Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Bramma Team Up with Big Ship Captain Freddie Mcgregor

After hitting Number One on the Japan-based More Fire Radio chart and receiving rave reviews for his single, Jamaican recording artiste Bramma G.G.O.D. has teamed up with Big Ship Captain Freddie Mcgregor on the remix of the Riddim Force Records produced 'Big Chune' single.

Obviously earning the legendary singer's respect, Bramma went even further releasing behind the scenes footage from the making of a video for the single with himself and Freddie McGregor.

Big Chune remix forms part of Bramma's promised, Rugged and Deadly album which also features Anthony B, Luciano, and more. Three singles have been released from the album so far, namely, Belly A The Beast, Dancehall Rock featuring Anthony B, and the official Big Chune respectively.

NIPnews has learned that there might be yet another single(s) release from the album before it's the official release and according to Bramma, "songs released will not make the album less interesting as there are other special features to come."  

Fans and music lovers are reminded to follow Bramma on social media @brammggod and

@brammaggodofficialupdates for the latest news. Rugged and Deadly album is produced by Riddim Force Records and distributed by VPAL Dancehall.

written by: Sophia McKay

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Unity is Strength Division is Weakness

Some of the most successful Reggae artists of all time, are those who are able to project their own ideas of their culture through the music and are seemingly prophetic in their execution. Bounty Killer and Beenie Man's recent historic live stream performance has rehashed discussions with regards to the Jamaican Music Industry, of which this writer would like to share personal opinions. 

Before the internet, the Jamaican music industry was somehow regulated, which made it more of a united business industry to some extent, even though there were disparities with varying management styles. If an international body wanted to conduct business with an artiste the agent for the artist would inevitably be contacted. Certain regulatory tactics enforced during that era proved to be more effective when compared to the freelance, free-for-all tactic provided by the world wide web now. A united industry leads Tessane Chin to victory on "The Voice" and Bounty Killer and Beenie Man to a historic live stream show that attracted almost half-a-million viewers. It is hereby fitting to remind ourselves that the two artistes in question are products of that era.

While all credit must be given to telecommunications giant Digicel, Ms. Sharon Burke, one of the cornerstones of the industry, Grammy-winning producers Swizz Beats, Timbaland, and the entire production team of the Bounty Killer Verzuz Beenie Man live stream recently, the show of support by members of the industry, and Jamaicans across the world, not only proved how marketable the Dancehall genre is; how much of a tourist attraction the music is, or, how impactful the culture is on the rest of the world but, also, how great we are as a nation when we pull together. Contrary to the narrative that is spewed when something goes awry, we have witnessed time and time again the success of our artistes on the international front. More Jamaican artists are going mainstream, more of our female artistes get recognition for their work and diversity. However, our failure to control key elements that make an industry not just great by name but by revenue accrued has created the inability of capturing the true value of the culture. 

According to the IFPI Global Music Statistic Report 2019 -  For the full year 2019, total revenues for the global recorded music market grew by 8.2% or US$20.2 billion. Streaming revenue grew by 22.9% or US$11.4 Billion and for the first time
accounted for more than half (56.1%) of global recorded music revenue. Growth in streaming more than offset a 5.3% decline in physical revenue, a slower rate than 2018. This growth was driven by a 24,1% increase in paid subscription streaming with nearly all markets reporting growth in this area. There were 341 million users of paid streaming services accounting for 42% (33.5%), with paid streaming accounting for 42% of total recorded music revenue.

Call it what you may, this writer believes the key reason why the local music industry is not reaping the benefits of its reggae brand as it should is as a result of dis-unity among its stakeholders. This flaw however is not unique to this body but more so, the black man's attitude towards his fellow black man. The good news is, it can be changed as we have often witnessed among ourselves. Jamaicans are known for their resilience, our culture which is bred and shaped by our colonial past has made us a people with the tendency to impact the world positively in more ways than one and at times when the world needs it most. This is our talent. This talent of ours can be put to greater use, it can unite black people across the world, but most importantly unite us as Jamaicans. Unification of the stakeholders can solidify and maintain this one great legacy those before have left us called, The Jamaican Reggae and Dancehall Music Industry.

