Richie Spice

Reggae Singer c is currently in Amsterdam, where he kicked off his European tour to a capacity crowd at the Kwaki Festival on August 4.

The tour, dubbed The Healing, continues to Winchester, United Kingdom at the Boomtown Festival on August 13, then on August 19 at the Overjam Festival in Slovenia, and moves to Sound Show in Geneva, Switzerland on August 25 and 26. The healing tour will then move to The Black Music Festival in the United Kingdom on August 27, Sweden on August 30 then back to London, United Kingdom on August 31 and September 2.

The singer will then play in Hamburg, Germany on September 7 and move to Zurich, and St. Gallen in Switzerland on September 8 and 9 respectively, Prague on September 12 and Vienna Austria on September 13. The tour concludes in German cities Stuttgart, Dusseldorf and Berlin on September 15, 16 and 17 respectively.


The Brown Skin singer has been consistent in his delivery of music that resonates with fans worldwide. He recently released the 15 track mixtape, The Healing much to the delight of his fan base.

Fans continue to crave Richie Spice’s work with the emphasis on quality music that teaches and inspires. “It is a collector’s item. People can buy it for many reasons. You can buy it for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, a birthday. It’s a good product,” said the proud father of his latest baby. “I think it’s time. Time and demand, Fans kept on asking, they were starved for a little while.”

Very aware of this request for his signature sounds, the artiste is excited about his upcoming body of work called The Album, from the Element Music Group. This is Richie Spice’s seventh album and will be available on most digital platforms and features new tracks such as the single Where there’s a Will, that is already the subject of positive feedback. There are also plans to release another single and video for another cut called California.

In addition to the aforementioned tracks, Richie Spice reveals that there are a number of other quality cuts from the album that his fans will enjoy. Those include Together We Stand, Sunny Day, and Teach it in the School, a song that he says carries a special message. “The message is all about life, the justice system, the words of Emperor Selassie I, the words or Marcus Garvey. The type of words that people are supposed to be listening to, abiding and living by,” he said.

“We also have songs for the ladies so it’s a whole mixture of different types of music combined and packaged for the album.”

Producers including Clive Hunt, Stephen Stanley and Snow Cone, have added their signature touch to the album on which a number of the tracks were laid by members of Richie’s Spice personal band.

A tour of Africa, where Richie Spice enjoys a strong fan base, is being planned for November.|P


Kingston Kitchen brings Jamaican cuisine to Okemos

 There’s a picture on the wall of Louise Bennett.

Not Bob Marley. Louise Bennett, a Jamaican poet and folklorist.

“She is the first iconic female to take the language of Jamaica global,” Shawn Fearon said. “She paved the way for Bob Marley. I have a soft spot in my heart for females, because I grew up with a single mom. I appreciate talented, hardworking women.”

The art on the walls, which shows Jamaica’s Blue Mountain, Dunn’s River Falls, a bobsled team, cricket and the Reggae Boys tells a story of Jamaica, he says.

Fearon, a Jamaican-born chef who cut his teeth on Mackinac Island, is preparing to open Kingston Kitchen, a scratch Jamaican restaurant, on Central Park Drive in Okemos. He hopes to be open the first week in October.

“It’s going to be an open concept kitchen,” Fearon said. “I will be cooking with my chefs. That’s the fun. I love getting up and coming into my kitchen.”

The menu is plentiful. For instance, there’s three cheese ackee dip served with plantain chips.

Ackee is a fruit-like vegetable. It’s also one of the main ingredients of Jamaica’s national dish, ackee and saltfish. Fearon says it’s delicate to handle.

“My uniqueness is going to be the way I infuse Jamaican flavors into American cuisine,” Fearon said. “For example, I’ll have some American food, but it’s flavored with Jamaican.”

Dishes like Jerk chicken fettucine alfredo and West Indies sirloin and Irie macaroni and cheese, which is available with Jerk chicken or pork.

