Kumar steps out Singer to launch solo career Sunday

Observer senior reporter

Friday, September 21, 2018

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Kumar Bent, the former front man with the Grammy-nominated reggae band Raging Fyah, is scheduled to make his debut as a solo act with a performance at Kingston Dub Club in St Andrew this Sunday.

The singer and musician parted company with the popular aggregation in July this year, citing artistic and professional differences. He had joined the band in 2010, four years after it was formed at the Edna Manly College of the Visual and Performing Arts where the members were students.

Bent told the Jamaica Observer that Sunday's show will be used to test the waters with his new music.

“I have an acoustic tour coming up in some really nice spots across Europe for a month in November and December, so I really just want to see how the audience reacts to me and my music,” he said.

“I am one of the original fans of Kingston Dub Club and Uncle Gabre has always been supportive of the work that I do, so when he said to me 'Come hold a joy', it was really easy to agree to perform for the people. I will be doing a 35-minute acoustic performance with some great musicians, then working the sound system playing some of the favourites, including Raging Fyah music,” he told Splash.

Bent explained that the hurt and disappointment that led to the split with his former band mates are gone, and he is ready and excited to chart his new course.

“I really feel good within myself and upbeat about the future. I think right now I am way past what I was doing creatively with Raging Fyah, even though 90 per cent of what the band did was my input. I am seeing a better me. I am a lot more creative and can say the best is yet to come,” said Bent.

Since the split there has been no conversation between Bent and the other members, but he strongly believes it was time.

“The time had come. I really just did it to protect my mental health. Then there was the issue of the pay. After so many years and so much work I just had to protect myself. We have not had any conversation... no call from the band, no call from management. The only person who called is the new guy they have asked to sing. But I have moved on,” he said.

Bent disclosed that he is in discussion with Robert Livingston of Big Yard Music, the man who was closely associated with diamond-selling reggae act Shaggy for many years, regarding plans for the future.

“I am looking to develop other sides including my song writing skills and put myself out there not only as a reggae artiste. I will always love reggae music, but there are other sides to Kumar,” he stated.

Raging Fyah is a five-piece reggae band which was formed in 2006. The band released its first album in 2011, and in 2016 signed to VP Records, with a third album, Everlasting, earning a Grammy nomination. The remaining members of the band are Delroy “Pele” Hamilton, Demar “Demz” Gayle, Anthony “ToniDrumz” Watson, and Courtland “Gizmo” White.

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