Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Story of Latoya 'JanefrFinch' Jane continues; Keep Watching Her Grow

Some great things are happening for the hardworking and driven Canadian rapper/mom 
Latoya with fans in Kingston
Latoya 'JanefrFinch' Jane, who recently visited Jamaica to shoot a new video for another Dancehall inspired track she has coming out shortly, connecting with her Jamaican root. Her visit to the island came ahead of the screening of a documentary/film she produced called 'Creature' in Canada.

JanefrFinch was once a notorious gangster who hails from Jane and Finch in Toronto Canada and fought alongside her brother gang members with a ferociousness that earned her the name 'Creature,' experiencing many deaths and burials and landed her in jail where she spent years in isolation. She emerged driven to make her life right, and these days, the 27 year old mom is reaping some success, earning the attention of society once again, not negatively has it once was, but inspiring!

Jane posted a section of letter she received from NBC USA, where the producer of the popular Maury Show, express interest in her motivational talks which she voluntarily give in schools in Canada, "the reason as to why I am writing is because we are always looking for new motivational speakers to help tape our 'after shoot' for our teen shows...." the letter read.

Latoya 'JanefrFinch' Jane's mission is to leave the world of being a gangster and become an accepted figure in society who is looked upon and admired as a role model for women (especially those of similar background) to draw inspiration from. As she step away from her gangster lifestyle many still have doubts about her ability to pull it off, writer KJ Mullins of NewZ4U.Net asked in a review '....is that life firmly entrenched into her fabric?" and, "who is the real Latoya, a woman who wants to change her community or the gangsta who glorifies a criminal way of life?"

Latoya promise these questions will be answered as she presses on, she has won 'Best Director' award at the Commffest Film Festival 2014 in Toronto for her film 'Creature' now being shopped in film festivals worldwide.  She is an interesting individual who only God and time knows who she will become. For us, we will continue to watch her grow.


Monday, September 29, 2014

Nesbeth Re-Energized a School Population Weeks after the Compound Became the Centre of a Crime Scene

Students of Tacky High School in St. Mary, Jamaica 'wild out' with a burst of energy to the
exciting performance of one of Reggae's finest, roots artiste Nesbeth.  Tacky High School was thrown into the spotlight a few weeks ago when, the school's watchman's body was reportedly found with what appeared to be gunshot wounds on the compound. There was other unfortunate incidents that would have brought about a sense of distress among students and the entire school body.  Earlier this year, robbers set fire to the entire administrative block of the school. 

As part of the The Jamaica Observer Teenager High School Tour across the island, Nesbeth was invited to entertain the students of Tacky High and he did 'turn up' their energy levels and took away some of the unpleasantness they have been experiencing over the past months, if only for a short while.

The students were appreciative and receptive towards him showing how much they approved with an overwhelming response to his performance. Understanding their pain and empathising with their loss Nesbeth show out, then spent some time interacting with the students, he even had a word of advise for them before he headed back to Kingston watch! 


Jamaican Dance Choreographer Orville Hall's Successful Bid to Introduce Dance Moves from the Dancehall to the Classroom

It's a break through for a well thought out plan, Dance Choreographer Orville Hall will be
Hall and the Dance Xpression Dancers
conducting a three months course in teaching 'Dancehall moves' at his Alma mater the, Excelsior Community College located in the parish of St. Andrew, Jamaica according to the Jamaica Observer.

Orville Hall in his quest to 'preserve Dancehall and show others that there are sections of the genre that can be taught in schools' and that 'people can get accredited and certified,' submitted a layout course to the H.E.A.R.T Trust NTVET and subsequently gotten the approval. The three-months course out-line according to Hall will see children introduced to mainly contemporary moves that capture the elements of ska, revival and kumina dances quickly pointing out that the more popular dances requires more practicing, "...years..and before a person can call himself a dancer, he would have needed to learn the language of dance as any musician does with music." he told the Observer.

Members of Orville Hall's Dance Xpression team Shelly Challum, Stacy-Ann Facey, Sherene
Davis and Nacole Trowers make of the list of tutors for the course as well as Kent
Robinson and Chad 'Global Bob' Torrington.  Hall's lesson plan includes techniques of the late, flamboyant dancer Gerald 'Bogle' Levy whom Hall reiterates that his (Bogle's) dance moves are still very popular in Europe.  "It is one of the few dances that has identifiable steps, new-school dances looks more like hip-hop. Bogle is a very important model in the dance genre. Bogle, Hall further stated, created the famous 'Bogle Dance' and left us with the 'Willy Bounce' which are still, two of the most popular dance moves identified with Dancehall worldwide. 

