The Empress Uprising Reggae Festival (EURF), took place on International Reggae Day July 1st 2022. The EURF is the first of its kind in Liverpool; with female organisers, female only DJs and performers, taking the lead in all aspects. Traditionally women are kept at the peripheries of reggae and dancehall but we honoured Jamaican music & culture in the form of reggae, lover's rock, Dancehall music and showcased some amazing, female, reggae Selectors & DJ's and singers, putting black women centre stage in what was a night of good vibes and stella performances from our live singers.
Our female only DJ
line-up! Confirmed DJs were: Sassy
and yours truly
performances from Dawn
and special guest performances from the UKs top reggae legends including the fabulous Lovers rock sensation Janet Lee Davis! We had also hoped to have Sylvia Tella perform but contractual obligations prevented her from attending. Nonetheless, we had an amazing night. We started with a welcome set from guest DJ Sassy Empress and DJ Dawnie
LadySpice and Lorraine
Vybz all playing wicked sets throughout the evening. MC
& performer Silver
Rose graced the mic with her top ‘natch’ inimitable, comedic style.
Everything we did helped us to achieve one or more of our six Festival aim. In our application we stated we wanted to:
• celebrate and raise awareness of Black female contribution to reggae music
• reduce the over-representation of individuals (in particular women), who are depressed
• improve quality of life and promote mindfulness;
• allow for Cultural Caribbean expression
• preserve and offer a deeper understanding and appreciation of reggae music
We decided that 01 July 2023 was the right time to hold this unique regional Festival as the date coincides with International Reggae Day.
YOU CAN VIEW FOOTAGE OF THE EVENT BELOW
Over the years, for one reason or another, evidence of Liverpool Caribbean community has all but completely disappeared from Liverpool 8 (and surrounding areas). Closures of community assets such as the Merseyside Caribbean Centre, has subsequently left a vacuum and a huge, cultural chasm. There was vibrancy. There was energy. And there was a massive amount of music to be heard; many different ethnic sounds from calypso, reggae to dub, belting out of somebody's window, shop front, car, or mouth! All courtesy of the Caribbean community. Yet all these influences have too soon gone. CreativeSpice want to pay homage to our 'Windrushers', honour and to raise awareness and understanding, encouraging national recognition of Black, female stories and perspectives through the medium of reggae music. Reggae music is transformative, has long been used to celebrate culture and tradition and remains the music of the disenfranchised Diaspora. Our event will be a culturally edifying, regeneration of self, post-pandemic event, to overcome the loss of loved ones, and a return to normalcy. We want to provide attendees with the opportunity to experience positive, uplifting, inspirational music, in the process alleviating any and all residual Covid angst, even if only for the duration of the event. This event will expose our audience to a rich tapestry of Caribbean culture, honouring reggae culture and showcasing some amazing best, female, reggae Selectors & DJ's/musicians and singers from the North and beyond. We want to help to increase the visibility of said females, putting women centre stage. We hope to run this annually on a cross-regional basis.
100% Female performers!
100% Female DJs & Selectors!
100% Positive Vibes!
Janet Lee Davis
Born in 1966, London, Britain. Janet relocated to Jamaica at age three and grew up in the Aged Harbour Bay part of St. Catherine.
Following a customary path of many Jamaican performers, her vocals had been nurtured performing in the neighbourhood chapel choir. Although a reliable chorister, she was inspired by the US, R&B, pop and reggae hits that she performed in neighbourhood shows. In 1981 she moved in to the sound system circuit, forming an allegiance working with the St. Catherine-based Ghetto Sound, performing both as vocalist and in the DJ style. Her versatility obtained her notoriety and she demonstrated that she was similarly proficient at performing in stage shows.
Lee Davis relocated to the UK and her preliminary recording session emerged when she linked up with DJ Jah Walton through soundman Vego Wales. She was asked to talk on the number #1 hit for Style Records, ‘No Touch Me Style’, working with the DJ performing as Joseph Natural cotton. Although Lee Davis had not been credited on her behalf performance in the hit, she quickly obtained reputation with her solo hit for Flash, ‘Never Gonna Let You Go’.
In 1987 she returned to Fashion for ‘Two Timing Lover’, while the B-side, ‘Call Me An Angel’, featured her DJ skills, recorded under the name of Shako Lee. The song was written by Philip Leo who also worked with her for the vocal/DJ release ‘I’m Gonna Make You Happy Again’ and ‘I’m In Love’. She also worked with High Power, resulting in the concurrent release of ‘Prisoner Of Love’. In 1990 she topped the reggae charts in combination with C.J. Lewis, performing a version of the 60s hit from Keith And Enid, ‘Worried Over You’. Lee Davis’ success led to a four-album contract with Island Records, and although no album surfaced, the label released ‘Spoilt By Your Love’ and ‘Pleasure Seekers’. The Island sessions were supervised by Barry Boom, who released ‘Just The Lonely Talking Again’, ‘Love Is Alive’, ‘Never Say Never’ and the classic ‘Hello Stranger’. Following from his success with Deborahe Glasgow, Gussie Clarke recruited Lee Davis to perform backing vocals on Cocoa Tea’s Authorised and released her solo hit, ‘Oops There Goes My Heart’. Following from her disappointing brush with the majors she returned to Fashion, secure in the knowledge that she could compete on the wider market while maintaining her credibility within the reggae community.
By 1992 she dominated the UK lovers rock scene with a continuous profile on the reggae chart, including the hits ‘Ooh Baby Baby’, ‘Big Mistake’, ‘Ready To Learn’ and another chart-topper, in combination with Tippa Irie, ‘Baby I’ve Been Missing You’. Another DJ combination came with General Levy for a version of the Joya Landis Treasure Isle hit, ‘Moonlight Lover’.
In 1994 her series of Fashion hits surfaced on Missing You, alongside an array of self-composed new tracks and has proved to be an all-time classic in the lovers rock genre. In 1995 she was awarded a number of accolades including Best Female Singer and Best UK Album by the British Reggae Industry and the Bob Marley Award for Best Female Singer by the Black Arts, Sports And Enterprise Awards. By 1997 her quest for international recognition was almost complete, having been described as the ‘queen’ of contemporary lovers rock. Her collaboration with Mr. G Spot, Wayne Marshall and Barry Boom highlighted her songwriting, singing and DJ skills, as well as consolidating her reputation for sheer hard work and professionalism.
Zee is a singer songwriter whose professional career started at the age of 18. Her debut started by singing with a local reggae band called Sword of
Jah Mouth. Since then she gone on to work as lead vocalist with Dawn Zebby
and the Reflections (Sonia and Sharon Blake). Jersey St (Neil Reid
and Matt Steele), Sugar Minott, Victor Haynes, and New Order.
UK born is an artist on a high dose of creativity. Not only is she an accomplished figurative artist and illustrator her first passion is singing or in her case rapping! Open too many
ideas when writing her music Nikki
with many different types of genres such as soul dance, dubstep, house, and Hip-Hop. Hip-Hop music has given her the opportunity to travel
and perform in many places, managing projects around the globe.