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Wednesday, December 30, 2009



On January 19, 2010 with Greensleeves Records, reggae’s reigning King Sizzla Kalonji’s new album Crucial Times will be available. Sizzla reconnects with the great producer Homer Harris. Harris is credited with discovering and naming Sizzla. Crucial Times features the signature vocals that Sizzla is known for along with a variety of rhythms.

This 13 track album brings the legendary singjay back to his essence – chanting truths, expressions of love and praises to Jah over Homer Harris produced rhythms. On his first single “Precious Gift”, Sizzla delivers positive messages from his Rastafarian beliefs; giving thanks to Jah for the life he is blessed with. On the track “Crucial Time” he reaches out to the downtrodden with the directive of betterment and productivity with the life you were given. Sizzla shows his sensitive side on “Charming” as he expresses his feelings for the woman he loves. From the up-tempo beat of “Jolly Good Time” to the head nodding track of “Foundation” and the Dancehall rhythm of “Atta Clap”, Sizzla displays his versatility throughout this album. Crucial Times addresses the trials and tribulations that come with life and the beauty that love and unity can bring to life.

Coming up on his 15th year of making music and over 40 albums, Sizzla continues to deliver messages filled with passion and triumph as if it was his first release. Sizzla adds Crucial Times to his great catalog of music and continues to contribute towards the growth and prosperity of humanity through the music he blesses the world with.

Born Miguel Collins in August Town, a suburb of Kingston, Jamaica, this reggae legend has cemented his standing for this generation and many generations to come with breakthrough albums like Black Woman & Child in 1997 (VP), the classic Da Real Thing (VP) in 2002, Rise To The Occasion in 2003 by dancehall producer Don Corleon (Greensleeves) and more recently GHETTO YOUTH-OLOGY in 2009 (GREENSLEEVES) which featured the Anthem “Black Man In The White House”. Sizzla continues to never limit himself musically.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Packed calendar set for Reggae Month 2010

Over 30 events have been organised in celebration of Reggae Month slated for February 2010. The series of activities will be spread across 28 days, featuring an exciting mix of live concerts, symposia, films, parties, workshops, exhibitions, school tours and trade fairs across the island.

The 2010 edition of Reggae Month will seek to highlight and celebrate the roles of key individuals and their contributions to the development of Reggae, with musicians and icons the likes of Bob Marley and Dennis Brown being at the forefront of the celebrations.

The Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JARIA) has been given the mandate, by the Ministry of Culture, to plan and coordinate the 2010 celebrations which will kick-off on February 1, with a tribute to Dennis Brown, an all-inclusive reception to commemorate the Crown Prince's birthday and mark the official start of Reggae Month.

Thereafter, February in Jamaica will be abuzz with activities including the Marley family hosting Bob Marley birthday celebration, Smile Jamaica at Nine Miles, St. Ann, Bob Marley birthday bash at One Love Drive, Negril, Reggae Villages in Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, Negril, and Kingston, Fi Wi Sinting festival in Portland, the International Reggae Studies Conference to be hosted at the University of the West Indies (Mona), Rae Town salutes Reggae Month as well as a special visit by JARIA to Boys' Town and the Alpha Boys School on February 8 and 15, as part of a music expo.

The month long celebrations will ramp up in the final week, with a seven-day musicathon, including a special edition of Jazz in the Gardens at The Jamaica Pegasus Hotel on February 21, the Reggae Month gospel concert on February 22 and on February 27, Knutsford Live, a massive free concert in the heart of the New Kingston, featuring top Jamaican artistes.

On February 28, Reggae Month 2010 will culminate with the JARIA honour awards, the prestigious and glamorous gala event where special recognition will be given to industry pioneers who have figured prominently in the outstanding penetration of Jamaican music culture across the world. This event, provides an authentic barometer for gauging the development of the music and honouring its practitioners.

A host of other smaller events have been planned for Reggae Month including a live concert series exploring the various genres of Jamaican music, primarily Maroon Drumming, Mento, Ska, Rocksteady, Dub, Rockers, Dancehall and alternative fusion forms currently receiving popularity among the youths.

Reggae Month, which was first staged in 2008 by the Ministry of Culture, is a celebration of Reggae music geared at heightening the impact of the musical genre on the country's social, cultural and economical development.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Jimmy Cliff will be inducted into the 2010 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Cliff is among a list of other entertainers who will be inducted, including Genesis, The Stooges, Ann Arbor, Swedish pop-icons ABBA and The Hollies. Cliff is the first reggae nominee cited by judges at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame since Bob Marley was inducted in 1994.

The inductees for next year were chosen by a committee of rock and roll historians and they were voted on by 500 voters in the Hall of Fame Foundation. Artistes become eligible for induction 25 years after their first record is released. One of the criteria is that the person must have made some contribution to the development and perpetuation of rock and roll music and the contribution to music must also be of significance

Cliff has made large contributions to the reggae industry as he is known for hits such as Harder They Come, I Can See Clearly Now, Wild World, Many Rivers To Cross, Rebel In Me and Reggae Nights, some of which have been used as soundtracks in movies. He was also an actor in the movie Harder They Come.

This year’s class will be inducted in the annual ceremony at New York City’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel on March 15, 2010, and will be televised live on Fuse. All inductees are ultimately represented in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

VP Records Presents: The Return Of Reggae Crooner Sanchez With His Newest Album, Now And Forever

MIRAMAR - On Febuary 9, 2010 VP Records presents the return of Sanchez with his newest album, Now And Forever. Now and Forever features 15 new Sanchez tracks, produced by Donovan Germain of Penthouse Recordings. This is by far Sanchez’s best work to date. Along with delivering the sound that he is known for, the majority of this album contains original songs from Sanchez.

The first single from Now and Forever is “Longing To Come Home” on the Protect & Serve riddim, it is currently climbing the US world & reggae charts. “Won’t Surrender” touches on the controversial subject matter of infidelity and what an untrusting companion goes through in this situation. On the song “What Do I Have To Say,” Sanchez is trying to capture the attention of a woman that he is attracted to. “Release the Property” is about the elusive quality that the one you’re pursuing possesses. Sanchez goes on to explain the elements that draws him to a woman. The songs “Who Am I Without You,” “Extraordinary” and the title track ‘Now and Forever’ displays the loving and sensitivity that proves why Sanchez is one of the most beloved Lovers Rock Singers in Reggae Music. NOW AND FOREVER is classic Sanchez.

Born Kevin Anthony Jackson, Sanchez grew up in the Stony Hill and Waterhouse sections of Kingston, Jamaica. Like many of the island's vocal legends, his first singing experience was in church; specifically St. Catherine parish's Rehobth Epostlic Church.

Sanchez is a Reggae legend and is known for remaking various hit songs. His gift for crooning romantic lyrics over hard edged dancehall riddims has earned him
numerous hits throughout his career. Spanning over two decades, 15 plus albums and legions fans; the veteran recording artist and consummate performer is back.


By Steven Jackson
Friday, December 18, 2009

Music 'bible', Billboard, lists Sean Paul as the reggae artiste of the year and decade, whilst Shaggy's Hotshot was listed as the 15th most selling album of the 2000s.

Paul beat Matisyahu and Bob Marley & the Wailers for second and third respectively for 2009 artiste of the year based on just released chart data from Billboard, the US based music company.

For artiste of the decade the order of the runners-up was reversed with Marley taking second to Paul. In 2008, the late Bob Marley was the top act followed by Collie Buddz and Stephen Marley. Billboard stated that the top reggae artiste of the decade ranking was based on an artiste's chart performance. During the year Sean Paul hit number one on the charts and sold slightly more copies than Matisyahu, however neither artiste surpassed 80,000 units in the US market.

Billboards also ranked the top selling albums of the decade using sales data from Nielsen SoundScan. It called that chart the Best Billboard Reggae Albums of the 2000s which included:

*Sean Paul's Dutty Rock;
*Sean Paul's Trinity;
*Damian Jr Gong Marley's Welcome to Jamrock;
*Bob Marley's Chant Down Babylon;
*Matisyahu Live at Stubbs;
*Soundtrack for 50 First Dates;
*Matisyahu's Youth;
*Bob Marley and the Wailers' One Love;
*Beenie Man's Art and Life; and
*Kevin Lyttle's self-titled album

Shaggy's album Hotshots sold more than the above list combined, however it was not categorised as a reggae album. Hotshots was the 15th most selling album in North America in the 2000s selling more than albums released by popstars including Alicia Keys, 50 Cent and Linkin Park. Billboard did not disclose the actual sales but Hotshots is known to have sold upwards of six million copies in that market and more than 10 million worldwide.

