Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Reggae Sumfest "Greatest Reggae Show on Earth" 22 Years and Still Going Strong in 2014

Reggae Sumfest 2014 is in it's twenty second staging and it's organisers promises a spectacular showcase.

Young, vibrant and current US RnB and Hip-Hop artistes Jason Derulo, Wiz Khalifa and Future are among this year's list of international entertainers to take the stage. The 2014 line up for the prestigious reggae show will also include performances by Sean Paul, Tessanne Chin, Chronixx, Freddie McGregor, Sanchez, Jah Cure, Bounty Killer, Busy Signal, Beenie Man and Popcaan to name a few.

As with the annual event, performances by the artistes/entertainers extend over three days from July 17 to 19 but is usually cushion in with pre-parties such as a 'special rave' party that was held at Aquasol Theme Park in a setting reminiscent of Brazil's Copacabana Beach on July 13 and was hosted by DJs Nico, ZJ Sparks, Crazy Neil and Coppershot, offsetting a World Cup Football vibes in tandem with the live broadcast of the FIFA World Cup 2014 Finals between Germany and Argentina. The second pre-party is schedule for Tuesday July 15 at Pier One which will be transformed into an 'All White' party hosted by DJs Bambino, Kentucky and Smoke.

The big nights are designed to satisfy fans of Reggae, Dancehall, Hip-Hop and RnB music. The most anticipated of the three is Dancehall Night which commences Thursday July 17 then followed by International Night 1, Friday July 18 and International Night 2, Saturday July 19 all staging takes place at the Catherine Hall Entertainment Complex. "Everything is on track for completing all the intricate details necessary to make the show a success.." the event Technical Producer, Martin Lewis told the Jamaica Gleaner.  

Reggae Sumfest is the largest concert festival in Jamaica, taking place each year in mid-July in Montego Bay.  The festival started in 1993 and often attract young crowds and features a variety of Jamaican reggae artists.  In keeping with their motto, 'Promoting Music, the Universal Force' organisers over the years have sought to also present other music forms to a diverse audience. To this end, the event have been successful at presenting Rihanna, Chris Brown, R. Kelly, Mary J. Blidge, Destiny Child, 50 CENT, Snoop Dogg, Wyclef Jean, Akon, Lionel Richie and the Temptations to name a few.

"The live shows will bring the very best of Jamaican production to the 'Greatest Reggae Show on Earth" with carefully balanced sensory enticements as the sound and lightning quality is expected to rival the best in the world...." Executive Directory Johnny Gourzong told the Jamaica Gleaner.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Wilted Efforts in Marketing or Promotional Platforms Cause of Weak Album Sales for Tessanne Chin; Dolli Difference 'Lingerie' Track Hits #1 on Dancehall Promo Chart UK

Tessanne Chin
Tessanne Chin's album label Republic is considered the cause of the weak sales number for "The Voice' Season 5 winner due to wilted efforts in marketing, press or promotional platforms reports IBT.  According to the Headline Planet report, the sales number on Tessanne Chin's album came from the weekly sales report of Hits Daily Double which generally reports sales number slightly different from Billboard/Nielsen SoundScan data.  The weekly sales report revealed that "Count On My Love" debuted with about 6,568 weekly sales sum.

The report further noted that Tessanne Chin's post-show album does not have a strong opening compared to "The Voice" Season 3 winner Cassadee Pope and Season 4 winner Danielle Bradbery who had introductory album week sales of 43,000 and 41,000 respectively.  

Tessanne Chin is currently on the first nationwide tour of "The Voice" with the other contestants as they travel to different cities across America to perform with their impressive vocals. The Jamaican singer had the time to discuss her music, new album, "The Voice" tour and coach Adam Levine in the Examiner interview

When asked what was it like for her to be in the studio and making her own album, Tessanne Chin admitted that it was a wonderful process and experience because she was able to work with amazing people like Diane Warren, Toby Gad, Claude Kelly, Supa Dups, Ray Marshall and Chuck Harmony.
Tessanne Chin

The music artist further revealed that she does not want her music to be just one genre and her reggae roots will always come out so the songs on her album ended up being diverse.  "I hate being put in a box and I hate being told I can only do one thing.  Even if I never do all reggae it has to come out in some way because that's who I am.  I think a part of being successful or trying to be successful is staying true to who you are.  Be genuine. And I think that's when people really connect," Chin explained.

