Friday, January 20, 2012

Another Jamaican Music Pioneer Has Passed

In 5 years, the Jamaican music industry lost 5 of it's founding members and pioneers such as the soothing, Godfather of Reggae Alton Ellis (2008), Steelie from the outstanding Producer duo Steelie and Clevie (2009),  The Cool Ruler, Gregory Isaacs, singer/songwriter, producer and sound system operator Sugar Minott (2010, one month apart), Leonard Dillon (who is an early singer with the Ethopians group), Phillip 'Fattis' Burrell who was instrumental in establishing the careers of Sizzla Kolanji, Luciano, Pinchers, Thriller U and Sanchez internationally (2011) and Winston Riley (2012).

Winston Riley, renown record producer, songwriter and vocalist, succumbed to gun shot wounds received to the head, November 2011 and died January 19, 2012, he was 65 years old. He was a founding member of Jamaican group, The Techniques and was also known and respected as a pioneer of his time for scoring hits including Double Barrel by Ansel Collins and Dave Baker.

Jamaica's newly appointed Minister of Youth and Culture, Honourable Lisa Hanna in remembering Mr. Riley said in an article published by the Jamaica Observer that, "Winston Riley surely numbered among our best record producers of quality Jamaican music" and that "he was a pioneer in popular music and made an indelible mark in the recording industry."

News of his death made the headlines of several major news network including the Washington Post which in its publication noted, Winston Riley is credited with creating the Stalag Rhythm, which later influenced hip-hop and dancehall.  Unlike his contemporaries who shunned dancehall music, Riley embraced contemporary Reggae and had several big hits during the 1980s.

Winston Riley went through a slew of incidents over the past year, he was shot at in August and stabbed in September 2011.  Few years ago, his record store located in downtown Kingston, was burnt to the ground. His son, popular Radio Jamaica disc jock, Kurt Riley was quoted as saying in a publication that, "Unfortunately, Daddy didn't wake up so we could talk to him to find out if there was something he was not telling us"  the report said the family did not know what motivated the attacks.

On the website, Winston Riley is remembered as a pivotal figure in expanding Reggae internationally. Riley's steak of successful production stretched well into the 1990s with hits for numerous deejays including Red Dragon, Cutty Ranks and a teenaged Buju Banton while the career of cultural singers including Admiral Tibet and Courtney Melody also benefitted from their association with Riley.

When Jamaica celebrates its 50th Anniversary since Independence 2012, Jamaicans can reflect and be proud of nations legacy of natural and raw talent that have positively impacted the rest of world.  R.I.P. Winston Riley.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

10 Reasons to Purchase Music From Independent Artists

"Have you ever thought about why people buy music?  Here are 10 reasons why people should purchase music from independent artists... "

1.  Independent artists such as those we promote here, freely expresses their passion and unique talent.  They tell their own personal stories and follow their own instincts.

2.  An independent artist is free to be unique and generous in his sales methods.  For the consumer, this can mean getting bulk discounts, coupon offers and appreciation for their repeat purchases.

3.  The independent artist can communicate directly with the customer, so online sales does not have to be an isolating experience for the artist.  

4.  Niche marketing is all the buzz these days, and nowhere it is more successful than in independent music.  An independent artiste is free to create his/her own unique niche and, in the process, attract more ideal fans. You, the music buyer/purchaser will find it easier to discover the music that defines and expresses YOU!!

5.  Customers and artists can share the love, wouldn't it be just awesome to have the artist whose music you just purchase sent you a personal appreciative message? And how about YOU being able to write back?

6.  Everyone feels authentic.  An independent artist replaces corporate communication when he/she speaks to YOU direct on social network pages such Facebook, don't you think?

7)  Music buyer/purchaser can find their favourite independent artist music by buying it directly from his or her own iTunes store.  Avoiding the ups and down of having to search among other artists music or purchasing music YOU don't necessarily want even if it was written and recorded by the artiste you so much adore.   

8.  Fans can enjoy their special indie artists own space listening to new music clips, socialize, watch video performances, share with other fans and build upon each others excitement.  YOU can discover a new musician or song, leave comments, bookmark sites, or make a purchase all at the same time.

