Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Shaka Pow On The Move

Shaka Pow and Abby Dallas
Medical Practioner and Dancehall artist Shaka Pow is relentless in his efforts to stay afloat in the highly competitive Dancehall music arena in Jamaica.  His medical practice does not get in the way of finding time to record, represent his brand or promote his music. As the father of two (2) lovely children extend further, his interest in the local music industry, preparations are underway to launch his independent Outfytt Record label in 2017.

With a string of tracks off popular riddims floating across the airwaves throughout the year, Shaka Pow seek to tun up the energy that is fueling the most popular track out of the fleet called, "No Ice Cream Love" featuring One Jam Records singer/songwriter Abby Dallas. Produced by Wee Pow on the Real Rock riddim, No Ice Cream Love, is a rendition of the original Johnny Osbourne's Coxson Dodd/Jackie Mitto Studio One recording, and has been getting favorable rotation across radio both locally and internationally prompting the duo and their teams to increase promotion on their video which depict the old skool, roots rock, 90s reggae/dancehall vibe behind it. WATCH!

Shaka Pow's music is intentionally void of the challenges and responsibility in his practice as an Obstetrics and Gynaecologist, leaning more towards fun, comedy and social activities that captures the artist in him that his own family recognized as a toddler but had been set aside in his pursuit to fulfill his dream as a teenager in forth form at St. Catherine High School to practice medicine. 

Since his introduction to the Dancehall music industry, Shaka Pow has had successes with his dj craft namely, with the release of his 2009 dance track 'Rubba Bounce' ft. Samboni. The track wreaked havoc across sections of the Dancehall industry locally and internationally with high concentration among dancehall fans in Germany and Japan who are driven and enlightened by Jamaican dance choreography.

While some find it hard to compare the Doc and the artiste, dancehall fans thinks Shaka Pow is 'really cool' and a fun, energetic individual who embraces his Jamaican culture wholesomely. Follow and engage the real dancehall doctor Shaka Pow and 'Outfytt General' on Facebook and Instagram. Be sure to comment on his music and videos and subcribe to his channel.


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Road To Stardom - A story of persistence drive and building a music career

"It's amazing how people hate or look down on others like me but yet almost daily I encounter youths who refuse to do 'dem work yah' shamelessly ask me 'fi a ting' (money) to sustain their smoking/drinking habit"

The official name of one of the most stigmatized jobs in Jamaica is landscaping, also known as gardening or 'gardener work' pronounced, 'giadna werk' in the Jamaican language. The skill of tending plants and maintaining lawns or simply undertaking the responsibility of keeping someones yard in 'tip top shape' is an unlikely job especially among young adults. But the craft provides income for many including upcoming reggae/dancehall artist Papi Kat and he is proud of the fact that his job has made him independent being able to provide for his family and invest in his music career. 

Young and ambitious, persistent, focus and hard working best describes Papi Kat a 'giadna' by day and aspired artist by night putting in some 18 hours of work, six days per week and seven days in the studio.  He compose and produces his own music, consistently making amends with each song in his drive to strive for perfection, "Its amazing how people hate or look down on others like me but yet almost daily I encounter youths who refuse to do 'dem work yah' shamelessly ask me 'fi a ting' (money) to sustain their smoking/drinking habit."  However being Anthony Simmonds, the son of Lurline Barnett and Roman Simmonds and remembering some dark days in his own life, Papi Kat confessed, "mi gi dem still cause the struggle is real but while stretching mi hand to give I never miss an opportunity to encourage dem same way to go do something. Leave the street, get a likkle job!" Papi Kat advised his peers.

Within two years of working on one set of songs, Papi Kat has moved on from more than five young producers in search of the right formula for his music, "I have people who critique my music and if they can't give it a pass I'm back in studio doing my homework" he said. "I've released these songs because I have a lot more to work on but the experience this far has been self assuring." A responsible individual Papi is known among his peers to keep working toward his goals relentlessly. After-all, he grew up in a rural coffee farming community about 10 miles north east of Kingston called Content Valley District and became popular in school from winning 'dj clash' competitions when his motive had always been a way of earning money to buy himself lunch.

Papi Kat's music takes listeners on his hard fought journey. Each track tell its own story both lyrically and musically which makes Papi's career path rather interesting to follow.  This artiste is transforming himself and his career into a social media character. His first official track called 'Hush Mama' is a chilling rendition of a heartbreaking moment in in his life. An unforgettable day he recalled going home to find his mother in tears and discovered his brother and eldest sibling was killed by the police in a case of mistaken identity (click to listen Hush Mama). The track is the creation of Papi Kat who collaborated on it with his compatriot and upcoming artiste Renzo. Although not perfectly crafted, 'Hush Mama' is relatable where even today, innocent black men are still being murdered at the hands of the police whose job is to serve and protect.

