Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Future Looks Bright as Reggae Artist Mic Cripe Releases Latest Single 'Another Day in Paradise'

A definite up-and-coming reggae talent, the Florida born and So Cal resident, Mic Cripe has just released his latest single ' Another Day in Paradise'.
The music is 100% live craftsmanship, featuring a bellowing drum and bass, and a blazing guitar outro, with elements characteristic of vintage 'dub' music. The tune itself is a wicked re-lick of the Phil Collins' penned track by the same name. Expect big things from this bright talent! Keep it linked right here for all of Mic's upcoming releases.

Be sure to check the following link for a listen:

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sizzla Sounds Off on Education With New Single "Learn to Read"

New York, NY (FOX FUSE) - Conscious reggae star Sizzla returns with a new anthem for the youths, and a plan to encourage and empower the younger generation. The new single, aptly titled "Learn To Read," speaks on the importance of education, as Sizzla advocates young people to learn to read and write, as a way to overcome ignorance.

"In the beginning, I spoke Amharic, which is the true language," reveals Sizzla. "And telling the youths about the brilliance of education, and teaching them the importance of it, will empower them."

Sizzla is a member of the Bobo Shanti sect of Rastafarians, a group that typically places a strong emphasis on education and literacy. Unlike any of his other tracks, this track focuses strongly on educating children and investing in the intellect of the youths, thus showing the humanitarian and philanthropic side Sizzla is known for. Because he is iconic, the single will have an impact on parents, government officials, and educators alike, thereby encouraging children to go to school, and learn to read and write.

Furthermore, the song has undertones of a political agenda, one for the betterment of the youth in Jamaica, and also timely for the upcoming December 29 elections in Jamaica. It will surely give strength to candidates seeking better budgets for education.

This single is the first tune voiced on the Gal Block Riddim, produced by 22-year old Glenroy "Frosty" Jackson for his own Lion House Music Production, based in Jamaica. It was recorded at Kalonji Records in Jamaica, by Frosty and Ainsworth, and mixed and mastered by Dave Downie and BUG for Unlock My Mind Music, at Hilltop Studio in Brooklyn, New York. The single is manufactured and distributed by Locksmith Records.

The track is now available as a single and ringtone (see links below). It is also distributed from top digital retailers worldwide, including iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, MySpace Music, VerveLife, Zune, MediaNet, Spotify, Nokia, and eMusic.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Shaggy Nominated for 2012 Grammy Award

'Summer In Kingston' Gets Nod for Best Reggae Album

New York, NY (FOX FUSE) - A stellar career continues for international icon Shaggy as he receives the 2012 Grammy Award nomination for best reggae album - the ultimate recognition for his latest studio effort, Summer In Kingston, released on his own Ranch Entertainment label, on July 19, 2011.

The 8-track digital album was heavily marketed with a focus on fan-targeted promotions, and Shaggy has been touring non-stop since its release as he continues his global dominance. Summer In Kingston has also been massively embraced by mainstream media, granting the multi-platinum artist notable appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (NBC), The Today Show (NBC), and Lopez Tonight (TBS), just to name a few.

"I'm grateful to be nominated for the 2012 Grammy Award for best reggae album," Shaggy reveals from his current tour stop in Sidney, Australia. "My entire team at Ranch Entertainment and Crush Management worked tirelessly to capture the essence of the true summer vibe on the island of Jamaica, to bring it to the world."

Summer In Kingston debuted at #1 on the Billboard and iTunes Reggae Albums charts, while its lead single "Sugarcane" also revved reggae singles charts, worldwide. The "Sugarcane" video, filmed in Jamaica and depicting the perfect 'summer in Kingston' as its backdrop, saw an MTV premiere.

This marks the tenth album from the diamond-selling artist, already a Grammy winner for his breakout album Boombastic, back in 1996. He has received three previous Grammy nominations, as well as multiple American Music Awards and MOBO (UK) nods.

"My heartfelt thanks to my longtime fans for your continued support of my music and making this happen, and to The Recording Academy for again recognizing our efforts," states Shaggy. The 54th Annual Grammy Awards takes place on February 12, 2012 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. It will be broadcast live on CBS.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Gentleman Set to Release Diversity in U.S.

With six albums under his belt and over one million collectively sold in Europe, the German platinum and award-winning singer Gentleman is long overdue for his U.S. debut. 'Diversity', set for release on Sept 13, 2011 on VP Records, charted at #1 in Germany as well as #2 in Switzerland and Austria and is the follow-up to his Europe platinum-selling record 'Confidence'.

Gentleman is currently touring Europe in support of the album and plans to embark on a U.S. tour beginning in mid-October throughout the Midwest and West. Details and dates will be announced shortly.

On Diversity, Gentleman stays true to his first musical love - roots reggae - and teams up with top Jamaican recording artists, including reggae lyricist and singer Tanya Stephens, Studio One veteran and dancehall pioneer Sugar Minott, Christopher Martin (Season Two winner of Jamaica’s televised talent competition, Rising Stars ) and producers Don Corelone, Red Roze, Shane Brown, Xterminator and Firehouse Crew.

With new vigor and passion, Gentleman feels renewed on this 14 track set and is ready to take the U.S. by storm. “That fire you feel as a newcomer does not keep up for very long. It is up to you to stoke the embers and this (album) has much more force behind it,” he notes.

One may not assume that the Cologne native and son of a Lutheran pastor would become an international reggae superstar, but Gentleman (born Tilmann Otto in 1975) has been drawn to reggae’s revolutionary spirit and truth-seeking lyrics ever since he was introduced to the island’s sounds. He immersed himself in the culture and music at the age of 18, making Jamaica his home away from home.

In 1997, he eventually got his first break with German hip-hip group, Freundeskreis, after delivering a verse on single “Tabula Rasa” with his distinctive singjay style. Since then, Gentleman has had a string of solo hits and platinum-selling records in Europe. He won Best National Artist five times for three different award shows (Echo Award 2003 & 2005, Comet Award 2005, 1Live Radio Award 2004 & 2005) and has been nominated twice for Best Reggae Artist (Martin 2004 Awards and Reggae and Soca Awards). He has collaborated with artists ranging from pop superstars Pink and Destiny’s Child to reggae legends Michael Franti & Spearhead and Barrington Levy. After over a decade under the label Four Music, he moved to Universal in 2010 and will release Diversity in the U.S. with VP Records this fall.

Track Listing:

1. The Reason

2. Changes

3. Hold On Strong

4. Tempolution

5. To The Top ft. Christopher Martin

6. Lonely Days

7. In A Time Like Now

8. Moment Of Truth

9. Another Melody ft. Tanya Stephens

10. I Got To Go

11. Good Old Days ft. Sugar Minott

12. Fast Forward

13. The Finish Line

14. It No Pretty

Monday, July 04, 2011

Alborosie '2 Times Revolution' Review (Greensleeves/VP)

Alberto ‘Alborosie’ D’Ascola, the Sicilian-Jamaican, returns with his sophomore record for Greensleeves/VP, the forcefully titled ‘2 Times Revolution’. “Two times because it’s more powerful,” says Alborosie. “You could say it one time but second time you have more experience.” Well stated because one thing is a certainty- this is a powerful record.