Dolli Difference Hit Number 1 on Dancehall Promo Chart in the UK
Dolli Difference
Dolli Difference is doing her thing alright, her recently released 'Lingerie' track hit Number 1 on the Dancehall Promo Chart in the United Kingdom hosted by DJ Master Mix.  'Lingerie' is Dolli Difference second song to hit a UK chart, the popular 'Gangsta Girl' song was first. The Dancehall artiste is pleased with the news which she shared with a growing fan base in Uganda recently when she was interviewed on NTV Africa.  Dolli is also enjoying consistent airplay and recognition across Kenya and hope to visit the motherland soon.


Saturday, July 12, 2014

VP Records 35th Anniversary Pop-Up Exhibit to Debut at NYC's Annual Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival

The Reggae power house celebrate 35 years, sharing their story and history of Reggae music with state-of-the-art display designed by Michael Thompson.

New York - From ska to rocksteady, roots reggae to dub, lover's rock to dancehall - VP Records has been at the forefront of Jamaica's musical evolution.  2014 marks the 35th anniversary when its founders Vincent and his wife Patricia Chin moved their headquarters from Kingston, Jamaica to Jamaica, New York transforming their operations to the largest reggae company worldwide. On Sunday July 20th, 2014, VP Records will celebrate their story and the history of reggae music with a special pop-up exhibit that will debut at the fourth annual Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival, held at Queens' Roy Wilkins Park. 

The VP Records 35th Anniversary exhibit will feature a visually appealing storyboard installation designed by Michael Thompson. There will be a detailed map exploring the global impact of reggae music in every continent and an illustrative timeline covering each era - beginning in 1958 (when the Chins established Randy's Record Mart and Studio 17 in Kingston, Jamaica).

Patricia Chin (Ms. Pat)
A Short video documentary will air as part of the installation. The video's narrator and Sirius XM Reggae personality Pat McKay will walk the viewers through the social and political history of Jamaican music and explain how VP Records is a key contributor to its growth, development and future. In an excerpt from the video, McKay explains that "Vincent and Pat's move to New York and the founding of VP Records's Distribution formed an independent and vital channel from Jamaica to the world.  The classic recordings of the period made an indelible mark and established reggae as a dominant form of the developing 'worl music' genre."

VP Records co-founder Patricia Chin along with her sons Christopher and Randy Chin, who run and operate the label today, will be on site at Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival and available for interviews.  After the exhibit's debut, the label plans to take this travelling installation into other markets throughout the rest of the year.


Rootz ReLeaf - An Environmental Preservation Project Inspired by Rootz Underground

While on the road in the U.S. West Coast, Jamaican roots rockers Rootz Underground had an epiphany. Inspired by the green living and evvironmental friendliness they saw throughout Oregon, Washington and California, Rootz Underground started an environmental project for themselves, their fans, and eventually for school children in Jamaica and beyond.  Rootz ReLeaf originally began as a program to inspire people to plant trees and track the locations of the new transplants, creating a new network of awareness and pro-environmental action. ReLeaf sprouted in 2011 with an official kick-off on Earth Day, April 22, 2012.

On tour, Rootz Underground was inspired by the brethren and sistren they saw tirelessly working in the realms of nature preservation, food safety and propagation, and environmental health.  As the band passed through San Jose, CA, their dear friend Shama Cameron introduced them to a farm called Veggielution, which specializes in community empowerment and involvement, creating community gardens and access to local healthy food.  The seed was sown to grow ReLeaf to the next level, bringing environmental awareness and activism to the children and schools with Rootz REAP. ReLeaf Environmental Awareness Program.

Rootz Underground
To help spread the message far and wide, REAP garnered the support of Lasco, a Jamaican company specializing in food production and distribution.  As a company, Lasco has a strong reputation for their involvement in sustainable development; community, social and youth empowerment; and education and health - a perfect partner for REAP.  In the words of Rootz Underground's lead singer Stephen Newland, "the chairman of the organization, the Honorable Lascelles Chin, has been a visionary, and as such, saw the great potential of the [REAP] initiative, and immediately affixed his signature...Since then, the company as been actively involved in the program, and has placed itself at the helm of REAP corporate support."

Newland continues, recounting REAP's main objectives:
[REAP] facilitates children's involvement in safe environmental activities [and] incentivizes children in three main environmental areas: tree planting, recycling and energy conservation.  We are also actively engaging the community through our Lasco REAP National Schools Competition, and have recently completed our Schools Engagement Tour and [other] special events.  As of February 2014, we welcomed the participation of 128 schools and expanded the competition to include all age, preparatory and junior high.

