Friday, June 6, 2014


"We see what we want to see...." #HappyFriday

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Could this be Nesbeth's year of Jubilee?

"I'm closer to the end of my broke days...."

"Wha gwaan Sophia?, me deh near you and just say me a go stop and gi you a one check" he said into my phone and as usual such a visit is one I look forward to, seeing Nesbeth one of the most humble roots/reggae recording artistes I am privilege to have met.  We met and shared jokes as usual, catch up and basically bask in each others presence before we got down to our favourite subject, music.

"What's up with the career?" I asked. "Me have a new chune fi you listen to, it name Taste Victory" he said searching his iPhone. Nesbeth scrolled until he found the track and tap play. From beginning and throughout the entire song a feeling of euphoria crept over me. I've been a fan of his before we met and when we did, it was at my office in Kingston when he and a friend came to see me about working on their team.  Nesbeth's music catalogue is filled with varying aspects of life's journey, his journey, the struggle, the pain, his vision and destiny.  

"Many bad Christmas whole heap a bad birthdays..."
We listened the track over and over because I could not get enough, and by the third replay I was singing parts of it. This roots, reggae artiste has maintained his image musically "me stay focus never did go both ways" he sings.  It mattered not, the type of event, Nesbeth gets there and do his thing reaping satisfying forwards from even the toughest audience, yup!  Nesbeth's walk has been interesting he took us along pathways unimaginable, like 'Drive By' the story of drive-by shooting incidents but the Ol Gangalee a "nuh chicken" and lived to tell the tale.

"Now I can taste victory...."
Now after years of trodding along those paths and losing his mother on the journey "there is hard days that always come around and bring you pain" he sang, Nesbeth is now telling us he has 'Taste Victory' and what a joyful thing this is. "Still me give thanks to di man whey create life, true di hardship me learn fi appreciate life" we sang together loosing count of the replays at this point because this, his musical journey, is one of the stories by a reggae artiste that motivates, inspires and drives you to 'Taste Victory' on your own. I also heard some pre-releases for Nesbeth's upcoming EP and I'm excited about getting my own copy, as he drove off I looked on thinking, "gwaan do di ting Nesbeth, victory is yours."

By: Sophia McKay

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Sanchez Honored at Unifest; May 17 officially declared Sanchez Day in Miramar Florida

Reggae singer Sanchez was honoured at Unifest for his career accomplishments and contribution to reggae music.  On Saturday May 17, Commissioner Alexandra Davis on behalf of Mayor Lori Mosley and fellow commissioners of the city of Miramar, presented Kevin 'Sanchez' Jackson with a proclamation; citing May 17, 2014 as the official 'Sanchez Day' in the City of Miramar.

Unifest, an event put on by the Greater American Cultural Coalition (GCACC) focuses on bringing various Caribbean countries and islands together to highlight their rich cultural heritage. Unifest is a multicultural festival celebrating 20 years of bringing cultures together.  

Moved beyond words a tearful Sanchez had this to say, "As an artist I perform and sing because I love it. I don't sing with the expectation that I must get an award for this. I do it for the love of my fans, music and the mercy of the Almighty. But! I must say to receive such a high recognition from a city I love and embrace as another home I say thank you.  to the Commissioner and Mayor Daisley, Unifest members I thank you again from the bottom of my heart and to God be the Glory."

Sanchez is embraced by fans of different cultures worldwide extending from across Europe, Africa, North America, Asia and the Caribbean. With a busy summer schedule ahead Sanchez will return to the studios to work with prominent producers Shane Brown of Juke Boxx, Bobby Digital and Don Corleone.


How Miami's Bizerk Went From Locker Drums to iTunes No. 1 With Shaggy

"I never knew it was gonna happen.  I did a verse for Don Corleone.  We were upstairs at the Circle House..."

Bizerk was a 13-year old kid when he started fetching water for rappers at Circle House, the North Miami studio where artists from Pitbull to Rick Ross have laid down some of their first major verses.

At the time, Trick Daddy was smashing the world with hit after hit, iTunes didn't exist yet, and CDs ruled the music biz.

Today, Bizerk's a formidable artist in his own right, with a new reggaefied mixtape available for free, and and EP with foundational reggae artists Inner Circle on its way.  Here's what Zerk had to say about where he is , where he's been, and where he's going.