A thumping, bass-forward riddim is the back drop for the opening track Rolling Like A Rock. Alborosie states what has been obvious for any who’ve ever heard his music- his skill and talent speaks for itself, and he’ll conquer any who get in his way. “Rolling like a rock, please step away…..Rolling like a rock, don’t get in my way.” Great start!

Respect Yourself, featuring Junior ‘One Blood’ Reid, rides a hip-hop infused riddim. Alborosie and Reid’s styles complement each other nicely, with both reminding listeners, particularly the youths, of the need to love and respect themselves.

A wicked riddim with similarities to Bob Nesta’s ‘Zimbabwe’ serves as the underpinning for the instant classic Who You Think You Are. Pupa Alba is at his absolute best here, musically and lyrically. He asks, almost indignantly, “Who you think you are? I’m not a superstar….Me na drink the gold wine or smoking cigar…and I don’t drive in Satan’s car, with Jesus me a par…I’m just a revolutionary fighting my own war.” He’s most definitely his own man, and his revolution is not a violent one but spiritual in nature. Absolute Boomshot! This one rivals ‘Still Blazing’ from his debut record ‘Soul Pirate.’

Diversity is definitely present on ‘2 Times Revolution.’ For instance, Alborosie experiments with Latino influences on La Revolucion, utilizing a Spanish guitar and horns. He even sings much of the song in very polished Spanish. On International Drama, featuring Giuseppe Tarantino, the Sicilian incorporates musical elements of his birthplace with the roots music of the place he has called home for the last 11 years, seamlessly fusing opera with the pulsating reggae beat. Ragamuffin is another track having a hip-hop flavor with reggae as a solid foundation. The catchy hook is only overshadowed by the first class lyrical delivery. The old-school horn solo is perfectly placed.

Tax War pays tribute to the great King Jammy, as Alborosie rides Jammy’s riddim made famous by Junior Reid’s ‘Higgler Move’. Rude Bwoy Love, featuring Perfect Harmony, sits a top a re-working of Digital-B’s ‘Boom Bye Bye’ riddim, while What If Jamaica longingly describes a nation absent of the ills that have plagued it and the world for so many years.

You Make Me Feel Good, featuring songstress Etana, is another stand-out tune inna combination style. The slow paced riddim is bubblin’ heavy, as Etana’s crisp singing alternates perfectly with Pupa Alba’s throaty singjaying.

Soul Train is a roots reggae classic! The opening guitar riff sets the stage for one of the records finest moments. Alborosie proves, yet again, that he has mastered the roots-reggae sound, passionately singing “Over the hills and over the valley, me work the land an push up the trolley….International train, you got to have a ticket….and if the road get steep pon you, push your feet dem an jus go through…. Soul train….You got to have a ticket.” Beautiful music, beautiful lyrics, beautifully delivered. Boomshot!

‘2 Times Revolution’ continues what Alborosie started with 2008’s ‘Soul Pirate’. Like a fine red wine, he continues to get better as he ages and matures. This is truly a top-shelf record! With it, Alborosie firmly establishes himself as one of the premier roots-reggae artists among generations, past and present. Essential!

2 Times Revolution - Alborosie

Track Listing:
1. Rolling Like A Rock
2. Respect feat. Junior Reid
3. Who You Think You Are
4. La Revolucion
5. I Wanna Go Home
6. You Make Me Feel Good feat. Etana
7. International Drama feat. Giuseppe Tarantino
8. Camilla
9. Tax War
10. Jesus Is Coming
11. Ragamuffin
12. Soul Train
13. Grow Your Dreads
14. Rude Bwoy Love feat. Perfect Harmony
15. What If Jamaica

Friday, June 24, 2011

Alborosie Interview

Having just released his latest album '2 Times Revolution' this week, Alborosie chatted with us about music, life, and his North African roots. 'I thought he was Italian?' you might ask. Read on.........

RR- What was it that drew you to reggae music?

Alborosie- Sometimes it’s just things happen like that…When you see a woman that you like you say ‘I like this girl and I don’t know why.’ Same thing with me and reggae. Put some music on and I say ‘this music sound good. What’s the name a this music?’ A friend a mine say ‘this is reggae music.’

RR- How old were you then?

Alborosie- I was fourteen.

RR- Talk about your experience with the band Reggae National Tickets. What did that teach you?

Alborosie- That is part of the journey. I was a young man back then. Very young, almost a child. That was the foundation of my music. That was the root of my tree. Everything I’m doing now is because I did a good job back then. It was an essential experience.

RR- When you first came to Jamaica you worked at Geejam studios. How did that shape your success?

Alborosie- The experience at Geejam gave me the chance to actually find out about the culture, about myself…teaching me some studio business. Of course, I was really in touch with the culture because Geejam is in the rural area, the country of Jamaica, in Portland. I went straight to the root. It was a good experience. Every step of my journey is important. It helped me to be the person I am right now.

RR- Is it true you worked for food when you started out?

Alborosie- Yes. When I came to Jamaica my situation was very bad. I was not making money. It was more like an experience thing. It was rough but, you know, we stand up now, so we good. (chuckles)

RR- How long have you been in Jamaica?

Alborosie- 11 years. I’ve lived in Jamaica for 11 years now but the first time I visit was ’94. Used to travel here a lot… Twice a year.

RR- Has mainstream Jamaica, musically speaking, accepted you?

Alborosie- I’m part of the game (chuckles)…I’m here so people see me every day.

RR- Do you get a lot of radio play?

Alborosie- Well, it depends, like if I want to promote something. I don’t really push it like that in Jamaica right now because sometimes I don’t need it. Like now, with the new album we have a new single and I push it and dem a go push it. Otherwise, it’s not like I’m fighting for producers left, right, and center. I just keep my music in one direction, which is my direction.

RR- Most of your music is self-produced which carries with it many advantages. Have you come across any disadvantages to self-producing?

Alborosie- Sometime when you work a lot in the studio and when you right there by yourself sometimes you can lose the perception of what is good and what is bad. There’s nobody telling you ‘why you saying this?’ or ‘why you doing this?’. I’ve learned how to handle myself. I know what to do. Alborosie is the artist. Alberto is the producer (laughs). Alberto is fighting with Alborosie a little. (laughs)

RR- Who wins the battle most of the time, or is it an even fight?

Alborosie- Well, Alborosie is a good artist but he has to listen to Alberto…him better behave.

RR- How did the name Alborosie come about?

Alborosie- That is just a name…. Alberto is my name and ‘borosie’ was a name that some people gave me back then in Portmore….I just combine it…and it sound kinda funny. I neva want a hype name. It’s a name that makes people wonder why I chose that name.

RR- You’ve worked with a number of artists, Jamaican and otherwise. Junior Reid’s on the new record. How was it working with him?