To Jamaicans wherever you are and especially those not associated with the industry but rather a fan of the music, we are not ashamed of who we are, or, of our culture. The 'Verzuz' clash between Bounty Killer and Beenie man was an artistic and cultural expression of our music. It is important to add here too, that this writer is a none supporter of certain lyrical content regardless of whom the performer is but rather a supporter of individual expression.

Lastly, lest we forget we are stronger together as a people and we all win when we support each other, the Bounty Killer and Beenie Man historic performance has afforded us insights that can help us navigate our way forward through any discourse. What is profound about their performance, is the fact that these two entertainers who were arch-rivals that aggressively competed for their standings seem quite comfortable working with each other. In the heat of things the dancehall 'general' did say, "on stage we war, inna real life we par." So, we can agree to disagree but let love and light lead us to victory.  Who would have thought that Bounty Killer and Beenie Man would have come together in the manner in which they did and made us all proud in the way they have done? Who! Who! Who!...

"It always seems impossible until it's done"
~Nelson Mandela~

Written by Sophia McKay
For: NIPnews
Excerpts: IFPI Global Music Report 2019

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Historic Bounty Verzuz Beenie Live Stream Clash and Another Great Loss For Music

Clash of the titans! 
It was truly a historic and awesome moment in time for Jamaica music culture and Dancehall legends Bounty Killer verzuz Beenie Man who represented themselves in another memorable and timeless clash. Reminiscent of their 1993 musical confrontation live on stage 'STING' greatest one-night dancehall event but, void of expletives and, certainly appealing to a large audience, bigger and better than the two might even imagine they could have drawn.

The two, obviously have out-grown their differences as Bounty Killer stated, "pon stage we war inna life we par," and had the over four hundred and eighty thousand views locked-in on Instagram live throughout the entire proceedings.

A clash that was exciting, fun, and friendly once again placed the Jamaican music industry in the spotlight and looking real good. The clash which trended on twitter attracted the attention of celebrities such as Rihanna, Swizzbeats, DJ Khaled, Erykah Badu, Ashanti, Ja Rule, Busta Rhymes, Dwayne Wade, P. Diddy, Timbaland to name a few, as well as popular music news sources such as BET, The Source and Vibes Magazines, Angella Yee, Charmalagne Tha God, DJ Envy and so many more, cheering the Dancehall legends on. 

Another Great Loss For Music

Another reggae music pioneer, studio engineer, and producer Bobby Digital has passed. His death is yet another great loss to Jamaica's music industry. Several pundits remember Bobby Digital, a few of which we thought it fitting to share as we remember and pay homage to the former highly respected music Producer. Sleep in peace Bobby Digital (S.I.P.).

Professor Donna Hope reposted Dancehall Archive sharing smiling pic and a little history. 

Music Journalist and author of the book Rebel Frequency, John Masouri also shared a post on FaceBook, "when certain people leave us, it's as if an era has passed away with them.."

Clyde McKenzie remembered Bobby Digital his friend, "holding on to each other crying like two babies in a cemetery on a hill overlooking the plain of Manchester. We had lost our dear friend Michael Jones (Mighty Mike) and we're supporting each other .....

One of Bobby Digitals' most outstanding projects from then until now and will forever be for this writer is the album ''The Real Thing" by Sizzla Kolanji. Sleep In Peace Bobby, gone but not forgotten

Sophia McKay 

Skip Marley Historic Chart Dominance with H.E.R.

The Marleys continue to raise the bar in Jamaican music history as young Skip Marley with global, multi-platinum Grammy Award-winning artist H.E.R., takes the #1 spot on Billboard Adult RnB chart. Skip Marley has, therefore, become the first Jamaican artist to ever accomplish such prestigious chart placement.

