Marvellous Mackie Conscious
Rastafarian-conscious singer Mackie Conscious is scoring more goals in music than one could imagine. Not only is he writing and performing; he has a wide knowledge to put national and international views in a frame that most artists find very difficult to even attempt. He may not be a Grammy winner but has helped to place Montego Bay on the map.
“I was born Dennis McKay, lived in Mt. Salem, went to St. James High school, then Montego Bay Community College; majoring in Business Education, specializing in Accounts, Economics, and Business Law”.
Quite a mouthful, one would assert.
“I ventured into music because I found out I could write well, compose, and deliver in a way that people could understand. And, I also play five musical instruments including drums, guitar, and keyboards”.
Montego Bay with its many faces – from rich tourists relaxing on the white sanded beach to the gritty, ugly life of violent prone communities – could not escape anyone, like Mackie Conscious who cared for others, including our youths.
“I decided to have a school tour to enrich young minds; that there is a future out there for everyone; that one can rise above poverty through a good education, discipline, self-reliance, and determination.”
With no real budget, Mackie Conscious contacted schools such as Cornwall College, St. James High, Herbert Morrison High, and Glendevon Primary. And within weeks he was on the road to success in 2018.
“I wanted only thirty minutes from the schools’ devotional exercise during which I presented a motivational speech along with my song, “Follow Your Dreams,” which was released the same year.
“I knew every child had a dream and that it was my responsibility to reach as many young minds as possible”.
“The response was good and there were signs that my work had improved discipline and made students have a positive outlook on life.”
“I never ever considered making money. That to me was secondary; it was to reach, even one child from each school with the message.”
This initiative would have expanded were it not for the interference of COVID-19 restrictions, which kept people at a distance from each other, and the lack of Corporate Jamaica support.
However, there were other initiatives that Mackie Conscious led with much fanfare from the media.
“One was Entertainers Against Crime and Violence, which a dedicated group of entertainers fuelled under my leadership.”
MoBay was experiencing a flare-up in violence. Jamaica’s livelihood with tourism at the helm was threatened. This was our main source of revenue. So, this tour was to show that unity was important.
“Beginning in 2017 were the likes of Freddie McGregor, Pinchers, Anthony Cruz, Queen Ifrica, and Tony Rebel. They performed at free concerts to the public, which pulled out some 20,000 people at one venue, Dump Up Beach in MoBay”.
In addition, Mackie Conscious has been performing on virtually all major shows in Montego Bay, including Reggae Sumfest and the Jazz and Blues Festival.
His singles, though not chart hitters are impacting lives.
“I did a song titled, ‘What If,’ with lines ‘What if the poor should become the rich and the rich become the poor?’ This, he says, “is a lesson for those who believe life will always be the same.”
This song made it to the top 20 national charts in Jamaica. He related the morale behind, ‘Leave The Crumbs Alone.’ “Everyman has a space, or opportunity in life. So, make use of yours; never prevent others from getting their glory.” The video won the Caribvibes Music video award of the year in 2010.
A third song is, ‘The World Is in Trouble,’ because we are not united. He has won, Best Recording Artiste from The Jamaica Federation of Musicians. This was for the song, ‘What If,’ in 2001.
“I also wrote a song, ‘Country Life,’ sung by Linford McIntosh which was placed in the finals of the Jamaica Cultural and Development Commission (JCDC) Festival Song competition in 2009.”
Mackie Conscious also made it to the finals of the competition twice with ‘Jamaica This Paradise’ in 2015, and ‘We Big All Around’ in 2018.
There is so much more to talk about, like his invitation to the Fifth Summit of the Americas, held in Trinidad and Tobago, April 17-19, 2009, and his first performance abroad, which was in Florida, US.
Mackie Conscious latest project, ‘Brighter Day,’ is a combination with the international act, Luciano.
And the artiste’s dreams of walking the red carpet to collect a Grammy award might seem long, but not forever.
(Photo courtesy of Mackie Conscious)