#RichieStephens Recent Tour Of Japan – HIS MOST SUCCESSFUL EVER
Jamaican music ambassador Richie Stephens is back home in Kingston, after completing a hectic three week tour of Japan with his newly formed Ska Nation Band from Salento, Italy.
While in Japan, Stephens performed at the annual One Love Jamaica Festival in Tokyo which promotes the burgeoning relationship between Jamaica and Japan. Assuming command of the stage, Stephens and the Ska Nation Band brought the house down in a blaze of glory, delivering Ska songs like ‘Fire Fire,’ ‘Foundation’ and ‘Kingston Salento’ from his recently released album ‘Internationally.’ The award winning singer then effortlessly took fans on a musical stroll down memory lane, delivering vintage hits like ‘Trying To Get To You,’ ‘Color Of Love,’ ‘Live Your Life’ and ‘Everybody Dance.’
“It was amazing having Richie Stephens here” said Gregory Arnold, promoter of the One Love Jamaica Festival. “It was a good opportunity to showcase real Jamaican music and we got more than we bargained for. Looking forward to having the full Ska Nation band next time.”
Stephens also performed at the Greenroom Festival in Yokohama which he headlined with R&B diva Chaka Khan. He also did clubs dates in Kyoto City, Osama, Toyohashi and Chiba plus recorded dub plates for numerous sound systems on the continent.
The singer said the tour was extremely important because it gave him an opportunity to re-introduce Jamaica’s original Ska music from the 60s to the people of Japan and they just could not get enough of it.
“The market for Ska music is wide open in Japan. Opportunities are in abundance” he stated.
“It was whirlwind tour that was truly amazing! All the major cities we visited, people just wanted to hear more and more Ska music that we performed. The Japanese are clearly fascinated with our Jamaican music. From my observation, I would say there is a huge market for all things Jamaican. I would encourage other Jamaican musicians and even our Minister of Culture to find ways to tap into this market that could be very, very lucrative” he noted.
So successful was the tour that Stephens disclosed that after his summer 2016 tour of Europe is completed, he plans to go back with the full Ska Nation band to harvest opportunities that were presented to him.
“I must go back to Japan real, real soon. I received a lot of adoration from everyone there…both young and old. In fact, this may have been the most successful tour I have ever done in the 30 plus years that I have been involved in the music industry. Not only were the shows well attended but I was able to put together a band from Italy and the international Ska Nation dancers from Jamaica, Japan, Italy, Poland, Sweden, USA, England and Germany” he noted.
While in Japan, Stephens and his touring party paid a courtesy visit to the Jamaica embassy where he met Ricardo Allicock, Jamaica’s Ambassador to Tokyo. He also shot two music videos for songs for his album ‘Internationally.’