Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Reggae/Dancehall 2014 Year In Review

More than twenty albums dropped
Record breaking number of albums dropped in 2014, 4 received Grammy nominations, 6 hit Billboard Reggae Albums Chart while three out the six topped Billboard. Some of the album released includes :- 
Shaggy  - Out of Many One Music Grammy nominated
Tarrus Riley - Love Situation peaked at #1 on Billboard Reggae Albums Chart
Ziggy Marley - Fly Rasta Grammy nominated
Tessanne Chin - Count On My Love
Sly and RobbieThe Reggae Power Grammy nominated 
Popcaan - Where We Come From peaked at #2 on Billboard
Etana - I Rise went #1 on Billboard Reggae Albums Chart
Sean Paul - Full Frequency Grammy nominated plus peaked at #1 on Billboard Reggae
Cecile - Still Running
Steven Marley - Revelation Part 2
Tanya Stephens - Guilty
Bugle - Anointed
Tafari - Rude Love hit Billboard and peaked at #17 
Carl Dawkins - Hard Times
Vybz Kartel - Reggae Love Songs and Other Things
D'major - It's Major
Wayne MarshallTru Colors
I-OctaneMy Journey hit Billboard
Mr Vegas - Euphoria
Duane Stephenson - Dangerously Roots
Ruffi-Ann - Save The Juvenile
Jahvinchi - Ghetto Born
Asante Amen - Chapter

Chronixx Dread and Terrible project hit #1 on Billboard although it is not considered an album

Billboard Top 15 Best Selling Albums in 2014

Major Label Deals and Endorsement  While some released albums others signed major deals, 17 year old Samantha J best known for her hit single 'Tight Up Skirt' inked a major record deal with label giants Columbia Records.  Shaggy also signed off on a major deal with Sony while Omi inked a major deal with Ultra Music via Sony Music Entertainment. 

Historic achievement and personal milestones
Etana
Billboard Charts since Diana King and Patra.  Her 'I RISE' album produced by the accomplished music Producer Clive Hunt, instrumentalist, composer and arranger went number one on Billboard Reggae Chart ...

Bounty Killer/Beenie Man historic 'Legendary' Collaboration is a musical unification between the Dancehall icons and a move the industry needed. We also consider this collaboration as a milestone not only for the two artistes but for Dancehall at a time many probably taught could never happen. Bounty Killer and Beenie 'Legendary' single is produced by Starstruck label.

The British Mobo Award goes to Stylo G a Jamaican/British artiste who won his first ever major award over big names such as Sean Paul, Popcaan and Tarrus Riley.  Stylo G stayed true to his dream of getting recognized as a reggae/dancehall artiste in the UK.  His first major impact in the UK was in 2010 with a Grime music recording called 'My Youth' after which he vowed to have his UK fans recognized him as a Reggae/Dancehall artiste.
This pretty much sum up 2014 for me 
Long lines to see Chronixx

Chronixx created ground breaking opportunities for himself in 2014 and quietly increased the size of his audience from small venues to arenas and mini stadiums in places unlikely for current Jamaican artiste as in the case of the massive crowd turnout to see Chronixx in New Zealand.  


Other artistes to have crossed borders and experience a
swell in the size audience they perform for or break new grounds are JARIA's Breakthrough Artiste of the Year, Kabaka Pyramid who was also nominated for a Juno Award in Canada Demarco who was nominated for an award in Australia for a song he did with popular African Reggae artiste Samini and Popcaan who drew over 40k strong in Kenya.


Among the spectacular moments Tessanne Chin experience in 2014 is a performance at the White House for US President Barrack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House.

The Caribbean was well represented when Tessanne Chin and Machel Montano made favourable impressions at the Soul Train Awards.  
Machel Montano receiving his STA
Machel Montano won the Award for Best International Performance while Tessanne made a cameo appearance during the highlight of the Soul Train live show, Legendary Award presentation to Kool And The Gang. To illustrate how far their influence has spread, several US superstar gave musical tributes to the legends as well as Jamaica's own and the 2013 NBC Voice champion, Tessanne performed alongside Liz Warfield.  

