Saturday, November 30, 2013

Reggae/Dancehall News Weekend

Tafari about to release new video
As 2013 narrow's down to an end some interesting development as it relate to the music surfaced.  Tafari, rapper and singjay has shot a video for the remix of his latest single I Want You, a collaboration between him and now solo artiste Nyla formerly of the duo Brick and Lace.  The remixed version of I Want You which was released around summer is produced by Dennis Blaze, a dj based in San Diego, California and was listed as iTunes 'Hot Track' for several weeks consecutively.  I Want You video was shot on location in Miami, Florida by director Rona Cohen.

Tessanne Chin further advance in NBC The Voice Competition
In another show stopping performance, Tessanne Chin has further advance to top 6 in the US television series of NBCs 'The Voice' competition.  Tessanne performed No Doubt's Underneath it All track taken from the 2001 reggae inspired, Grammy winning Rocksteady album.

a section of the crowd at STNG
STING launch it's 30th Edition as the theme for it's 2013 staging
December 26 in Jamaica is the annual date of the 30 years old mega stage show, 'STING' held in Portmore, St. Catherine at the Jam World complex.  Promoters of this major event dubbed 'the greatest reggae/dancehall show on earth' launched the event at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in Kingston under the theme 'STING 30th Edition' celebrating 30 years since it's inception. Head of the event's organizing team, Isiah Laing said of the event that things are falling into place for a special show.

A pay-per-view element has been included among the lists of firsts for this yea'r's staging as well as the inclusion of rapper Two-Chainz and Super Cat who has not performed in Jamaica over a decade. There will also be performances by international Dancehall artistes Lady Saw, Mavado and Beenie Man as well as Kiprich, Ninja Man and Romaine Virgo to name a few.

 By: Sophia McKay

Authentic reggae vs. reggae/dancehall fused music

Jamaica has a rich cultural legacy and nurture all type of musical talent in its traditional and popular music.  Lately, many have come to know Tessanne Chin, the multi-talented singer whom by way of entering one the most watched talent competition on U.S. NBC The Voice television series has drawn the attention of millions.

While it's acceptable that Tessanne Chin is exceptional, there are other outstanding artistes and musicians in Jamaica that the world is yet to discover.  An interesting observation is the fact that even though reggae is the native genre a vast majority of the undiscovered talents are not inclined to sing reggae and those interested in singing other genres find it difficult to get the type of exposure required to get noticed so they resort to fusing their genre of choice with reggae.  

This fusion with other genres have yield success for several artistes for example Dianna King, her Shy Guy single is still a master piece or even Tessanne Chin's Hide Away though she had only gotten national recognition upon releasing the track.  More successes for fused music came during the 90s era and are widely believed to have been some of the best ever, yet the songs popularity and/or sales figure has still not surpassed or come close to the that of authentic reggae songs as proven with the music of King Bob Marley.  Important to note is that many of these songs fused with other genres, are not classified as reggae but of it's offspring Dancehall which is more popular among Jamaicans in Jamaica. 

Now reggae music has to be nurtured to sustain it's longevity hence the best of the genre has to be authentic but it's proven that dancehall fused music take off much faster than authentic reggae.  The results are encouraging for both reggae and dancehall fused music but in terms of sales (which is still at an all time low) the better of the two is reggae.

By: Sophia McKay