Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Online Reggae Charts Show Singjays Charting Over Deejays

SINGJAYS Gentleman, Gyptian and the group TOK are topping the online reggae charts worldwide while hardcore deejays are absent.

These singjays are dominating the major markets of Europe, America and Japan respectively with their new singles and albums. Only crossover deejays Sean Paul, Shaggy and Damian Marley are charting online with catalogue material whilst hardcore deejays which dominate local charts are absent from any of the 22 listed country online charts up to Saturday. Digital music is significant as it accounts for one-third of total music sales and iTunes is the dominant online music retailer followed by Amazon.

Gentleman's single, It No Pretty released March 26 rocketed to number 1 in Germany and Austria, whilst at # 2 in Switzerland on iTunes Reggae Singles charts. The song with accompanying video shows a mob bludgeoning Gentleman to death, however his wounds are nursed by a pack of wolves. It No Pretty is in promotion of his fifth studio album, Diversity, to be released in Germany on April 9.

Gyptian's single Hold Yuh is #1 on Amazon reggae singles chart; #2 on the iTunes Reggae Singles chart; and # 78 on the Billboard R&B Hip Hop chart. The song was made two years ago but recently released stateside. It has been five years since Gyptian topped the charts with his signature song Serious Times. Since then he has had minor hits including Mama Don't Cry, I Can Feel Your Pain and Beautiful Lady. Now record label VP Records and producer Ricky Blaze have thrown their muscle behind his latest hit Hold Yuh. Gyptian's forthcoming album is tentatively titled Hold Yuh. "We're looking at dropping the album around July and if everyone in Jamaica buys a copy, I am sure it can sell a million," Gyptian told the Observer in a previous interview.

TOK's latest album, I Believe released March 3 in Japan currently charts at #2 on iTunes Reggae Albums in that market. The single of the same name currently charts at #9 on the iTunes Reggae Singles chart. The quartet is the only non- Japanese act listed in the top 10.

Music stakeholders, including culture Minister of Culture Olivia 'Babsy' Grange and music entrepreneur Charles Campbell, have lamented the waning influence Jamaican artistes are having within international reggae markets, especially Europe and Japan. Last week, less than 10 per cent of the reggae charts on iTunes were occupied by living Jamaicans -- including Damian Marley, Ziggy Marley, Stephen Marley, Sean Paul, TOK, Lutan Fyah and Marcia Griffiths who, combined, had 17 slots out of the 220 chart positions within the 22 listed countries on iTunes. However, the late Bob Marley dominates the charts and currently tops 20 of the 22 iTunes markets. The Observer

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