Bond flick promotes Jamaican music – Buju, Sister Nancy, Shaggy

Olivia Grange (2nd right) led applause after the screening of the new James Bond film, “No Time To Die,” on Thursday at Carib 5. Also pictured are Minister of State, Alando Terrelonge (right); adviser to the minister, Ali McNab (2nd left) and Permanent Secretary, Denzil Thorpe (left).
Courtesy Ministry of Gender, Culture, and Entertainment

Of all Caribbean nationals who waited with anticipation to see “No Time To Die,” the new James Bond feature, Jamaicans were first in line for the premiere screening Thursday at Kingston’s Carib 5 cinema in Jamaica.

Curious to see and hear how the island would be depicted in the 25th episode of the British spy series they clamored to cheer the adventures of British secret agent 007 and also because familiar, scenic locales and reggae music would be in the spotlight.

Spontaneous applause erupted when Sister Nancy’s 1982 hit “Bam Bam” blasted the sound system. Buju Banton’s 1995 “Champion,” a 2019 collaboration with Noah Powa and Shaggy titled “Money Dip,” Teacha Dee’s “Rastafari Way from 2016, Jah Buzz “Love In The Arena” from 1978 all received ovations.

That Nancy’s reworking of Toots & The Maytals 1966 “Bam Bam” made the cut seemed cause celebre.

Her recording remains a favorite after quickly becoming a classic soon after its release to now being regarded reggae’s most sampled song.

The infectious dancehall track was recently featured on Netflix’s much acclaimed “Maid” series.

And of all the popular hits Banton has amassed throughout his storied career, his biggest hit here was chosen to list among 20 compositions by Hans Zimmer along with popstar Billie Eilish’s title theme from the Decca Records soundtrack.

In addition to interspersed reggae music, action scenes shot in Kingston and Portland delighted viewers seeing landscape familiar to patrons on the island.

The film “has really promoted destination Jamaica, location Jamaica, the culture of Jamaica — its warmth, its people, its vibes, its music, it’s just wonderful,” Olivia Grange, the island’s minister of culture and entertainment said.

She joined a packed audience on the premiere showcase.

“I’m so happy that the Bond film has now been released. I’m so happy because what it has done is showcase Jamaica in so many ways.”

“I’m proud to be Jamaican when I look at this film…

The minister raved her approval boasting the many connections the film made with the eclipse of Daniel Craig fifth and final portrayal in the starring role.

“The new Bond girl (Lashana Lynch) is of Jamaican heritage; it also featured another Jamaican actress, Naomi Harris; it featured the beauty of Jamaica; and it created employment for our crew in Jamaica in the various disciplines and skills that are necessary in making a film.”

Jamaicans here also expressed similar pride.

Prior to the Friday opening, Brooklynite Duane Coombs said he was willing to break the drought from seeing first-run movies by venturing out during the weekend to catch a showing of the thriller.

He said he was motivated by anticipation and curiosity about how his homeland would be portrayed.

Coombs said he had not been to a movie since 2019.

The film was originally slated for an April 2020 release. Its delay was due to the covid-19 pandemic.

“No Time To Die” already grossed $300 million globally.

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