Winston ‘Fada Pow’ Powell’s venerable Stone Love Movement, the highly-acclaimed sound system based out of Kingston, Jamaica recently celebrated its 50th Anniversary Miramar, Florida as a showcase in association with Real Yute Promotions. Indeed, it was a massive and festive night at Miramar’s Readiness Center that featured special guest artists Wayne Wonder and Louie Culture aka ‘Ganga Lee’.
Winston ‘Fada Pow’ Powell
Headquartered in Kingston, Jamaica Stone Love sound system was founded by Winston “Wee Pow” Powell in 1972. Also widely known as ‘Fada Pow’, he built the ‘sound’ from the ground up. Over the past five decades, Stone Love has without a doubt become a household name in Jamaica as one of the island’s most popular and best-in-class ‘sounds’ of all time. And to this day, Stone Love—commonly referred to as ‘Stone Love Immortal’—is held in high esteem in the Jamaican music industry for its superior sound quality and premium dubplates, which have not only featured, but also played a pivotal role in nurturing the outstanding careers of a number of prominent reggae and dancehall artists, such as Shabba Ranks, Buju Banton, Wayne Wonder, Louie Culture, Tony Curtis, Sanchez, Tanya Stephens, Capleton, Bouny Killer and Beenie Man—just to name a few.
Other big name notables in the building were selector, Damion ‘Delingy’ Dwyer, Bass Odyssey sound system, DJ Richie D, and DJ Mikey Mike of WZOP/WZPP FM radio of Ft. Lauderdale.
DJ Mikey Mike alongside Tony Matterhorn
DJ Richie D
Stone Love is arguably among the most highly acclaimed Jamaican sound systems of all time and is one of the most in-demand sound systems all over. In the 1980’s, Stone Love Immortal famously played and kept sessions at the venerable ‘House of Leo’, where patrons would pack the house in order to witness Stone Love in action. And Stone Love is a multi-dimensional sound in that it plays virtually all musical genres—which is definitely at treat for those who attend. And Stone Love featured a number of its legendary selectors for its 50th Anniversary Showcase, including Billy Slaughter, Ice Burg, Diamond, Gugumental, and Chico.
Winston ‘Fada Pow’ Powell
Several other world-renowned sound systems were in the building and strutted their stuff alongside Stone Love Immortal. Those sound systems, included: Supa Sound (Supa Twitch), Tony Matterhorn, Renaissance Disco, Metro Media and King Waggy Tee.
Renaissance Disco – DJ Delano and Jazzy T
Metro Media – DJ Oliver
Supa Sound – DJ Supa Twitch
King Waggy T
In Jamaica, sound systems have been likened to mobile discos/radio stations that traveled from community to community on the island to promote and play music fresh out of the studios on the island, underground music that was in demand but not yet playing on the radio, or to ‘buss’ out up-and-coming artists to the mainstream. Against that backdrop, sound systems served as a testing ground for DJs (‘sound men’, ‘sound boys’ or ‘selectors’) on the sound systems. So too, sound system selectors DJs often clashed against each other or played their best selections for audiences in an attempt to win approval of crowds that would gather on street corners not only in Jamaica, but also abroad.
Wayne Wonder and Louie Culture
Stone Love has strung up its amplifiers and tall speakers all over the world in places from Kingston to New York City, London, and Japan. Aside from Wee Pow, the roster of Stone Love selectors has included Rory, Geefus, Billy Slaughter, Ice Burg, Dwayne Pow, Jazzy, and Genius. In 2014, Mr. Winston Powell was honored for his contributions to Jamaican music on being awarded the Order of Distinction—which is conferred upon citizens of Jamaica who have rendered outstanding services to the country. Congrats to ‘Fada Pow’ and Stone Love Movement in reaching such a remarkable milestone of maintaining the ‘sound’ in a position of prominence for so many years. Certainly, it is safe to say that Stone Love Movement was simply ‘wired different’. And surely maximum respect is due to Real Yute Promotions for their energy in presenting Stone Love’s Extraordinary 50th Anniversary Showcase to the reggae and dancehall massive in South Florida.
Photos by Nick Ford, who lives and works in South Florida.