Irie Fashion Rave (IFR), the Diaspora’s premier fashion event will this year honor two industry pioneers, broadcaster Ken Williams and music producer Philip Smart. The tribute, which will form part of Irie Jam Radio’s 20th anniversary celebration, will be held at the posh Resort World Casino in Queens, New York on Sunday, April 28 starting at 6pm.
“Ken and Philip have both achieved excellence in their respective careers and today we celebrate their innumerable contributions. We applaud them for their ongoing support of our Jamaican music and culture and look forward to an unforgettable evening with these two icons” Syntyche ‘Syn’ Dawkins VP of Irie Jam Media and co-producer of IFR said.
Smart, a legendary music producer, engineer and arranger has enjoyed a successful career that span nearly five decades. As owner, operator of the successful HC&F Recording Studio in Long Island, NY, he worked with some of the biggest stalwarts in the reggae industry including Shaggy, Barrington Levy, Coco Tea, Sister Carol, Shelly Thunder, Johnny Osbourne, Augustus Pablo and Horace Andy. Among the most popular tracks he has produced are “Go Deh Yaka,” by Monyaka – which reached #14 on the UK charts – “Hot This Year” by DJ Dirtsman, “Rikers Island” by Coco Tea and “None Shall Escape” by Johnny Clarke. During the 1990’s, at the peak of reggae’s explosion in the USA, Smart recorded five albums for Shaggy, including “Hot Shot,” which was certified Diamond in the United States with an estimated 20 million sales worldwide.
Broadcaster Ken Williams, who returned home last year to assume the position of CEO of Hot 102 FM and board member of CVM Television, is a media pioneer who has had a distinguished career in radio and television in the USA. In the 70’s, he served as Program Director at Inner City Broadcasting/WLIB and was responsible for introduced legendary acts like Bob Marley, Toot Hibbert and Jimmy Cliff to the New York radio listeners and for incorporating a Caribbean music format at the station. He later pioneered Caribbean programs on WNWK 105.5FM and later at WVIP 93.5FM where he hosted the popular Ken Williams Show. Ken has also had an eye for beauty and was instrumental in launching the long running Miss Jamaica/USA Beauty Pageant. He was also a successful business entrepreneur, owning and operating New York entertainment landmarks like Club Negril and Carib New York.
Last year IFR honored Sirius Satellite radio Program Director/ radio host Pat McKay and artiste manager Robert Livingston with ‘Lifetime Achievement Awards’ for their outstanding contribution to the entertainment industry, while Jamaican rapper Heavy D and music producer Joel Chin were each honored posthumously for their contribution to the Jamaican music industry. Previously Kingsley Cooper, the man credited with launching the careers of international models Nadine Willis, Jaunel McKenzie, Gaye McDonald, Jeneil Williams and Carla Campbell, was honored.
Dawkins also announced that Yandy Smith of VH1s Love and Hip Hop will be guest hosting and showcasing her jewelry line ‘Everything Girls Love.’ IFR will be hosted by DJ Roy (Irie Jam Radio, New York) and the ‘Fluffy Diva’ Miss Kitty (Jamaica) with music by Dubb Master Chris, Road International, Steelie Bashment and DJ Cali B.