ghetto Splash in 2013, he shared the stage with two of dancehall's hottest acts: Popcaan and Aidonia. Two weeks ago, he showed up unannounced at Drewsland Mini-Stadium for his second crack at the popular free concert.

With Beenie Man's 'assistance', he did only one song which closed the show, but it was enough to get the crowd's attention.

“It put mi pon a bigger platform 'cause di blogger dem a wonder if me and Govana inna tings. It put mi name out dey,” he told the Jamaica Observer's weekly Splash.

Bling Ras said he got backstage due to his ratings in Waterhouse. He took the stage after Govana's performance, and despite the physical protests of a Govana supporter, performed his current song Money Nuff.

The Clarendon-born artiste (real name Marlon Dennis) has been in the music business for 18 of his 34 years. Most of that time was spent as a member of singer Junior Reid's JR Productions camp which has strong roots in Waterhouse.

Though he recorded several songs for Reid's label, none were released. It was not until he left and worked with producer Jamie Roberts (son of Shocking Vibes' Patrick Roberts) that his first song, Talk mi Mind, was released.

This year, Bling Ras found willing partners in D Money Productions out of Miami. They produced Money Nuff which was released in July; it is among a clutch of songs he cut for the label that are expected to be on his debut EP.

The wiry Bling Ras is from the town of Mocho and attended Lennon High School in Clarendon. He recalls “beating desks and deejaying Bounty Killer chunes” at school, as well as listening to Merciless, another Clarendon native.

Moving to Kingston, he had a lengthy run with Reid, helping JR Productions get their songs out to sound systems and radio stations. While his impromptu performance at Ghetto Splash gave him valuable exposure, Bling Ras said his time with Reid's camp provided invaluable knowledge that will help him break his songs.

“Mi learn how fi market music, mi have dat look. Mi know how fi bus' song in di streets, so wi a look fi great tings next year,” he said.

— Howard Campbell

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