Saturday, November 22, 2014

Etana's 'I Rise' Album Celebration New York

Etana in action at SOBs in New York
Beneath the brisk air and pulse of New York City, Caribbean entertainment gurus Irish and Chin welcomed a packed house of Reggae music fans to celebrate Etana's iconic new album "I rise" (VP Records).  Adding to the impressive album launch was top Reggae crooner Duane Stephenson, who impeccably delivered classic tunes and prime selections from his acclaimed 'Dangerously Roots' album also on the VP Records imprint.  As Real Reggae music took center stage a Roots infused musical experience overcame the historic venue.

The soulful Reggae songstress Etana commenced her memorable performance with 'Haile Selassie is the Chapel.'  Her flawless vocals filled the famed SOBs and set the standard for the rest of her impressive set. Fans were enthralled with Etana's rich vocals on songs including 'How Long', 'On My Way', 'Passing Thru' and 'Ward 21' among other album gems. The energy and excitement of the crowd peaked as the chanteuse belted out popular singles from the album, including 'Richest Girl', 'I Rise' and 'Jamaican Women.'

"It was so nice to see old and brand new fans...I was truly overwhelmed with hoy!" says Etana about the successful New York City album launch.  "I especially filled with pride as I walked in the venue and later on in the night, experience fans singing many of my songs from 'I Rise' and old favourites from previous albums verbatim."

"I have to say that the vibes were were listening, rocking, singing, dancing and even pulling up selections (reewinding dancehall  I can't help but thank all of my fans for the support," the soulful singer adds.  "I appreciate the event's promoters Irish and Chin for believing in me from then til' now and their incessant efforts. Of course, I salute VP Records, as the album wouldn't have been possible without their vision."

One couldn't help but groove to the radically smooth sounds of Duane Stephenson, who
Duane Stephenson
serviced as the ideal co-star for this concert.  There were lots of "Cool Runnings" as Duane crooned songs from his magical "Dangerously Roots" album.  The singer also amazed the crowd with favourites like "August Town" and the outstanding cover of "Little Cottage in Negril."

Notably, the album launch was chock full of industry and media professionals. Even fellow artists Lady Saw, U.K. sensation Randy Valentine and Shuga dropped in for the celebration.  

Irish and Chin who in a release was said to be pleased by the successful event said, "Etana's hard work and success will not only benefit her, but also aid other females acts, as they rise to greatness!"

Source: Images Newsletter

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Throw Back - 20 Years Since Bounty Killer's Powerful 'Down In The Ghetto' Single

Words of beatmaker Echo Slim who was recently highlighted for his reworks of the classic Bob Marley and Super Cat remix on LargeUp dot com, takes us back to 1994 when he first encountered Bounty Killer and his impression of the powerful single, "Down In The Ghetto."

Its the fall of 1994.....relocating from the outskirts of usually chilly Toronto to the tropical climate of Miami.  I immediately immerse myself in the local sound system culture. Already being familiar with iconic deejays such as Super Cat, Shabba Ranks, Ninja Man, Tiger, Papa San and other greats, I almost flipped when I first heard one of the most unique voices in the history of music

"Well, dis one called Down Inna Di Ghetto, none otha den the mighty Bounty Killa...."

Ms Ivy's son, aka the Warlord, aka Rodney Price instantly earned my respect when I heard the classic 'Down In The Ghetto' or as Killer actually says it, 'Down Inna Di Ghetto.'

Bounty was straight dropping knowledge behind the mesmerizing horns and sick bass line of the Shank I Sheck riddim.  It's sad that many of my friends and I could relate to this song living in America, the suppposed land of equality - whether that be racial equality, socio economic equality or just overall, equal opportunity for all citizens.  I can only imagine what Bounty saw happening in Jamaica at the time with his own eyes.  This song along with many other classic gens, solidified his legacy as the defender of the poor, and earned him the title, "poor people's govenor."

Bounty never shot a music video for "Down Inna The Ghetto" and quite frankly, a music video could never really portray the realness of such a powerful song.  However, if you wish to see what inspired the song, you can't do better than this documentary segment from Jamaican TV show Entertainment Report which follows Bounty Back to Callaloo Bed in Riverton City, one of the impoverished areas where he grew up.  The segment gave me even more of an appreciation for this classic song, and Bounty's entire catalog.