Both Tessanne Chin and Machel Montano also made presentations. Wolf Blitzer and Tessanne presented Aloe Blacc's Soul Inspiration performance and 40 year old energy ladenpresented the Best New Artiste award alongside Kim Coles.


Powerhouse label VP Records celebrates 35 years sharing their story and history of Reggae music with a state-of-the-art display designed by Michael Thompson. 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 marked the 35th anniversary when its founders Vincent and Patricia Chin moved their headquarters from Kingston, Jamaica to Jamaica, New York transforming their operations to the largest reggae company worldwide.

Mr Vegas struck a milestone in his career when Beyonce's 'Standing On The Sun' remix featuring him made her self-titled Platinum edition, visual album BEYONCE.

Tifa hit Billboard/Twitter Emerging Artist Chart and became the first Jamaican artist to do so on the newly installed chart. Her song, 'Bak it Up' peaked at #8.

Last year was a history year 2014
One year after releasing the video for her raunchy Dancehall track 'So Mi Like it' Spice celebrates the video's over 12 million views on youtube. So Mi Like It is a Notnice Production.

Popular radio DJ/ZJ Liquid, also struck a milestone when he and Jamaican born, New York base DJ Jabba of the famous Jabba and Bobby Konders duo were both nominated for a Global Spin Award.  Another personal and possibly historic move on the path of ZJ Liquid was his showcase as a Special Invited Guest DJ on BET 106 and Park show.

Major US TV appearances
Dancehall and Reggae enjoyed major US television acknowledgement in showcases at the BET and Grammy Awards live shows and NBC The Voice Finals which saw Tessanne Chin emerge winner in 
2013.  The trait continued in 2014 with other artistes making US television debut/appearances such as Chronixx performance on NBC The Tonight
Sean Paul/Konshens AHS

Show with Jimmy Falon, QQ and Wayne Marshall BET performance and Sean Paul's Performance on the Arsenio Hall show with Konshens.  They perform their Want Dem All collaboration off the Full Frequency album now up for a Grammy.

Honours and recognition
Gospel singer Judy Mowatt and Reggae Queen Marcia Griffiths were honoured in New York. The two former members of the I-Threes and back-up vocalists for the undisputed King of Reggae Bob Marley, received the Reggae Ambassador's Award' in New York.  The awards were presented to the ladies for their supres artistry, outstanding achievement and contribution to the development and promotion of reggae worldwide by VP Records and Groovin Inc.  

Freddie McGregor Received the Reggae Sumfest Award for his 'sterling contribution to reggae.'  Mr Gregor a Pioneer in the Reggae music industry started out his illustrious career at seven years old as a member of The Clarendonians in 1963.

Reggae crooner Sanchez was honoured at Unifest for his career accomplishments and contribution to reggae music.  Commissioner Alexandra Davis on behalf of Mayor Lori Mosley and fellow commissioners of the city of Miramar in Florida, presented Kevin 'Sanchez' Jackson with a proclamation; citing May 17 as the official 'Sanchez Day' in the city.
Maya Angelou R.I.P.

Deaths (R.I.P.)
John Holt - 1967 - 2014
Bunny Rugs -1949 - 2014
Wayne Sleng Teng Smith - 1966 - 2014
Chad Young - 1987 - 2014
The passing of Bunny Rugs, former lead singer of Third World Band, John Holt, Wayne Sleng Teng Smith and 27 year old IRIE FM CEO Chad Young hit the industry hard but one must continue until his own journey ends, R.I.P. gentlemen.

Bits 'n' Pieces 2014
Music business news 

December 2014 -  New Era Of Music Industry by Russel Simmons
"Artistes are finding all kind of ways to use their brand to earn money. Being a music star is a lot more than selling records, if not at all." If selling records was what the music business is about they would all move onto something else. "They're counting all of the things that they influence, all the multibillion dollar business that their branding and building and affecting" click to read more

December 2014 - US Top Selling Billboard Albums 2014
The top-selling albums in the US in 2014 according to @chartnews are #1 Frozen Soundtrack 3.4M, #2 "1989" by Taylor Swift 3M and #3 "In The Lonely Hour" by Sam Smith 1.05M.

