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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.