Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Steven Browne, 22, and Tendai Kuwaza, 21, want Jacksonians out and enjoying the magic of world music. To that end, they've formed KB Entertainment and hosted dance parties, jumping to the beat of their native Barbados and Zimbabwe, respectfully. You can find them weekly at Seven*Studioz—at the Renaissance Underground on Wednesdays and at the Reggae Soca dance parties on Saturdays. The two men recently sat down with the Jackson Free Press to spread the good news.
How did KB Entertainment come about?
Tendai Kuwaza: We started off in 2003, originally a group of three, but one left for New York, so it's primarily Steven and me.
Steven Browne: We're both from different countries and wanted a place where our music from those countries could be enjoyed in Jackson, reggae at first. We wanted to bring those cultures to Jackson, to provide an experience, a remembered event.
How do you get culture into the events?
TK: We don't force it upon people because when you force it, it doesn't work. Jackson needs to grow a culture to accept things from outside. People grow through exposure, from experience rather than being forced.
SB: We'll have Jamaican food and decorate with flags, to educate under the table, to mix it up.
What does music mean in your lives?
TK: (smiling) Music is a major part of my life. I use it more as a communicator. Everybody understands music, maybe not the words but the beat. As long as something is catchy, they will follow it. It will get in your head, and you'll remember it, even if it's irritating. Music is a big part of my personality. If I'm homesick, listening to music helps me.
SB: When I listen to reggae here, I feel like I'm at home. I've been here three years now, and was not able to listen to reggae or talk to people about it. We're bringing in more than Bob Marley's dance hall stuff. We're incorporating soca, a fast-paced salsa sort of music from the Caribbean Islands, and calypso from Barbados, a little bit at a time.
What has the response been to your events?
TK: We started out with 50 in our crowds. When nothing else is happening in town, we have maybe 200. People do the most popular thing and won't try something different. We want them to come and see if they like it.
What do you see in the future for KB Entertainment and Jackson?
SB: We've started spoken word on Wednesday nights at Seven*Studioz, hosted by YaYa. People can come to do spoken word, open mic, sing, rap.
TK: I find in Jackson most clubs are generics of each other. Young people play the same music. That's another reason we started this. We were sick and tired of the same old thing. … We'd like to get everybody up-to-date in Jackson. I'm sick of hearing it is way behind.
SB: People are always talking that Jackson is way behind, but they wouldn't do anything about it. Even people from the Caribbean were talking but wouldn't do it. We did, and they've responded.
Check out http://kbentertainment.net for the latest info on upcoming events.