N'Sync's No Strings Attached was the top selling album of the 2000s, followed by Usher's Confessions and Eminem's The Eminem Show. Interestingly, Eminem was artiste of the 2000s, he was the only artiste that had two entries in the top 10 for albums with most sales in the 2000s.

The Billboard's Best Reggae Albums of the 2000s complements a recent Observer compiled list which ranked reggae albums in terms of the number of weeks on the Billboard charts. Chart longevity indicated that the albums were not only popular but had that timeless quality as sales continued well beyond their release dates.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Worrying Times For Reggae Record Sales In US.

Reggae music has sold a mere 502,171 units for the first 10 months of the year.

Recent reports in Jamaica’s Star and Gleaner have stated that according to sales tracker Nielsen-SoundScan reggae album sales have plummeted in the USA. Collectively reggae / dancehall music has sold a mere 502,171 units for the first 10 months of the year. In a great year for reggae album releases, with a lot of artists going back to a more rootsy sound, Buju Bantons excellent ‘Rasta Got Soul’ has so far only sold just over 8,000 copies, while Queen Ifrica’s summer release ‘Montego Bay’ has a woeful return of only 2,726.

However this may not be all gloom and doom for reggae artists. CD sales across all genres have been affected by the recession and these figures do not include download sales, which is now according to industry reports accountable for around 20% of worldwide music sales. Competition from unsigned artists on the internet and the ever-present issue of filesharing may also be a factor. Once all the figures are in the fuller picture may be revealed.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Nicola Lion Fish - Destination Unknown

Nicole did this one for the Haitian refugees who brave the sea, risk their lives all in the hope of seeking a better life and freedom...WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW.

Raggamuffin returns with reggae royalty

Another day, another festival announcement as the summer music season builds and builds.

This time it's reggae that is coming to our shores, with Ragamuffin 2010 bringing Wyclef Jean, Julian Marley, Shaggy and plenty more to Perth for a gig on January 25.

More than 60,000 fans have attended the festival over the past two years, with Australia's biggest reggae festival still going strong.

Headlining is Wyclef Jean, a Grammy Award-winning artist who has sold more than 30 million records and toured the world with hip hop act The Fugees and as a solo artist. He will be performing songs from his new album Music Theory.

Bob Marley's son Julian will be performing to celebrate the music and message of all the legendary family who have come before.

His soulful vocals, hypnotic beats and the roots-reggae sound combined with street energy hip-hop deliver a combination that is very much his own.

Shaggy returns, sure to bring his Oh Carolina hit, along with singalong sensations It Wasn’t Me and Angel from his album Hotshot.

Sean Kingston, Steel Pulse, Blue King Brown, Sly and Robbie, House of Shem and more round out the bill.

Tickets go on sale 9am Wednesday, October 28 through

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

‘No Games’ - Anticipation builds for Serani’s

As anticipation builds for the October 27 release of Serani’s US debut album titled No Games after his crossover hit of the same name, the tracklist has now been released.

The 14-track set contains many new songs along with new versions of Mama Still Hungry, When it’s Cold and Romance Me, alongside the title track and current hit She Loves Me rounding out the album.

“We put a great emphasis on the quality of the production and sound on the album,” said Serani. “As a musician and producer myself, I’m very pleased with the sonic quality of the album and I am sure my fans will be just as pleased. You always hear people complaining that Jamaican artistes release albums that are basically compilations of songs that are already out there, so we wanted to do a lot of new material. Even the tracks that are known have been reworked and upgraded! Most of the album is for my ladies, but there is something on there for everyone.”

No Games will be available in stores and online Tuesday, October 27. The New York release party will be held the same night at SOBs Club in Manhattan, NY.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Buju Banton's Rasta Got Soul US Tour A Success / Reggae Bash 2009 Press Party

- Promoters Call It The Biggest Selling Reggae Tour Of The Year -

(New York, NY -- 12, October 2009) Gargamel Music, Inc. is pleased to report that over 15,000 fans have already witnessed the magic of Jamaican music icon, Buju Banton's Rasta Got Soul US Tour, which kicked off last month at the Trocadero Theater in Philadelphia. The buzz worthy Roots Reggae revue has since blazed through a string of successful shows in Maryland , Rhode Island , Connecticut , Maine , Massachusetts , New York , New Jersey , North Carolina , Virginia , Michigan and Ohio , and has been receiving rave reviews from day one:

"During the show, Banton's gruff, soulful voice captured the passion behind the hyperkinetic 'Murderer' and 'Willy (Don't Be Silly).' His band (including a drummer who sounded as though he had eight hands) was ridiculously tight, their arrangements elegant and dynamic without losing their frenetic feel. From the 'Wipeout'-based rhythm-backed rap of 'Me & Oonu' through to the soulful 'I Rise' to cribbing Michael Jackson's universal plea, 'Heal the World,' Banton proved he could make things right within his music." - Philadelphia Inquirer

This week, the Rasta Got Soul US Tour rolls into Colorado for two shows and then dips over to California, where the four-time Grammy-nominated artist, along with opening acts Gramps Morgan of Morgan Heritage , Nikki Burt and Angel Shalome , will play seven dates, before moving on to New Mexico, Texas, Georgia and Florida. Despite the ongoing smear campaign against Banton, promoters are already calling it the biggest selling Reggae tour of the year. Buju would like to thank the promoters, venues and especially the fans for their amazing show of support at this time. To the detractors, he offers the following statement:

"Throughout my travels as an artist, I have witnessed first hand the senseless atrocities being suffered by innocent people around the world and my heart goes out to them. I do not condone violence against anyone, including gays, and I have spent my career rallying against violence and injustice through music. At this point, I can only hope that my body of work speaks for itself and that anyone still offended by the lyrics of my youth will take the time to explore my catalog or come to one of my shows before reducing my character and entire musical repertoire to a single song."

The Buju Banton Rasta Got Soul US Tour is proudly sponsored by The Fader ( ), who is currently giving away pairs of tickets to upcoming gigs in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Miami. Banton's critically acclaimed new album, Rasta Got Soul (Gargamel Music), is available in stores and online.

The Press Party for this year's Reggae Bash 2009 being held at the James L. Knight Center, 400 SE 2nd Avenue, Downtown Miami on Saturday October 31, 2009. Gates open at 6:00PM show time 7:00PM and features Veteran Ace Deejay Buju Banton and Crowned King of Dancehall and Grammy Award winner Beenie Man along with the extraordinary soulful Wayne Wonder and the sensational Reggae Artist Red Rat, will be held at the Ginger Bay Café, 1908 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, FL 33020 on Friday October 30, 2009 from 7:30PM - 9:30PM.

All media houses interested in attending the Reggae Bash 2009 must send an email requesting an accreditation form to . Press Passes will be handed out at the press release party.

Reggae Bash 09 will be hosted by Rich Davis "The Man Inside your Radio" along with Vanessa James from 103.5 the Beat with music by Supa Sound. Sponsors of this years' event includes: Tru-Juice, Golden Krust of Pembroke Pines, 103.5 The Beat, N.R.S International, Hype Radio John Alessi PR Firm,,, Zone1Ent and many more.

Reggae Bash 09 tickets are available on line at Dade 305-358-5885 and in Broward 954-523-3309. Ticket locations are as follows Jamaican Grocery and Spice -SW Miami, Mama's Kitchen -Fort Lauderdale, Aunt I's Restaurant -Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Reggae and Things -Coral Springs, Junie's Restaurant -Miami, Golden Krust Restaurant- Pembroke Pines and Snapper Restaurant-Tamarac.
For more information on Reggae Bash 09 log on to to register or to win tickets. Call 305-416-5970 or 786-301-4630 for more info.

Monday, October 5, 2009

‘Reggae tourism’ hurts Jamaican identity, prof. says

Reggae has evolved from a gritty, rhythmic invocation against social and political injustice to a pleasant, sappy background music accompanying commercials, according to Carolyn Cooper, a professor at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica. Cooper, who delivered a lecture in the Haldeman Center on Friday, said that despite reggae’s many changes in form and style, in pure form it remains the heart and soul of Jamaica and its people.

Reggae will also be forever marred by advertisements promoting heritage tourism in Jamaica that distort the true beat behind a music some have now labeled as belonging only in elevators, Cooper said.

Cooper acknowledged that heritage tourism, for all its flaws, is an indispensable part of the Jamaican economy — reggae has the power to fill Jamaica’s empty hotels and support its local businesses with capital from visitors from all over the world, Cooper said.

