Reggae music has had many superstars– from the iconic Bob Marley to Toots and the Maytals, from Shaggy to Sean Paul – but what New Millennium Reggae needs more than another superstar is a superhero; or in this case a Super-Publicist.
Steeped in the culture and tradition of Reggae for over three decades, Shilo Evans was born and groomed for the challenge of reintroducing Reggae’s greatness to the world.
In the winter of 1979, when Shilo arrived in New York City the cold, gray, unwelcoming streets of
By 1980 her same brother, now known to the world as Super Claude of Afrique Soundsation, was
The New Millennium brought new opportunities and new challenges for a genre still searching for a permanent place in the mainstream. The Internet was still a toddler when Shilo decided to step up and do what she could with what she had—a head full of knowledge, a camera full of photos, and an opinion. In 2001, Shilo created a website called CelebrityPlus.Net; its motto was simple – “God First and all else after”. Words Shilo exemplifies every day. CelebrityPlus was born because outside of staple players like Bob Marley, Ziggy Marley, Burning Spear and Shaggy, mainstream America had no idea what was bubbling just under the surface of Reggae music. CelebrityPlus was all about moving the music, the culture, and the artists forward. The “Plus” in CelebrityPlus highlighted anyone doing positive, notable activities in the community to help others, because to Shilo these were the true celebs.
CelebrityPlus.Net became a clearinghouse of all things Reggae. People could log on and find out all types of personal trivia about their favorite artist and see truly exclusive all-access photos from backstage or the artist’s living room. With viewers from as far away as Japan and Gambia, Shilo’s homegrown site, built in public libraries, Laundromats or any venue with internet access, hit over one million unique visitors in less than seven months. She only populated her site with photos that she personally snapped on her Sony digital camera – which back then used floppy disks.
She travelled all over the US to concerts, stage shows, and recording studios so she could bring the real deal to the masses. She featured artists who, though popular in Jamaica, were unknown to the world. Artists like Blak Ryno found new audiences thanks to CelebrityPlus. It was Shilo who first featured a 19 year-old crooner named Gyptian on her site, and then subsequently worked with Solar Entertainment to get him to the States to meet his new fans. Artists like Bascom X, I –Wayne, Ky-Enie and Fantan Mojah all got the same placement and equal billing on her site alongside Elephant Man or diamond-selling Shaggy .
As technology progressed, Shilo kept pace becoming the “social media queen”. It may just be true
Then she pioneered the “Team” concept while promoting Ky-mani Marley’s album, “Radio”. She created Team Ky-mani and launched a grassroots movement of friends telling friends who told friends to go out and support the album. Shilo’s impressive gains as a publicist soon found her being consulted by Ali of the St. Lunatics on behalf of rappers Nelly and Murphy Lee on a Reggae collaboration project, though it never ultimately took place.
Soon full time publicist duties put a strain on CelebrityPlus.Net and Shilo decided to retire the website to focus on the individual needs of her fast-growing client list. After sponsoring the CelebrityFest Part 1 and Part 2 stage shows in Orlando, Florida in 2007 and 2008, respectively, Shilo decided to return to her roots. In 2009 Shilo began throwing an annual birthday party
Today, in 2012, over a decade after its original launch, Shilo is preparing for the re-launch of her famed website, CelebrityPlus.Net. With the same God-fearing principles that brought her initial success, plus some added bonus features, Shilo is set to once again sculpt the worldwide perception of Reggae music.
Shilo Evans, single mother of four will never say this journey has been easy, but she will tell you it has been worth it. The personal and professional slights, the copyright infringement and under appreciation can all be countered by the good times, great memories, amazing wisdom and lasting friendships gained over the years. In 1979 Reggae music saved Shilo’s life, and she’s been repaying the favour ever since.