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.