Orville Hall founded Dance Xpression in 2000 and since he has been travelling across the world teaching/sharing Jamaican dances with various interest groups.  Hall conducted classes while he was a full-time student at Excelsior Community College in 1998 where he assisted with writing the course for the Urban Contemporary Folk (dancehall course), "Patsy Rickets, Kenny Salmon and myself were responsible.." he recalled. After graduating in 2000 Hall returned a year later to earn an Associate Degree in the Performing Arts and stayed with the College for 11 years writing skits as well as getting the school involved in Jamaica Cultural Development Commission activities.

Read Observer Article
Click to Download Dancing 101 Album - a Tribute to Bogle and Ice

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Duane Stephenson Drops his 3rd Studio Album 'Dangerously Roots'

Duane performing at his album launch
Reggae artiste Duane Stephenson announced the release of his third studio album Dangerously Roots at a launch on the lawns of the Pegasus hotel in Kingston recently.  The 15 track album features a somewhat 'special' rendition of one of reggae's founding fathers, Mr. Bunny Wailer's single entitle Cool Runnings which Stephenson said 'is a song we all grew up on" and "the man who did the song is as relevant today as he was all them years ago." Duane said he gave the track 'a new edge' and even included a copy of the original cassette in the video.

Dangerously Roots according to Stephenson, represent growth as an entertainer, writer and artiste.  Produced by Kong Star Records and distributed by VP Records the album embodies work by some of the best producers in the business including, Donovan Germain, Phillip 'Winta' James, Clive Hunt, Christopher Birch and Dean Fraser.  Collaborations include Tarrus Riley, Lutan Fyah, I-Octane and Julene



Habidi (I Need Your Love) Awesome Song/Lovely Video ft. Shaggy Mohombi and Faydee

If you have not seen it as yet, you should, Grammy Award winning reggae/dancehall artist Shaggy along with Afro Pop Artiste Mohombi and Australian singer Faydee's latest video for their single, "Habidi" (I Need Your Love).  While on tour in Europe recently Shaggy got on set with his colleagues to shoot this awesome video.

How lovely? Shot off the Castellon Coast in Valencia, Spain by Director Florin G. Botea, the video since it's September 16 release has quickly garnered over 900,000 views on youtube. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

10 Reggae/Dancehall Artist Photos that Rocks!

Picture Dis!

1.  Tarrus and his younger brother Wrath Riley. Wrath Riley in our opinion is one lyrically sic artiste and we luv him for real.  Check out the caption Tarrus posted on his FaceBook page.  

"Star A Star....LOVE N RASPECT to mi Don @Wrathriley Strong pon di Earth fully Baaaad..live it up Bro...Worst Behavior!!!! hahahahahahahaah...." Lol

2. Tessanne and Tami cho dem just cute suh! These two sisters love for each other is admirable and we love it.  Yea mon dem is like two peas in pod.  Living it up in China where Tess had gone to perform at China's Ms Universe Competition.  Yup chiney galz dem iz Jamaican to the core..luv uno....*can't stop smiling at this pic.

3.JanefrFinch and her one bwoy.....Yup! Jane from Finch has a son and he's a big boy.  Jane won the award for Best Directed Film 'Creature' recently in Toronto at the CommFFest click to watch trailer. Jane directed the documentary film about her life as a gangster in Jane and Finch Canada. The CommFilmFestival Screening took place September 20.

4. Red Carpet life!!! Yup that's how she's living these days.  Tess walks the red carpet at China Ms. Universe click! click! picha tek!

5. Look pon dem rasta yah cho! awrite Papi ano rasta but who cares...read this caption
"There is only one judgement! We give thanks and praises for all a these talented youths. Now take a look at this constellation. @dre_island @chronixxmusic @popcaanmusic @therealjahcure @sizzla876. Nuff love to the whole #JudgementYard family__" Yup that was Chronixx, never a dull moment/picture from him....#Fewcha yuh heard?

6. And there's more....yup this generation of Rasta, yes the artistes everyone is talking about put on a show when they appeared live recently at Usain Bolt's Track and Record live show in Kingston. Kabaka Pyramid and friends Chronixx, Protoje, Jesse Royal, Iba Mahr, Dre Island, Kellissa, Exco Levi and Keznamdi. #DatNuhNormal

7. Hot head! Yerp it's Bee-sy out of the Money Flow/Greeting video shoot..watch Busy wid di broom nuh! Always entertaining, which speaks to his over 1.4 million likes on FaceBook hot head! hot head!  

8. Got a chance to get into studio with Mavado while in Miami...heavy vibes coming soon. So says Matisyahu confirming a project with himself and the Gully Gad.

9.  When we saw this photo there was one comment by a fan that stood out...he looks so much like his father...yep he does but then, they all do, tbh...This shot captures Ziggy during a performance while on tour, hey Ziggy!

10. Black don't crack! No not at all that's why we love this photo sooooo much.  What these artistes have in common? Dem love dem self, no filter.

