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Countdown to I Love JA Day: Musical DNA

KEEPING IT IN THE FAMILY: Reggae icon Freddie McGregor, centre, flanked by musical sons Chino, left, and Stephen also known as 'Di Genius' (image credit: Boomshots)

AHEAD OF this month's I Love Jamaica Day festival, taking place in London on Sunday July 30, we take a look at some of the talent with mega-famous parents, to originate from the island.


27-year-old Grammy nominee Stephen ‘Di Genius’ McGregor is among the reggae/dancehall producers credited with transforming the island’s main contemporary sound to an electronic one, combining elements of European dance music with traditional bass-heavy, rhythms.

Di Genius works closely with father Freddie McGregor and brother/well-known artist Chino at the family-run Big Ship recording studio to produce hits for a string of who’s who hitmakers including Vybz Kartel and Mavado to name a few.


READY: Singer Marla Brown, daughter of the late ‘Crown Prince of Reggae’, Dennis Brown (image credit: Gianluca/Adshot)

A product of the marriage between late great Dennis ‘Crown Prince of Reggae’ Brown and his widow Yvonne, songbird Marla Brown is no stranger to the higher echelons of reggae. Constantly touring and performing for an international fanbase, Brown told The Voice:

“My initial reason for singing was pretty much to tell the world how much I love my dad, not so much me choosing to be a singer. My family are my world and the best way to express love, to me, is through song.
Being dad's child has given me a platform to express my worldly loves, these being - faith, love and unity.”


UNIQUE: R&B singer/songwriter Major Myjah, son of veteran deejay Bounty Killer (image credit: Reggae Holland)

Taking a somewhat different path to hard-hitting, politically sharp dad Bounty Killer, singer/songwriter Major Myjah is tipped for big things in his own right by those in the R&B and pop spheres.

The gifted young man has written for the likes of American superstar Chris Brown and takes a holistic approach to his work, being just as comfortable with the guitar as he is with the mixing desk, mic or pen.


BLESSED: Producer/artist Markus Myrie, son of dancehall legend Buju Banton (image credit: Twitter/Markus Myrie)

Producer and mellifluous singer Mark Myrie, who goes by the name of Markus Myrie, has learned from the best - namely his infamous father Buju Banton.

Kingston-born Markus works out of the Gargamel Music studios, whether that be on his own tracks or with genre titans such as Beenie Man, Elephant Man and Shaggy to name but a few.

Vocal about the respect he holds for his dad’s achievements and the importance of integrity, Markus is said to live by the Biblical phrase ‘you will reap what you sow’.


LIKE FATHER LIKE SON: Singer Christopher Ellis, son of beloved crooner Alton Ellis (RIP)

Christopher Ellis is the youngest son of the late Alton Ellis and brother to fellow UK-based singer Lovella Ellis.

After wowing Stephen Marley with an acapella vocal performance, Christopher found himself at a turning point in his career, recording with Marley and Jah Cure at King Jammy’s studio. The end product of this collaborative session was End of Time, Christopher’s first single.

Since then, he has treated fans to R&B-tinged reggae and has no plans to stop until he leaves his own indelible mark on the industry.

I Love Jamaica Day takes place on Sunday July 30, from 12 noon-6pm at Capital City Academy, Doyle Gardens, Willesden, London NW10 3ST. Adult tickets cost £7 and children’s (between 5-12 years old) tickets are £3 - under 5s are free. free. To secure tickets, click here. For further information call 020 7708 6614 or email: Please note that on-site parking will be available and I Love Jamaica Day is an alcohol-free event.

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