December 2014 -  NIELSEN Report: Number of Radio Listeners is Up But TSL is down
In a new report NIELSEN, primarily focused on TV and new media, has found good news and bad news for radio's listnership. NIELSEN's "Total Audience Report" December 2014 found that radio's overall number of 2+ users was 258,754,000 in Q3 2013 however TSL was down 58:53 in Q3 2014 from 60:42 in Q3 2013.

December 2014 - Internet Hit New Milestone
The internet will reach more than two in five people in the world for the first time as online audience hits 2.89 billion users globally. Worldwide users projected to surpass 3 billion by 2015 while 2018 predictions are, nearly half the world's population, or 306 billion people, will access the internet...more

December 2014 - Billboard Album Chart Makeover
Billboard has launch a new made-over chart (which tracks the top 200 albums of the week by sale alone) and include on demand streaming and digital track sales..more

November 2014 - BETs 106 and Park to Become Digital-Only
Some are saying music video countdown shows are a thing of the past. This after the announcement came that America's number one variety show, 106 and Park on Black Entertainment Television (BET) will become Digital-Only after an impressive 14 years run. The final show airs December 19, 2014..more

November 2014 - YouTube Music Key Subscription Service is unveiled
Google's YouTube is starting a subscription service that allows users to stream ad-free music videos and to download them for offline use...more

November 2014 - Taylor Swift Abruptly Pulls Entire Catalog From Spotify
"There are reasons why you can sell 1 million units, but it's got nothing to do with not providing that album to Spotify," says one source...more

October 2014 -  How One Artiste Kept His Album a Secret From the World?
Add a group of Oxford business students to the list of people who kept Thom Yorke's new solo album a secret from the world. MBA candidates at the prestigious university worked with the Radiohead singer's management team on the experimental set.....Oxford says MBA students from the Said Business School worked with Yorke's team at Courtyard Management on user experience, media strategy and financial analysis for the BitTorrent release...more

October 2014 - How the internet totally destroyed music sales, in one chart
Consumption tastes and habits have been changing, and record companies haven't been keeping up. Streaming services have done well capitalizing on the market, and the question now is: Why would you spend $9.99 buying an album when, for the same price every month, you can have unlimited access to music on Spotify? more

September 2014 - Spotify Unveils Video Takeover
If you're one of the tens of millions who use Spotify's free service, prepare to be taken over. The streaming music giant has announced a pair of new video ad products that will give brands a super-sized presence while you listen.

For the desktop there's Video Takeover, in which brands can "own the ad break" with sponsored videos that will air during normal ad breaks, as opposed to audio spots. Obviously, the video will only be seen if the desktop client is in view, otherwise it will just sound like a regular ad..more

September 2014 - These Artistes Are Among New Adds To The Guinness Book of World Records
Metallica - for being the first and only band to ever perform a concert on all seven of Earth's continents and in a single year.
One Direction - has the distinction of being the first act to debut at No. 1 with first three albums (Midnight Memories, Up All Night and Take Me Home).
Miley Cyrus - for being the most searched-for Pop Star on the internet.
Shakira - who overtook Rihanna as the most 'liked' person on Facebook, then broke records again after earning the 100 millionth fan 'like' on social network becoming the first person to reach 100 million likes on Facebook.
Katy Perry - for being the musician with the most twitter followers (52,463,838).
Eminem - for the most words in a hit single, with the song 'Rap God' totalling 1,560 words in 6 minutes, 4 seconds ..moredetail

August 2014 - Twitter Vows to 'Improve Our Policies' After The Late Robin Williams Daughter Was Bullied Off the Network
"We will not tolerate abuse of this nature on Twitter," Del Harvey, Twitter's vice president of trust and safety said in a statement. "We have suspended a number of accounts related to this issue for violating our rules and we are in the process of evaluating how we can further improve our policies to better handle tragic situations like this one. This includes expanding our policies regarding self-harm and private information, and improving support for family members of deceased users"... more