Cooper also emphasized the major pitfall of “reggae tourism”: The promotion of Jamaica as a tourist hotspot, the natives as exotic locals and reggae as mainstream pop only further connects the Jamaican population with an economic scheme that cannot serve as a permanent solution.

“Americans go on vacation to escape the mundane banalities of their lives,” she said. “Most Jamaicans can’t afford to do that. They envy your ability to escape your boredom and turn theirs into your pleasure.”

The issue, according to Cooper, isn’t that tourism is wrong, but that advertising agencies are promoting Jamaica in such a way that it is challenging the nation’s identity.

It sometimes seems as if it is more about the tourists than the people, Cooper said, as natives often cannot even obtain seats to popular reggae festivals.

Cooper illustrated the tension between the “real” Jamaica and the Jamaica featured on glossy brochures with the example of Damian “Junior Gong” Marley’s “Welcome to Jamrock.” The grim, ominous track, Cooper said, “militantly contests the Jamaica Tourist Board’s appropriation of [Bob Marley’s] disquieting ‘One Love’ as an unambiguous anthem of social harmony: ‘Come to Jamaica and feel alright.’”

Damian Marley is Bob Marley’s son.

Cooper said that the tourist board, in promoting Jamaica as a place of peace and harmony, naturally does not want the world to hear the gritty underbelly of reggae.

For example, Bob Marley’s original lyrics for “One Love” were quite dark.

“Is there a place for the hopeless sinner/Who has hurt all mankind just to save his own?” he wrote.

Bob Marley’s lyrics, Cooper said, represent an attempt to find true peace and harmony in Jamaica while acknowledging that the nation is marked by economic instability, high crime rates and other social blights.

Reggae in its raw, unaltered form unflinchingly deals with subjects ranging from religion to love, sexuality and poverty, according to Cooper.

“It is a rhythmic resistance against the system of exploitation of people,” Cooper said.

The challenge, Cooper pointed out, is to tap into Jamaica’s tourist income without dehumanizing the people and marginalizing the culture.

Cooper suggested, however, that not all is glum: For all the waves of tourism and commercialization, Cooper said, reggae remains intrinsically Jamaican and continues to serve not only as a source of a pride, but as an outlet for the local Jamaicans.

Cooper remarked that just as jazz and rock-and-roll, while still influential, are no longer regarded as the “popular” music of our era, reggae too will become “old people’s music” one day.

But for now, it remains the authentic manifestation of Jamaica’s culture, a resounding affirmation of the Jamaican people’s creativity and inspiration.

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Rebel in Abajonai

Abajonai has always had an interest in music and rebel music is what he chants.

The artiste, whose real name is Hughgan Thompson, said he has been singing at concerts since he was attending school. During that time, he linked with the Germany-based Uplift Records. After leaving school, he recorded with Caveman Studio in St Catherine. In addition, he did some of his own recording on his own River Nile label.

He has songs like No Weak Heart, Hot Love, The Whole World Is Africa, Truth and Rights, Calling Out Your Name, Niley and Black I Am. He will soon release other songs like Changes and Genocide.

Abajonai said his songs, like his name, are heavenly and mystical.

"Is more like rebel music, making my people know more about their black selves, more of cultural vibration, more like a Nyabinghi chant," said the Bobo Shanti Rastafarian.

He said his music has been getting recognition in Portugal, Germany, France and the United States.

"People gravitate to me, is like magic," said Abajonai.

His biggest accomplishments to date are getting the opportunity to record for Tuff Gong Records in 2001, being billed to perform with Sizzla Kalonji, and Ernie Smith among other industry veterans, and performing at H.I.S. Majesty Earth Strong in 2008. He also had the opportunity of recording for Downsound Records, Solid Agency and Jump Out Label.

He is currently working on many new singles to be released late 2009. Abajonai intends to take his music to an international level and to always remain a positive role model for the youth, with good clean music. He also wants to establish his studio.


For Bookings:

Sunday, September 27, 2009

'Bad Boys' band Inner Circle comes 'round with new album, 'State of Da World'

Riding to the reggae rhythms of their latest CD, the popular band Inner Circle is back and better than ever.

Known for the "Cops" TV show theme "Bad Boys," the two-time Grammy-winning band released "State of Da World," late last month on the Shanachie Entertainment label.

And in the tradition of roots reggae, the CD's 15 songs take on age-old issues such as poverty, and new-age ills such as racial profiling.

Joined by an all-star group of guests, including Damian Marley, Stephen Marley, Jr. Reid, Gramps Heritage, Luciano, Steel Pulse's David Hinds, Mutabaruka, Lutan Fiyah and the American rock/reggae group Slightly Stoopid, Inner Circle draws on its classic reggae foundation to produce a solid collection of music.

The band started out in the late 1960s with the Lewis brothers (guitarist Roger and bassist Ian) as core members. As teens, the brothers even backed reggae legend Bob Marley on a Jamaica tour. Other early members included Ibo Cooper and Stephen (Cat) Core, who went on to found the reggae group Third World.

In 1977, exceptional vocalist Jacob (Killer) Miller joined the band and its popularity soared at home and abroad. Miller and Inner Circle were about to tour with Bob Marley and the Wailers when Miller died in a car crash in 1980 at age 27.

Today's band lineup features the Lewis brothers, early band member Bernard (Touter) Harvey (keyboards), Lancelot Hall (drums) and Jr. Jazz (vocals and guitar)

For information on Inner Circle and "State of Da World," visit

Friday, September 25, 2009

REGGAE GOSPEL: Jamaican music producer/singer Carlene Davis to release her own CD.

Jamaican singer/songwriter and producer Carlene Davis is set to release her VP Records debut CD True Worship, on October 6.

And later this year, the Best Of Glory - Carlene Davis, which features her greatest hits over the last decade is slated for release on VP/Glory Music on November 10.

True Worship is co-produced by Carlene and her husband Tommy Cowan, and recorded live at Kingston's legendary Tuff Gong studios. The album offers 13 songs of praise ranging from traditional hymns to original tunes penned by the Cowans.

"God has given us reggae and whenever He hears that sound He says yes that is my Jamaican people," Davis said in an interview with her record label.

Davis also an ordained Christian minister with a PhD in pastoral counseling from South Florida's Trinity Theological Seminary and a graduate of Orlando's Ron Kenoly Praise Academy.

Davis’ stellar career spans four decades and includes several chart topping hits, has exclusively used her wealth of musical gifts to instruct in the way of the Lord. On her VP Records debut CD, Carlene demonstrates that creating great reggae music does not preclude spreading the gospel of Christ but rather, the two actions work synergistically as part of a divinely ordained plan.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Etana Chosen to Represent Jamaica in South Africa

The ever-so-talented Reggae songstress Etana has made great strides in 2009, affording the world with her soulful brand of Reggae music. Adding to an already impressive year, Etana has been chosen to represent Jamaica at the Johannesburg 2009 Arts Alive Festival in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Notably, Etana's participation in the Festival was organized as a cultural exchange through a cooperative agreement between the the governments of Jamaica and South Africa. Her week-long trip to South Africa will culminate with two highly anticipated performances at the Soweto Festival on September 25 and the Eldo Jazz Day Festival on September 27.

"We express sincere gratitude and appreciation to Etana for her willingness to represent Jamaica at the Arts Alive Festival," says Sydney Bartley, Principal Director, Culture and Entertainment for Permanent Secretary of South Africa. "Etana continues to stand out as one of Jamaica's outstanding artists and we wish her every blessing in her career."

Etana was just as inspired by this opportunity, stating "I am honored to be chosen as a representative of Jamaica and Reggae music in South Africa." "This is a chance for me to be there for the people and continue spreading the universal message of Reggae music," Etana added.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Bounty Killer in "Love This Lifetime" a collaboration with Sheba Sahlemariam, Emperor Haille Sellasie's cousin

Alliance Boss Rodney Price AKA Bounty Killer has recently recorded a remix of “Love this Lifetime" a single by the talented Sheba Sahlemariam.

Sheba is the cousin of Emperor Haile Selassie. The single was done late this year and could not see a more perfect fit to remix this single than the Ground God himself. Showing a different side of Mr. Price it once again underlines his versatility.

Bounty’s inclusion on the single has brought renewed excitement to the project, with Sheba now in Jamaica to shoot the video for the single with Jay Will as the director.