Alborosie- There’s people that create something…They’ve made history with their music. I feel good working with them. I’m working with the top of the music that I love, which is reggae. To me it’s an honor to be here and work wit dem artists. I have to give thanks.

RR- Anyone you’d like to have the opportunity to work with in the future?

Alborosie- I would like to work with two artists… Burning Spear…that’s gonna be a tough one though…and then Bob Marley….me know he’s not here, but if the Marley family dey give me a tape, or whatever, I promise I’m not gonna mess it up.(laughs)

RR- Tell me a little bit about ‘2 Times Revolution’. That’s a very interesting name for the new record. Why did you decide to name it that?

Alborosie- ‘2 Times’ because it’s more powerful…You could say it one time but second time you have more experience…and because we need a ‘Revolution’. We need a spiritual revolution…an evolution through the revolution…call it like that…an the world right now need a revolution. My revolution is a good one. It’s not violent. We promoting one unity. It’s revolution through music.

RR- Do you have a favorite track?

Alborosie- Not really, but if you ask me I would say to you ‘Who You Think You Are?’.

RR- Talk about that track. It’s evident what it’s about but maybe you could just elaborate.

Alborosie- It’s very clear…not necessarily because you on stage an you do what you do, you have to be a superstar or behave like a superstar. I’m very humble and down to earth. I jus do what I have to do because that is my mission. The judgment is up to you and the people. I was just describing a situation in my life….the story of my life and how I see things.

RR- You mention it in the song, but how difficult was it for you to move from Sicily to Jamaica?

Alborosie- Imagine changing your food habits, changing your language. I’ve changed completely. I’m a different person right now. I don’t even know if I could live a Europe now. I’m a Caribbean man right now. Like it, or not, I have to stay here.

RR- Just in talking to you, I would think you were Jamaican if I didn’t already know your story. Your accent is perfect.

Alborosie- I’m trying…I’m forcing myself to talk to you properly because I don’t speak English. I chat patoish (pat-wish), you know, Caribbean English. When I do interviews I really force myself to be polite and try to make everybody understand. It’s difficult because I just learned patois. When I came to Jamaica I didn’t speak English. Me go straight to the country so what I learned was raw, patois, but I’m trying my best. (laughs)

RR- It seems that you get progressively better with every album. How is it you are able to do that?

Alborosie- They say that if you leave the wine there and rest for years it gonna taste good. I guess the more I move forward the more the wine taste good. A good wine will never spoil. What possibly could I do tomorrow to spoil this mission? It’s me, it’s my mission…truth and rights and love for people…I could neva spoil it. As I said, I’m very humble and my situation is very easy. If it’s not music tomorrow it’s gonna be something else…that’s how I live my life.

RR- Apart from music, what else do you enjoy doing?

Alborosie- When I have some time I build guitars. The cover of the album? You see de M-16 guitar? I build that. That is what I do. I just grab some piece of mahogany an I shape it an make a guitar. So far I’ve made like five. I play them on my records and me play dem live too. I never sell my instruments.

RR- How did your partnership with VP/Greensleeves develop?

Alborosie- Well, they heard my music and they liked it. They approached my management, Specialist. The deal…we liked what they proposed. They’re doing their job. That’s why I’m talking to you right now. They’re serious, they are part of history in reggae music. I’m glad….I’m proud. Let’s hope that this new album gonna work well.

RR- You mentioned this spiritual mission that you’re on. Was that a result of you moving to Jamaica or was that present before?

Alborosie- It’s been there from day one. That’s me. I’m a spiritual person. I read a lot an I watch t.v. and news. I keep myself up to the times.

RR- Talk about the similarities between Jamaica and Sicily.

Alborosie- Where I come from is an Island…close to Africa actually…150 miles. I could be a North African. If Jamaica is close to Cuba, and Cuba is Caribbean, then I must be a North African. It’s the same distance. That’s the similarity. That is the vibe. That is the root…the sun, the breeze, the African breeze. I remember when I was young and I was there with my grandfather. My grandfather was a fisherman an him say ‘Alberto feel the breeze from Africa.’ Our culture mix with Africa… That is the similarity.

RR- Do you have a tour planned for the U.S.?

Alborosie- Yes. We coming to the U.S. at the end of September until October. Next week we going to Europe…European Tour…then after the U.S. we going to South America…Kinda busy. They actually fixing up the logistics of the tour. I think we’re passing through Miami, then California. We’re going to Hawaii and then New York. We’re going places. They’re doing their job. I no really interested inna dat because when I see that I have to do so much work I don’t feel happy.

RR- What brings you the most satisfaction from touring?

Alborosie- I see so much people are singing the songs. I’ve been traveling a lot. When I go to South America and I see people singing my songs… I see so much people. Lot’s a people in dis place and then Europe, I say ‘Wha?’ I am surprised because of the power of the music. You really can reach out to people and break through barriers. I just have to give thanks.

RR- Thank you so much for taking the time!

Alborosie- I appreciate it. Thank you…thank you so much for letting me talk

Monday, June 06, 2011

Ziggi Recado Interview

Recently we had the chance to chat with Holland/St. Eustatius reggae star Ziggi Recado. He spoke at length about his latest, self -titled album. With this record he will be officially introduced to America, though many reggae fans already know him very well considering the success of his two previous albums 'So Much Reasons', and 'In Transit'. What is truly remarkable is the fact that Ziggi Recado really never had any intention of becoming a reggae artist. It just sort of happened....

RR- Ziggi, thanks for taking the time.

ZR- No problem man. Thanks to you! This is my first day doing American press so I appreciate everybody who was interested.

RR- What is it about roots reggae that appeals so much to Europe?

ZR- I guess Europe is definitely a place that’s always been a roots music place. They have a ton of reggae festivals all throughout Europe and it’s usually really about the reggae. You don’t even have that much dancehall artists who come up and get on these festivals. They’ve been promoting that for a long time, so, indeed there is a vibe on the European scene. Germany has a lot of big reggae festivals…at least four a year. Holland, it’s kinda might get the impression that Holland too, it’s big, there’s a lot happening because you have a lot of artists coming up who are doing some music from here but the reality is in Holland there are some festivals every year. Nothing standard. People organize something and bring some artists…besides that you have the usual occasion of reggae artists that will come through on tour and maybe some local guys might do support acts for that kinda stuff, but beyond that there’s not much of a huge scene really for people to build on.

RR- How popular is your music in Holland?

ZR- Well, in Holland it’s pretty popular. I’m not the biggest pop star in Holland but if you talk about reggae music then people automatically associate me with that. I started to get some attention in Holland, even in mainstream media, from my first album when I won a few awards. Basically since then up til now I am the only dancehall slash reggae artist who gets a little bit of attention in those circles. In that sense, yeah, in Holland I am the reggae artist and quite a few people know me.

RR- You grew up in St. Eustatius. How old were you when you moved to Holland?

ZR- I was 18.

RR- Was it Holland and the reggae scene there that took you from St. Eustatius? What’s the vibe like in St. Eustatius?

