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Reggae star’s all set to impress

Romain Virgo’s album Lovesick made it to the top of Billboard’s reggae chart last year.

Bermuda has the chance to hear him live this weekend; the Jamaican artist and his nine-piece band will take the stage at No 1 Car Park.

“It’s truly a blessing to be returning to Bermuda,” said the 29-year-old, whose chart climb began after he won Digicel’s Rising Stars competition in Jamaica in 2007. “I’ve been there once — I can’t remember when it was, I think around 2012 — and it’s a beautiful island. We always talk about how clean Bermuda is. The audience had such a beautiful vibe. It wasn’t a big crowd, but it was a good energy and I’ve always wanted to come back.

“Last time there I was in and out. There are some beautiful spots there and hopefully this time I can see some of the attractions in Bermuda and enjoy your beautiful island.”

Virgo will be here for Live in Concert. Organised by JSC Promotions and Veterans in Action to coincide with the 170th anniversary celebrations of the first Portuguese immigrants here, it also features Portuguese reggae star Richie Campbell and renowned DJ David Rodigan.

“My performance in Bermuda this time will be way different because I’ll be performing with my band,” he said. “It will be an energetic show.

“I sing reggae and lovers rock and I can promise people it will be full of energy and I will be singing as long as I can stay on the stage. I want to make it memorable, something the people of Bermuda can remember for the longest time.”

He started hoping for a music career as a young child.

“It was always a dream to become an artist, but back in my days in high school, in choir and in church, I didn’t think it was going to happen. At 17, 18, I didn’t expect to be known worldwide at that age. It shows dreams can come true if you put yourself in a position to make things happen. I’ve become an artist, I’m travelling the world and looking back at so much I have achieved and so much more to come. It can only get better if I work hard and believe in the direction we’re going.

“It was an amazing feeling to debut at No 1 on the Billboard chart with my third effort. I’d put out a few EPs and never been to No 1 so it was a relief [after trying] over and over again. It’s the story of my life.

“As with most things, it wasn’t a one-time shot for me.”

Even winning the Rising Stars competition — it was on my second try. So it’s nothing new to me doing something over and over again before I achieve, but it helps to see hard work paying off. Hopefully with my album coming out next year, I’ll debut at No 1 and stay on the chart for weeks and months.”

While here, there’s every likelihood he will perform with Campbell. Virgo, who describes him as being “like a brother”, says the Portuguese star was a guest when he wed his longtime sweetheart, Elizabeth, last year.

“We’ve done quite a few performances where he would call me on stage or I would call him on stage,” the Jamaican said. “We’ve been friends for a couple of years.

“He’s somebody who is super, super talented; someone like a brother to me — a very good friend. I met him through my agent who was producing some music for him at the time even though Richie already knew about my music because he’s into the Jamaican culture.”

Although he hasn’t yet shared a stage with Rodigan, he’s grateful for all the British entertainer has done to promote reggae music and musicians.

“He’s somebody who plays an important part in bringing reggae to the world, especially in the UK,” Virgo said. “I remember one of my first songs, he was one of the first DJs to play it. We’re always doing dub plates for him. It’s always a great feeling to link up with him and see how far he’s brought our music, pushing our music to the world.

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