Grand Cayman got its first up close and personal look at Mavado last Friday, as the Gully Gad gave his first ever performance there since bursting on to the scene in 2005. Cayman Islands had been one of the territories in the Caribbean that had declined Mavado entry up to this point but careful consideration by immigration and police there led them to take the decision that Mavado wasnt the stereotype they had been led to believe.
Upon his arrival Mavado was whisked to a welcome party at Margaritaville before the following day's round of radio and TV promotional appearances to convince Caymanians that he really was in the island. With anticipation at a high, Mavado performed at the famous Lions Centre in Georgetown to a packed house. Touching the stage at around 2am, Gully Gad rinsed hit after hit from his huge catalogue of anthems. Opening with So Blessed, Mavado had the crowd singing along to every word as he took them on a musical journey, ending with Star Bwoy. As always, the concert was packed with females who screamed and grabbed at Mavado throughout the 75 minute performance. After two encores, Mavado finally exited the stage but couldnt exit the venue for nearly an hour later as he took photos with hordes of fans.
"Its the shortest plane ride from Jamaica and with so many Jamaicans there its kinda crazy that its actually my first time in Cayman," said Mavado. "The response from the fans was great as usual. Its a beautiful, very clean island and I was determined to deliver a performance that reflected that. Everyone left the concert very happy, including the authorities that attended to monitor the event, so we are looking forward to returning to Cayman in the near future. Just got to big up the promoters for working hard to make it happen."
The promoters were also very pleased with the concert and Mavado's professional conduct throughout his stay in Cayman, the performance being heralded as one of the best ever on the island.
"It was a long process to get Mavado cleared for entry into Cayman but judging by the fans reaction and the fact that the show was incident-free, as we were confident it would be, its definitely been worth the wait," said manager Julian Jones-Griffith. "Mavado doesn't have a police record which is one of the major requirements for gaining a work visa for Cayman. When we arrived I attended a top level meeting with senior representatives from Cayman's police, immigration and intelligence units just to reassure them we were all on the same page. Our intention whenever we travel is to obey the laws of the land and give a good clean show for the thousands of fans who support Mavado. It does place an extra burden on the promoters as rumours that Mavado wont be allowed into the country are rife until he clears the airport. Ticket sales are always slow until people actually see Mavado in the country so it creates a last minute rush and Mavado has to work extra hard to promote the show upon his arrival."
Cayman Islands joins a growing list of Caribbean countries that includes Trinidad, Barbados and Guyana who have rescinded the ban against Mavado performing there. With successful shows in Europe, Canada and the UK in the last six months Mavado is set to stay busy for the latter half of 2011 with a slew of overseas performances in the pipeline that will include his first-ever appearance in Africa.
Mavado recently appeared in DJ Khaled's Welcome to My Hood Remix video, that is now #6 on BET's flagship 106 & Park Top Ten Countdown. Recently launching his own record label - Mansion Records, Mavado dropped his first single, Delilah - that has been selling well on its first week on iTunes and been monopolising radio and sounds systems since its release.