ZR- Actually they didn’t have anything to do with each other. At that time I was a basketball player and a student. When I left to come to Holland….basically my island is a Dutch colony… so every year when youths in my island and all the Dutch colonies in the Caribbean finish… I guess within America what you guys call high school… when you finish that level of schooling and you want to go on to college then you need to leave the island and most people come to Holland. That was why I ended up coming to Holland in the first place. Initially I came as a student. When I was up here, that is when friends of mine from the Caribbean kinda talked me into writing lyrics and making some music. It was never my intention to even be an artist when I came to Holland.

RR- That’s really surprising. So you weren’t necessarily into reggae growing up?

ZR- I was into reggae, that’s for sure. I grew up on a Caribbean island, very small community. The population of my island is about 3000 people. It’s almost like a little village…everybody know you. It was real Caribbean…you hear soca music everyday, calypso, and reggae and dancehall..real Caribbean stuff. That’s basically all that I heard. As I got older I start to hear more American stuff too, hip hop, r&b start get into the mix too as I got into my teenage years.

RR- In listening to the new album you seem to be experimenting with a little r&b, some different sounds?

ZR- Yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, when I was doing this cd I jus try to do whatever I felt sounded right or whatever I felt sounded good. I was trying to not make myself do only ‘one drop’ riddims especially since this is my third album. My last album ‘In Transit’ was mainly reggae tunes…one drop beats straight through so I wanted to do something different. With this album I tried to stick with my reggae core- I don’t think I could ever change that anyway because I’m from the Caribbean, I’ll always have my accent. I can’t really change who I am.- but what music that I have on it, indeed, I mixed with hip hop, with soul, with rock…whatever vibe I was feelin man I went ahead and did it. As long as it feel right, it was okay.

RR- You really never need to leave your Caribbean culture behind, whatever the genre of music, because I think it fits almost anywhere if you ask me.

ZR- Me too, me too. I could understand when people hear my new cd…I could understand if I get some critics or some hardcore reggae people who feel like this is not ‘one drop’ enough for me or it doesn’t sound enough like traditional reggae. I could live with hearing that argument. I could understand that. But, from a musician’s point of view, I’m happy with the result. I think I get to mix it but still keep it very much reggae. I think there’s a reggae vibe throughout the whole album no matter what kind of musical influence is on there.

RR- Agreed. The reggae foundation is there through every track even if it’s only through you chatting.

ZR- Exactly and I think that’s good. That way you get to reach even more people and get even more people in to reggae, even if it’s to get them in to the traditional sounding ‘one drop’.

RR- Did you produce a lot of this album personally?

ZR- Yeah, I did… For the first time.

RR- How did that feel?

ZR- That felt wonderful, man. I did it because I wanted to have all of these different influences. When I was about to start recording it- through the years I built contacts with all kind of producers in the reggae industry so it would be no problem for me to get one drop sounding riddims, traditional sounding stuff- but for what I wanted to do I don’t know anybody who was really mixing up stuff too much so I went in there and I did it myself. I have a wicked band so any idea I have I could have them play my ideas out for me. That worked like a charm because they’ve played with me for awhile now so they really could feel what I was doing. It was really all natural…more natural than anything.

RR- It shows in the diversity on the record. I didn’t even realized that you produced most of it until yesterday.

ZR- Yeah mon, yeah mon. I really proud of that! A lot a people don’t even recognize that so no one asks me anything about my producing. It’s actually something I would like to do. I’d like to produce foreign artists…help some people with some studio vibes. I think I could do dat.

RR- Do you play any instruments?

ZR- Yeah, I play guitar an I play a little bit a bass because I can play guitar. I play a little bit of piano. ..Basically just enough to produce with. If it really going to be musical than I need to get my keys straight. I can lay down my entire idea an just have dem come in an lay it down properly.

RR- Did you play anything on the album or did you have the band do that?

ZR- I had the band do that. I didn’t feel like I was ready for that step. It was already cool for me that I was producing it, but for me to actually play the instruments on dere…I didn’t feel comfortable doing dat yet.

RR- What’s your process for writing a song?

ZR- With album I did the music first. I actually produced a bunch of beats beforehand and then I went into the studio with a bunch of beats ready to go. I stayed in the studio for a month and a half really without leaving…basically lived in the studio. Everyday I would put on the music, find the beat that spoke to me dat day, and start to work. My process is really… I would call it ‘hands on’. I usually start with my hooks first…I would think of a hook, then I’d record the hook cause I recorded everything too on this album… Record the hook, see what I sound like, put on the backing vocals an everything and if I felt my hook was cool I’d write verse one…record verse one. If I think it’s proper I just keep on going until the tune is complete. Tune complete? beat. I was like a machine, mon! Fe real, fe real! (laughs) When you get in a studio for a month and a half, like the first couple a days was like, you know, you need to get into the flow. I think after a week I was spitting out songs like it’s nothing.

RR- No writers block?

ZR- No, no. I think it was such an experience for me because this is the first time that I did everything , basically myself. Like I said, I produced the beats first myself, then I went into the studio by myself to record myself. I would have friends come through now and then just to give me some vibes. It was an exciting process, mon. My baby boy was just born. I had a kid for about a month old an I lef’ him behind to go do dis. It was really like a mission, mon. I was focused.

RR- Is that your first child?

ZR- My second. A girl and a boy. My first is a girl an she’s nearly five now an my little boy…he’s nine months now.

RR- Do they influence you at all, as far as how you write?

ZR- ‘My Everything’ is all about dem. That is a track on the album that’s basically dedicated to my girl and my boy. It’s all about dem…me speaking about how I feel about my kids. The other thing they do for me, mainly, is they just help me focus. When I was in the studio working I would be thinking I have somebody to work for, I have two little humans who I have to make this happen for. That’s the ultimate motivation. When you know you have these little ones looking up to you… you need to do what you got to do. They definitely help me focus.

RR- Which studio did you use? Was this at your own personal studio?

ZR- Kind of…I had some of my equipment that I took to my guitarists’ studio. He has a studio built in his home. I recorded it on my equipment but in his studio.

RR- Talk about the difference between this record and ‘In Transit’ and ‘So Much Reasons’.

ZR- If I start from the beginning, what you’re hearing on the ‘So Much Reasons’ album is more or less, a collection of the first songs I ever made. That was really me just starting to do music. I was never really expecting anything, and singles took off here, and one thing led to the next and an album was coming and we basically went and looked at everything I had recorded up to dat point and put together a compilation of what we thought was best. So that was really me…some of the first songs I ever wrote. On the ‘In Transit’ album, two years after ‘So Much Reasons’, by that time it had had some success. I was starting to get around a little bit in Europe. I was really starting to get some steam, especially in the reggae scene or the reggae industry in Europe. So the ‘In Transit’ album, because of that, was influenced by that. That album was also, more or less, a collection of different riddims that I voiced for a lot of different producers. ‘Fight This Struggle’ was a riddim from Jamaica, ‘Need To Tell You This’, of course, is a riddim from Germany with different people on it, you had ‘Gonna Leave You’, that’s a riddim from France. That was kinda the story then. I was really in the middle of that scene and ‘In Transit’ was that kinda album. Where I’m at now with this ‘Ziggi Recado’ album…it’s been two and a half years. I’m two and a half years older…wiser. I think I have more experience now than ever because after my last album is when I really started to tour like crazy. So, I got more experience. My voice developed. I know more than ever what I want and who I am as a person and as an artist. This album is really me. That’s why it’s influenced by anything that I feel. As long as I feel like ‘I dig this’ I’m gonna do it.

