After a successful 10 years with the award-winning Washington, DC-based S.T.O.R.M. Reggae Band (Strong Talented Organized and Real Musicians), founder and lead singer/deejay Denton “Monsoon” Bedward has stepped out to launch his solo career. A native of Northern Clarendon in Jamaica, the veteran singer-songwriter’s vocal ability has been compared to reggae veterans Capelton, Luciano and Tony Rebel. But where he really shines is on stage. After all, with a name like Monsoon, Bedward knows he has to come in like a strong wind, without mashin’ up the place too much. If you ask Monsoon, he’ll tell you his passion to explode musically has always been in his DNA. “I found my gift for music when I was 6 years old,” he said. “I sang in church and DJ’d in school. My friends called me “Juke Box” – because as they would knock the desks, I would rap to the beat.” A stage career was in the making from them (students even paid to hear him sing and DJ their favorite songs). While Juke Box was making a name for himself in class and on the playgrounds, his behavior didn’t sit well with the principal and his teachers. “I used to spend a good amount of time in the principal’s office,” he recalls. But Monsoon pressed on—eventually entering and winning community “clashes” and DJ sessions. But he’d soon outgrow his surroundings, and looked to bigger and better things in Kingston. That’s where he was introduced to B & L Promotions, which at that time managed the likes of Johnny P., Lady Mackerel (now known as Macka Diamond), Singing Melody, and others. This gave him the opportunity to travel across the island to perform and hone his stage craft.