Saturday, November 28, 2015

Bonner Brothers unite for a world tour

For the first time ever, the Bonner Brothers, Richie Spice, Spanner Banner, Pliers and Snatcha will perform the same stage for an epic concert series dubbed, "All Spice."  What is said to be 'an extensive concert series' commence on December 3rd in Kingston, Jamaica then across the Caribbean, Europe, Canada and the US throughout 2016. "This is the first time ever that the entire Bonner brothers will be performing on the same event, promoting family unity and strength in this here Reggae music which is a great look, the world will get to experience this powerful series very soon," Bonner Cornerstone Music CEO Fontano Thompson said in a release. 

The brothers are said to be "extremely excited" about this world tour, Richie Spice said, "for me it's like a family reunion you know, we want the world to see this because unity is something that we support pan a professional level, it is something that we wanted to do for a long time and now the time right.........seeing people take on to the same unity that exist between mi and mi breddas".

Kingston leg of the event series mark the official launch for the "All Spice" World Tour and will see performances by other young talents including young, Shepherd Bonner as opening act.


Thursday, November 26, 2015

Ketch Up - meet and greets; newest reggae music trends

Kabaka Pyramid: raftiing on the #MarthaBrae with Queen Mother
Kabaka Pyramid has recorded a single with American producer/rapper Raekwon of the highly respected Hip-Hop/rap group Wu-Tang Clan, cited as a pioneer of Mafioso rap. Raekwon is also a convert to Islam. 

The song is called "Be Inspired" created for a "Ski film by Inspired Media Concepts" and produced by Winta James. Kabaka Pyramid's "Liberal Opposer" has hit X-Games and as the artiste continue to break new grounds in his career, he recently shared his experience in the music industry has been like on a panel at the Jamaica Music Conference N1 UWI Mona Campus.

Jessie Royal teamed up with Jovi Rockwell to release a new, smooth, lovers-rock type track called 'Mash Me Up' on the Natural High music label.  The roots/reggae deejay on a recent trip to Atlanta, Georgia in the US, cross paths with American producer/songwriter/rapper Jermaine Dupri who is also label owner at SoSoDef Recordings. No mention of any business venture between the two but who knows?
Nesbeth seems to have found a hit! His latest release, "My Dream" which he recorded fresh off his debut tour has received rave reviews across social media.  The track is garnering much attention on its own and was recently world premiere on Hot 97 New York.

Have you gotten your copy of Iba Mahr's album?  I like this guy and loving the positive, consciousness coming from his music. According to Iba Mahr, boyhood memories inspired the effort behind his "Diamond Sox" album which was officially released November 20th through VPAL, a subsidary of VP Records and features Capleton, Jah9 and JahMali. Rather than a collection of songs, Iba Mahr choose a concept for his album, one that augurs well with his upbringing and/or is reminiscent of his childhood experiences, "the aim an' objective was to put out an album where every song is like a chapter that connects with the other," Iba told the more. Support the movement and pick up a copy of "Diamond Sox" today!

As we seek to encourage music lovers to continuously support Jamaican reggae and dancehall music and highlight some of the best there is to offer, there are still so many unsung artistes yet to be discovered.  Recently, the daughter of the late, great Dennis Brown who goes by the name Marla B, released her first ever EP entitled, "Deliverance" on iTunes.  Music lovers are saying Marla B's got talent and is giving her good reviews, check out her music and be sure to get a copy of her new EP if you like it.


Thanksgiving Wishes

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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Vogue - on Reggae's Revival; The resurgence of "Mellinial Musicians behind Jamaica's New Movement"

In its October 2015 issue, Vogue published an article entitled, "Reggae Revival - Meet the Mellinial Musicans Behind Jamaica's New Movement" written by Abby Aguirre who shared her personal experience on a trip to Jamaica. Important stops included her attendance at the annual Rebel Salute music festival produced by potent reggae artistes Tony Rebel and Queen Ifrika, as well as interviews conducted with the, Mellinial Musicians.  I share some excerpts of that article here with you, hope you find it as interesting as I do.

Abby Aguirre's trip to the island was to satisfy her own curiosity, "I'm here for something I have read about but not yet seen. After more than two decades of being dismissed as music for parents and tourists, roots reggae is relevant again in Jamaica..." 

The performances and seemingly euphoric vibe at Rebel Salute seem to have left an indelible mark on her. She wrote of an impressionable moment, When Raging Fyah, a young five-piece band that came up through Edna Manley College's School of Music in Kingston ("the Julliard of Jamaica," as it is often described), had begun to sometime around 3:00am, the whole crowd was drawn to its feet in a visible wave, like fallen dominoes getting up again.  

When I first heard that roots reggae was coming back in Jamaica, it made sense to me in
that reflex, unthinking ways things sometimes do: I believed it before knowing the details, and without knowing why. Maybe because the 70s were resurgent on the runways. Or because of the way millennials around the world were building new movements for civil rights. What was less immediately fathomable was the idea that reggae had lapsed to begin with.... 