“I know he is going to make a big statement with this video as he has done with so many before. We are hoping it is going to revolutionize how videos are done and with the incorporation of Mr. Price we are looking forward to the end product.” Sheba said

The video was completed over the weekend and will be ready to air in the coming


Monday, September 21, 2009

US media laud Tarrus Riley

From the pages of the New York Times to the hallows of the BET TV studios, Reggae sensation Tarrus Riley has been widely heralded for the growing success of his recently launched third studio album, Contagious.

With some of the world's most influential entertainment entities including the iconic JET Magazine, BET and the classic Essence magazine 'singing his praises', Riley is widely touted as the next big reggae act out of Jamrock and sets the current standard, says the NY Times, for international reggae music acts today, "Peter Tosh sang of Reggaemylitis in 1981, diagnosing a pandemic of indigenous Jamaican music spreading around the world. But in the 28 years since the death of Tosh's bandmate Bob Marley, reggae has sought a new standard-bearer - Mr Riley ..." Music mavens at Billboard also gush praises for Tarrus: "Armed with all the right ingredients from his harmonious brand of love-inspired roots reggae, Tarrus is one of Jamaica's shining superstars ..."

His star also burned unbelievably bright as he made a recent feature appearance on BET's new show 'The Deal'. Dedicated to showcase emerging talent as well as highlight the current video toppers, Riley was invited on set to speak about his beginnings, his inspirations and his music. "The music of my generation is predominantly dancehall but being who I am and how I grew up, my father a singer and my mother a nurse, I embraced music because of its comforting nature. It is healing music, no matter what going on in your life, music soothes the soul and that is exactly the effect Tarrus Riley's music should have on you ... good music with a positive message," he said.

A modern-day 'Reggae Pied Piper', Riley's talent, passion and originality has reignited worldwide interest in classic roots reggae, an honour which Riley is only too happy to fulfil.

"My music is healing music and its mystic lies within the 'roots'. We can sing any style but we don't stray from the 'roots' message. My music is truly contagious and I want the whole world to catch it." he says.

His immediate mission in his bid to 'infect' the world with medicinal melodies saw him join forces with Contagious' producer and legendary saxophonist Dean Fraser, upcoming reggae singer Duane Stephenson and the Blak Soil Band on a five-week tour of North America and Canada, spreading the message of positivity, unity and love.

30-city tour

Performing in almost 30 cities, Riley's rich alto-mastered tracks from his latest work include Start Anew, Love's Contagious, Human Nature, Soul Mate, Life of A Gun, Good Girl Gone Bad as well as renditions from his international chart-topping album, Parables, including the smash hits She's Royal, Lion Paw and Stay With You.

Riley's melodious harmonies, powerful interactions with sax man Dean Fraser, crooner Duane Stephenson and the refreshing young talent of Sherieta Lewis earned the singer further praise from international music media who were enamoured with his talent: "As festivals and parades around the country celebrate the last few unofficial moments of summer, people are trying to figure out how to keep the summer vibe burning all year long. One certain way is to take a listen to roots reggae star Tarrus Riley ..." quips Essence magazine.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Bounty Killa and Vybz Kartel to share stage in T&T as a sign of Unity

Jacho Entertainment, the entertainment outfit responsible for hostingthe event, hosted a press conference at House of Angostura, Laventille,earlier this week to assure prospective patrons that although theJamaican entertainers have long been in a “musical war”, they arecoming to TT as a symbol of unity.

The artistes are best known for their lead roles in the ongoing Gully versus Gaza dancehall feud where they have been waging lyrical battlesthat have been blamed for fuelling gang wars among their fans.

“The idea of bringing these artistes for a concert in Trinidad is toshow the youths that at the end of the day, the artistes areentertainers. They have agreed to put aside their differences topromote peace,”concert organiser, Vern Extavour of 99.1FM, said.

He pointed out that the feud between the artistes is purely a lyricalone, so there is no need for concert goers to be concerned. He addedthat lyrical battles have always been a part of Jamaica’s reggaeculture as well as other genres of music, including hip hop, rap, aswell as our very own calypso, soca and extempo.

“We have been able to do what Jamaican promoters have been trying to dofor some time now – have these two talented artistes perform on thesame stage. We have accomplished it for the sake of peace and theartistes will perform on the same stage at one of the biggest concertsto be held in this country. This has never happened in Jamaica,”Extavour said. “This is the beginning of a change of what concertsshould look like in TT,” he added.

Macka Diamond is also billed to perform at Cease Fire the Concert aswell as a large line up of local artistes. According to the organisers,there are a lot of young talented entertainers in TT who need exposure.

The Gaza versus Gully feud started off with Bounty Killer taking thefirst “punch” at Vybz Kartel in a song called “Chatter Box”. A few dayslater Vybz Kartel released “Bownty’s Killa”. Bounty then repliedsuggesting that Vybz Kartel’s song was a “Wata Chune”.

Next month’s show will mark Bounty Killer’s fourth concert appearance in TT.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Cancelled: Collie Buddz High-Grade Tour 2009

Collie Buddz' High-Grade US-Tour has been cancelled!

The 16-dates tour was supposed to start on 9/25/2009 in Los Angeles and the last stop was in Aspen, CO at the BellyUp on the 10/16/2009.

The reason for the cancellation has been issued by Mojiza Management, who represent Collie Buddz:

I am sorry to announce that Mr. Colin Harper, professionally know as Collie Buddz will not be able to appear or continue touring for at least the dates of September 2009 through February 2010 including the 'High Grade Tour'.

We are very willing to make up the dates that have been discussed, however at this time it is an impossibility due to a serious medical condition requiring him to remain at home under supervision of a doctor.

We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience, however, he will be undergoing treatment for the next three months and doctors anticipate three months of recuperation and rest before he will be ready to continue his amazing performances.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Mavado heads back to GT, Guyana despite being banned

Exactly one year and five months after being blacklisted by the government David Constantine Brooks more popularly known as the ‘Gully God’ or ‘Mavado’ will for the second time perform in Guyana on September 19 at the National Stadium, Providence.

At a press conference held on the April 28 last year, Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee had told reporters that Mavado along with his mentor and leader of the Alliance crew Rodney ‘Bounty Killer’ Price – was seen as a security risk to the country and as such will not be permitted to perform here again.

The decision to blacklist the two Jamaicans, Rohee said, was taken by the Bharrat Jagdeo administration after careful consideration of their track records.

On February 23, 2006, Mavado first performed in Guyana at the Georgetown Football Club (GFC) Ground and was highly anticipated to grace the 2008 Linden Town Week Celebration, in a show that was hosted by Ward Entertainment at the Mackenzie Sports Club ground and also featured Lady Saw.

Two weeks prior to his arrival, Bounty Killer headlined a show at the National Park, promoted by the Wild Fire Production group, which was marred by sporadic gunfire.

This forced the authorities to put the ban in place as there were mixed feelings about the artist well being based on his association with Price.

However when contacted on Thursday by The Scene, Rohee refused to give his view on the lifting of the ban only saying; “I have nothing to say concerning that”.

It was then mentioned by head of the Presidential Secretariat Dr Roger Luncheon on Thursday that the ban was lifted to give the artiste a chance to redeem himself.

Meanwhile, since word surfaced about dancehall’s most controversial artiste coming back to Guyana, some sections of the society have said that as was the case last year when the government enforced the ban it should have done the same when the ban was lifted.

Mavado is no stranger to this kind of treatment around the world ever since his outburst in 2005 on the Red Bull and Guinness Riddim with his hit “Weh dem do”.

Last year the 28-year-old DJ had several contentious run-ins with governments across the Caribbean.

February last in Trinidad and Tobago, the music of Mavado – whose trademark and latest album title is ‘Gangsta for Life’ – was blamed for the stabbing of a student and as a result of this, some DJs on the island have reportedly refused to play his music.

Prior to the Police Commissioner in St Vincent and Grenadines stopped him from entering the island without an official explanation just days before his scheduled performance at a show dubbed the best of both worlds.

Mavado was charged with illegal gun possession, and his run-in with the law was reportedly what prevented him from getting a visa to go to New York in June 2008 for what should have been a call-up on stage by American hip-hop star Jay-Z who has done a remix of his song “On The Rock”.

Nevertheless, it seemed as though these incidents paid off handsomely for the artiste since he has since signed a multi-million dollar contract with the makers for the popular video game Grand Theft Auto, where he had his hit tune “Real Mckoy” specially redone for the game.

Added to that, he was commissioned by Nike to appear in an EPK (Electronic Promotional Kit) and to make an original track to support the Jamaican efforts at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and Nike also made a limited number of ‘Mavado Nike’ sneakers to help promote the campaign.

