Gospel artiste defends reggae switch

April 23rd, 2017

The artiste, who now dabbles with reggae music, is following the footsteps of veteran artiste Prodigal Son who switched to reggae in 2013 and was met with strong backlash by the Christian community.

However, he believes the practice does not breach the ethics of Christianity."Nothing is wrong with doing gospel and cultural reggae at the same time. After all, reggae and Christianity are two rich aspects of Jamaican culture and most, if not all Christians, do listen to clean cultural reggae music," the artiste, whose real name is Glendon Marvin Henningham, said


via Gospel artiste defends reggae switch.

VIDEO: Stirring The Pot at Angler’s

April 9th, 2017

The Caribbean, with its fresh fruits and natural organic soil, is still not an in-demand destination for food. Why? Because we have not given it our all… Let’s do so now as we declare Jamaica the epicentre of food and generate a global buzz while we eat our way around our beloved country. Giving it our all means identifying a minimum of one restaurant each week and lending financial support. 

The Jamaica Observer Table Talk Food Awards committee leads by example, so from our Parish Gems to Stirring The Pot we ask you to join us, or start your own tour. Share your findings with us and, when we meet on Thursday, May 25, 2017 at the Formal Gardens of Devon House, let us all compare notes with the scores of the judges.

via VIDEO: Stirring The Pot at Angler’s – Food – JamaicaObserver.com.

Nattali Rize brings a new frequency to reggae

April 9th, 2017

Australian singer-songwriter Nattali Rize is fast becoming one to watch on the competitive reggae scene. Following the release of her polished debut album Rebel Frequency, she talks to RFI about breaking into the male-dominated genre, and finding her tribe in Kingston, Jamaica. 

Nattali Rize is surprisingly small in the flesh, but far from fragile. With with her long blond nats and radiant smile outlined in scarlet, she cuts an unusual and refreshing figure on the roots reggae scene.Australian-born, she moved to Kingston, Jamaica, a couple of years ago and launched her live five-piece band with musicians from Jamaica and Australia.

via Nattali Rize brings a new frequency to reggae.

Queen Majesty: How One New Yorker Rose From Reggae DJ to Hot Sauce Royalty

March 26th, 2017

The first time Erica Diehl heard 1960s Jamaican music, her whole world rearranged to make room for it. The current hot sauce maker and former DJ had moved from Buffalo to New York City in 1994, looking to become a painter, when she was hit by the reggae blindside.

“I started collecting everything I could find," she says of her crate-digging early days, before crafting locally-made hot sauces consumed her every waking moment. "This led to discoveries about other eras and artists and started turning into a real specialized collection.” It wasn’t until the early 2000s, when she took a job at a graphic design agency, that someone suggested she make something of this obsession by DJing her expanding collection.

via Queen Majesty: How One New Yorker Rose From Reggae DJ to Hot Sauce Royalty.

Interview: UB40′s Ali Campbell talks reggae, wine and relationships ahead of Wrexham gig

March 26th, 2017

Almost 40 years on from his band’s first release, Ali Campbell still believes he has a very special job to do when it comes to maintaining the popularity of the music he plays.

“It was always our mission to promote reggae,” he tells me, ahead of UB40’s gig at Wrexham’s Racecourse Ground in May.

“I’m still doing the same thing I was doing all those years ago – promoting reggae music because it’s the music I love.”

via Interview: UB40′s Ali Campbell talks reggae, wine and relationships ahead of Wrexham gig.

The World According to Chronixx—Reggae Star, Wellness Guru

March 12th, 2017

You could be forgiven for making an assumption when a Rastafari reggae artist named Chronixx sings about "spending every dollar" on a green substance that gives him confidence and calms his nerves. But you’d probably be wrong.

Not that the 24-year-old rising star from Jamaica doesn’t smoke weed (he vapes). But it’s the spirulina he adds to tea, coconut water, and daily smoothies that he wrote a whole song about. In his eponymous ode to protein-packed algae powder, he sings that food should be your medicine, and your medicine your food.

