Tuesday, April 09, 2019

VP RECORDS LAUNCHES THE REGGAE TRAIL

Poster of the first phase of The Reggae Trail

NEW YORK, NY – VP Records, the world's largest reggae label, continues the yearlong celebration of its 40th anniversary announcing today the launch of the first phase of The Reggae Trail, an interactive map of locations in New York City that helped make the music genre an integral part of life in the city over the past five decades.


“The first phase of the project, launches in conjunction with Record Store Day 2019, includes New York area reggae and Caribbean record stores with significant in-house record labels,” said Carter Van Pelt, VP Records’ Director of Catalog Development. “These include several dozen initial locations, chosen from literally hundreds.”

The Trail will grow to include recording studios, performance spaces, and also identify individuals who nurtured the growth of reggae, a globally influential genre from Jamaica recognized recently by UNESCO as a cultural heritage asset. Virtual visitors to the website will see how the growth of reggae mirrored the migration patterns of Jamaican and other Caribbean immigrant communities in the city. On April 13, Record Store Day attendees at the VP Records location in Queens, NY, will receive a printed version, free with purchase. 

“The idea began ten years ago when I pinned a set of locations in Google Maps of the New York area addresses I found on vinyl records,” said Van Pelt. “I didn’t initially take it beyond several dozen locations, but I could see the potential. Richard Lue, VP Records’ Director of Business Development, had a similar concept that showcased the role of VP Records in the history of reggae in New York. The Reggae Trail is a combination of these ideas.”

The Trail’s first phase highlights top record stores that brought the music to the people starting in the early 1960s. One of these is VP Records, which moved from Kingston, Jamaica, to Brooklyn and eventually Jamaica Queens in the late 1970s, becoming a major distributor and label in the global spread of reggae. After 40 years, VP Records’ flagship retail space is one of the oldest continuously operated records stores in the Northeast. Other locations of note on the Reggae Trail include Brooklyn’s former Super Power Records, Jah Life, and Coxson’s Music City; Wackie’s House Of Music in the Bronx, and Brooklyn’s 50-year old African Record Centre (the oldest of the group still in operation). Users can click on shop names and obtain a brief history, which includes everything from when it opened to classic productions that emanated from there. Users are strongly encouraged to tag @vprecords and use the hashtag #reggaetrail in social media posts to suggest additional locations or to offer images of their own.

“This project is very exciting and rich in its potential,” said Richard Lue, VP Records’ Director Of Business Development. “The Reggae Trail will continue to grow and the plan is to fill out as much detail about the history of reggae in New York as possible, giving users an opportunity to visit these past and present locations and understand how Caribbean immigration influenced the culture of the city over the past 50 years.”

To experience The Reggae Trail, go to www.thereggaetrail.com. For more information on VP Records, visit www.vprecords.com.

Saturday, April 06, 2019

CHRISTOPHER MARTIN’S ALBUM "AND THEN " TO BE RELEASED MAY 3RD ON VP RECORDS!

The Album features the singles "Life",
"Come Back", "Can't Dweet Again" and More

Following the release of his single “Life”, VP Records is proud to announce that Christopher Martin’s album And Then will be released May 3rd. In his sophomore offering, Christopher Martin presents a well-rounded mix of ballads and up-tempo jams, showcasing his musical versatility and growth with a celebration centered around themes of love, rising above hardship and finding the good in every situation. And Then is the follow up to Martin’s debut full length-album, “Big Deal”, which reached the top 5 on the Reggae Billboard Charts in 2017.

Singles off the album include “Bun Fi Bun,”, “Can’t Dweet Again,” “Come Back” and most recently “Life.” The album also features a standout cover of Mr. Big’s 1991 definitive track, “To Be With You.” Martin’s re-imagining of the love song is a sweet homage, delivering new meaning to the chart-topping single without losing sight of his powerful ability to connect with audiences across the globe and showcase his versatility as an artist not confined to one solitary genre.

With the launch of his second album, Chris was determined to give back and help raise the goals and expectations of youthful fans at home and abroad. In doing so, he teamed with the The Kulture Movement on the #NoDisrespect Campaign, which aims to educate the youth on behaviors that garner respect without resorting to violence. Shani Kulture of Hot 97.1 spearheaded the campaign with his partner Roxie Digital of Hot 103.9 FM and tapped Martin for the “School Tour,” in which workshops and activities with the kids are done to spread the message of positivity and self-worth. In addition to the campaign, Martin expanded his philanthropic efforts by supporting the American Foundation for The University of the West Indies (AFUWI)’s mission of raising funds and providing scholarships for needy students at UWI’s 4 campuses in 17 countries, by performing at their 2019 Legacy Awards gala held in February.

Born in St. Catherine, Jamaica, the now 32-year-old first established himself as an emerging talent following winning Jamaica’s top televised talent show “Digicel Rising Stars” in 2005. Shortly after, Martin went on to navigate his undeniably destined career in music with an eagerness and dedication to establishing his own forward-thinking sound. As exemplified through his energetic live performances and feel-good lyricism, his characteristic positivity is as genuine as it is memorable, allowing him to organically make a name for himself on the beloved island and connect with audiences that stretch far beyond his backyard in the Caribbean.

And Then is a body of work I am very proud of and it comes at a time where I am embarking into a new chapter,” Martin states. “I have a newly born son and new music at the same time and that is a very special thing.”


Friday, April 05, 2019

It’s Official! Jimmy Cliff Now Has His Own Street In Jamaica “Jimmy Cliff Blvd.”



On Thursday, March 28th, Gloucester Avenue, Montego Bay’s famous Hip Strip, was renamed Jimmy Cliff Boulevard. The Hip Strip is internationally known for showcasing various talents in music and arts, and is a major tourist draw in the area.

A very humbled Jimmy Cliff took to the stage last evening at the naming ceremony, and instead of giving a traditional speech, sang snippets of some of his biggest songs in acapella style.

By Maria Jackson Magazine

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Inna De Yard Returns!


From Ken Boothe’s iconic super-hit ‘Everything I Own’ to Horace Andy meets Bill Withers’ masterful ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’, heavyweight Jamaican soul meets rising roots-reggae delivering a global message of peace and harmony

The all-star cast includes: Ken Boothe, Cedric “The Congos” Myton, Kiddus I, Winston McAnuff, The Viceroys, Judy Mowatt (Bob Marley), Jah9, Var and Derajah and a backbone of incredible musicians who have long been the foundations to reggae music

Stripped down to the roots, these 13 contemporary new versions of classic Jamaican recordings, originally from the likes of the Trojan and Studio One studios, are triumphantly fresh and channel Jamaica’s rebel music history. With Rastafari sewn into its sonic seams, Inna De Yard remind us of Jamaica’s vast contribution to popular music around the globe with a cast of golden-generation roots artists whilst introducing a new class of roots-enthused artists from the island. 

Following the release of the album is a feature-length Inna De Yard documentary-film directed by Peter Webber (3 Oscar nominations for Girl with a Pearl Earring), set for its UK and international cinema release alongside a European tour and summer festival dates, including a special beach performance at the music industry Midem Festival in Cannes.

After a sell-out debut tour in France in 2017, the trailblazing quartet of Ken Boothe, Cedric “The Congos” Myton, Kiddus I and Winston McAnuff join forces to front a cross-generational super-group of roots-reggae visionaries, featuring Jamaican vocal trio The Viceroys and Bob Marley backing vocalist and artist Judy Mowatt, as well as Jah9, Var and Derajah, three of Jamaica’s most stirring and spiritually-connected artists on the scene today.

Inna de Yard Website

Digital Outlets to Listen and/or Download