“Irie, in my country, means ‘everything is good,’ Fearon said. “When you go anywhere and someone asks how are you, one word comes out of your mouth – irie.”

There’s also patwah pork chops.

“My native language is Patwah,” Fearon said. “Patwah means broken English. I’m going to have patwah pork chops, which is seared pork chops, topped with carmelized walnuts and pineapple chutney.”

Fearon is one of nine children, raised by a single mother. The rest of his family is still in Jamaica.

His first job out of high school was at a hospital where he worked in the kitchen, delivering food to wards among other things. About a year in, he started to learn to cook and realized he loved it.

The food he cooked was all vegetarian.

“Unless you had a medical reason to consume meat, we did not cook meat,” Fearon said. “It was a Seventh Day Adventist institution.”

He attended a vocational culinary school for a year, got his certificate, then applied for a work exchange summer program to come to America to work for the summer.

“You have no control of where you are going,” Fearon said. “I came to the U.S., and went straight to Mackinac Island for the summer. I was thinking it was going to be like Texas, not knowing Mackinac on April 28 was freezing.

“I came here with what I had on, and I’m a big guy. I couldn’t afford to buy clothes. I came here with what was about $30 in American money.”

But he came to work, and that’s what he did.

“I was a working fool,” Fearon said. “I was working non-stop, doing three different jobs.”

He started his day in the morning as a cook Patrick Sinclair’s Irish Pub and worked until about 3 p.m. Then he changed and went to work as a server, which he did until about 9 p.m. or 10 p.m.

In Jamaica, the sun goes down around 5 p.m., and it’s pitch dark by 6 p.m., Fearon said. On Mackinac Island, when he got out of work in the evening, his watch said 9 p.m., but the sun was still out. So, he got a construction job that went until about 11 p.m.

When his work visa expired in 2004, he went back to school in Jamaica. He worked under several chefs. Then came back to the U.S. in December of 2007 on the same work exchange program.

He’s been in Michigan ever since.

“Shawn is so full of personality, and sometimes, in the kitchen, that can be a quality you don’t see enough,” said Tony Brodeur. “Just a great attitude and fun personality. If he knows the song that’s on the radio, he sings it.”

Brodeur is the owner of Huron Street Pub and Grill and a partner in and general manager of The Mustang, both on Mackinac Island. Fearon worked for him for the better part of three summers and one winter.

“Once we opened (Huron Street Pub and Grill), I think it was close to about 70 days in, we had to force him to take a  day off. He is a worker.”

When he decided to open his own restaurant, Fearon knew he wanted to bring an experience, a look at, a taste of what Jamaican hospitality is, to this area.

He plans to source as much of his menu as he can locally, but some of it, the Jamaican ingredients, will have to come from Chicago.

Among the Jamaican foods he’ll offer are jerk chicken, smoked jerk chicken, oxtail, curried goat, escovitch fish and coconut curry chicken.

“I’m a fusion guy,” Fearon explained. “I like to fuse food from all over, so to single out a particular dish, it would be very difficult. I kind of consider myself one of these people where I sense that people’s palates are always changing, so you kind of have to change your mindset of creating dishes to go along with those palates.”

Patrons will also be able to experience authentic, unblended, Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee.

“No other coffee in the world grows higher than blue mountain coffee,” Fearon said. “It is known for being the smoothest coffee.”

Brodeur says Fearon handles classic American fare well and, the few times he tried his Jamaican dishes, they were delicious.

“Shawn’s attitude and work ethic are going to definitely help him greatly in his new endeavor,” he said. “Now that I know he’s going to be opening up there, I’m going to have to make a road trip.”

Fearon can’t wait to start.

“For me, I think what I love most is when somebody eats and they say, ‘man, this is good,'” Fearon said. “Whether I created it or not, the fact that I cooked that dish, physically made the dish, that’s where my joy lies. I take pride in the guest being happy because you know you did it right.”