As a fan, I was psyched to meet Chronixx just before he kicked off his 2017 Chronology Tour. As a writer at a health and fitness publication, I saw the story of an unlikely role model who embodies wellness in his work and peppers his concert-photo-filled Instagram feed with Warrior Poses and the ingredients for porridge.

via The World According to Chronixx—Reggae Star, Wellness Guru | SELF.

Spaceships, vegan food and branches of marijuana – in Jamaica with reggae’s legends

March 12th, 2017

To hear one of the best roots reggae albums to come out of Kingston, Jamaica, this spring, you have to drive a long way from Trench Town. In fact, you have to leave the city altogether and head up high into the mountains that surround it.Not every taxi is keen on making the trip, so you might want to enlist a local’s help and hope their car’s suspension can take it the vehicle I find myself in seems to have given up on the concept of suspension long ago, the undercarriage cracking as we bounce along the potholes.

As you climb, you watch Kingston unfurl below, eventually arriving not at a recording studio, but a house hidden in the hills. And on the balcony, overlooking the rolling lush greenery of the Blue Mountains, is where some of reggae music’s biggest legends – from the Congos’ Cedric Myton to Ken Boothe – have congregated to record alongside talents from the younger generation.

via Spaceships, vegan food and branches of marijuana – in Jamaica with reggae's legends | Music | The Guardian.

The True Story of Rastafari

January 8th, 2017

For Jamaica’s leaders, Rastafari has been an important aspect of the country’s global brand. Struggling with sky-high unemployment, vast inequality, and extreme poverty (crippling debt burdens from IMF agreements haven’t helped the situation), they have relied on Brand Jamaica—the government’s explicit marketing push, beginning in the 1960s—to attract tourist dollars and foreign investment to the island. The government-backed tourist industry has long encouraged visitors to Come to Jamaica and feel all right; and in 2015, the country decriminalized marijuana—creating a further draw for foreigners seeking an authentic Jamaican experience. The Jamaica Property Office (JIPO), part of the government’s larger Jamaican Promotions Agency (JAMPRO), works to protect the country’s name and trademarks from registration by outside entities with no connection to Jamaican goods and services. Meanwhile, Brand Jamaica is being exploited globally too, with billions of dollars of revenue generated each year from Rasta-themed products—from clothing and headphones to pipes, even energy drinks.

Yet it can be hard to reconcile the image sold to the world with local realities—not to mention the original politics and principles of the Rastafari movement. Rastafari began not simply as a form of countercultural expression or fringe religious belief. It involved a fight for justice by disenfranchised Jamaicans, peasant laborers and the urban underemployed alike, in what was then a British colony. In the 1930s, the Rastafari established a self-sufficient community to put their beliefs into practice. Almost eighty years later, the people Marley’s music spoke to—members of Jamaica’s “sufferah” underclass—continue to live in deep poverty, while the redemptive social organization the movement sought to create has been largely forgotten.

via The True Story of Rastafari.

Bedasse was central to mento era of J’can music

January 8th, 2017

Alerth Rockford Bedasse was central to the mento era of Jamaican music. He was the lead vocalist and chief music arranger for perhaps the most popular mento aggregation: The Chins Calypso Quintet. Along with Count Lasher, Harold Richardson and The Ticklers and Lord Flea and His Calypsonians, they were the essence of the mento upsurge during its heyday of 1950 to 1956. Bedasse’s role was crucial to a movement that not only became the forerunner of ska and rocksteady, but also had an influence on reggae.

Born in a district named May Kraal in north Clarendon, Bedasse grew up in Pennants. He got into music when two cousins, after observing his youthful musical exuberance, coincidentally bought him two guitars as presents from America. It inspired him to begin fooling around with the instruments, and after observing his musician friends operate theirs, the youngster began teaching himself to play the instrument.

via The Music Diaries | Bedasse was central to mento era of J'can music | Entertainment | Jamaica Gleaner.

John Blake’s happy with his One Life

January 2nd, 2017

AMERICAN rapper John Blake is re-establishing his Jamaican roots with his latest single One Life. The track is a collab with reggae singer Ambelique.

“It is a blend of hip hop and reggae music on world issues, self-empowerment, human challenges and faith,” he said. “The single is doing well. We have started to get some airplay on a few local radio stations in Jamaica.”

via John Blake’s happy with his One Life.