Foreign versions of the Revival origin story cast it as a rejection of modern dancehall, with its overtly digital sound and emphasis on money and sex, and cite the 2014 murder conviction of that genre's biggest star, Vybz Kartel, as the final turnoff.... But in Protoje's (the first of the new reggae artists to hit in Jamaica) telling, "I was running off some tapes from my mother's studio sessions in the 70s, and I heard some music and I was captivated by it. And then I really went into research mode on 70s and 80s local music, and a whole new world kind of opened up to me."

They did not find reggae without finding Rastafarianism, which brought about changes in diet and outlook. They went vegetarian. They began to emphasize the positive and the communal. There came, as Protoje puts it, "an overall awareness of self, or at least a beginning to wonder." These choices made sense as news headlines turned from the global financial crisis to Arab Spring and then to Occupy. They engaged in "reasoning," philosophical discussions, with Mystic. There was something else that they embraced: "Social media played an integral part in it, especially for me." Protoje says.

By 2011 they were all getting radio play, especially Protoje, and it was decided by a young Jamaican writer-known as Dutty Bookman that this new movement needed a name. At the time he was very fascinated with the Harlem Renaissance..."If there was any Renaissance in reggae music, it was that era of Bob Marley and all of them," Protoje says. What Bookman saw, rather, was a reawakening. And so, in Novemember 2011, with history and search optimization in mind, Bookman published a post on his blog announcing the Reggae Revival.

It was around that time that Protoje was first contacted by Chronixx, "He wanted to produce" Protoje said....Protoje invited Chronixx to send some beats, and then to with him and Kabaka Pyramid.

Kabaka Pyramid
Abby Aguirre met the others at Grafton studio, here's how she described her encounter. First comes Kabaka Pyramid, about to play South by Southwest, tall and thin in fitted camouflage pants, Clarks Wallabee boots, a black tank top that say "Rockers," and a slouchy knit hat...... Kelissa, a reserved and elegant singer wearing a bright, graphic headscarf; Addis Pablo, the song of 70s reggae musician Augustus Pablo, with his group, Suns of Dub; and Jesse Royal in a camouflage jacket and shirt that also says "Rockers.' Jah9, the singer who grew up on the island's west coast, daughter of a Baptist minister and social worker, arrives close to sunset, from from yoga class, in a black tank top and wide-leg pants, thin dreads pulled into a bun..

For their part, the artists of the Reggae Revival cite a global "shift in consciousness" in as matter-of-fact a tone as they might describe a movement of tectonic plates. It seems to follow without need for explanation here that such a shift should make us want to hear reggae, not merely for its lyrics but also for the one-drop, Its signature rhythm, which, depending on your vantage point, is about the pace of a heartbeat, or of the slow, incessant drone of manual labour, the kind that builds pyramids, or railroads....

If dancehall offers the dream of material riches, reggae seems to offer an alternative idea of freedom. To Jamaicans and especially to Rastafarians, the music is encoded with cultural and religious references, but the rest of the world has never needed to understand the references, or believe that the Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie was a prophet, to hear the underlying messages. Get Up, stand up. In reggae, it seems, the promise of freedom is fulfilled through awareness itself..

Read full Article: click
Photo credit: Michael Christopher Brown/Magnum

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Interesting times for Morgan Heritage in Kenya - Strictly Roots Tour

"Africa doesn't feel like home, Africa is home"

Bands such as Morgan Heritage would most naturally have, a wealth of information to share with family, friends, fans and people who are intrigued with different cultures. The royal family of reggae in reflection, shared their experience on a recent visit to Kenya, where they perform at an annual event held at Kenyatta International Conference Centre in Nairobi.

The Jamaican reggae band, whose only female member Una Morgan, suffers a near death experience while on tour recently, was received with "warm welcome and open arms" a release stated. They delivered a memorable performance to an eager crowd that included politicians, dignitaries and members of the African music fraternity.

But the band's performance wasn't their only commitment. The Rastafarian sibblings, who have stuck together as a group for years, though talented individually, exercise philanthropic responsibilities to aid Kenyan youths in the slums of Korogocho, one of Nairobi's toughest communities. The band also participated in a program called, "10 Minutes of Your Time" put on by the Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF) and held at the University of Nairobi, that aim to motivate the young African leaders to not only strive for the modernization of Africa for Africans, but also preserved their culture.