RR- It seems ironic that your second album was called ‘In Transit’. It seems like it was a transition into your new album.

ZR- Exactly! That was exactly one of the reasons we took that name! I felt at that time like I was still evolving into who I was supposed to be. I wasn’t really there yet. I was just getting in to the reggae market after my first cd that was really just my first songs. ‘In Transit’ was still like just starting to roll and then I think I arrived at ‘Ziggi Recado’ now where I pretty much aware of what I can do, what I can’t do. I’m curious as to what my next stuff is gonna sound like.

RR- I think the fact that you have complete creative control means there really won’t be any boundaries for you.

ZR- Exactly. Me too. I haven’t recorded one track, honestly speaking, since I finished this album and I’m starting to itch now a little bit again. Ideas are hitting me again…and vibes so I feel like getting back in.

RR- Ziggi Recado. Will you continue with that name or is that just for this album?

ZR- No, mon. That’s definitely my official name now. If I could go back to the past I would’ve gone with Ziggi Recado from the beginning of my career. The story is actually like this…like I’ve said now a million times, I was never intending to be an artist so when I started to record some tracks my manager back then was like ‘you gonna put out a single and promote it and it’s gonna do good’ and for me it was like a big joke. So he was like ‘what name? what’s gonna be your artist name?’ Now, Ziggi is not the name on my passport but I’ve been Ziggi from a kid. My grandmother an dem call me Ziggi from a baby so my whole island, my family, everybody knows me as Ziggi, nobody calls me Recado. At that time, when he was like ‘What are you gonna use?’ I said ‘I already have a nickname. Just put Ziggi on dat thing.’ I was never thinking that the reggae industry and people might get confused with Ziggy Marley. I was so far from thinking that. It’s only later on when we actually started to have some success and then you started to notice now and then there’s confusion about that. Then is when we realized how serious of an issue that was but in the beginning…no mon. Never thought about it because I never dreamed of doing anything like this.

RR- At least you spelled it with an ‘i’ at the end.

ZR- Yeah, that came after our first little success because immediately, especially when we started to deal with Jamaicans that started to be a little bit of an issue. Like if you say ‘Ziggi’ people automatically assume Ziggy Marley. That is why we decided to change it to an ‘i’ but even so, as long as you just say ‘Ziggi’ there’s Ziggy Marley, Ziggy Rankin’, Ziggy dis, and Ziggi dat, so it’s always gonna be tough. This was the only way to put a conclusive point behind this and let people know I am who I am.

RR- How much exposure have you had in Jamaica? You mentioned you’ve worked with a few Jamaican producers?

ZR- Yeah, I’ve worked with quite a few Jamaican producers. I know a whole bunch a artistes because of all a de touring. Eventually, you meet everyone multiple times on festivals, so I know quite a few artists. I was in Jamaica a couple of years ago to do some promo so, I got my tunes playin’ on de radio… ‘Need To Tell You This’..Since then I haven’t been back though.

RR- Anyone in particular you’d like to work with or collaborate with in the future?

ZR- I’ve always been a big fan of Wyclef….love to do a track with Wyclef. What to me would be the biggest of all would be to do a track with Shabba…a real icon. I heard stories about how difficult dat is gonna be but it would be something crazy.

RR- Do you have a favorite track on the album? Obviously ‘My Everything’ holds a special place?

ZR- ‘My Everything’ for a long time was actually indeed my favorite song. Right now, I still can swing. I have a lot of favorites. I like ‘My Everything’. I love ‘Mary’. I like ‘Real Talk’. I think those are the ones for me that I give the most play up til this day still.

RR- Who are your influences, past or present?

ZR- From the past, I kinda been influenced by all kinda music. It’s necessarily just reggae music. I like Dennis Brown… Cocoa Tea, I love his voice from long time. Al Green, Curtis Mayfield, those are some of the baddest singers ever to me. I used to be a big Biggie fan back in my hip hop days. Nowadays, I like Tarrus Riley quite a bit. I think Stephen Marley is cool, I like what he does.

RR- Taking music out of the equation, any hidden talents?

ZR- Nowadays I hardly get time to do anything besides music. Like I said, I think my greatest talent that I had before I discovered that I had a talent for music was basketball. I was a pretty solid ballplayer back in the day. In the Caribbean I played in the National team for a couple islands I lived on, traveled around, played against some other Caribbean National teams, against the Dutch National team, too. So, for our standards of basketball I was pretty okay back then.

RR- No shooting around or playing anymore?

ZR- No, mon. Amsterdam’s weather is messed up, most a da time it’s gray. You know what it is too, Europe is a football continent. Even if the sun is shining you really need to look for people who play basketball and take them to the court with you. You’re not just gonna find games. Everybody’s kicking footballs.

RR- You haven’t gravitated to football?

ZR- Not really. I could watch some of the finals…the more exciting stuff. Still, I’m a basketball man. I’m fighting nowadays, especially now that it’s finals (NBA). The games start at 9pm, for us that’s 3 am. It’s a fight every time to watch. I tried to watch last night. I made until midway through the second quarter and then I was wokin’ up this morning by my daughter to go to school so I had to look back on the internet to find out what happened.

RR- It’s been a real pleasure.

ZR- Yes, definitely mon. Nice little chat.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Uprising Roots 'Skyfiya' Review (Tru Muzik Records Ltd.)

From Fairbourne Road of Rockfort, East Kingston comes the Uprising Roots, an actual self-contained reggae band, a rarity on the Jamaican music scene.

Born in January 2006, the band is made up of five very talented musicians including Rashawn ‘Kush’ McAnuff on drums and lead vocals (Kush is the son of reggae veteran Winston McAnuff), Lloyd ‘Akinsanya’ Palmer on keyboards (Akinsanya also adds diversity to the group by means of his dub poetry), Ruel ‘Pot a Rice’ Ashburn on bass (Pot a Rice is also the Uprising studio engineer), Joseph ‘Junior’ Sutherland on percussion, and 809 band veteran Winston ‘Bopee’ Bowen on guitar.

Uprising Roots’ latest effort is the self-produced ‘Skyfiya’. From the outset of the record it is obvious that the band is airtight and prides itself on producing high quality, organic reggae music.