REAP has already experienced massive success and growth at home in Jamaica.

More on REAP


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Kabaka Pyramid Impactful Performances; Robert Burchell hit IFOL stage in Chicago

Kabaka Pyramid and Bebble Rock Band
Kabaka Pyramid is everywhere, since June 19 when he kicked off his US tour with Bebble Rockers band.  His performances are much talked about as with Sierra Nevada World Music Festival where he had a very receptive audience after an explosive show of talent that had media flocking him after the show. This trait continued across Washington state, Santa Cruz California, San Antonio and Austin in Texas, Jacksonville Florida and New Orleans where he performed for the first time at the Freret St. Caribbean Festival.

Kabaka Pyramid at MUSA Festival
The rastaman artist behind hard hitting lyrics such as 'Free From Chains' and 'Never Gonna Be a Slave' left the United States for Europe where he made his first stop in Portugal July 2nd. His performance at MUSA Festival was even more encouraging, the huge crowd embraced him wanting more and more.  Kabaka Pyramid's next stop was in Koln, Germany where he performed for over twenty thousand patrons and as the reception to his performances increase this very promising Reggae artiste continue to drive home messages of inspiration and hope in his music having twelve more venues to cover before he return to Jamaica August 16.  

Robert Burchell Performed his First Major Show As Artiste
In it's second year at Union Park, the 22nd African Caribbean International Festival of Life (IFOL) saluted the independent countries of Africa, the Caribbean, Central America, South America and Mexico with the center piece July 4th 'Carnival of Nations' procession featuring representatives of 50 nations, proudly waving the flags of their countries. 

Robert Burchell live IFOL

Robert Burchell the musician of twenty five years who embarked on his solo career January 2014 made his first performance on a major stage at (IFOL), at home (Chicago) away from home (Jamaica).  Robert performed singles off his debut album 'Agape' including his most popular, 'Never Judge a Book' and current 'Welcome to Jamaica' to warm reception.  

Robert on set Welcome to Ja
Robert Burchell spent months in Jamaica promoting his singles two of which have been enjoying steady rotation across radio stations in Jamaica. Ahead of his performance at (IFOL) he wrapped up scenes for "Welcome to Jamaica" video soon to be released. Click to Watch Robert perform


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Mavado/Rihanna Collab?

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Mavado and Rihanna

Well we are not about to let this one just past by because this might just be his biggest collaboration to date, Mavado and Rihanna!! Gully Gad continues to show class teaming up with some of the biggest names in rap and now Pop.  Hoping the collab is not just good but Great!

I have some serious work 4 my fans coming bigup

Watch the slayage when Ms Riri touch down ina Dancehall...Up! Up!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Mavado LL Cool J Collaboration Confirmed; ZJ Liquid for B.E.T. 106&Park

Mavado and LL Cool J
As some legit real good sparks have been igniting in the Jamaican Music Industry since the start of the year, one Dancehall artiste who can be accredited for helping to make the genre stay alive in the last year or two amidst some challenging times is Mavado. Continuing along this trend, last week, while he was in New York, Mavado recorded a single with Hip-Hop icon LL Cool J. According to a release, Mavado had this to say about this very special moment, "it was an honour and joy to have the opportunity and knowing an icon like LL Cool J respect Dancehall and the Gully Gad." 

Mavado continues to break barriers, under Hip-Hop mogul DJ Khaled's We The Best Music label.

ZIP Jock Liquid for 106 and Park live show
"What dat Liquid???? ZIP Jock Liquid @ZJLiquid straight out of Kingston, Jamaica for a live appearance on BET 106 and Park live show Monday July 7th at 6:00pm. This will be an historic moment, the first radio dj/host from Jamaica to make an appearance on a major television network as B.E.T.  ZJ Liquid will be a 'Special Guest DJ' and we hope he play chune like he's known to do yup! In preparation for the show Liquid tweet: 
On the road in New York and my cousins a sort out me locks while we on the move 106park_universe later…  
Now that's EPIC! #GwaanLiquid Up! Up! 


Thursday, July 3, 2014

Dolli Difference on her Music Personality and Work Ethic

Dolli Difference
Although Dolli Difference is a 'Gangsta Girl" this stylish,model type chick has a boom personality, "Sophi, a so me stay yah man sometimes me inna work mode and it show when me up and about because me serious and me waan people to know dat about me that I am serious when it's comes to my work" she said when we ran into each other recently.