Unrelenting Papi Kat released his second official single, 'Pot A Goal' (Black Woman) with
noticeably much more improvement when compared to his first and took a step further on his musical mission by releasing a follow up video to go with it.  The music is about his life and with no bars held when it gets personal. The 'juice' in a nutshell is about a heartbroken woman, lost, confused and facing rejection by her spouse, found true love at the pinnacle of her dilemma, her love interest turn out to be a praying Papi Kat

Not afraid of taking bold steps and channeling his dream to reality, Papi vouch to do things differently, his way, "Usain Bolt, Shellyann Fraser-Pryce and Elaine Thompson have all come from humble beginnings" he said. "I feel like success taste better when you achieve it out of nothing and I want to be a standard bearer of this trait in my community because I know those athletes have inspired many young athletes across Jamaica and brought hope for many young people on the corner. Education is a must but if you just have talent alone you can get somewhere too. Just use your talent to get enough money even and then send yourself back to school" said Papi Kat. The story continues in the music, follow, watch, listen.


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Richie Stephens and Ska Nation Band Heads to Hollywood

Singer Richie Stephens and The Ska Nation Band are heading to Hollywood in November. The Ska group earned a nomination for 'Best Reggae Album' at the 7th annual Hollywood Music In Media Awards (HMMA) that takes place on Thursday, November 17, 2016 at The Fonda Theater.

The nomination comes less than a year after the release of the group's debut studio album Internationally, which include hit singles Fire, Fire, Foundation, Internationally featuring Sud Sound System, Kingston Salento and Original Style featuring Sean Paul and Gentleman, Images Newsletter reports.

"Wow! God is truly amazing! We are overwhelmed to have earned our first nomination at the HMMA Awards. I am fired up about how things are going with us so far" said Stephens from his home in Kingston, Jamaica.

Ska Nation Band member Papa Leu was just as elated, "this first nomination is a special moment in my music career that I will treasure for the rest of my life. I would like to thank our fans, especially those here in Italy, the rest of Europe, Jamaica, the USA  and Canada. We also thank our management team for believing in us" Leu noted.

The 2016 HMMA recognized and honors the music of visual mediums including film, TV, movie trailers, video games, commercial and music videos for both mainstream and independent artists from around the glove. The awards event features live music performances, celebrities appearances, award presentations, an exclusive VIP reception and a dinner banquet.


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Bounty Killer and Kunley McCarthy's Global TV Success With NIKE!

Bounty Killer and Ward 21 group member and music producer Kunley McCarthy are both currently enjoying some serious success globally in the TV world.

Both have been featured on and have a publishing interest in the Santigold single "Kicking Down Doors".  The song is currently being used in the world-wide NIKE/Olympic TV advert according to a release as well as, is going to be used in the new major network TV show "At Home With The Hones'.

Both Bounty and Kunley have also been featured on Major Lazer's recent multi-platinum album. These deals were put together by publisher Othman Mukhlis (Abood Music / Jamdown). Abood Music represent a large number of Jamaican and international artists and producers including DSR, Skatta, the Jacksons. Daz Dillenger and many many more...


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Love and Conflict Can't Share The Same House - Sophia Squire

Reggae songbird Sophia Squire has released yet another powerhouse of a track called "Love and Conflict" produced by Global Flex Records.

Known for her thought provoking reggae love songs, the Love Don't Hurt songstress who's music is a continual empowerment for women has found another relatable topic on the subject of relationship goals to sing about. Overcoming obstacles and maintaining a healthy relationship has been the focus of this queen's message from day one and she is so blessed to be able to effectively convey her thoughts in the manner in which she does.  Sophia Squire's music is sheer reality and it's that rawness that makes her the powerhouse she is.

Fresh off a recent performance in Germany at Reggae Jam the most anticipated reggae festival of the year, Sophia delivers on her first recording the new joint, Love and Conflict. According to her, this song, "just came to me upon hearing the riddim" and, "was recorded during one of my best moments in the studio."  As for her energy at the time of recording the track she said reminiscing on how the crowd accepted her full performance at Reggae Jam, "was still fresh in my mind" and brought her to a place where she felt comfortable doing what she feels is her god-given purpose.

"Nothing feels better than performing. It's a joy to see people happy and that's what I live for and what I appreciate about my job. I put a smile on someone's face or help another person come face to face with their fears and that's rewarding" she said.

As radio pumps the Love and Conflict track the hook, "love and conflict cant share the
same house like an angel with the devil as a spouse, no peace one must get thrown out.." sticks, and some have started to question the former back-ground vocalist of the late Gregory Isaac own personal relationship which she manage to keep a secret for a long time. This question made her laugh hard saying in between coughs, "I'm a lover, and that's all I will say about that." Still in the dark? Well don't be no more, click to listen Love and Conflict by Sophia Squire.


