Thursday, May 10, 2012


I’ve know these two brothers for 15 years and one consistent trait sticks in my mind – their humility.  I have always been treated with respect and recognize that something Scroogie said during our interview, “you’re taken seriously when you treat yourself seriously” and how right was he – for an hour we sat down, undisturbed and got into the life of Little Thunder.

Moving from Jamaica to Montreal, to LaSalle`s Bronx area in the late 80`s the Allen brothers and their siblings, 8 in total, came as many of us did to make the best of their lives and realize all the opportunities they could -and that they have.  Scroogie and Don have made themselves a staple in promoting Jamaica’s plethora of awesomeness with TripleAAA and Mango Bay feeding our bellies with mouth watering Jamaican cuisine in the heart of downtown and our souls with music at Triple AAA uptown.  

I interviewed one half of the duo for this piece, which worked out to be a blessing in disguise itself, in all the years I have known and had interactions with them, I have mostly spoken to Donovan, or as most of us know him – Don Ignorance the younger brother of this dynamic sound crew.  Courtney Allen, the eldest, quieter, more observant onlooker is definitely a leader in his own right and is a man of few words, so when we sat down I was not only pleased to actually talk to him but also get to see what he’s about.  What I discovered is that regardless to the fact that Donovan wasn’t physically with us, they share the same mind state, same train of thought and are an amazingly well oiled machine.  It’s clear, the Little Thunder brothers have the utmost respect for themselves, their family, their children and have set the bar high in celebrating 20 years of being a solid Montreal based sound system. Don wasn’t far, we called him for a few questions and just hearing how they interact on the phone I was pleased.  These brothers are in their own lane and are steadfast in their mission, of promoting Montreal, their talents as a creative sound, and bringing Jamaica to their listeners.

Scroogie began cooking with fellow owner and long time friend, Rupert Singing P, Edwards over some 10 years ago at the Jamaican association, merging their unique skill sets and a shared determination and drive they have been on Bishop Street a decade already.  Scroogie has plans of seeing franchise stores in the future and with the right planning these two partners can make that a reality. While Scroogie continues to hold it down, brother Donovan`s shop in the heart of Montreal`s west Indian pulse, on Victoria Ave., continues to act as a unifier for community affairs and music lovers and listeners alike – with records stalked and mixed CDs, DJs and music lovers find their needs at the shop.  Both companies matured from seeing their skill set and taking a leap of faith and long hours of dedicated time to make it happen.

Courtney Allen AKA Scroogie admits to getting his street name years ago when he found himself in situations that are not for for the light hearted – but Jah works and family always sends a life line, which is what helped him learn the nitty gritty ins and outs of resturantouring through years of working his ranks up at Micky D’s.  Think what you may- but check yourself because the positions he held not only helped him hone the skills needed to be co owner of his own establishment, Mango Bay. Scroogie’s journey lay the foundation to hard work and power of effective, strong leadership. Don Ignorance was never far behind and followed in a similar pathway which has been the right recipe for their success.It’s those same qualities and work ethic that has allowed Little Thunder Soundcrew to be ushering in their year of keeping dances, playing sold out venues and having party goers on their feet enjoying the musical journey they take you on when their at the helm.
As a Sound system Little Thunder has gone through changes, matured though the years with one constant, the system always delivers. Members have joined and left with no hard feelings – life happens and visions change, ah so it go – but one thing is clear - there is nothing but love within all members, new and old.  I can tell Courtney is not putting on over me as he’s talking I can see this contagious truth – the Allen brothers work hard and don’t step in the way of anyone’s individual growth.

With humble beginnings they see what being honest and open can create – longevity. And with that they have plans of conquering their admitted fear of flying and touring internationally and producing tracks for artists that will have party goers "Go maadd on di dance floor". I have no doubt that they can achieve this and much more.   It is with this ambition and consistency that Little Thunder are celebrating their 20th year anniversary. As before, anniversary parties have not disappointed, their had Baby Cham performing to an enthusiastic and sold out crowd has already set the bar for their 20th anniversary bashment. This Saturday will undoubtedly sell off, with ticket sales already sky rocketed and under a week to go as they celebrate with Montreal`s best, their loyal and grateful fans over at Club soda .

This Saturday Club Soda will be the only place to be.  I-Octane, a leading and current contemporary conscious reggae artist will definitely set the bar and the tone for the event with a packed set between 45 minutes to an hour of his raw talent to have party goers lively up themselves for a night of celebration, memories and well wishes for another 20 easily!

Interviewed by Zeeta Maharaj
Photography by Mel's Vision & Larry Félix Photography

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