9)  The artists get a bigger cut from sale of his music.  This may seem obvious, but if YOU knew just how much your favourite artist received from major labels, the YOU would definitely support independent artistes

10)  Finally, YOU the consumer not only support the music you love, but also affiliate yourselves with causes you believe in.

So, the next time you make a purchase be sure to add in your shopping cart, music by an independent artists and more specifically, the ones you have seen and might have fallen in love with, right here! "Come Mek We Buy Reggae" click!!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

My Music and Me 24/7

Reggae artiste Eljai, was born in the northern countryside of Belize in a village known as Rockstone Pond.  He grew up in a big family where there was always fun and laughter which easily transcended to his immediate family and friends whom he spends much time with.  Good with his culinary skills, Eljai enjoys cooking all different types of food and has mastered the 'art of jerk' on a grill.  He considers himself a genuine person who "keeps it real" and want fans to absorb the same energy from listening to his music.

Being an artiste does not curtail Eljai's habit of attending shows to see other artistes perform.  In fact, he attend stage shows and dances of all types of genre as often as he can and particularly likes being in the audience, he said "I feel a sense of joy experiencing the vibration and energy of the massive."  Eljai fans are of all ages, people who love good reggae music.  He is easy going, genuine and like to "keeps it real" this is the energy he exerts from his music.

When Eljai pen the lyrics of his current single, 24/7, he was in studio vibing with fellow Reggae artiste Honorebel.  They were inspired by persons who go about their day to day hustling to support their families, 'by any means necessary and keeping on the right side of the law to accomplish their goals."  Eljai prides himself with being the only artiste from Belize that delivers Reggae music in its true authentic form that is competitive to, "contemporaries from Jamaica" he said.  "My stage performances are dynamic with the experience of a showman like the great singers/performers, Beres Hammond and Dennis Brown."  Eljai prepares for his performances with meditation, drawing inspiration from the bible as well as exercising to keep his body fit for the demands of the performances.  He ensure he rehearses with his band as he believes this is, "essential for the best possible performance on a stage."

Eljai's favourite moment during his tenor as an artiste/entertainer was a trip to Jamaica where he visited the Bob Marley Museum at 56 Old Hope Road in Kingston.  The tour he said was conducted by none other than Stephen Marley himself.

The California base artiste has already released an album entitle, 'I Know.'  This album features his two most popular singles, Don't Leave and The Leaders both of which hit number one in, Belize as well as, Jamaica and New York.  Eljai's latest project is a 4 single EP entitle 24/7 that includes the single of the same name, 24/7 and other tracks he thinks, fans would probably like the most such as For You and Empress.  Eljai's music are available for download on iTunes and his videos can be seen on Eljaimusic channel on Youtube.

Blog of the Year

The most read blog here on our website in 2011 is I.M. Talks and Jamaican Slangs Jamaican slang have a way of quickly going viral as soon as they emerge.  The most popular slang in 2011 is 'TUN UP!! In the recent General elections held in the country, the party that formed the new Government used the slang in a song to gain popularity with voters.  The catchy melodies of that song was, 'tun up de ting,' the party won the elections.  The school kids uses the slang, 'bad peoples' a lot while the party animals, 'duh road' or 'do road'.  These they say are used in the context of promoting someone for doing something good or state, "I'll be going out"  So if a popular person do something real good, "yeah, a bad peoples" or if you plan to go out, "me a duh road tonight" but both are not as catchy as 'tun up' so until a new slang emerge, wuk wid it (work with it)!

David M 'Lest We Forget' Single Now Impacting Radio & Television on Martin Luther King Day

Every generation has a songwriter that defines it, Bob Dylan in the 60s, John Lennon in the 70s.  David M might be this generation defining songwriter.  In 2010 David's music career springboard as a solo artist with the release of his first single, 'Lest We Forget.'  This timeless hit recognizes and highlights the sacrifices made by Dr. Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Marcus Garvey, Malcom X and Rosa Parks that will remain relevant for years.  In remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, please take a moment to listen David's tribute here:-