Monday, September 12, 2016

Chart Wise - Shaggy Pop Radio Chart Entry; Morgan Heritage Billboard Reggae Highlight

When you do something over and over its not by chance but by choice and, as in the case of Shaggy, not by choice but ability to accomplish good/great things.  Coming off the top 20 success of his last singles, "Only Love" and "I Need Your Love", Diamond selling Grammy nominated and International recording artist Shaggy enters CHR/Top 40 Radio Pop chart at #50 with single "That Love" produced by Scott Stroch. The hard working Shaggy thanked his fans, "so blessed" he posted on IG "to be still doing my thing." 

Meanwhile, after 29 weeks Sean Paul continues to ride the wave off his feature collab with Sia's "Cheap Thrills" singles that now stands at #4 on Billboard Hot 100.

On Billboard Reggae chart Grammy Winning Royal Family of
Reggae Morgan Heritage "Strictly Roots" album is the highlight of the week.  It has moved one place up from #6 last week to #5 and is the 'greatest gainer' this week after a whopping 40 weeks marathon on the chart.

Steven Marley's "Fruit Of Life" album sits at #4 while "The Journey" album by Gospel DJ Papa San hold down the #7 spot just 1 week after entering and Multiple Grammy winner Ziggy Marley sits at #8 for his album of the same name, "Ziggy Marley" 15 weeks after entering the chart.


Sunday, September 11, 2016

Prince Buster Jamaican Music Pioneer - Ska Rocksteady Music Trends!

The only dance I ever saw my late dad did was ska he was stuck in that era.  I clearly remembered the expression on his face while dancing to Prince Buster's music. Dramatic! but happy, proud but very careful as he seemingly glided across the room, back bent, legs apart, arms swinging and like the veteran he taught he was, added a few new steps along the way. He would make an outburst from time to time like "aah!" and "yes!" so loudly he was shameless.
Always smiling or laughing whatever that painful pleasant look in those moments was, nothing else mattered. My Dad's footsteps, were so carefully placed round about the space he was in that it seemed as if he had put careful taught in, ahead of making them, in a mere split of a second. He could make no mistake or, mis-stepped as he, "washed his troubles away" then "pick him up, n lick him dung den bunce right back what a haad man fi ded." That's how I came to know of the great Prince Buster the artist whom I met in my living room under hysteric laughter watching my dad put on his best performance to his songs.

But although I became familiar with some of his songs it was years later that I would learn of the man Cecil Bustamente Campbell, who was regarded as one of the most important figures in the history of ska and rocksteady music. Prince Buster made his singing debut at the Glass Bucket club in the mid-50s. A club that established a reputation as the premier music venue and social club for Jamaican teenagers. He fronted a number of groups but it was in 1959 after launching Busters Record Shack and The Voice Of The People sound system that many would come to know him as Prince BusterAs a matter of fact my friend's Dad told me of his memory of Prince Buster, "I use to go to his record shop on Orange Street. In those days vinyls sold hard and people had to join long lines to get new records from that store".

In 1961, 22 year old Prince Buster released his debut single, and in some sense, the move suggest what the energy of the Jamaican people might have felt like, ahead of gaining independence in 1962. The instrumental "Little Honey"/"Luke Lane Shuffle" featuring Jah Jerry, Drumbago and Rico Rodriquez under the Buster's Group name was an introduction of the rhythm of ska in the Jamaican music industry. The wave of excitement that followed among music fans across the island after the release of this song was symbolic of the spirit of independence. The sounds of "Little Honey" was said to have been far removed from the American RnB sounds that swamped sound systems and a new sound was born, a Jamaican made sound called, Ska. That same year Prince Buster produced "Oh Carolina" by the Folkes Brothers which became a hit.

By year 1962, Prince Buster released a string of hits.  Interestingly however, is that it is alleged those songs gained popularity from a feud he had with producer Leslie Kong. Tracks such as "They Got to Go" and the smash hit "Madness" peaked during an endless feud between the two men who spewed hateful lyrics at each other, song after songs, sounds familiar? The feud spilled over into streets and parties gaining supporters who slugged it out on the dance floors and in the streets. The musical melee ended when a truce organised by the government was made between the two and of course, Prince Buster now a recording artiste and producer had released so many singles that he had to set up two new imprints to help with the overflow from his Voice of the People label, he became a superstar in Jamaica and almost as big in the U.K.