Crossfade: Wasup with the new mixtape?
Bizerk: The mixtape is crazy.  It's like a reggae vibes mixtape.  Not pure reggae, but heavy reggae swag, a big influence.

What's it called?
Good Vibrations Vol. 1

How did it come about?
Well, actually, Abebe [Lewis, Circle House owner] was telling me to try out that style. I was just in the studio and that's what I was working on. And after a while, I had ten songs done, and it was like, "Let's put 'em out." I'm also workin' on an EP that's full produced by Inner Circle, so this is gonna start so people know about what i'm doing with that.

Hell yeah, dude. What's that gonna be?
We don't have a name for it yet, but it's gonna be an EP all produced at Circle House and Circle Village.  We got about four songs done so far.  I work in Circle House doing marketing for Abebe, and every so often, Inner Circle call me over to their studio.  They be like, "Zerk, come drop a verse!" It's not a slow process, but there's no rush.  They're helping me write all the concepts.  They have all these ideas.  Like, we flipped over this "Money in My Pocket" record from Dennis Brown, but for the new generation. I got the influence of the classic sounds, but for the people of today.  The young and the old at the same time. 

What have you learned working with them?
It's crazy. Inner Circle's understanding of music is amazing.  They hear a song, and they know the key of it and how to play it right away.  In the rap game, most of my peers, people in my generation, don't understand music like that.  They know words, and they know beats, but they don't know music like that.  It opened my mind a lot.  Inner Circle can pick up an instrument and play anything right there. It's a very creative thing. I think that's dope.

How has that influenced your sound?
It helped me grow as an artist.  Every song made me better. It made me want to sing more and rap less. I think after doing those songs, they taught me how to sing. I still rap, but it changed my whole style.

Tell the story of how you got the song, "Like to Party," with Shaggy.
I never knew it was gonna happen.  I did a verse for Don Corleone.  We were upstairs at the Circle House, and he wanted to work.  We have a mutual friend, the Professor, who was tellin' Don about me.  I knew who he was, but at the time, I did'nt really know that he was the biggest producer in Jamaica. I didn't feel the pressure, which was good.

So I did a verse, and Lunch Money wrote the chorus.  We worked on the hook, took about a month to get it right.  I tried like three different singers on the chorus, different singers from different reggae bands.  Stampede Movement is like true Ras, so he wasn't really with the party vibes on it about drinking and smoking.  So we got Scatta who's now the lead singer for Inner Circle.  We felt it was good, so we sent the session to Don.  Later on, he hit me back like, "Zerk, check your email. I got Shaggy on the record." And next thing I know, it was number-one iTunes reggae in the U.S. and Canada.

How did you start out over at the Circle House?
Originally, I was never a rapper, but I used to do the beats on the lockers and drum on the tables at school with the pencils. i'm talkin' like 7th grade.  This is back when Al B. Sylk was on Power 96 and he would do the Roll Call, so that made everybody wanna rap. I was goin' to school there and he was always rappin." He was like, "Yo, I need somebody to rap with," so I started rappin with him in school. He's the one who gave me the name Bizerk. I rapped for Abebe on the phone, and he was like, "Yo, bring him by the studio." So I started goin' there when I was like 13, bringing people water and doing whatever I could.

You and Lunch had a group right?
yeah, we were actually signed to Universal Records, Our first show was the Y100 Wing Ding, which was huge for a first show. I was the hype man. People loved us. We were autographing their arms and everything.

How'd you get with Slightly Stoopid?
They were at the studio doing a Jacob Miller record with Inner Circle, and I was supposed to be on it and write a verse. But when I went to the studio, I got a call that my homeboy got shot, so I left to go make sure everything was alright with him. Give thanks he didn't die, but I didn't get to write the verse. That was gonna be my first big chance to write for somebody, but I love the way it came out anyway.

A while later, I had the session of the track and I got with the engineer to chop it up and made my own remix. I was in there with Jah Rog, and he told me, "Yo, Zerk get on there, and change this part to say Convertible Burt, just to make it a Miami song, "they loved it and showed it to Slightly Stoopid, and then I got on stage at the Nine Mile Music Fest and did the verse and they got to see me perform, and that's kinda how I got cool with them. They seen me rap, they were like, "Yo, you killed it." They actually grabbed the record and did a remix with Capleton, and then Vans grabbed it and they did a new video for it.

