by Howard Campbell
NEW YORK – During the November 16 show celebrating the 20th anniversary of his Grammy-winning album, Dutty Rock, Sean Paul brought veteran sound system selector Lion Face on stage at Webster Hall in New York.
He presented him with a plaque marking the album’s triple platinum status (three million copies sold) in the United States.
Later, Sean Paul acknowledged Lion Face’s impact on his career saying, “Dem man ya treat mi like family from day one.”
It was a big honor for the Trinidad-born Lion Face, who spent some of his formative years in the United States Virgin Islands before moving to New York where he launched his dancehall career in the late 1980s with the legendary King Addies sound system.
He was the first person to book a fledgling Sean Paul for a show in Boston which took place in 1997. The following year, Lion Face took the Jamaican deejay to Bermuda.
In 2000, he booked Sean Paul’s first gig in New York, at Club Warehouse in Brooklyn.
Two years later, the toaster was a mega star thanks to the hit-laden Dutty Rock.
“I wasn’t surprised when his career took off, knowing that any and every artist that I introduced to the world careers skyrocketed, including Bounty Killer and Agent Sasco. I am honored to have played a part in Sean’s upcoming and very grateful for the acknowledgement that a lot of other artists don’t show,” said Lion Face.
The Webster Hall show was a joint venture between Murray Elias, a music industry veteran who was Sean Paul’s A&R representative for 10 years, and Hot 97 FM in New York, which helped break Dutty Rock in the US.
Lion Face is also a producer whose latest project is the Xcel Riddim album which features artists such as Rayvon, Mr Easy and Elephant Man. It is scheduled for release on November 23.