Blessings rides a rhythmic drum and bass line that simply won’t quit. Lyrically it is simple but rest assured you’ll be singing the chorus by the end of the tune. Skyfiya is another stand out track. You may be expecting more when the ride begins simply because “Rise up this morning. Hail the Uprising. Great Fiyah, Skyfiya” is the extent of the lyrics, save for a 15 word speech uttered towards the end of the song. But, it’s one of those tunes that you feel. The bass is again prominent accompanied by some very well placed horn arrangements and a wicked sax solo. The intro and outro smacks of the Peter Tosh classic Bukk-In-Hamm-Palace. Know Yourself showcases Akinsanya’s dub poetry over a pulsating, guaranteed to make you move riddim track.

There is plenty here for the heavy roots lover as well, including the positive Brightest Light, reminding everyone that “the brightest light shines from within”.

Who Caan Hear follows a similar heavy roots path. The booming riddim transitions nicely at the bridge and is again accompanied by some truly magnificent horn work.

Positive and Shining So Bright are both designed to upbuild the listener. The latter showcases another fabulous bridge that is far too uncommon in reggae music today!

Dedicated to the empress, Most Royal is set to another booming riddim track that is full of instrumentation but is in no way overproduced. The nyabinghi chant-like Brighter Days closes the set with authority. Yet again, Akinsanya’s dub poetry adds a nice dimension to the tune.

With ‘Skyfiya’ the Uprising Roots have created an album overflowing with quality roots reggae tunes. This is definitely a group of extremely talented musicians who work very well together. It’s a really good listen. Any fan of roots reggae will appreciate this record. Recommended!

Skyfiya - The Uprising Roots

Track Listing:

1. King Rastafari
2. Blessings
3. Skyfiya
4. Brightest Light
5. Steamers
6. Know Yourself
7. Most Royal
8. Marcus Garvey
9. Who Caan Hear
10. Positive
11. Shining So Bright
12. Krash Like Lightning
13. Brighter Days

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Stephen Marley Interview

On any hidden talents: "Some of the other
talents jus have to remain hidden."

Stephen Marley has just released his latest album entitled 'Revelation Part 1: The Root of Life'. Marley indeed has reached deep with the record and has taken reggae music back to its purest form, back to the roots. He recently took the time to chat with us here at the Reggae Review. A so it go.....

The Reggae Review- Talk about the new record ‘Revelation Part
1: The Root of Life’. Do you have any certain expectations?

Stephen Marley- Expectations…(pauses) To save the world…(laughs) No, I don’t have any expectations whatsoever. I put some energy out there in the universe and it will do what it’s supposed to.

The Reggae Review- Do you have a favorite tune from the album?

Stephen Marley- I would say ‘Made In Africa’ is the one that I gravitate to.

The Reggae Review- Noting this is Revelation Part 1, what should we expect from Part 2? A totally different direction?

Stephen Marley- Part 1 is called ‘The Root of Life’ and Part 2 is called ‘The Fruits of Life’. The root is bitter, ya know, the root is the roots. The fruit is more appeasing. It has colorful leaves. It’s sweet, some tart. So the Fruits is a more eclectic record…is a more open record.

The Reggae Review- It sounds as if you’ve put a lot of thought into this?

Stephen Marley- I have put a lot of thought into it, yes, as far as the concept of the root and the fruit.

The Reggae Review- We can expect Part 2 later on this year, right?

Stephen Marley- Yeah, that’s in the fall, October.

The Reggae Review- There’s a couple of your father’s songs on this record. Do you have a list of his songs that you want to record at some point or do you just kind of do what you’re feeling at the time?

Stephen Marley- I have some songs that I admire in ways that oh man, I feel like I’m going to do this one over. Yeah, do it again.

The Reggae Review- Do you feel any pressure considering who your father was, be it from yourself or outside influences?

Stephen Marley- Pressure…I don’t know if that is the right word. But, if it is pressure it’s good pressure, ya know, I don’t feel like a have a burden. It don’t feel burdensome. I feel that I have a responsibility…which is a good responsibility; you know what I mean…I feel that I have a responsibility as far as being who I am and me haffi mek sure say you know me live up to me responsibility…not necessarily what people expect, but who I am. Not to say dat I am not trying to live up to peoples expectations, no. I am myself but I was born with a responsibility as Steve, as a person. It is very important fe maintain and uphold that responsibility. It derives from who you are, being the son of such a great man as Bob and the positive tings that Bob has bestowed on the world. Back to the answer…it’s not pressure, and if it is pressure it’s good pressure. Not a burden.

The Reggae Review- How do you go about writing a tune? Do you start with music, with words or whatever comes?

Stephen Marley- It’s more like an open…you’re inspired. Whatever it is starts from inspiration. Whether it’s just a melody comes through your head but whatever it is it starts from the inspiration first. Now how it plays out, I don’t have a method. If it’s the guitar, it’s the guitar. If it’s a mylopan, it’s a mylopan.

The Reggae Review- Do you have any hidden talents or hobbies that maybe people don’t know about?

Stephen Marley- (Laughs and laughs) Some of the other talents jus have to remain hidden. (Laughs again)

The Reggae Review- You do, though, enjoy football (soccer), correct?

Stephen Marley- Yeah mon! We love soccer…football.

The Reggae Review- Are you a supporter of any particular club or do you just enjoy the game in general?

Stephen Marley- Right now Barcelona is me team and internationally, Brazil. I love Brazil. I don’t know if I’m going to be able to watch this Saturday cuz I’m trying to finish up the Fruit, next album. (Barcelona plays Manchester United this Saturday, May 28, 2011 in the Champions League final.)

The Reggae Review- Do you prefer production or being on the other side as an artist?

Stephen Marley -Well, for me it’s really two sides of the same coin. One side is producing, which is the creative process…which is very exciting… to create…all those creative juices start flowing. It’s very exciting when you’re creating. Then, after you have made this creation it’s very exciting to go and deliver it to the people and see their reaction an all of dis, which is performing. So, they’re both very exciting and work hand in hand for me.

The Reggae Review- Thank you Stephen.

Stephen Marley- All right.. Respect..Thank you.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Cherine and Chuck Fenda Drop Summer Hit "Call On Me"

Dancehall Soul Queen Cherine and Chuck Fenda "The Living Fire" have done it again. They are two of Jamaica's best talents and have teamed up to release a sizzling new hit single "Call On Me". The track is produced by Unga Notice for Desires Production and is poised to do very well in the coming months.

Cherine's sultry and soulful voice combined with Chuck Fenda's melodic tone gives "Call On Me" a unique sound that only these two could have created. "Call On Me" as the title suggests is a song that encourages lovers to rely on each other, and celebrates real love. The song is perfect for lovers.

Since their massive reggae hit "Coming Over", fans and supporters have been asking for another collaboration. According to Cherine "since our hit "Coming Over", we talked about doing another song together but we've both been really busy so it just took longer than we expected". Chuck Fenda added that "we had to respond to the people, the people in the streets a ask for another Fenda and Cherine tune so wi jus a give the people what them ask for". Both singers agreed that going in studio to record "Call On Me" was just majic and felt like they were continuing where they left off with "Coming Over". It seems like the hit-making chemistry of the two singers has not been lost as all the radio and sound system DJs as well a select group of fans who previewed the track last week are all very excited about its release.