The caption: REBELS wid a cause!!!! Chronixx and Cherine. Suh buss a smile for me Jamaica. One Love, One Heart....


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Konshens Covers Island Stage Magazine; Foota Hype Encouraging Words for Upcoming Artistes and Selectors

Reggae/Dancehall artiste Konshens covers the September/October 2014 issue of Island Stage Magazine
The spread opens up to an interesting interview where Konshens speak about his life, how he got started in the industry, touring, fatherhood, soccer and the state of reggae.

Publication of Island Stage Magazine is digital and the magazine articles looks at World Music with special emphasis on Reggae, art, travel and culture.  

Dancehall Selector/Producer Foota Hype Encourages Upcoming Artistes and Selectors
Dancehall's most colourful selector in Jamaica at the moment is Foota Hype and he claim that staying focus on 'business' in the midst of major personal challenges is his concern. Oniel 'Foota Hype' Thomas would like reggae/dancehall fans to know that he did not choose music, but music choose him "Mi use to walk from Cassava Piece go all bout, seeking dis buss ya." he said. "Nothing in life come easy but di ting whey stay wid you is the ting you believe ina from you heart and right now me can tell you say music a whey me passionate bout, a it mek me" he concluded.

Foota Hype said his hard work and popularity spring boarded him from a "bwoy weh a wear piece a slippaz in and outta Cassava Piece" to the big mouth selector everybody knows and "whey girls who woulda neva look pon me ina dutty slippaz start see as a potential money maker, yeah man a music mek me" he said, in case anyone had doubts. With gigs booked weekly across Jamaica as well as upcoming events abroad and new riddims to drop, Foota Hype in the face of adversary said his personal challenge is to remain relevant, "and we neva loose sight of that or else we wouldn't deh yah so now." And so to any young artiste or selector who is looking for a bit of inspiration the Dancehall selector had a word of advise, "nuh mek nutten tek you off you path, fight harda when the fight is hardest!"


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A Journey Into a Musical Past "SOJOURN" by Michael Dawkins

Six years after it was conceptualized, the album 'SOJOURN' by Michael Dawkins is finally
released on iTunes.  With the hit song, 'He Ain't Heavy He's My Brother' (the remake of the 1970s world hit by the Hollies and Neil Diamond) a favourite, the 17 track compilation also include other covers such as Rain From The Sky which was recorded in 1963 by American singer Adam Wade with the first reggae remake by Delroy Wilson Don't Cry For Me inspired by the reggae artiste Sanjay Davis and Sexy Love a studio one remix inspired by Lloyd Matadore (Born to Loose). There is also a special 'fan-feature' called Spotlite which was recorded in two (2) different genres (reggae and dubstep), remix featuring New York base artiste Geego plus the Dubstep version which is offered as a bonus track.

About 13 of the 17 tracks off the SOJOURN album was recorded in 2008 but remixed and released in 2014 because producer John 'Sir Raf' Allen the beat maker for Shaggy's 1995 hit song Boombastic, the Kuff riddim with the hit song of the same name by Shelly Thunder and Don Dada, the riddim for Super Cat's hit song to name a few, thought that too many "fast tracks made up the compilation so he slowed them down" said Michael Dawkins.  Tracks such as My True Love, Sexy Love, Don't Cry For Me, Hypnotize and Broken Wings are new additions to the compilation. Spotlite was originally recorded in Dubstep but re-mix in Reggae because it was felt that both versions sounded good. 

Michael Dawkins said the album SOJOURN,"is a journey into my musical past."  He is known and respected for taking an audience 'back in time' to the days of  Dennis Brown, Alton Ellis with his deliveries. Dawkins said reggae fans will enjoy listening his album, the styles and format of each track demonstrates, "a bit of me," he said. "There are Lovers Rock, message song and life experience. Every song is different, it might be hard to pick a favourite" Dawkins said in a telephone conversation with NIPnews. Executive producer of the album SOJOURN is Michael Dawkins independent label Big Scope Records.


Saturday, September 6, 2014

Kabaka Pyramid Spurred Excellent Reviews From His Shows While on Tour

Bebble Rock Music recording artiste Kabaka Pyramid has recently returned to Jamaica
after a successful eight weeks US and Europe tour with his band the Bebble Rockers.  The 'liberal opposer' embarked on his journey in June with appearances in California, New Orleans, Texas and Washington State.  

He then continued the mission rocking festival crowds across the Netherlands, Portugal, France, Germany, Italy and Spain delivering high energy sets and spreading his messages of conscious awakening.  

The lyricist is spurred by the excellent reviews of his shows, What a energy from the people at Rototom" he posted August 18 on facebook earning encores at marquee reggae events such as Rototom Sunsplash, Reggaejam, Summerjam, Musa and the Sierra Nevada World Music Festivals.