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Jamaican reggae group ‘Culture’ returns to Seychelles

Twelve years after they delighted the crowd with their roots reggae performance, Culture is back in Seychelles, the first stop of its African tour to mark its 40th anniversary.

Formed in Jamaica in 1976, the three-member band with Kenyatta Hill as lead singer and Albert Walker and Telford Nelson as backing vocals arrived in Seychelles on Wednesday evening.

SNA caught up with the band at the International Conference Centre, in Victoria, the island nation's capital, where they were rehearsing for their two and a half hour show scheduled for Friday evening.

All three band members said they were happy to be back in Seychelles, which they described as their home and was looking forward to performing for the Seychellois public, which they say will be a night to remember.

Unlike Nelson and Walker, Kenyatta Hill will be performing in Seychelles, a group of 115-islands in the western Indian Ocean, for the first time as lead singer of Culture. He took over after his father, Joseph Hill, passed away in August 2006 while the group was on tour in Germany.

“I feel excited to be back, and I will pay homage and respect to my father by singing his songs with his brothers,” said Hill.

Walker said it was a pleasure to return to Seychelles twelve years after their last show albeit without Joseph Hill.

“A part of him lives on in his son Kenyatta who is here with us today, and when you hear him, you will hear Joseph,” Walker told SNA.

Walker said Joseph’s passing “spiritually affected the fan base but physically we have to put the best outside, continue and try see what we can do to fulfil that space to make people know that Culture is Culture.”

Although the band is keeping their repertoire for Friday evening a secret, Hill said it will include all of Culture’s hit songs from the 1970s onwards as well as some tracks he has created.

The group is calling on all reggae lovers to come down to the mini stadium to dance the night away “and keep the Culture torch burning”.

Culture’s trip has been organised by Casamba Production and sponsored by JB Holdings.

The Production’s director, Basil Bouchereau, said Culture has many fans in Seychelles and he was positive that they will turn up to support the band.

“I am targeting those people, mainly above 40 years old, who love roots reggae and know Culture but who rarely get a chance to see a roots reggae show in Seychelles”, Bouchereau said.

One of the island's reggae fans, Mervin Henriette, attended Culture’s last show twelve years ago and said he was looking forward to seeing the band again, especially with its new lead singer, Kenyatta Hill.

“I expect Kenyatta to perform as good as his father, Joseph. Although he was not a singer back then he was a member of the crew, and he knows the Seychelles people and what we want from them,” said Henriette.

The show will kick off at 9.30pm and tickets are on sale at USD$18.

Reggae music is very popular in the island nation and bands like UB40, Steel Pulse, O’Yaba and Lucky Dube have performed for the Seychellois fans.

Culture performed in Seychelles in 1994 and 2004.

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