He was not known to many that were in the audience, but they had probably heard he was from Jamaica, and as the belief is, if he is from the tropical, chances were the show would be lit.
Of course, the show had been also advertised to a specific group of people and that explained why it sold out even when it was not in our faces as per promotion.
And then he stepped on stage… and boy did Chronixx bring trouble!
Jar McNaugton alias Chronixx was born to be on stage. Born to a little known Jamaican artiste, Selvin McNaughton, alias Chronicle, it is said that at five years, he had written Rice Grain, his first song.
But as Chronixx says in various interviews, he would later go on to perform in school, churches and of course at home where most of the family members sing.
“My daddy, Chronicle, caused me to be very exposed to music from a very tender age.”
Chronixx has always talked about his father with a lot of praise, for instance, he says his father gave him his first microphone and he is lucky that he did not hide music from him.
In fact, Chronixx coined his stage name from his father’s. Then, the crowds had tried to associate with him as Little Chronicle, but later he would find his voice and rebrand to Chronixx.
He became a professional while still in high school and on top of performing, he was already producing for himself and other people.
“Production is one of my greatest passions and I think my career as a producer will last more than my career as an artiste,” he says.
Chronixx’s music has been branded by many as a reggae revival, thanks to lyrics that revolve around anti-war and defiance themes.
Most times, he talks about getting his dancehall vibe from his father, whose songs are mainly filled with chants that they will invite anyone to the dancefloor.
Chronixx on the other hand seems to stay true to a sound that was influenced by American jazz and blues that the moment you listen to Bridges with superstar Shaggy, you will easily recognise the counterpoint between the bass and drum downbeat, and the heavy use of percussion section.
Some songs such as Rastaman Wheel Out though, recall his church music days with a strong piano presence that is prominent with American gospel soul, yet the trumpets and bass guitar bring things back to Jamaica.
Besides his music esthetics though, he is simply a spiritual composer who loves talking about things he believes are right or should be preserved.
In Uganda, many people might recognise the artiste for song Smile Jamaica, a song in which he likens his country to a beautiful girl that he asks to smile because he will always be there for her.
Surprisingly, many sections of reggae lovers believe Chronixx’s Smile Jamaica could have been influenced by a Bob Marley song of the same title. However, in an interview he noted that Bob Marley’s songs cannot be replicated.
Coming to Uganda
In 2016, Ugandans woke up to news of a brewing Chronixx concert that was going to take place at the Ndere Cultural Centre. Then, it was hard finding a Ugandan who knew Chronixx, yet the concert was successful than it was thought.
With his voice, Chronixx sang, inspired and had fun with his audience; we would later learn that Uganda had been the first African stop for the then Soul Circle tour that had gone to Manchester, Kampala and later Addis Ababa and Nairobi.
And of course, his brief presence did not leave the music industry the same as Irene Ntale got herself the rendition of Smile Jamaica as Smile Uganda. According to Julius Kyazze, her then boss at Swangz Avenue, Chronixx’s team had been impressed by the Ntale version and had given them a go ahead to release it.
Tomorrow, the 26-year-old Chronixx will face the Ugandan audience again.