"Call On me" will become available on iTunes in the coming weeks, and a music video is also in the pipeline. In the meantime fans can listen to "Call On Me" on, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter or tune in to your favorite radio stations where rotation has already picked up, turning attention to the hot new track.

Cherine is currently blazing the airwaves with the Sly and Robbie produced hit "Rebel." The song done by Cherine and Danielle, two of the hottest females in the business is fast becoming an anthem for independent and 'honor-rebel' females who all have that edgy sexy side. "Rebel" recently charted at #1 on CVM TV's Hitlist and routinely appears on local video and online charts.


Friday, May 20, 2011

Cocoa Tea Booked for 2012 London Olympics

Platinum Camp's Reggae ambassador, Cocoa Tea, is booked for the 2012 Olympics in London, England. The only reggae artist requested to sing for the Queen and the entire world. When asked if he was prepared to meet Her Majesty, his only response was, "I'm ready and waiting." Not only is he ready to meet the Queen but he's also ready to meet the world press.

Cocoa Tea's new single "A Love Like Yours and Mine" is about to hit the world stage. This song is about a tender love story, which is said to be one of his finer works among hits like, "Rikers Island," "Informer," "18 and Over," "I lost My Sonia," and "She Loves Me Now," to name a few. His song "Obama" became a hit and a favorite for the Obama campaign and among the Kenyans during the '08 elections, and he is once more geared up to go back into the studio to record another song for the upcoming 2012 election, as well.

Cocoa Tea is currently preparing for his Summer Tour that kicks off on June 26 in Brooklyn, New York and continues on to Boston, Portland and Seattle, to name a few of his stops.

As a man from humble beginnings, Cocoa Tea is known for his charitable works and his tireless efforts of giving back to the community to help to alleviate suffering. We wish a long life and Good health to this pillar of strength.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Dutch Reggae Artist Ziggi Recado Releases New Album on June 7, 2011

(VP RECORDS, NEW YORK) - Dutch reggae artist Ziggi Recado returns with his second Greensleeves/VP Records album, scheduled for release on June 7, 2011. The self-titled studio effort showcases 14 new songs, penned and mostly produced by the Holland-based artist.
Recado hails from St. Eustatius, an island near St. Maarten in the West Indies, and grew up in Holland. Now heralded as the Netherlands' #1 reggae act, he has recorded and toured with numerous Jamaican and European artists and has thus amassed a solid fan base over the years. His diverse background flavors his music with sprinkles of hip-hop, rock, dub-step and other influences that blend into a roots reggae fusion.

Already an accomplished artist, Recado was the winner of the 2009 Zilveren Harp (Silver Harp) Award in The Netherlands, their version of the Grammy's. He sees growth as a musician with this third album as he experiments with sounds, sentiments and singers to create a hit collection, which includes productions from Curtis Lynch, Rock 'N Vibes, and Special Delivery, and features Etana, Maikal X, Tippa Irie, and Mr. Probz, to name a few. He also produced the majority of this album, along with his live band, the Renaissance Band.

The album presents a combination of traditional sounding reggae tracks such as "Mary" and "Jah Alone," along with progressive sounding tunes like "My Everything," "Away From Home," "Still Wandering" and "Pretender," which channel his more eclectic sound. On "All My Life," Recado teams up with reggae songbird Etana for a romantic ballad that is sure to satisfy his female audience. His rock-flavored lead single "Get Out" and its video are both currently bubbling on the charts in Europe and spreading through the international network of reggae fans.

With a new album to showcase, Ziggi Recado and the Renaissance Band are now embarking on 'The Green Tour,' playing local and international venues and festivals while spreading environmentally-conscious messages. He kicks off this album launch in Europe with a 15-date tour, with plans to hit the West Coast for a U.S. tour this summer.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Stephen Marley returns with 'Revelation Part 1: The Root of Life'

7-time Grammy award winning singer-songwriter, Stephen Marley, is set to release his third solo project, REVELATION PT 1: THE ROOT OF LIFE from Ghetto Youths/Tuff Gong/Universal Republic on May 24, 2011. Conceived as a celebration and preservation for roots rock reggae, REVELATION PT 1: THE ROOT OF LIFE ensures that the music's regal template is maintained throughout the 21st century.

Anchored in reggae's scorching drum and bass backbeat, THE ROOT OF LIFE delivers an organic and richly textured sound through its 14 tracks, making it a true body of work that delivers powerful messages and encouragement for the struggling masses ("Working Ways"); depicts the harrowing residual effect of slavery ("Old Slaves"); evokes the sorrow of rejection ("She Knows Now"); conveys the disappointment of "False Friends"; in reggae's lovers-rock tradition a duet with Melanie Fiona, "No Cigarette Smoking"; to the final track "Now I Know," a contemplative song about moving on.

The first single, "Jah Army," features Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley and Buju Banton spitting formidable, career-defining verses over a thunderous one-drop rhythm with lyrics to rally the troops. "Whether it's in the music or our life, get it together man, the Gideon is on," declares Stephen.

Conceived as a two part project, THE ROOT OF LIFE will be followed by the release of REVELATION PT 2: THE FRUIT OF LIFE, due in fall of 2011, which will feature an array of styles that have emanated from reggae's core.

"Reggae music has influenced hip hop and so many other kinds of music, "Stephen reasons. "THE FRUIT OF LIFE will be more open, eclectic kind of record. There will be songs for the club, dancehall reggae will be there, love songs in there, but it will remain conscious good music that you can always take something positive from."

Having recently completed a cross-country tour to launch this album, Marley will also see exclusive distribution for the vinyl version of THE ROOT OF LIFE from VP Records.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tiger Records goes acoustic with Diana Rutherford's 'Rebel'

Sherkhan and Tiger Records present the latest tune from Diana Rutherford entitled 'Rebel'.
Ms. Rutherford's voice is crisp, her delivery passionate, her lyrics poignant.
Romain 'Sherkhan' Chiffre's composition is raw and rugged, reminiscent of early Wailers tunes like 'Selassie is the Chapel' and 'Chances Are', among others,  from the J.A.D. era.
Nice Tune in EVERY aspect!!

