Dancehall show to support reggae stalwart Kent Outerbridge
Sound Boys For Life have come to the aid of one of the Island’s most celebrated reggae ambassadors who is battling illness.
The organisation will stage a dancehall extravaganza at Bailey’s Bay Cricket Club on Saturday night to raise funds for Dub City founder Kent Outerbridge who has played an integral role in promoting reggae music in Bermuda over the past several decades.
Proceeds from the event will go towards covering Mr Outerbridge’s medical expenses. The reggae ambassador and businessman suffers from diabetes and other associated ailments.
“It’s shocking to know that you have people that actually care about my father so much that would go outside of their way to put on an event together for him,” Jahkim Smith, Mr Outerbridge’s son, told The Royal Gazette. “It’s almost breathtaking and it moved me when I first heard about it.
“It’s incredible to see that these guys have come together to do this and we, as a family, are touched and can’t be no more thankful.”
Sound Boys For Life was formed earlier this year with a stated aim of reviving dancehall culture in Bermuda.
Mr Outerbridge’s own sound system, Dub City Sound, will be among the acts showcasing their musical talents during the dance hall fundraiser. The remaining sound systems include Magnum Force, Playbwoy, One Life, Awesome, Prestige, Hollywood, Reality, Blacklion, Blackstar and Ricochet.
Doors open at 10pm.
Reggae music has had a profound influence on Mr Outerbridge.
After falling in love with the music genre, which originated in Jamaica in the late 1960s, Mr Outerbridge started selling vinyl records out of his Hamilton Parish residence.
In 1974 he opened up a business on North Shore Road which was originally a record store before being converted into a grocery store known today as Dub City Variety.
Mr Outerbridge eventually shifted his music business to Hamilton where he operated two stores on Court Street for over three decades.
“Back then if you were a reggae DJ or selector you would have had to have encountered Dub City and everyone pretty much bought their first record from them,” former Souljah One sound system owner David Cunningham, aka Magic, recalled. “You would have had to have bought their music and at one point they were the only record shop on the Island, which speaks volumes. Dub City bridged the gap between reggae music overseas and in Bermuda so Dub (Mr Outerbridge) is an ambassador for sure who I looked up to growing up.”
Sadly one of the Island’s most iconic music stores was forced to close its doors due to a sharp decline in business brought on by the technological advances in the distribution of music.
“Record stores took a back seat once the internet and everything kicked in,” Mr Cunningham explained. “First things went to CD and then it went to online music so the record store owners started losing business to the point they had to pack up shop — and this happened around the world.”
As well as distribute reggae music, Mr Outerbridge staged many concerts involving big acts such as the late Garnett Silk, Beres Hammond, Lone Ranger, King Yellowman and Super Cat.
He also operated a popular sound system, Dub City Sound, and created his own record label, Dub City Records, which boasted local artists Junior C, Corvin Melody, Troyan, Super Sean, and Daddy Runksie to name a few.
Sound Boys For Life honoured Mr Outerbridge’s legacy at February’s Legends Bob Marley Tribute Concert at Bermuda Athletic Association Gymnasium.