The hits kept on coming including, "Wash Wash", "One Step Beyond" and "Alcapone". Whether by production or recording Prince Buster kept winning but not without competition. The feud had ended between Leslie Kong and Prince Buster but stiff competition ensued. Other great artists were in the mix and also making hits some of which inspired the hits Prince Buster made. Derrick Morgan who had left Buster's studio back in 1959 to join Leslie Kong's was churning out hits himself creating competition between both artistes as well as good business for the industry, sounds familiar? 

1964 Prince Buster met world champion boxer Mohammed Ali and subsequently joined the Nation of Islam. By 1965 he appeared in the short film, Millie in Jamaica, a story about Millie Smalls return to the island after her world-wide success of single "My Boy Lollipop." His three year old "Alcapone" single had hit the UK Top 20 and subsequently lead to a UK tour in 1967 and a US tour later to promote his RCA Victor LP release, The Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments single of the same album name peaked at #81 on US Billboard Hot 100 chart and became Buster's only hit single in the United States.

1966 when ska started to subside giving way to rocksteady Prince Buster's hit making ability trended on, "Hard Man Fi Dead, Rude Bwoy Rudie and Shanty-Town blazed the Jamaican airwaves. By 1967, tracks like "Shaking Up Orange Street" were arranged with the slower, more soulful rocksteady template. Thereafter came the albums, "Judge Dread Rock Steady" released in 1976 with hit single of the same name and "Fabulous" a compilation album in 1978.  Prince Buster's career subsided by choice in the 1970s as the predominant style from ska to rocksteady transformed into reggae. As a muslim, the Jamaican music pioneer found it difficult to tailor his style towards a Rastafari audience.
May 1938 - September 2016

September 8, 2016, 78 year old Prince Buster is gone but memories of him in his 'hay-days' lives in my heart where some of my happiest memories of Dad remains. As I listened some of his most popular tracks, the one that stuck with me most goes something like, "enjoy yourself have lots of fun while still in the pink because the years go by as quickly as you wink..." Walk good Prince Buster R.I.P. 


R.I.P. Joseph Hill and Jamari Reid

Friday, September 9, 2016

Ketch Up - There Are Levels To Spice Stage Game; Beenie Man Promises Unstoppable album and more...

Spice, her team and fans KBS
Spicing It Up!
Dancehalls' most popular female artiste Grace 'Spice' Hamilton continues her onslaught on stage delivering performances that have gone viral time and time again on social media. Since 2014 the self-titled, "Queen of Stage" has garnered over 100 million YouTube views with tracks like, So Mi Like It gaining over 53 million and Conjugal Visit heading into 30 million.  Her Panda remix rapidly gain over 2 million views two months after it's official release. Spice following on Instagram is also steadily increasing and now stands at 380k.

Recently Mz. Bend Ova made one student happy for back-to-school with an all expense paid gift, fully paid school fee, books, uniform and school supplies.

Beenie Unstoppable
For the first time in over a decade, Beenie Man "King Of Dancehall" will be releasing an
Beenie Man
album.  The 21 track project titled, "Unstoppable" is scheduled for a September 21, 2016 release with features from Bounty Killer, Agent Sasco aka Assassin, Christopher Martin and Verse Simmonds. Production credit goes to the likes of Tony 'CD' Kelly, Don Corleone, Major Lazer, Chimney Records, Seanizzle and Jeremy Harding.  

Beenie get up close and personal with his fans on social media as he count down the days for his album release, sharing some of his early experiences and reminders of why he is "Unstoppable".

Whose Neck Crick?
Sean Paul and Chi Ching drops a new video for their trendy, Chimney produced track, Crick Neck. The dance that incorporates some foot work that compliments turning the head then keep it stuck is kinda crazy but that beat and gimmicks makes it fun watch video below. 

Fan Art/Daddy's Lil Girl
Guess who?
Agent Sasco and LC

Photo Bomb!
What happens when Junior Gong shamelessly photo bomb you? #allsmiles he snatched this one giving us a meme for future use thanks #lol


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Bay-C Formely of T.O.K. Tops MTV Germany Urban Charts

Former member of T.O.K., has hit the proverbial jackpot on the International scene less than a year after embarking on a seemingly arduous task of re-branding his artiste persona as a solo act. Bay-C's collaboration "Rude Gyal Swing" with African Pop artiste Treesha hit Number One on the MTV Germany Urban Charts!

The 'Rude Gyal Swing'' single recorded earlier this year, has spent a total of 6 weeks on the highly recognized MTV Deutsche Urban Chart since its release earlier this summer. The dance party themed track, produced by Deebuzz and Hard2Def out of Germany, is a mix of Electronic Dance Music (EDM) with a Dancehall flavour.

'Rude Gyal Swing' edged big names such as DJ Khaled's 'I Got My Keys', Usher 'No Limit' and Fergie with 'M.i.L.F. Money,' to capture the number one spot.