Follow the link below to LISTEN:

Follow the link to WATCH the Video:

Friday, April 01, 2011

'The Message' Riddim Review (Don Corleon Records)

The preeminent Jamaican producer Donovan 'Vendetta' Bennett a.k.a. Don Corleon presents his latest roots riddim project entitled 'The Message'.
The riddim itself is a pleasing, pulsating one-drop, with a classic Corleon acoustic guitar riff and a very welcome string arrangement. The title is most appropriate, with all but one of the tracks expressing a conscious, positive vibe or 'message'.
Included in the set are Corleon regulars Jahvinci, Da Professor, Pressure, and Protoje.
Da Professor, citing the 35th Psalm, offers a tried and tested solution to problems as he encourages listeners to "pray, pray, pray, pray, pray" on the track Words. Jahvinci puts forth an excellent effort with the inspiring Wicked Heart, a tune assuring that the Almighty is there if we seek him and that the wicked will soon perish."Put your trust in Jah... he'll never make your heart break...he'll never hurt your feeelings" sings Jahvinci. Pressure Bus' Pipe lends his skill to the project with the anthem-like Jah Love. He continues to hone his talents with an adept display of singing and deejaying. Pressure is one of a very select few that is equally accomplished at both. Protoje's smooth-flowing delivery rides the riddim precisely on the big tune Take Control. Corleon adds a nice touch on the mix by breaking down the riddim at certain intervals to beautifully accommodate Protoje's rapid-fire delivery.
Veteran Richie Spice lends a solid, conscious tune to the riddim with Got To Make It. He's in fine form as he admonishes one and all to have confidence in themselves if you want to make it. It's all about self-motivation and putting your best foot forward in order to meet with success.
Ky-mani Marley continues to show that he and Corleon are a wicked combination on Brave Ones. Indeed, if what he's produced thus far with Corleon is indicative of his forthcoming album then the reggae world better hold tight because it's bound to explode!
Swedish sensation Million Stylez makes his debut with Corleon on the forward-thinking Brighter Day. "No matter how the heathen a gwan...pray fe a brighter day. From afar me a see dem a come...pray fe a brighter day...better mus' come." Hope springs eternal.
The ladies are well represented also with Cecile taking top honors on the culture track Rise Up. Also included in the set are Ikaya with Flyaway and Sophia Squire with Love.
Newcomer Vital, sounding like a cross between Jah Cure and Lukie D (A huge compliment!), breaks the 'message' mold with a romantic ode to his lady on Don't Say No.
Vybz Kartel closes the set with a denunciation of government and politics while highlighting the everyday struggles of the people on the classic Poor People Land. Kartel is a talent! No question. Adidjah....can you please do more like dis ya one? A big tune dat!
The Message is yet another quality riddim from Don Corleon. He continues to show why he is one of the top producers in the business. True, his roots productions all share a common sound and feel. But what's it really matter when that sound and feel is world class?! Highly Recommended!

Track Listing:
1. Rise Up- Cecile
2. Words- Da Professor
3. Flyaway- Ikaya
4. Wicked Heart- Jahvinci
5. Brave Ones- Ky-mani Marley
6. Brighter Days- Million Stylez
7. Jah Love- Pressure
8. Take Control- Protoje
9. Got o Make It- Richie Spice
10. Love- Sophia Squire
11. Don't Say No- Vital
12. Poor People Land- Vybz Kartel

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Ossie Dellimore 'Reggae Music' Review (Skank Records)

St. Vincent born and Brooklyn resident Ossie Dellimore has been a long-time member of the reggae fraternity. His remarkable talents led him to capturing first place at the acclaimed ‘Amateur Night at the Apollo’, which is no easy task. You may remember his tune ‘Time Has Come’ from the first Easy Star records first full-length release ‘Easy Star, Volume 1’ back in 1998. Now 12 years later the talented veteran presents his latest effort, simply titled ‘Reggae Music’. Generic name? Call it what you will. The title aptly describes what is found therein. If one word were to preface the two Ollie chose for the title it would have to be ‘Quality’. The album is solid to the core. Original, bass heavy one- drops dominate the record. Ossie’s voice is smooth yet smoky and as crisp as a cool winter’s morn.
Stand out tracks include the pulsating, melodica-tinged ‘The Secret to Success’, the historically insightful ‘Old Time Something’ featuring a wicked guitar lick, and the hard hitting political exposé ‘How Come?’.
‘Restless Soul’ is superb. The organ adds a beautiful dimension to a multi-layered tune, both lyrically and musically. Prominent yet again and equally welcome is the rhythm guitar, reminiscent of a time when reggae music was raw, rugged and real!
Dellimore has been rightly compared to reggae legend Peter Tosh with his booming baritone, socio-politically charged lyrics, and polished, precise delivery.
The title track is certainly another gem on the record. Dellimore adds a bubbling interpolation to the Black Ark recorded, Paul Weston produced, Gregory Isaac’s classic ‘Mr. Cop’ riddim. Ruff Scott’s old school toasting is more than respectable. He and Dellimore compliment each other nicely.
‘Scandal Mongerer’ adds yet another dimension to the record. The riddim track is upbeat with a classic reggae progression and a perfectly placed guitar solo creating an ideal platform for Dellimore’s crisp delivery and stirring lyrics.
‘Reggae Music’ was one of the best releases of 2010. Any fan of roots reggae, modern or classic, needs this record in their collection.
Highly Recommended!

Reggae Music - Ossie Dellimore

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Konshens Falls in Love with Reggae

DEEJAY Konshens is talking — and living — the talk of the musically conscious. It may sound simple, but in reality this is a tremendous feat for the young artiste whose 2005 single Pon Di Corner thrust him into an international spotlight for which he was ill-prepared.

That song, a combination with his older brother Delus, worked its way across the continents and claimed the number one slot in Japan. This prompted a one-month tour of that country and the release of an album exclusively for the Japanese market in 2006.

"The first time I sang as a professional was in Japan," Konshens disclosed, adding that the experience was like attending a university. However, it would take another two years for the artiste to move up from freshman to graduate.

"We don't know what we have, because if we knew we would
be doing everything to preserve this treasure, instead of trying to
convert it to some other genre."- Konshens

It was his 2008 single, Winner, that really placed him in the spotlight locally and on the wider international circuit and gained for him many accolades including Best New Artiste and Song of the Year.

The single was so impactful, that it took on a life of its own. Before you could say 'winner' the artiste was off on tour to far flung places in Europe that he'd only read about. He was given a stage, a microphone and told to perform in front of a multitude of fans who spoke every language except English, but who knew his songs word-for-word.

As surreal as the situation was then, Konshens knew that this would prove the greatest learning experience of his life and he had to be alert and live every moment. As he traversed Europe, parts of Asia and the many islands of the Caribbean, there was one universal truth which kept hammering home - the power of reggae music and the respect that other cultures have for this Jamaican gold.

"When you look at a crowd of thirty thousand people and they hardly know a word of English, but they know the words of your own song better than you -- and even have lines from the song tattooed on their bodies -- that's when you as a reggae artiste fall in love with the music," he said soberly.

"We don't know what we have, because if we knew then we would be doing everything to preserve this treasure, instead of trying to convert it into some other genre," the youngster said, sounding like a seasoned veteran.

Konshens was quick to point out that he was no goody-two-shoes and was equally guilty of not playing a role in the preservation of the music. But that was out of ignorance -- before he had his "Europe experience". Now armed with knowledge, the artiste is singing the praises of straight reggae, the type that is cherished by the Europeans, the Japanese and other cultures.

"It is up to us to rescue reggae because it is all we have and it is dying. I have been touring straight for the past three years and taken time off to get in sync with the home base. Now that I have my own label, SubKonshus Music, the production and the songs will be guided by all that I have learnt," vowed Konshens.
-The Jamaica Observer