By Sebidde Kiryowa
They are as famous for their energetic live performances as they are the dancehall hits Everyone Falls In Love, I Got News For You and Give It To Her.
This weekend, the dynamic Jamaica-born dancehall duo Tanto Metro & Devonte will be taking some of that energy to the 26th Annual Uganda North American Association (UNAA) Convention in San Diego, California.
The duo is set to blaze up Ugandan participants as the major attraction at the ‘Fire At The Hyatt’ Supper Concert at Hyatt Regency La Jolla Hotel on the evening of Saturday August 30 after the boat cruise.
The UNAA Convention, to run from Aug 29 – 31, is a three-day annual gathering of Ugandans and friends in the Diaspora held every Labour Day weekend in different cities in North America.
With over 3,000 Ugandans from around the world attending it annually, the convention is the premier Ugandan networking event in the world.
It is attended by high level dignitaries from Uganda, the US and Canada; from both government and the private sector.
Besides its business, education forums and political governance debates, it celebrates Uganda’s rich cultural heritage.
Hemdee Kiwanuka, the president of Network Showbiz, an independent California-based production and management company that has organized the show and is in charge of production and entertainment at the convention, says the show will also feature four more support acts.
“It’s going to be a blazing hip-hop and R& B affair featuring Yung from the hip-hop group, Swag District; US-based Nigerian international Pop/R&B Sensation Meaku; Ben from the hip-hop act New Boyz and our own Rachel K,” Hemdee says.
Yung from the hip-hop group, Swag District
About the artistes
Tanto Metro (born Mark Wolfe in Kingston, Jamaica) acquired his stage name from working on the Metromedia sound system.
He moved on to become part of Patrick Roberts' Shocking Vibes organization and released the solo album Ratings in 1995 which featured guest appearances from Beenie Man and Dean Fraser.
He subsequently established a working partnership with tenor-voiced singer Devonte (born Wayne Passley), and the duo had a major hit in Jamaica in 1997 with "Everyone Falls in Love", which was followed by an album of the same name produced by Roberts.
The single and album also sold well in the United States and Canada (the album topped the Billboard Top Reggae Albums Chart and the single reached number 6 in the Canadian singles chart), leading to a deal with Epic Records The duo were compared to the similar duo of Chaka Demus and Pliers.
The duo's second album, The Beat Goes On, was released in 2001 by VP Records in Jamaica and Universal in the US.The album reached number 4 on Billboard's Top Reggae Albums Chart in 2002. A single from the album, "Give It to Her", reached number 85 in the Billboard Hot 100. Beenie Man again guested and the duo repaid the compliment on his 2002 album Tropical Storm.
The duo released Musically Inclined in 2006, with a guest appearances from Courtney Melody and Morgan Heritage. A quiet period for the duo followed, although a compilation in VP/Greensleeves Most Wanted series was released in 2009.
They returned with the single "Already Know" in 2013 with a Sly and Robbie-produced album, Request, due for release later in the year.
They might be one man less after the death of JayAre, their 25-year-old member in June this year but Cali Swag District are just as strong today.
The group is popular for their hit debut single, Teach Me How to Dougie, which peaked at number 28 on the US Billboard Hot 100; nine on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, and six on the US Rap Songs chart.
The song’s success led to "Dougie", the dance they did in the video to the song, to become one of the most popular dances of 2010.
The New Boyz are famous for such hits as You’re A Jerk and Tie Me Down.
The weekend will also feature Uganda’s dynamic musical duo Radio and Weasel who will perform alongside other Ugandan celebrated stars such as Rema Namakula, Toniks, and Gen Mega Dee.
“Network Showbiz will provide an international stage, sound and lighting never seen before at any of the past Uganda Conventions, to bolster their performance,” says Hemdee.
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