Who Was NoFace? Unknown Gringo

Former publicists of dancehall artiste, Unknown Gringo, who was shot and killed during an early morning gun attack in Rock district, Trelawny, last Friday, describe him as “a decent guy” and “a good human being” and have joined the rest of the entertainment fraternity in mourning his death.

Reports are that about 12:30 a.m., Unknown Gringo was sitting in his Toyota Crown motor car in Rock district, when he was pounced upon by two armed men and shot to death. Gruesome photos have been shared online which show the artiste’s body lying in the wrecked car with the windscreen totally shattered.

Unknown Gringo was in his third iteration as an artiste, having formerly recorded under the monikers Francheno and later the mysterious, mask-wearing, Noface Unknown. His real name was Frantz Morris.

Ralston ‘Rallo’ Barrett, who working with the entertainer in 2012 said he was shocked when he heard of Unknown Gringo’s demise, and recalled that his catalogue when he met him was different from the type of songs he was curently singing.

“I knew him during the Francheno period of his career, and he used to sing some nice little reggae songs. Then he went dancehall because he didn’t feel like he was getting the type of attention that he deserved. He felt that he could make a greater impact in the dancehall,” Barrett recalled.

He added, “It is unfortunate to see what has happened to him. To be honest, I was feeling a bit down when I heard on Friday. He’s a nice guy ... decent person. He looks out for people around him. I remember a time when he didn’t even owe me any money for the PR work that I was doing for him and he called me to seh, ‘Bossie mi a send a ting fi yuh.’ I reminded him that he had already paid me and he said he knew, and still sent the funds. You don’t find that happening regularly in this music business.”

Unknown Gringo, who had a Retreat Heights address in Falmouth, Trelawny, was 39-years old. His last song was actually released last Friday. Claude Mills, his publicist up to the time of his death, said that Unknown Gringo “was a decent human being, humble, intelligent and slow to anger”.

“He hailed from Flankers, St James, but spent a lot of time in Trelawny. He used to sing gospel music and was a member of a choir growing up. He started off his musical journey as Francheno, singing lovers’ rock songs, till he came up with idea to do dancehall as the mask-wearing, Noface Unknown,” shared Mills, who was the architect of that reinvention of the artiste.

As Noface Unknown, the tale that was spun said that the artiste had saved relatives from a fire which left him with life-changing facial scars, hence the need for the mask. During that period, he hit with a track titled Tank Up, and according to Mills, who is also the CEO of Chase Mills Records, a few years later, he re-emerged as Unknown Gringo.

“He was a very good live stage performer and was known for him high jumps and kicks that were guaranteed to energise the crowd. He will be sadly missed for his creativity, his determination and his willingness to tackle controversial topics,” Mills said.

Listing some of his discography, the publicist said that Unknown Gringo did a pair of songs for Chase Mills Records, Brawling Death and Vroom Vroom, and recently did a collaboration called Shy featuring Jada Kingdom for his own Desconocido Records label.

Unknown Gringo was one of the performers on Sting 2022 The Return and he has also performed on the Reggae Sumfest stage.

“Frantz Morris was a decent human being, a really cool person, full of jokes, full of life and creativity and my condolences go out to his family. Rest well my friend, sleep in power,” Mills stated.

The Trelawny police are continuing their investigations of the circumstances surrounding the death of the entertainer.

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