August 2014 - Marcus Garvey - The Man, His Movement and His Poetry
Marcus Mosiah Garvey was the man who in the historical record brought unification and strength to Black people throughout the world. He started the United Negro Improvement Association and spoke out about the unjust behaviour towards his people. He inspired and gave hope through speaking, teaching and writing. He used poetry to understand his own life and relay it to black people and promoted them to do same C.E. Jordan Gremp .....moreClick also to read Floral Tribute on Garvey's Birthday Jamaica Observer

August 2014 - How did Rastafari turn from an ostracised religious sect into a global phenomenon?
What role has this spiritual movement had in forming Jamaica's soul and identity? Presented in a series by political commentator and educator Kingslee Daley, check out this publication on website BBC World Service more

August 2014 - VEVO The Giant Music Video Site Tries To Fix Itself Before It Sells Itself
"Owners try to Sweeten The Pot" one headline read.The owners of VEVO music website UGM, SONY MUSIC, ABU DHABI MEDIA and GOOGLE are reworking their P and L sheet to attract an interested suitor according toRECODE.NETGOLDMAN SACH and THE RAINE GROUP are looking for quity investors, marketing materials are being prepared for releasemore

August 2014 - Jamaica Poetry Festival Goes from Strength to Strength
The Jamaica Poetry Festival celebrated 50 years since Jamaica's Independence and 100 years of Jamaican Poetry. Organiser, Yasus Afari in a article written by the Jamaica Gleaner reporter Sadeke Brooks in 2012 "We will be celebrating 100 years of Jamaican Poetry that was marked by the publication in 1912 by Claude McKay." The 2014 staging of the festival will lead a special tribute to Jamaica as well as celebrating poets such as Harry Belafonte, Bob Marley and Claude McKay.. more

July 2014 - Why Song Writers (and Indie Publishers) Need the PROs
Are music publishers using the issue of low royalty payments from digital users [Spotify, Pandora, et al.] as a pretext for an unprecedented land grab of rights, money, and power?. And who is most likely to benefit from a shift to direct -- as opposed to collective -- licensing? Sony/ATV recently announced that it is contemplating complete withdrawalfrom the Performing Rights Organizations (PROs) ASCAP and BMI, if the consent decrees that each operate under are not amended to allow publishers to withdraw rights for certain uses.. more

July 2014 - The Skill of Listening
Every human being needs to listen consciously in order to live fully. Listening is our access to understanding. Conscious listening create understanding. A world where people don't listen to each other at all can be a scary place... listen

July 2014 - What Indie Musicians Can Learn from Youtubes Music Proposal
With the leaking of proposed contracts for YouTubes new music service, the indie world is up in arms over the constrictive and unfair terms being imposed upon small labels. It has been reported that this will mean many well known artists having their videos pulled from the service, if their labels refuse to sign more

July 2014 - Why Spotify is bad for Indie Musician
If the future of music rests in the hands of streaming, why do independent artists have such a hard time embracing it? It breaks down to one simple factor. If someone goes to iTunes and buys an album, whoever that album belongs to receives a good chunk of the money - about $7 more

July 2014 - International Reggae Day (IRD)
What do you think of when you hear Reggae? Reggae music is a genre that was developed from RnB and Ska around the 1960s more

June 2014 Why Amazons approach to licensing could be the future of Digital music
Even though the just-launched Amazon Music Price is receiving some criticism, it hints at a future with different types of subscription services and different prices more

June 2014 - Why Amazons approach to licensing could be the future of Digital music
Even though the just-launched Amazon Music Price is receiving some criticism, it hints at a future with different types of subscription services and different prices more

June 2014 - Billboard + Twitter Real-Time Chart
Billboard + Twitter Real-Time Chart records the fastest moving song on Twitter over an hour. In a Podcast on Billboard's weekly half-hour audio breakdown Billboard.com associate Jason Lipshutz and Billboard associate director of charts Keith Caulfield discuss among other news, the just-launched Billboard Twitter Real- Time charts, and why they're an essential new part of the charts world more


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