SISTER NANCY (Jamaica) LIVE IN MANILA
Sister Nancy, born Ophlin Russell, began her career as a dancehall DJ and singer in Jamaica in the 80”, a time when female artists in the scene were scarce. She is the sister of the world famous DJ Brigadier Jerry, Russell was nearly always the only woman working in the reggae and dancehall circles she moved in. She is cited as the first female reggae artist to tour internationally, and her songs frequently make reference to her pioneering status. She has a song called “Only Woman DJ With Degree,” and she is really famous because of her international hit “Bam Bam” : “I’m a lady / I’m not a man / M.I.C is my ambition.” Sista Nancy never achieved the kind of crossover household recognition of artists such as Bob Marley or Peter Tosh, but “Bam Bam” slowly and surely wriggled its way into the popular consciousness and just get elected as the BEST DANCEHALL SONG EVER !
BAM BAM HISTORY
Dancehall is a male-dominated scene but, with “Bam Bam,” Sister Nancy owned the Winston Riley-produced “Stalag” riddim probably the most recognizable dancehall riddim worldwide like no one before or since. It dates back to 1973 and is credited in over 400
songs, one standout being Tenor Saw’s “Ring the Alarm”—but once it drops, everyone instinctively thinks: “Bam Bam.”
Released in 1982, no one can quite explain this song’s ubiquity; we simply have to believe its singer when she explains that “it is from creation” and she is “one in three million.” The song was not released as a single until years later, but it worked its way to toppa-top status organically on dancefloors and selector decks. It remains the defining song of her career, and it checks all the boxes of a dancehall classic.
“Bam Bam” has been sampled too many times to count, including by Kanye West on “Famous.” With its inclusion in movies (Belly), video games (Skate), and commercials (Reebok), it’s instantly recognizable and always exciting. She still performs live regularly after she finally resign from a bank career in New Jersey. Her anthem can be teased in any genre, at any party, and the reaction will be the same: pulll uppp. –