The "Strictly Roots" leg of the tour Kenya in forms part of the bands ongoing tour
across Europe which began October 23rd. The sensational roots reggae quintet of siblings Peetah, Una, Gramps, Lukes and Mojo Morgan are blessed and continue to make favourable impression on fans through their music, "we are blessed to have some of the best fans in the world, "we humbly thank each of you for your love and support. Keep reggae music alive, Jah bless."  ~Morgan Heritage~


Friday, November 6, 2015

Tarrus Riley pull all the stops to assist a student with life threatening illness

Tarrus and Akalia Moore at Morrant Bay HS
Jamaican reggae singer, member of the Rastafari movement and the son of reggae stalwart Jimmy Riley, has brought hope to young Akalia Moore, a student of Morrant Bay High School who is to undergo brain surgery.

At a star studded concert, Tarrus Riley and several of his colleagues will perform at a benefit concert in aid of the student and scheduled to be held on the school ground November 6, in the parish of St. Thomas, Jamaica. Tarrus tagged artistes such as Popcaan, Alaine, Ding Dong, Delus, Darrio, Bushman, Chico, Alozade, Erupt, Omari to perform at the concert and has reached out to his fans on social media for support.


Ketch Up - Popcaan cops MOBO

Dancehall artiste Popcaan is the proud winner of the 2015 MOBO Award for Best Reggae Act. Nominated among strong contenders such as last year's winner Stylo G, UK/US Billboard chart-topper Omi and two of Jamaica's roots-Reggae trendsetters, Chronixx and Protoje, the Dancehall artiste came out on top, ater two nominations for this award. He was nominated for the first time in 2014.

Known for trendsetting dancehall hits 'Clarks' ft. Vybz Kartel and "Only Man She Want" which entered Billboard Hot 100 charts, Popcaan's edge might have been bolstered by recent collaborations with English producer, remix artiste and DJ, Jamie XX and hip-hop artiste Young Thug on a single called "There's Gonna Be Good Times" this year as well as British Reggae and pop singer, Melissa Steel's single, "Kisses" which peaked at No. 10 on the UK Top 10 charts last year.

Popcaan thanked fans on social media for their support


Saturday, October 24, 2015

Billboard Enlisted OMI Among Nominees in Four Big Categories for Grammy Award 2016

It's the 2016 kickoff! All the eligible music is on the market, the ballots are in the mail, and Taylor Swift can't win everything (right?). Now, with 12 months of hits that matter, Billboard sizes up the best chances for gold among the big four categories.

The Recording Academy has completed its annual Grammy's screening process, so it's time again to consider which artists and industry figures will be recognized by their peers at the 58th annual awards on Feb 15. (To be eligible this year, all recordings must be released between Oct. 1, 2014 and Sept. 30, 2015). With 83 categories in 30 fields, there is no shortage of potential nominees, but for the sake of -brevity  -- and sanity -- Billboard takes an early loook at possible contenders in the general-field categories, otherwise known as the Big Four. 

Among the list of prospective nominees, Billboard enlist, OMI's sweet "Cheerleader" in the, Record of the Year category as seen below:-

"Blank Space," Taylor Swift
"Can't Feel My Face," The Weeknd
"Cheerleader," OMI
"Girl Crush," Little Big Town
"Shut Up And Dance," Walk the Moon
"Take Your Time," Sam Hunt
"Thinking Out Loud," Ed Sheeran
"Uptown Funk," Mark Ronson Feat. Bruno Mars"
"Want to Want Me,' Jason Derulo
"Where Are U Now," Justin Bieber with Skrillex and Diplo

In other news, President of Electronic Music at Sony and founder of Ultra Music Patrick Moxey, embraces the popularity dance music has gotten on mainstream, "I've always wanted to make the music as popular as popular," he said in a Billboard article. OMI's, Felix Jaehn, "Cheerleader" single which made Billboard Hot 100 chart, became Ultra's first No. 1 song on that chart.

OMI's debut album, "Me4U" which includes monster hit, "Cheerleader" and new single, "Hula Hoop" is out in stores. The singer has also revealed via social media that he will be performing on BBC Music Awards, December 10, 2015.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Damian Marley Is The Latest Musician To Join Tidal As A Co-Owner

Damian Marley onstage Tidal X: Tues Oct. 20. Photo Credit: Mark VonHolden
Reggae mainstay Damian "Junior Gong" Marley has become the latest big name to sign on to Hip-Hop mogul Jay Z's, Tidal Streaming Service as a co-owner. The news was announced recently at the streaming service's massive Tidalx1020 concert, which took place in Brooklyn. As Marley was set to take the stage, the audience was told that this was to be his first performance as co-owner, which was met with a round of applause.

The show, which helped raise money for The concert was also a celebration, as the streaming service can now claim one million paying subscribers, which is up a few hundred thousand from several months ago.  Marley was one of more than twenty well-know musicians that performed at the Tidalx1020 show, including superstars like jay Z, Beyonce, Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, and surprise guests like Nas and DJ Khaled.

Damian Marley has charted two top ten albums, and was even in a supergroup with Mick Jagger, Joss Stone and Oscar-winning composer A. R. Rahman. He is one of the best-known reggae acts since his father, the legendary Bob Marley