What's some other shows you've performed on?
With Inner Circle, Soja for a sold-out show at Revolution. I've opened for Redman and Method Man. I opened for Bone Thugs. Me and Lunch toured with the Marley brothers all over Florida. Jacki-O, we went on a small tour with her and Ross. We were real close with Iconz, they schooled us, they showed us a lot

What's the track you got with Robbie Dreadeyez and I-Octane?
Robbie does music in Shuttle Life. Robbie's from Jamaica. They were actually featured on National Geographic TV show Drugs Inc. But they make conscious music, they not drug dealers. They're in the marijuana section. But they're for music, not for drugs. That's the homies. They're real close with Ruben Slikk and Metro Zu. Dreakeyez talks that real reggae patois. He really helped me get that conscious reggae vibes in the studio. That's the homie.

How'd you get with Magazeen?
I linked with Mikey T the Movie Star. He's like the main blogger at AllHipHop. He done all the interviews with Yo Gotti and stuff. He also works with Maybach Music. He took a liking to me and he linked me with Magazeen. We got in the studio and banged out a lot of tracks. I lost one, but I captured a good one with him. He's all over the Ross albums. He's on that "Yacht Club." I told him he should start a Maybach Jamaica. He goes in. There's no discrepancies. He just goes in and does track after track. I'm a fan. Magazeen is stupid with it.

What do you do with Abebe?
He's got a company called Abebe Lewis Marketing and Branding Group. He does a lot of big marketing for major alcohol companies like Remy, Ciroc. He runs all the clubs on South Beach not like owns them, but they go to him when they wanna blow the club up. He puts on artists and gets them in the studio, in the clubs, he gets them everywhere. He runs Miami. He works with Ne-Yo, Florida, does major events. I work with him on the email blasts. We have a database of, like, 100,000 people.  We have it all demographically organized. We have major people linkin' with us.

By Jaco Katel

Monday, June 2, 2014

10 Questions with Canadian Rapper JaneFrFinch

Q: Who is JaneFrFinch? A: I am a quadruple treat artist who uses her many talents to engage and rock a crowd.  People describe Jane as "hardcore with a sexy twist" which attribute to genes having been born to a Jamaican father and raised partly by way of his culture.

Q: Who is your biggest motivator in music? A: Jane's biggest motivators are 50 cent for utilizing and applying/incorporating all of his business ideas to his music career and Lauryn Hill for enduring the many tribulations she has been through, emotions the average human being couldn't bare but still manage to continue to build her empire which is music

Q: Why do you Rap? A: I Rap because it's the only way I can express my emotions.  I'm not really good at 'talking it out' so I talk to the mic and it somehow makes me feel better"

Q: What do you want from this music? A: I want to let the world watch me grow from being a girl from a dark place who was once broken to a maturn young woman with a new outlook that enables her to better express herself..the right way."

Q: How do you see your career take shape over the next 5 years? A: Over the next 5 years (God's willing), I expect to be going on tour for my 3rd album (I have a lot to rap about) have my book published and movie about my life released.

Q: You are not the first Hip-Hop/Rap artist to team up on a collaboration with a Jamaican Dancehall artist, what makes you think a Jamaican Dancehall fan base will gravitate to your music over the many other similar collabs? A:I feel that I stand out from other artists because I can mesh well on the topic and deliver exactly what my fellow artist expects of me.

Q: What is it about your music you want people know? A: My music relates to my personal life tribulations or that of other people around me.  I'm growing, so I feel that the first chapter of my life was more harder, now I see the second chapter, me moving away from all that and walking along the path of sexy and girly person although I have no intention of becoming 'soft' but my life is not lead by choice, but by the almighty God.

Q: What aspect of your life do you want people share? A: Eventually I want to be able to share my growing from strength to strength it will be a good way to lead, an example to follow and a story of motivation that hopefull will be worth telling over and over again. 

Q: What's a performance by JaneFrFinch like? A: Being able to have the whole crowd hyped and responsive when I'm on stage is what I love about performing.

Q: What has been your most memorable performance? A: My most memorable performance was opening for Wu-Tang Clan a few years ago.  They discovered me on Myspace and I was fortunate enough to share the stage with members of a legendary Hip-Hop group that I been listening to since growing is to date my most memorable moment.