Friday, October 2, 2015

Junior Reid Headlines Inaugural Reggae Festival in Dubai

Roots singer Junior Reid will headline the inaugural Dubai Reggae Festival which takes place, November 7, 2015.

Reid will launch his, "Junior Reid The Living Legend" album two days before the event. Singer Wayne Wonder is also confirmed for the festival. So too is Barbadian soca artiste Rupee, Jamaican deejay Rasta Rocket, and one of Africa's leading reggae acts, Kriss Darling of Kenya. DJ Justin (Justin Morin), a Jamaican sound system selector who lives in Dubai, is also part of the festival.

The promoter responsible for introducing reggae/dancehall to Dubai, Kenya Don, is also the man behind annual Beachfest event which was first held there in 2013. He described the Dubai Reggae Festival as an expansion of Beachfest and also express gratitude for being able to stage the event, "it's a blessing to do the first reggae festival in the Middle East. We're moving from one artiste each month to a major show," said Kenya Don.

This year, several dancehall/reggae acts performed in Dubai on Beachfest including Mr. Vegas, Diana King, Red Rat and Elephant Man. The Kenyan-born promoter has staged similar shows throughout Africa before getting involved in booking artistes for dates in Dubai, largest city in the United Arab Emirates and home to a large expatriate community. He has promoted shows in other Middle East territories, namely Bahrain and Qatar.


Thursday, October 1, 2015

Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe visits Bob Marley's Museum

PMs: Shinzo Abe and Portia Simpson-Miller
The Bob Marley museum has once again taken centre stage on the historic visit of a G7 (Group of Seven) leader, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan.

Prime Minister Abe arrived in Kingston, September 30, 2015 for a two-day visit on official business and it is reported he headed to the museum after having bilateral talks with Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller.This marks the second such visit by a leader of one of seven major advanced economies/countries of the world this year. US President Barrack Obama's visit earlier this year, marks the first.

Japan and Jamaica shares a longstanding musical relationship, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to Bob Marley's museum once again reminds us of the far reaching effect of the music of the great Bob Marley and the level respect he's afforded through his music. 

It's a good look! 

Photo credit: Bryan Cummings

Throw Back - Sophia George throws shade at 'too girlie girlie' men

Sophia George
Sophia George is a Jamaican singer best known for her 1985 hit song, "Girlie Girlie" which peaked at No. 7 on the UK Top 10 chart.  Written by Sangie Davis, "Girlie Girlie"  is a tale about the philandering juvenile manipulating the opposite sex and at the time of it's release came when Sophia George was employed as a teacher for deaf children. By December of that year the record was released in the UK and crossed over into the pop chart, peaking at No. 7. It also made the soundtrack for the 1989 American comedy, Going Overboard with actor Adam Sandler playing the lead role.

In 1986, Sophia George released a follow-up track titled, "Lazy Boy," originally a hit for Echo Minott. It made a minor impression in the pop charts and proved a favourable hit within the reggae market. The single was released as a double a-side with the carefully crafted "Can't Live Without You" track which demonstrated her fine vocals.  

In 1987 she released another track entitled, "Final Decision" by producer Willie Lindo, a warning to domineering males emulating the dancehall style of her debut. Other notable recordings included, "Ain't No Meaning" off her 1986 album entitled "Fresh" and featuring Charlie Chaplin, "It Burn Mi Belly" and "Mawga Dog" loosely based around the PeterTosh classic.

"Girlie Girlie" was a major hit in Jamaica with a marathon 11 weeks hold at No. 1 on the then, RJR chart.  The popularity of the song landed Sophia George an extensive touring opportunity including, supporting Yellowman on his 1990 US concerts. She continued to record for the Pow Wow label during the 90s without ever coming close to matching the impact of her greatest hit, "Girlie Girlie." 


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Singer Richie Stevens show love in return for the love he's currently getting from his Brazilian fans

Fresh off his September Brazilian tour, singer Richie Stephens recorded a catchy song entitled, I Love Brazil' as a kind gesture of giving back the love he received from his Brazilian fans.

While in Brazil, Stephens headlined shows in Sao Luis the largest city of the state of Maranhao and Belem, as well as shot a music video for his hit single, "Knock, Knock, Knock." Recently, in a television interview, he said share what being on tour in that country has been for him, "my tour of Brazil went extremely well. Jamaicans have had a long, love affair with Brazil because of our love for football, Pele, Ronaldinho and Neymar. The song "I Love Brazil" was inspired by the similarity in both cultures and to express my gratitude for the warmth and the abundance of love and support I got from the people of Brazil."

Since the release of this new single, "I Love Brazil,"  Stephens said "the song is already one of the most requested songs on radio in Sao Luis and is a sure shot at parties." The Jamaican baritone crooner landed a No. 1 hit with "Knock, Knock, Knock" in the South American country and anticipates a another hit with the new single.  What's next for him? Well, he believes with the love and popularity he's getting from his fans in Brazil, a 2016 tour is inevitable and hopefully during the olympics. Now that, would be really cool!