Mention his given name Marcus James in any Caribbean music related discussion and you may receive little to no response of enthusiam. Try his sobriquet, Lavaman and the responses will be quite the opposite.
If Lavaman were to be a superhero he would be the Human Torch, Johnny Storm of the Fantastic Four. We are not discussing all of the intracasies but you should be able to identify that we are making reference to fire and heat. Lavaman or Lava as he is fondly called is a ball of fire while on stage. Many of us have a love hate relationship with fire; we are awed by the lights and colours but afraid to get too close. That’s Lava in a nutshell.
The Grenada born entertainer when discussing his career would share that he began singing on the day he was born. However he identifies age nine as the year that his singing career became an actuality. Then age sixteen as the age of seriousness and age 21 as being all about music. For him age 23 was when his professional career began.
Prior to the evolution of Lavaman, he was known to many as Kutchie The Volcano. His Kutchie The Volcano era was all about being a deejay, MC and battling in sound clashes. Additional factors led to him morphing and the birth of a more memorable sobriquet and persona occurred.
Reading about Lavaman’s career is no match to seeing him in action. Even when making reference to his duo-colour hairstyles, his creative attire, hypnotizing crowd control or his on stage antics, seeing is believing. Audiences throughout the Caribbean, USVI, BVI, Europe Canada and USA can all share stories of the insane partying experiences during a Lavaman performance.
To date, Lava’s repertoire consists of over 200 songs.
He is often labeled as “Grenada’s Top Performing Artist.”
Some of his notable titles include:
2007 1 st Place Village Soca Monarch
2008 1 st Place Beach Fest
2008 1 st Place Jab Jab Fest
2009 1 st Place Beach Fest
2009 1 st Place Jab Jab Fest
2011 1 st Place People's Champion
2011 1 st Place Road March
2011 1 st Place Jab Jab Fest
2011 1 st Place Beach Fest
2012 1 st Place National Soca Monarch
2012 1 st Place People’s Champion
2016 1 st Place Caribana Road March
2017 2 nd Place National Groovy Monarch
Lava's musical influences are vast. Although he listens to all genres of music he give credit to the 80's and 90's selectors and MC's, Jamaican culture; sound systems and entertainers. He also credits Calypso and Soca as influential genres in his career. When listening to his music, the Jamaican influence can be heard, adding an element to Soca that many have been unable to achieve to date. For Lava, "Everyone and everything is an influence but we can't be ungrateful to what Soca made us accomplish."
Be forewarned, your interactions on stage and offstage with Lava will not be the same. Off stage he reverts to his introverted personality. His description of his onstage person is “I Am Mas.” Anyone understanding Grenadian culture would tell you that the term sums up vibe, energy and revelry. Lava’s experiences thus far are vast having shared the stage with prominent acts; Baby Cham, Jah Cure, Machel Montano, Dexta Dapps, Bunji Garlin, Beenie Man, Ninja Man, Kerwin Du Bois, Destra, Luciano, Skinny Fabulous, King Bubba and a host of others. For him, every opportunity to perform is one to share part of himself and culture. In response to the question of ‘what separates him from others’, he says, “Is only one Lavaman.” He explains through his combined excerpts from some of his songs:
Man to ah woman
We not in a good condition
Tell me who don't like position
Behave yourself put handcuff on hands
Inncocent walk out the Station
Newspaper have my face on
Say I in Jail while I’m mashing up London
Now I come back here
Colour up my hair
Play mas and shell down place for years
Shades over my eyes
Drinking strong rum and beers
Trim and a fresh start from here
The muti-talented songwriter and performer is apt to carry Grenada’s culture and Soca music to the world.