It appears as though Fire King Fantan Mojah’s fervent pleas to be added to this year’s staging of Reggae Sumfest have come to nought, even after catching the attention of the festival’s Marketing Strategist Skatta Burrell.
Almost three weeks ago, Fantan had taken to Instagram Live, where he implored fans to appeal to the festival’s promoters Joe Bogdanovich and Skatta Burrell, to add him to the flineup, claiming that he was being left out every year even though he played a significant role in their label Downsound Records’ rise to musical prominence.
In responding to the Mama Hungry artist, on Instagram on Tuesday, Skatta acknowledged that Fantan was indeed a good artist, who had given “a thrilling performance at Reggae Sumfest 2018”.
He said, however, that “since then due to the COVID pandemic, there had been only two official stagings of the festival and “due to contractual obligations from 2020 that had to be postponed” Downsound Entertainment is continuing to book artists who had “prior negotiations with us”.
Despite the explanation provided by the Coolie Dance producer, Fantan, jumped in the comments, insisting that he ought to be added to the Sumfest line-up.
“Skatta, me still want piece a the show Skatta before me leave to Europe. Big up my boss Joe!!!” Fantan wrote.
Several fans, and even music selector Boom Boom who served as an emcee at last year’s staging of Sumfest, pleaded with Skatta to book Fantan. But Skatta, in response to the calls to yield and book Fantan, responded in the negative.
“He was already booked. He not the only reggae artist in Jamaica and others also needs to be booked. I’m 100% sure he will be on again very very soon,” Skatta declared.
There was a jeering spree in the comments by persons who saw that Fantan was beseeching Skatta to get him on the show.
“🤦♂️It’s sad for Asa big dj n Ina d business fi years a beg for show a joke diss😂😂😂😂u ever see sizzla n I wayne a beg for booking smh chro a dem man deh set levels to d game hear,” romaine_shortdon876 mocked, then added: “Fantan Mojah, smh u nuh see dem nuh rate/respect u Asa general Ina game🤦♂️dj”.
“Fantan, your days done me boss, just go hold a bench and easy😂,” mocked zj_invy.
Fantan, whose given name is Owen Moncrieffe, initially worked with Kilamanjaro sound system where he performed songs during sound checks. At that time he bore the moniker “Mad Killer”, after Dancehall heavyweight Bounty Killer.
Fantan Mojah was among the top new Reggae acts of the mid-2000s when he was signed to Downsound. While there, the St. Elizabeth native released the song Hungry which shot to the number one position in the Jamaican charts where it stayed for eight consecutive weeks straight.
He also released his debut album Hail the King in 2005 which comprised of hits such as the title track Hail the King, Corruption and Nuh Build Great Man which featured Jah Cure.
Later on, he released the albums Stronger in 2008, Rebel I am in 2012 and Rasta Got Soul in 2016.
In early 2021, Fantan, who gained popularity for thoughtful, reflective songs, came under fire from dub poet Mutabaruka and Foota Hype, following the release of his risqué song Fire King on the Lingerie riddim, and its accompanying raunchy music video.
However, by May Fantan had released another song Touch That Body, with even more graphic lyrics and even changed his style, now singing in falsetto on a Reggaeton riddim. The accompanying music video for that song, saw him cavorting with more than 20 women who were clad in thongs and booty shorts, on a beach somewhere on Jamaica’s north coast.
In the face of more critricisms, Fantan had said that he was pleased with the reaction of Dancehall fans to Touch That Body.
“Everybody love the song, everywhere it ah create a buzz, Suriname, Caribbean, Africa. People love the dancehall side of Fantan Mojah. I had always wanted to go dancehall, but I never found a producer who was confident enough to try the dancehall side of Fantan Mojah…,” he had said.