His popularity grew even more after his clash with Vybz Kartel and his Gaza crew at famous ‘Sting’ stage show last year and this brought out a more versatile Mavado one which has seen the artiste being a bit better received around the world.

Some of his recent hits include “Sweetest Time”, “Dem a talk”, “Neva Believe”, “Hope and pray”’ as well as “House Cleaning”.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Mavado in studios with Alicia Key, said to be working on single for her upcoming album

After another stellar performance at the HOT97 On Da Reggae Tip show on Friday night, alongside fellow Alliance members Bounty Killer and Serani, Mavado shunned the after party scene for more important business…..a studio session with multi-platinum superstar Alicia Keys. “Last year we left the Reggae Tip show and recorded a track with Lil Kim and Wyclef, this year it was straight into the studio with Alicia Keys,” said the Gully God. “I am very focussed on my career right now and I’m just trying to elevate myself and Jamaica on a whole through music. Working with Alicia is an honour and a pleasure.”

Its been a landmark year for Mavado, who has managed to balance an extensive international touring schedule, including the Caribbean, US, UK, Europe and Japan, with continuing to be one of the hottest acts in Jamaica. The collaboration is a Reggae track and should hit the airwaves very soon to create the buzz for Alicia Key’s impending album.

“My management and hers got together to make it happen and their was a great chemistry in the studio,” continued Mavado. “Its the first time I’ve sung on a Studio One riddim and I’m very pleased with the outcome. Alicia loved it too and I’m sure we will be working together on projects in the future.” The track was laid down at Alicia’s own state-of-the-art The Oven Studio in New York.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Bob Marley Buffalo Soldier Bobble Head

Fans of Bob Marley will be excited to see the amazing legend hero created as a great Bobble Head and that he is singing one of his most famous songs ‘Buffalo Soldier’. The Bob Marley Bobble Head fixed on a ‘Buffalo Soldier’ stand probably is the best way to depict the popular Reggae legend.

“Buffalo Soldier” song is an ode to all African origin people who immigrated to America and fought for survival; Yeah, they did arrive and survive. This year is a celebration of Bob Marley, all other Africa-American singers and Black music for another reason – The President of United States of America, Barack Obama himself has his roots in Africa.

Nothing much has changed though in Africa. Poor people from African continent still have to flee their troubled, conflict ridden, poor nations and arrive on the shores of unknown nation as “Buffalo Soldier” – fighting on arrival, fighting for survival as the song goes. The song is so true even today.

This Bob Marley Bobble Head will be popular with all his fans and fans of Reggae music which celebrates even the most difficult of struggles. A must have for all those who collect celebrities statues and Bobble Heads. Everyone needs a face of a hero for inspiration and motivation. Order Reggae Legend Bob Marley Bobble Head here for $10.99 and play his songs to make Bobble Head come alive in your home and inspire young minds.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Courtney John Video Hits US Colleges

Armed with an already critical acclaimed album which has been hailed as Reggae's most refreshing album of 09, "Made in Jamaica" is breaking records and setting milestones.

The indie album, released on Courtney John's own FIWI Music imprint is already creating waves in West Africa, South Africa and has been buzzing in Britain and Europe. But the greatest surpirse has been the US mainstream market that has sopped up the album like pudding cream.

After a successful PR blitz last month, VH1 has put the video into rotation, and now MTV has placed the video on its College Channel MTVU. This latest development will give the artist a footing into the coveted college market, which accounts for nearly 50 percent of album and ticket sales in the US.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Cherine Anderson Hits the Billboard Charts

It’s her first time on the Billboard chart and Cherine Anderson is thoroughly enjoying the moment.
The song for which Anderson has been getting all this recognition is Say Hey, which was done with the United States (US)-based Michael Franti and Spearhead. The song was released almost a year ago but after only six weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, the song has already reached number 25. It is also on Billboard’s rock, pop, radio and digital songs charts.
“It’s a blessing, a great opportunity. Not something I expected. It’s like everywhere now. I have been touring a lot but I have been seeing the fruits of my labour,” Anderson said.

She said she performed the song, which was released on an independent label, with Michael Franti and Spearhead at various shows. From there, many of their fans started requesting the song. Eventually, it started appearing on all the popular charts.

“It’s my first time (on a Billboard chart) and the first time for Michael Franti and Spearhead,” said Anderson, who has appeared in movies such as One Love and Dancehall Queen .
Anderson added that artistes like Michael Franti and Spearhead have had a very successful career but were not always on the major charts. However, they have had many sold-out shows, which is something many chart-topping artistes have been unable to do.

“It depends on what you consider success. Having a record that plays a lot on radio is one sort of success.”
With her style of dancehall soul, Anderson said she has to actively seek her audience. “The world is such a huge place. So many people gravitate to good music,” she said.

Therefore, it is her aim to invest in good music that her audiences will love. Like Spearhead and Michael Franti, Anderson said her aim is to build a real audience.

“My aim is not to build hype but building a career on solid songs and showcasing real talent,” said Anderson.
She certainly has been building a fan base, as she is currently on tour in the US. She has been solidly touring since last September, opening for Michael Franti and Spearhead. In between those shows, she has performed with Sly and Robbie, as well as some shows of her own.

Groundation jams on more than just reggae

Aiming for high spirits

"Of course, we learn from the experiences of making our previous albums, but I feel that this one is the one we all felt the strongest about," says Groundation frontman Harrison Stafford, speaking of his band's seventh album Here I Am. "When it comes to the music and songs, all nine musicians play crucial roles. It's much more of an evolved sound, much more of a group sound ... we're definitely feeling that what we have now is our best work at the moment."

For over 10 years, Stafford has led his spiritualized reggae ensemble from their earliest days in the northern California scene through a world-wide musical journey that continues to aim far. In the middle of the second leg of their 2009 world tour, Groundation visits the Pour House on Friday for two full sets.

Warmly textured and rhythmically elaborate, Here I Am is firmly anchored in classic roots reggae styles. The impressive proficiency and chemistry of the musicians and the additional vocal harmonies of recently-enlisted Jamaican vocalist Kim Pommell and Stephanie Wallace allow for even more sophisticated stylistic forays.

"We've learned everyone's strengths, and we've learned where everything needs to go in the songs," says Stafford. "It's a collective effort. These are great players, and it's a nice thing to spotlight them all during the shows. We sing about community, unity, and people coming together. I think the togetherness comes through musically. There's a collective balance, and people can get that."

Some of the songs on Here I Am lean in jazzy direction. It's a lively sonic fusion.

"Maybe those people who say they don't really like reggae can get into it here," Stafford says of the new music. "Maybe we can help bridge that gap and lead them to Burning Spear, Bob Marley, and all of the rest of the great reggae artists who came out Jamaica. Maybe somebody is a big roots-reggae fan, starts listening to Groundation, and starts hearing other music things happening."

Stafford's bandmates include Ryan Newman on bass and Marcus Urani on organ and keys, who helped form the band in 1998. The current lineup includes trumpeter David Chachere, trombonist Kelsey Howard, drummer Tekanawa "Rufus" Haereiti, percussionist Mingo Lewis Jr., and Pommell and Wallace on vocals.

"A lot of us have that huge jazz foundation, from when we were first inspired and pushed as musicians," says Stafford.

Over the years, Groundation garnered a strong reputation for their animated and exploratory live performances. Unlike some more traditional (and comfortably categorized) roots-reggae acts, they eagerly step toward risky instrumental excursions and mini-jams.

"I think that's the thing that really helps us, especially when we play the big reggae music festivals," says Stafford. "With us, you'll see all nine musicians work together in a different way — like a family. We move together. There's constant improvisation, which obviously comes from the jazz side of things.

"Expect the unexpected," he adds. "If the people are there and the energy is there, it will push us further and further to create an energy circle between us and the audience. To me, if you're not really live, not really improvising, and not really feeling where the audience wants to go, you can't really reach those great heights. That's something that's very special."

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Buju Tour Is Still On!!!! four-time Grammy nominated Reggae artist and icon, Buju Banton

Gargamel Music is pleased to confirm that four-time Grammy nominated Reggae artist and icon, Buju Banton will kick off his hotly anticipated Rasta Got Soul US Tour on September 12th in Philadelphia. We are disappointed by the hasty cancellation of a few shows by Live Nation/House of Blues and Goldenvoice/AEG, but fans will be happy to know we have over 30 confirmed shows that are definitely playing and we are working to replace the canceled dates.