Dolli Difference has been a Dancehall artiste since 2005 and manage to carve her own niche in the very competitive industry. Having four tracks (Lingerie, Yours, Back Bench and Vacuum) on the UK Dancehall Promo Street Chart hosted by DJ Mastermix, I asked her, "how did you survive?"  she responded, "dem sey Dancehall is a mans' world so that mean female artistes have to work twice as hard.  Me love me music and while me respect me peers and those before me who set it, Dolli dare to be different."  Of course I wanted to know so I ask, "how so?" and she said, "me nah try fi be anyone else but Dolli Difference, me nuh sound like no other artiste and my music is all me I sing what the riddim tells me and in relation to my own personal experience, so it's always, all about meee, Dolli Difference."

Diss ya Dolli different fi true doe I thought, I was listening her music (of which I'm a fan) so I told her how much I really like them she said blushing, "Sophia me know me haffi bring it and get di respect a de people dem." So I turned up 'Gangsta Girl' which was the next track we about to listen.

[pree da one deh ova deh suh!] click to listen 'Clean Cut'
Dolli tend to be shy but act bold when it comes to her work.  She is focused and
know what she wants and how to deliver it. I smiled hard when I heard "Clean Cut" and looked at her nodding my approval and she was like, "Sophi, woman pree men to enuh (smiling) yeah man we ladies love to see a real man so me caan sey 'gangsta girl' and nuh big up di man dem." I nodded in agreement while taking in the lyrics, dis one yah a gwaan I thought, yeah man, big up di man dem too yow!

[Every song weh mi sing Shell Weh]
Dolli Difference 
Dancehall encompass every aspect of life and art so it is  easy to overlook originality. Dolli's riddim selection speak volume about her effectiveness. It also demonstrate her understanding of what she need to do to enhance her music presentation. You will seldom hear a track by her that does not grab your attention.

step ina di store and me buy sumn sexy, tell me self me a go home go surprise me baby] Lingerie
To understand Dancehall music one must learn to accept the characters these artistes introduce us to. As unfavourable a character some may be, never fail to recognize Art! Dolli is live art, she is real, what she brings is embedded in her. Her music is alluring, yet one get the feeling of authenticity and originality, complemented by raw talent which helps you to accept the character easily. 

#Barz [white squall a dance ova me like Mr. Wacki] click to listen Me and God Alone
"Me and God Alone" haffi be my chune still! Dolli's story is one of hard work and perseverance which she describes on this track. Recorded by her and the multi-talented singer/songwriter Sophia Squire, Dolli describe some harder days she faced. "Nuh food, nuh place to live, nuh good bed fi sleeep! Sophia if a callaloo and dumplin me just eat dat, nah pay dat nuh mine cause me have life, at least one thing fi give God thanks for" she said. So she kept reminding herself fi [gwaan watch di pace cause mi know one day me ago lock it.] O! "real original, real original gangsta girl..

Teflon Hit Israeli Kaboom Magazine Pulication and Prepares for his 'Next Generation' Album Release

With his sophomore reggae album 'Next Dimension' only weeks away from hitting stores, Yard A Love recording artiste Teflon continues make impressive strides internationally.  The St. Mary native is the latest in a selected group of Jamaican entertainers to be featured in an Israeli publication

The Reggae crooner is featured in the latest edition of Israel's Kaboom Magazine where he speaks about his career, from the perils of his musical infancy and recovering from the recent death of his road manager and friend Ricardo Lowe.

Alluding to the question and re-occurring trend of many Jamaican artistes gaining recognition yet failing to maintain relevance Teflon told Kaboom Magazine, "the musical environment in Jamaica is extremely competitive, where the strong survive and the weak fades.  As an artiste I cannot be complacent if I want to remain relevant and conquer this business. So the onus is on every artiste to make a concerted effort to put in that extra effort where needed."

Currently promoting the singles I'm Sure and Same Struggles which features Capleton, Teflon is working assiduously to improve his image across the European and African markets where he enjoys a growing fan base.  

Amidst working on his album the 'Love and Adore You' singer recently inked a major distribution deal with US company New Millionaire Entertainment (NME) to handle exclusively both digital and physical distribution and marketing of his music for downloadable mobile and video contents.  The dissemination will be done in conjunction with Universal Records.