Jah Cure: ‘I only want the best because I’ve seen the worst’

August 10th, 2015

MUCH HAS been written in recent years about the state of reggae music. A combination of poor sales, the closure of specialist record shops, and young producers shifting away from traditional reggae sounds has led many writers (myself included) to question whether the beloved genre has suffered a decline.

If indeed reggae is dying, Jah Cure has delivered The Cure.

The new album from the reggae star debuted at number one on the US Billboard Reggae Albums Chart; was hailed a “certified classic” by The Washington Times; and was billed by iTunes as a collection of songs that will “change the course of reggae.”

via Jah Cure: 'I only want the best because I've seen the worst' | The Voice Online.

Reggae on a high at Geel

August 10th, 2015

Last Saturday, the 37th Reggae Geel festival closed in Belgium. True to form, it showcased a diverse package of acts including the Uprising Roots Band, Super Cat, Shaggy and Etana.

Promoter Dee Prater estimates that over 66,000 fans attended the two-day event which she described as “more than successful”.

“This year, I brought Super Cat to Europe for the first time in history and he rocked and didn’t stop. He brought on Josey (Wales) and Brigadier Jerry and also performed at the dancehall stage with David Rodigan,” Prater told the Sunday Observer.

via Reggae on a high at Geel.

Shaggy: ‘I never had budgets. I’m the reggae guy’

August 2nd, 2015

THERE AREN’T an abundance of Jamaican music artists who can claim to be both pop stars and reggae stars. Generally speaking, you’re either one or the other.

But somehow, Shaggy has enjoyed a 22-year career, in which he has successfully straddled both markets time and time again.

His 1993 debut album, Pure Pleasure, featured the dancehall favourite, Big Up, which, to this day, still solidifies Shaggy as a dancehall don. The same album also spawned the unforgettable, Oh Carolina – which marked the beginning of his journey as a pop sensation.

via Shaggy: I never had budgets. I’m the reggae guy.

5 Songs You Need to Hear by Rising Reggae Star Kabaka Pyramid – The Root

July 28th, 2015

The young lion from Kingston held his own, exhibiting star quality as well as proving that people were ready for his music. Couple that with recent moves—including an appearance this year at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas; his U.S. tour with a stop at New York City’s SOB’s; and an impressive European touring schedule—and there’s no question that Kabaka Pyramid is gunning for international stardom.     

Kabaka, born Keron Salmon, began his musical journey around 2002. A fan of hip-hop, he would recite rap lyrics from the Kingston-born Canibus and Inspectah Deck of Wu-Tang Clan fame. He continued performing hip-hop when he moved to Orlando, Fla., finding some encouraging success by landing a track, “Dear Hip-Hop,” as Ronny Pyramid with fellow rapper Young Diction on the DJ Green Lantern mixtape Myspace Invasion Part 2 in 2007.

via 5 Songs You Need to Hear by Rising Reggae Star Kabaka Pyramid.

Jamaica’s new copyright means Jamaicans pay for reggae the rest of the world gets free

July 28th, 2015

Jamaica now has the third-longest copyright term in the world, and the term extension has been imposed retrospectively, all the way back to works created in 1962, the year ska burst on the public scene.The new term only binds on Jamaicans, meaning that the currently public domain Jamaican works that are going back into copyright will be free for foreigners long before they’re free for Jamaicans again, a situation that will apply to all Jamaican works produced from 1962 onward.

“what will happen is that we will, in fact, be paying out to foreign copyright holders in foreign exchange for the continued use of foreign works in Jamaica, while our own rights holders will only benefit up to the 50, 70 or 80 years that exist in other countries”. So all that this measure has accomplished is that citizens of Jamaica, a developing country, will be paying more money into Hollywood’s coffers, while Jamaica’s own rich cultural heritage draws in not a penny more in return. Yay?

via Jamaica’s new copyright means Jamaicans pay for reggae the rest of the world gets free.

Hyde behind the camera

July 12th, 2015

MUSIC video director and film producer Jerome Hyde has 10 years of experience under his belt. He has worked on major Hollywood films and television shows as well as videos for hip hop and reggae acts.

Currently in Kingston for the inaugural Jamaica Film Festival, the 30-year-old Washington DC native wants to learn more about the latest production trends, as well as share some of his knowledge and experience.

“My main reason for attending the Jamaica Film Festival is to learn from it. Although I have 10 years experience, I’m never too old to learn. So going to the festival, I wanted to see what’s there to offer and what I can offer,” he said.

via Hyde behind the camera.

Mystic Dub spreads reggae’s positive sounds

July 12th, 2015

Reaiah True, born in Jordan, grew up to crisscross the U.S., living in New York, California, Texas, Maryland and Maine before settling outside Grand Haven.The singer and guitarist was reared on classical music, folk, soul and jazz, and has worked in musical theater, toured with rock legend Neil Young as a dancer in his “Greendale” production and appeared in several under-the-radar movies, including 2009’s “Modus Operandi” with actor Danny Trejo.

But True has flourished amid this cornucopia of experiences and found her voice as a reggae musician in the group Mystic Dub. The band, including her husband and bandmate, drummer Juan John Carlos, is celebrating its 10th year of making music in Michigan, aka “Decade of Dub.”

via Mystic Dub spreads reggae's positive sounds – Traverse City Record-Eagle: Local News.

Listening Local: Local Promoters Bring Reggae To Cape Cod

June 22nd, 2015

“The traditions, achievements, beliefs, etc., that are part of the history of a group or nation” is how heritage is defined, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary.

Music plays a strong role transferring these intangibles from one generation to the next. International reggae group Morgan Heritage carries tradition not only in their melodies and rhythms but in their very bloodline. They will showcase that rich musical heritage on Friday, June 26, here on the Cape at Pufferbellies nightclub in Hyannis.

The five children of reggae artist Denroy Morgan formed Morgan Heritage in 1994. Since then they have cemented themselves as a premier live reggae act, traveling around the world and releasing critically acclaimed albums

via Listening Local: Local Promoters Bring Reggae To Cape Cod.

Mavado’s sis Joey Brooks finds Serenity

June 22nd, 2015

Joey Brooks is enjoying some traction with her latest song, Serenity, a duet with her Live MB Music Productions label-mate Jay Prince.

The 28-year-old singer is not surprised that the single is doing well.

“We have great chemistry together, and the response to the song has been excellent. It’s been great,” she said.

via Mavado’s sis Joey Brooks finds Serenity.

Spice up your beach break in Jamaica

June 11th, 2015

Levi Roots is handing me a spoon bubbling with hot, coconutty liquid. The musician-turned-chef is holding court at a cooking demonstration in the Jamaican sunshine and what he’s making smells amazing.

I was first to volunteer to taste his creation, and as I slurp up the contents of the spoon I’m delighted I put my hand up. “That’s stupidly good!” I exclaim involuntarily. Levi laughs. Since that TV appearance on Dragons’ Den he has launched his now-multi-million-pound Reggae Reggae Sauce empire and published seven cookbooks.

It is perhaps down to him that Caribbean cooking is now so popular across Britain and the dividends of his success are evident in his happy demeanour and the startling amount of bling he wears. Of course he knows his food is stupidly good.

via Spice up your beach break in Jamaica.