Now our team is primarily concerned with setting the record straight on the grossly inaccurate portrait of Buju being painted by certain organizations and systematically relayed to the masses and the media. Buju Banton was all of 15-years-old when he wrote "Boom Bye Bye" in response to a widely publicized man/boy rape case in Jamaica. It was not a call to violence. The song was re-released on a popular dancehall rhythm in 1992 and caused a huge uproar after receiving commercial radio play in the States. Following much public debate back then, prominent gay rights leaders - and Buju decidedly moved on. For the record, it is the only song he ever made on the subject - and he does not perform it today.

Those who have followed Buju Banton's musical journey and have actually listened to his extensive catalog, know of his development into a world-class singer, songwriter and performer who can quietly sell out such prestigious venues as the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York and Brixton Academy in London. He does not advocate violence. There has never been a shred of violence at any of his live shows. In fact, he commonly preaches against violence - against all people. Buju's consistently positive messages of peace, love and enlightenment have never been lost in the music. His 1995 Grammy-nominated album 'Til Shiloh marked a spiritual and musical transformation that yielded the classic narratives "Untold Stories," "Wanna Be Loved" and "Murderer," which personified the horrific increase in gun crimes in Kingston's inner city.

His Grammy-nominated Inna Heights (1997) garnered him numerous comparisons to the late, great Bob Marley. Long before Hollywood raised its collective consciousness about Darfur, there was Buju Banton wailing about the genocide happening in "Sudan" on 1999's Unchained Spirit. His Friends For Life (2003) and Too Bad (2006) projects were both acknowledged with Grammy nods for Best Reggae Album. Buju's latest Roots Reggae opus, Rasta Got Soul (2009), has already been welcomed with critical acclaim in the US, Europe and Japan.

The artist's love for humanity is not just demonstrated in words but also in deeds. Twelve years ago he responded to the AIDS crisis in Jamaica by launching Operation Willy, an organization focused on raising monies for HIV positive babies and children who lost their parents to the disease. For three years he served as a celebrity spokesperson for Upliftment Jamaica, a US-based non-profit committed to working with underprivileged youth back home. Yet none of these personal and professional accomplishments matter much to a gay lobby hell bent on destroying the livelihood of a man who has spent an entire career making amends -- his way. Sadly, their 17 year fixation on waging war against one artist has prevented them from turning this initiative into a larger, more fruitful discussion that could perhaps effect real change.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Influential artist brings reggae beat to local audiences

In reggae music, one man stands out as the genre’s founding father. One man shaped the recognizable sound that would spread across the world and live for generations, providing the soundtrack for everything from Caribbean political uprisings to your last pool party. No, it’s not Bob Marley – it’s Lee “Scratch” Perry, legendary 73-year-old Jamaican producer and artist and the man essentially responsible for the creation of reggae.

Perry started his career in Jamaica in the late 1950s as a seller for a local record label, Studio One. This gave him his first experience in the recording studio. Eventually he split to form his own label, Upsetter, in 1968.
Around this time, a local ska and rocksteady group named the Wailers, featuring a young Bob Marley, approached Perry to help them produce a record. Perry taught the group the sound of reggae, a newly developing Jamaican music form, and the rest is history. The Wailers would split with Perry before their major-label debut Catch a Fire in 1973, but his influence carried on with them as they climbed to international success and spread reggae and the Rastafarian movement to the entire world.
Through the 1970s, Perry produced albums for countless reggae musicians, including artists like The Heptones, Junior Byles and The Congos, and continued to shape the genre as it further developed. He built his own recording studio in Jamaica named the Black Ark, which was legendary for the quality and quantity of music produced there.
Perry is well-known for turning music production into an art, or an instrument of its own.

On many classic reggae albums, his effects are regarded as equally important to the music as the songwriting itself.

However, in the early 1980s, Perry became stressed and increasingly paranoid about the spiritual effects of his music, and burned his studio to the ground in a fit of rage.

Aside from his work as a producer, Perry has been extremely prolific as a performer. He has more than 50 albums under his name, with his band The Upsetters or under the pseudonym “Pipecock Jackxon.” Many of these albums, especially his 1970s work such as Super Ape and Roast Fish Collie Weed and Corn Bread are themselves among reggae’s best.

Beyond reggae, Perry’s influence has spread far and wide — his recording techniques are considered to be a vital contribution to all modern music production, cited by artists such as Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead as vital to their sound.
He may be old, but his presence is still powerful, as he proved in his last stop in Austin during South by Southwest in 2008. Lee “Scratch” Perry performs tonight at Flamingo Cantina on Sixth Street.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Abajonai in his video premier "No Weak Heart"

Abajonai has always had an interest in music and rebel music is what he chants.

His songs, like his name, are heavenly and mystical.

"Is more like rebel music, making my people know more about their black selves, more of cultural vibration, more like a Nyabinghi chant," said the Bobo Shanti Rastafarian.

Reggae Legend battles for Life

Wycliffe ‘Steely’ Johnson, of Steely and Clevie fame, is in critical condition at a New York hospital but the music fraternity has been praying for his recovery.
“We want to keep a positive mind,” Clevie Brownie, the other half of the dancehall pioneering duo. “The chance of his survival is slim.”

Johnson is suffering from pneumonia having recovered from kidney complications in December, said Brownie, who has been in contact via phone and saw him in July.
“When I left him in New York he was bouncing back and recovering, then he got pneumonia and it took him down. bad, bad, bad,” Brownie relayed, adding that family and friends have been praying.

Steely started his career as the original keyboard player with the Roots Radix Band which backed Gregory Isaacs, Bunny Wailer and numerous other artistes both on tour and in the recording studio, and also played on a number of hit recordings for various producers in the 70s. Steely also played on a large number of hit recordings for various artistes.

Noted as the pioneers of dancehall, but certainly not limited to this genre, Steely and Clevie have worked together for 30 years with domestic and international artistes of many styles with great success.

Steely and Clevie first worked together in 1974 at Harry J’s Studio working on songs produced by Augustus Pablo. During the 80s, Steely and Clevie was employed as session musicians for King Jammy’s, Bobby Digital, Techniques, Redman International, Music Works and Penthouse labels and others.

Clevie started his musical journey as a member of the noted Browne musical family, beginning as lead singer of the Browne Bunch’s 1972 debut single We’ve Got A Good Thing Going. He was inspired by the professionalism of the group’s producer Geoffrey Chung (a leading producer of his era) who would pay as much attention to the business as he would the production of music.

Steely and Clevie say they contributed to three-quarters of top dancehall songs in the 80s. Their influence, however, continues today having worked with No Doubt, Sean Paul, Elephant Man, and others.

Clevie is the immediate past chairman of the Recording Industry Association of Jamaica where he now sits on the board. He also serves on the boards of Jamaica Music Society, Jamaica Signature Beats and serves on the Reggae Academy steering committee.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Bob Marley the Reggae King's whips

Brian Bonitto, Editor - Overseas Publications

When Bob Marley and the Wailers released Babylon By Bus in 1978 - a live album recorded in Paris - the reggae superstar was depicting how he and the group travelled while on tour.

But in Jamaica, there were other vehicles that played an important role in the Reggae king's sojourn.

Former manager Allan 'Skill' Cole said that during the time of his association with Marley, the singer had different vehicles throughout various stages of his career.

"Him never fussy," Cole said, "but he had owned a couple of vehicles."

Cole, who had met the St Ann-born Marley in Trench Town during the early 1960s, was a football prodigy and represented Jamaica age 15. He later became a trusted friend and manager of the reggae icon.

"In the '70s ... about '70-'71, Bob had a Ford Escort," said the former national representative. "When him sell that, he bought a [Ford] Capri," he continued.

The former Santos, Real Mona and Boys' Town player explained that those two cars were the workhorses.

"The Escort and the Capri, dem two cars deh did the work ... we sold records from them in the early years," he said.

Cole, a former coach of Arnett Gardens and Port Morant United football clubs, said when Marley's financial standing improved, so too did the calibre of cars he owned.

"He bought a VW Sport ... then in '74 he bought the BMW," he said.

Marley's former manager explained that the luxury car was previously owned by a fellow musician and bought through a dealer.

"It was Pluto Shervington's BMW," he said. "We bought it through Claude Levy, who also had the franchise for Peugeot at that time."

Cole said he was the one who prompted Marley to purchase the BMW as it was in keeping with his superstar status.

reluctant to drive

"At first, Bob did reluctant to drive it ... I had it for the first couple days," he said. The former manager recounted that Marley had concerns.

"At that time, Rastas were still pushing handcarts," he said, so Cole had to convince Marley that "those days were gone".

"I then threw the keys to him," he said.