The track, 'Slow Down' recorded by H.E.R. and Skip became the quickest-streaming song in Marley family history skyrocketing with over 44 million global streams in recent weeks and over 162 million global artist streams for Skip Marley. In a press release issued by his label, Island Records, the twenty-three-year-old Marley, grandson of the legendary Reggae king Bob Marley said, "I never set my sights on a chart position when we recorded the song, but I give praise and thanks to the almighty that the music can reach these heights and connect to a wider audience. Ever proud to represent Jamaica achieving new levels in any endeavor. We appreciate all the love all the DJs, programmers, and stations who supported. It takes an army of Jah soldiers to make this type of noise. Maximum respect to H.E.R. for lifting the track with her heavenly vocals."

Island Records President/CEO Darcus Beese added, "Skip not only continues to build on the success of the Marley legacy but has carved out a unique lane for himself in this business. As the first Jamaican artist to reach #1 on the Adult RnB Songs chart, his Island Records family couldn't be prouder."

NIPnews Congratulates Skip Marley for his personal achievement and, for once again placing Jamaica and it's music culture at the center of attention of a globally recognized music chart in an impressive way. 

Sophia McKay 

Saturday, May 16, 2020

'The Experience' is Breath Taking Lila Ike!

I spy a natural super-star once again emerge and she is Jamaican singing reggae. The music from Lila Ike is breath-taking and has been from day one but having a body of her work to listen, 'The Experience' is simply awesome.

Social media is disrupted, the reviews are heart-warming surely a proud moment for reggae music lovers, having a trendy female soul-singer with a melody that melts you and an authentic, down-to-earth vibe that naturally depicts the uptown, downtown, and around-town Jamaican females.  Her tracks touch on subjects that matter, are relatable but clean.

Through music Etana project the personalities of a set of females in Jamaica, so does Queen Ifrika, Koffee, Jah 9, Spice, Shensea, Shuga, and Jada Kingdom to name a few, all in a class by themselves. But it has been a while since we've heard the consistency of a Dawn Penn or JC Lodge type of music and melody complemented with content that's girlie, rootsy, rustic (if I may), and classy within a body of songs by one of our ladies.  

Congratulations Lila Ike and the Indiggnation team for your music and effort in re-birthing one of the authentic nature of the reggae genre. For achieving a record deal with major label RCA and at this time of writing, holding the Number 1 spot on iTunes.  It seems this is just the beginning of greater things to come. 

The music has evolved over the past 10 years, even in a minuscule way, there is much to be thankful for like the fact that the Jamaican music industry is experiencing an upsurge in female talents who are poised for international recognition. What is even more interesting is the fact that each holds her own, creating her own niche and crunching numbers.

And yet, there is so much more to be done, so much more that is worthy of note but let's get out of quarantine with a new attitude that of supporting each other. Start with streaming "The Experience EP" by Lila Ike, play it loud in our homes, encourage our females, lift them up as they lift each other up. The industry can never be the same again and here is a great moment of an opportunity to implement change.

Written by Sophia McKay
For NIPnews

Friday, May 15, 2020

Bramma Struck Number 1 on Major Music Chart

Jamaican reggae/dancehall recording artist Bramma 'Big Chune' single off the upcoming album, Rugged and Deadly has struck Number 1 on a major chart for the first time.

'Big Chune' by Bramma and Produced by Riddim Force Records copped Japan Reggae Top 10 chart courtesy of More Fire Radio Show with Buju Banton and John Legend's single 'Memories' at #2, Singer J 'One Dance' at #3, Lila Ike "I Spy" at #5 and SumerRR 'Old School' at #5.

A second single, 'Dancehall Rock featuring Anthony B and
also from the Rugged and Deadly album sits at Top 10 on that same chart giving both Bramma and Anthony B two top 10 singles on the same chart.  Anthony B's other single is called Chill Out. The music video for 'Dancehall Rock' has been getting rave reviews while social media endorsements keep pouring in from a wide cross-section of radio DJs world over.

An upbeat and persistent Bramma is happy and optimistic amidst the crippling effect of the COVID19 pandemic on the music industry he said, "although I'm yet to figure what it will be my prayers are that the after effect finds favour with my career or vice versa."  Subscribe to Bramma youtube channel for new video and audio releases and Instagram @brammaggod to interact with the artist.

Written by: Sophia McKay
For NIPnews