The former Kingston College and Vere Technical schoolboy footballer said on his return from Africa, Marley had added to his fleet by acquiring a VW van.

"That's the one down a Culture Yard in Trench Town," he said. That vehicle, Cole explained, was oftentimes used to pick up the Marley kids and used to carry out everyday chores.

At the Marley's Hope Road address — now home of the Marley Museum — the singer's Land Rover is still on display.

"Bob got this around 1976," said Paul Kelly, operations manager at Bob Marley Museum. "He mostly used this to make his country run to St Ann."

Kelly said that the Land Rover took the place of the VW as the utility vehicle for chores and pickups.

The operations manager recalled that in the early 2000s several visitors from Land Rover manufacturing company in England offered to buy Bob's Land Rover. "But we couldn't sell it ... it's priceless," he said.

Marley died May 11, 1981, after injuring his toe while playing football.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


The nominations in the Reggae Category of the 2009 MOBO Awards has been recently announced. Here are the nominees for this year's "Best Reggae" MOBO Award



Friday, August 28, 2009

Buju Banton, has U.S. tour canceled by promoters

After months of organized protest, both AEG Live/Goldenvoice (the company that produces festivals like Coachella All Points West, and Bumbershoot) and Live Nation (the massive concert promoters behind 360 deals with Jay-Z, Madonna and U2) announced last night that they have canceled their respective concerts with Banton, who was scheduled to perform in major markets across the country through October.
Says L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center CEO Lorri L. Jean in a formal statement: “I hope this victory sends a deafeningly loud message to other promoters and concert venues that singers who glorify violence against LGBT people, or any group of people, should never be welcomed. It shouldn’t be necessary for us to pressure promoters to do the right thing; people like Banton should never have been booked in the first place.”

What do you think, Music Mixers? Should concert promoters be responsible for determining what constitutes untenable hate speech when it comes to booking artists? Would it make any difference if Banton were not keeping”Boom Boom Bye” in his set list in recent concerts?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ras Penco for Irie Jamboree plus more new music

Reggae sensation Ras Penco has enjoyed a tremendous run this year, first hitting number one in Jamaica with his single “Thousand Miles,” and will cap off the summer on an even higher note with exciting performances, a new hit single in hand and a video shoot in the works.The culture crooner is preparing to return for his second bout at New York’s reggae summer staple Irie Jamboree, put on by Irie Jam Radio 93.5 FM in the New York Tri-State region, on Sunday, September 6.”It feels good to return to Irie Jamboree because I’m coming back on a different level,” reveals the young star. “More people are familiar with my single now and know who Ras Penco is. It’s going to be good to come to New York and perform for all the people who will come out for the big Labor Day celebration.

Directly after Irie Jamboree, Penco will head to Los Angeles to shoot the video for his new hit single, the romantic pop ballad “Be By My Side.” The video is sure to propel the tune even more, as it is already receiving airplay in Jamaica. ”It’s a wonderful feeling to be doing my second video,” smiles Penco. “I’m still holding the vibe of ‘Thousand Miles,’ and want to give the people that same energy and sentiment. It’s going to be even better.” Penco’s video for “Thousand Miles” continues to enjoy rotation in and out of the Caribbean, including on BETj and VH1 Soul. With the crossover sound of “Be By My Side” and the Hollywood-based production team at the helm of the upcoming video, he’s sure to have another major hit on his hands.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Love's Contagious Video by Tarrus Riley

Brand New Video from Tarrus Riley "Love's Contagious"

Fund raiser For Slain Reggae Singer’s Daughter

FT. LAUDERDALE - A fund raiser for slain 15 year old Nekitta Hamilton, daugher of Reggae singer Thriller U of the group LUST will be held on Saturday, August 29, 2009 from 12 noon to 6 pm at Top Hop Gardens, located at 4340 North State Rd. 7 (441 South of Commercial Bl.) Ft Lauderdale.

Nekitta was killed last week at a home in Miramar along with Faith Bisasor, 49, and her son Davion Bishop, 15.

Thriller U flew to South Florida from Jamaica upon learning of his daughter's death and on Wednesday and made a tearful plea for anyone with information to come forward.

WAVS 1170 will be doing a “live broadcast” on location from Top Hop Gardens on Saturday, August 29th with Rich Davis from 12pm to 2pm and with Luther Mack from 4pm to 6pm to garner the community’s support to raise money for the funeral of Nekitta.

Several top reggae performers will be “live” on location to offer their support, from Professor Nuts who is scheduled to perform that evening, to Thriller U, Kymani Marley, Glen Washington, Code Red Band, Freddie McGregor, Mikey Spice, Screwdriver, Michael Russell and many others.

In a effort to raise funds there will be food on sale and a cash bar with $3 drinks. Plus there will be CD giveaways compliments of Joe Fraser Records, VP Records, and Kymani Marley T-shirts compliments of Warrior Productions. You can also win tickets to Beres Hammond in concert in Palm Beach Labor Day weekend and enjoy the music and a good game of dominoes

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Reggae Star Serani Rocks S.O.B.'s

Serani/Jah Bami/B-Wils
Monday, August 24

Last night's Jamrock Magazine party was more a celebration of island culture than a show. Hosted by publisher David "Squeeze" Annaki with help from BET's Jeanille Bonterre, the event featured performances by Serani, Jah Bami, and B-Wils; Ticketweb said DJ Gravy would be on the turntables, but we got resident S.O.B.'s DJs instead. We survived, despite a bout of Asher Roth, typical headliner lateness, and some late-breaking homophobia.

Around 10:30, the overly endearing Bonterre introduced B-Wils, a Trinidadian artist recently signed to Jive Records. His newness to the stage was visible as he attempted to engage the crowd, finally resorting to the sure-thing "If you're from Trinidad, make some noise! We repping Trinidad tonight!" Then a familiar beat kicked in -- Asher Roth's "I Love College" -- and the rapper proceeded to perform his own version, "College Is Overrated," to little enthusiasm. Overheard: "Yo, why this guy doing this white-boy ish?"
Up next was Jah Bami, a Caribbean TV personality (think Carson Daly in his TRL years) turned reggae artist. He won the crowd over with odes to love and life on the island, which apparently frequently involves sexy ladies dancing on him. The dance floor was a tight squeeze, the women wining against their men, the men yelling at the stage, an unbelievable gang of cameramen crammed up front.

Anticipation for Serani was high, but like every rap or reggae show, the headliner wasn't "ready to take the stage just yet." Luckily, Bonterre's quick save turned into one of the night's highlights: She brought a Jamaican lady from Queens, an NYC native from Harlem, and a Trinidadian to the stage for an impromptu dance-off. The Trini won, receiving 1,000 Jamaican dollars in return for her bhangra-infused wining. When asked what she would do with the prize, she jokingly responded, "I'll use it wipe my bottom."

Finally, and without introduction, the familiar intro to Serani's "No Games" blared over the speakers as the Kingston native climbed onstage. The unified voice of the audience almost drowned out the singer, his fans singing along word for word. The Deseca artist (best known for co-producing Sean Paul's "We Be Burnin'" and Tony Matterhorn's "Dutty Wine") plowed through a small set of new tracks, including a version of "She Loves Me" featuring a cameo from the girl in the video. His performance ended with some sort of motivational speech about "making dollar" that seemed to last longer than the music did.

The show closed with a hip-hop and dancehall set by DJ Paul Michael while several dancers challenged each other on the floor

Monday, August 24, 2009

Black Prophet, the reggae prophet with a prophecy

The name prophet is synonymous with people who preach the word of God. They are believed to be people ordained by God to deliver special messages to their people.

In the Ghanaian music arena there is one such prophet, Black Prophet who delivers his message through reggae music.

Ghana has seen a lot of reggae musicians who have raised the nation's flag on international scene and notable among them are Rocky Dawuni, Shasha Marley and Black Prophet.

Black Prophet, born Kenneth Wilberforce Zonto Bossman in 1977 in Accra, has been in the reggae music industry for some years now.

In an interview with Joy FM's DJ Black on the Open House Party entertainment show on Saturday, Black Prophet recalled a landmark achievement in his music career some years ago when the famous Shaba Ranks came to Ghana.

He recounted a situation where he personally confronted the music star with one of his songs which impressed Shaba Ranks. In appreciation, Shaba gave him a very nice footwear.

In the early stages of his music career, Black Prophet managed the ‘Acoustic Boys’ where they played for Makola market women for money. He also performed at major functions and beaches.

As time passed, the Acoustic Boys metamorphosed into Vibration Boys and then to the Vibration Kings releasing their first recording in 1996 titled Captivity.

Black Prophet now manages a band in Europe called Thunder Strike which performs at major vanues in Europe. He has toured various parts of the world with major reggae artistes like Rita Marley, Pliers, Don Carlos, Yellowman, Steel Pulse, Lucky Dube, Alpha Blondy, Buju Banton & Dean Fraser.

The reggae prophet made his debut in 1998 with his album called Chains. He and the Thunder Strike’s current album ‘Prophecy’ contains eight new tracks and four from their first album. Some of the songs are Hot and Cold which features Sway, Good feeling featuring 2 face and Natural resources.

He also did some recordings at the famous Tuff Gong studio which is currently being managed by Dean Fraser one of the world’s best producers.

The Tuff Gong studio is very synonymous with legendary reggae legends like Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, the Marley brothers and Sizzla and a host of others.

His ‘Natural resources’ track, he explained focuses on politicians who misappropriate the country's resources to the detriment the poor.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Courtney John Hits MTV

Just three months since his sophmore album release “Made In Jamaica”, Courtney John is breaking boundaries and records in the music business.

Two weeks after a blistering globe hopping album premier, his 50’s themed black and white HD video has hit MTV.

The single “Lucky Man”, has already topped the AOL Reggae Charts and is making its way through europe and UK on its own high powered electricity.

Locally the Video and the single is in heavy rotation, and rumours within the international community has poised the video as the International Reggae Video & Single of the year.

Shot on location at the historic Ward Theatre and monumental CPTC complex, the video was directed by the award win ning team of Ras Tingle and Danielle Delsume of TD Films.

Hasidic star Matisyahu saving reggae with new disc

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - It's not easy being a big celebrity in a close-knit Orthodox Jewish community.

Hasidic reggae star Matisyahu, who achieved unlikely pop success in 2005 with the single "King Without a Crown," tries to live a simple life with his young family in Crown Heights, a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Brooklyn.

His two sons go to school across the road, the kosher pizza shop is around the corner, and he walks to temple three times a day. It sounds fairly idyllic, not unlike a "shtetl," the Yiddish term for a small Jewish town or village.

But Matisyahu can blend in only so far with his traditional full beard and dark suit. People often ask him for money, or accuse him of setting a bad example if he happens to be praying while not wearing his hat and jacket.

"I do get a lot of crap," Matisyahu, 30, -- whose real name is Matthew Miller -- said with resignation during a recent interview in his tour bus.

"It's the Jewish way. They don't care. There's no space. There aren't those typical sensitivities to people. Some people are (sensitive), but you get a lot of people who have no sense of boundary and are pushy."

The old Matisyahu tried to be accommodating, fearful of being labeled an arrogant celebrity. He is slowly learning to push back when people test his patience, but realizes the attention is the price you pay for your riches and fame.

"It's what you sign up for," he said. "When famous people are pissed off about all this stuff, it's like, 'What did you expect? Don't tell me you didn't want the fame a little bit.'"


But the nosy neighbors are being replaced by cheering crowds for the foreseeable future as Matisyahu hits the road to promote his third album, "Light," due in stores on August 25.

He hopes the Sony Music release will establish him as a career artist rather than consign him to one-hit-wonder status. "King Without a Crown," a rap-style treatise about submitting to God in daily life, won heavy airplay on rock and top-40 radio stations in 2005. It was a rare feat for a reggae song, or for any song so avowedly religious.

Apart from late reggae pioneer Bob Marley, his various offspring, and the British band UB40, reggae never gained much traction in the United States. And Hasidic Jews were not exactly noted practitioners. Matisyahu sees himself as a savior

of the genre.

"Reggae music, in a lot of ways, got really stagnant," he said. "You see a lot of the reggae bands play today and it's the same horn patches on keyboards that they've been playing for 15 years, and not in a retro-cool kind of way. It's totally nauseating to me.

"We're taking elements of reggae music, but totally crossing over into different genres and blending different things."

Indeed, he says that is how reggae developed in the first place, when Marley blended rock 'n' roll and ska. The concert video for "King Without a Crown" shows the extent of the new culture clash: There he is stalking the stage, the tassels of his tallit katan undershirt visible under his black jacket. His fedora comes off when he dives into the crowd but is quickly replaced by a yarmulke.

Matisyahu was not always so observant. He was raised in a moderately religious family, and dropped out of high school to join the hordes of pot-smoking fans who follow the jam-band Phish from concert to concert. When he signed up for college, he became intrigued by Orthodox Judaism and eventually immersed himself in deep study of the Torah.

The next stop on his unusual journey: reggae music, without the requisite marijuana, of course. Indeed, his songs often warn about the perils of getting high.

He released his debut album in 2004, "Shake off the Dust ... Arise," and built a following with his energetic shows. In 2006, he received a Grammy nomination for the follow-up, "Youth," from which "King Without a Crown" was drawn. He lost -- perhaps inevitably -- to Ziggy Marley, Bob's eldest son.

Even though the new album is called "Light," Matisyahu taps into darker subjects, like death and suffering.

"You get to a certain point where you realize it's not eternal, you're not going to be around forever," he said. "You start to deal with that concept and what it means. For me, what it's meant, in terms of putting a positive spin on this, is just an appreciation of life."

As he sings in the track "I Will be Light," we have got "one tiny moment in time ... to shine." And few musicians stick out as much as Matisyahu.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

True to reggae's spiritual roots

Concert tomorrow puts Rastafarianism back at the centre of the music

At age 59, Marcia Griffiths says most people would call her brand of reggae "old school," but she's quick to add that "it's the good school. Bob Marley's work will never go in vain."

Torontonians will be treated to three of the genre's best-loved performers at the inaugural Reggae Giants concert tomorrow at Polson Pier's Sound Academy. Headlining that list is Griffiths, who made her name as a member of the I-Threes, the backing group for Bob Marley and the Wailers.

Joining Griffiths will be fellow Jamaicans John Holt – who's also a Rastafarian – and Ken Boothe. Tomorrow's show joins the Mirvish stage musical The Harder They Come, based on the 1972 film that helped put reggae – and Rastafarianism – on the map, and Rocksteady: The Roots of Reggae, a recent documentary about the genre's origins, as examples of how reggae and Rasta have been inseparable for more than four decades.

Griffiths says reggae artists have a duty to use music to educate, uplift and unite the world, adding that some still don't understand the responsibility they have. "If you are chosen to do this work, then you must contribute in a positive way," she says. "If you're in it for any other reason, then you will fall by the wayside."

Gramps Morgan, 35, agrees. As a member of renowned reggae group Morgan Heritage, he notes that reggae music grew out of the suffering experienced by impoverished Jamaicans during the tumultuous 1970s, when it was the only medium to express their grievances.

"Because of the spiritual consciousness of the Rastaman, he started using reggae as a musical ministry," Morgan says. "That's why reggae became the Rastaman's gospel music."

But as the genre evolved through the late 1990s, it spawned a host of multi-talented singers, songwriters and producers like Sizzla Kalonji and Capleton. They made their names as socially conscious lyricists but also crossed over into the lucrative dance hall scene known for its faster rhythms and lyrics that tend to favour sex and gangsterism over religion.

Renowned Jamaican deejay Buju Banton, 36, says he "came through the doorways of dance hall" in the 1990s. Even though he later turned to reggae, he says he won't turn his back on his roots. "That's why I continue to do both genres of music," he says.

The Star caught up with Buju in New York, where he was touring in support of his latest roots rock/reggae album, Rasta Got Soul, which is a far cry from some of his more controversial work.

"I'm not contradicting anything," Buju says of the change. "I refuse to get stuck on one level. Therefore, I must fluctuate and the music must grow."

That sentiment is not shared by everyone. Jamaican music icon Leroy Sibbles says that kind of inconsistency led him to cut off his dread- locks in the mid-1990s after wearing dreads for religious reasons in the 1970s and '80s while living in Toronto.

"I was one of the original Rastas," he says. "All the time I was living in Canada, I was a Rasta. There are too many false Rastas out there. That's why I cut off my locks."

Some artists were just posing and not showcasing Rastafarian teachings through their music, he says. "There was all kind of mockery. I couldn't be of a thing like that."

Sibbles says some up-and-coming artists are now wearing dreadlocks and Rastafarian garments as a front to garner more attention or the acquire the coveted tag of a socially conscious artist.

"As soon as some youngsters start to do music, they feel like they have to Ras, and they don't know nothing of Rastafari."

Those artists usually become the one-hit wonders because their music is not lyrically fortified to survive, he says. "I've watch all of the fads come and go while the real thing stands up and continue."