Taj Weekes Art Is His Social Conscience: Interview
Taj Weekes is an enigma… on the one hand deeply serious and intensely passionate about his worldviews and on the other hand a gentle and humble man with a quick and easy smile. Weekes has a chameleon-like talent for blending into his surroundings as he keenly observes the world spinning around him, but the moment he steps on stage, locks flowing, he reveals the regal bearing of a mighty lion, his voice rising from a hoarse whisper to a throaty growl.
New Star Rising - "Five Minutes with....Courtney "Yogi" John
In the music industry, the term 'artist' is often arbitrarily tossed around like a basketball at an NBA finals. In my opinion however, a true artiste, not just as it pertains to music but in any field, is some who possesses the ability to not only pay homage to the genesis or foundations of that art form, but able to successfully incorporate their own unique flavor or brand to it.
Claudelle Clarke-A Pioneer of Jamaican Gospel Music:Celebrating 41 years of Music.
Her music is spiritually motivating and uplifting. It has the power to get audiences on their feet every time, singing, clapping and praising the Lord together in unison. Come and read more on Claudelle Clarke -The Queen of Jamaican Gospel Music!
Interview with Duane...Rising Star
This month I interview Jamaican-American rising star Duane "D-WAYNE" Howard. Being born with a gift is one thing. Recognizing and utilizing that gift to it's full potential is another. Born in Brooklyn, New York to Jamaican parents Duane Howard, better known throughout the music fraternity as D-Wayne.
Five Minutes With:Everton Blender
Touted as being amoung the few artists able to successfully find a cohesive synthesis between the often inimical mediums of Dancehall and Culture Reggae, Everton Blender has not only managed to attain international success in a genre where others have struggled to be heard, but established himself as a pioneer in the quest to introduce Culture Reggae, to the mainstream. With an unprecidented slew of hits such as, "Lift Up Your Head", "Ghetto People Song", and "Gwaan Natty" the singer, songwriter, and producer still regards himself as only, "...a humble messenger..." trying to uplift and educate the masses with a message of positivity. I recently caught up with him and graciously he agreed to grant us a "Five Minutes With" interview.
‘Rompin Shop’ Created and Manipulated Controversy
The use Ne-Yo’s successful single ‘Miss Independence’ hit rhythm by Dance Hall maestro Vybz Kartel on his Did Vybz Kartel create a controversy to manipulate it, I wonder? ‘Rompin Shop’ track may have been a stroke master of genius from marketing perspective given the reported 250, 000 hits on youtube to date. Kartel primary concern here is popularity, fame and money. He knew using Ne-Yo’s rhythm was illegal, because he had not obtained legal clearance to use it, but he wanted to ride on the success of success of Ne-Yo’ track to boost his ‘Rompin Shop’ sales and popularity. EMI issued Kartel to cease and desist court order forcing him to change the riddim on his song. EMI have not asked YouTube to take down the video version of Rompin Shop, the more popular of the two videos, to date. Why? That’s another story
Bob Marley Trivia
This month we celebrate Bob Marley day. Do you think you know Bob Marley? Take our trivia quiz and see how well you know Bob Marley.
Bob Marley, National Hero? Does Jamaica need another one?
Bob Marley’s 64th birthday was February 1 and February is officially Reggae month in Jamaica and the discussion of making him a national hero is heating. When I wrote the above cover in 2000 raising the specter of Bob Marley being considered for national hero status in Jamaica, my intention was to provoke a debate on the merits of his candidacy and viability of whether or not Jamaica needed another national hero.
Reggae Artist outpricing themselves
As the global economy heads into a tailspin, it is expected that it will have a profound effect on many sectors in Jamaica
. I believe that one of the sectors that will be greatly impacted is the music industry
Ladies First: Boogie on Reggae Women
Having fired a proverbial shot across the of reggae music’s bow in 2007 Reggae Female artist continue establishing their dominance in big way for 2008. First off there are so many female entertainers this year, including an ever increasing crop of new artists with songs getting air time, like Tifa, Alibra, Natalie Storm, Pamputtae, Timberlee, a.k.a "TNT, Althea ‘Di Chic’ Hewitt, Natalie Storm, Lady Raine Seville, veterans Lady Saw, D'Angel, Stacious, Spice, Macka Diamond, Lady G, Queen Paula, Miss Thing and Ce'Cile to name a few. It is a joy to keep track of them. Reggae music may well be on its to shedding it sexist image Let’s look at what the females in reggae and Caribbean music have done for the first half of 2008.
10 Question with Christian Dancehall Artist Mr. Gody Gody
This month we pose 10 questions to Christian Dancehall artist Mr Gody Gody. He is one of the top Jamaican Christian Dancehall artists in Jamaica. A formed secular DJ, Mr Gody Gody is committed to doing whatever it takes to win souls for the Kingdom of God.
William Stewart—A Past Member of the Legendary ‘Third World’ Band....The Man, His Passion, and His ‘Solutions In Music.’
Willie Stewart-a member of the unforgettable and amazing Third World Band. He was also one of the creators and origina band member of the impressive Inner Circle band. Willie was the prolific drummer for Third World for twenty one (21) years. Come and read along as he shares the personal details of how his passion for the drums/music began (PartI), his Journey with Third World (Part II), his life beyond Third World (Part III) and how he created 'Solutions in Music' (Part IV). Come and meet one of the pioneers of reggae music---Willie Stewart!!
Irie Jamboree 08: A Tribute to Caribbean Athletes
Irie Jamboree, the largest reggae music festival held Labor Day in Roy Wilkins Park in New York City closed out the summer in spectacular fashion. The 6th staging of Jamboree 2k7 had Mother Nature’s blessing weather-wise; it was a perfect day, a slight breeze and warm temperatures.
A Chat with Nadine Blair, Jamaica’s Radio & TV Personality (Love 101 FM & Love TV)
A spiritually motivated Jamaica Radio and Television personality with a passion for solo and choral performances at Church and Gospel concerts, Nadine attends and emcees concerts and events globally. Nadine started Allowed to Shine Ministries – the umbrella organization for Perpetual Praise- The Praise Continues; Singled Out Singles Ministry; When the Ministers Meet To Pray and Praise in da Streets....Come and Meet Nadine.....
Open letter to Freddie McGregor
On Friday 7/11/2008, I was undoubtedly happy to watch the great Freddie McGregor perform at Mangoville in New York City. It was musical acme for me. His performance was one of distinctive and superior quality. Watching the show from close proximity, I was able to see his demeanor as he performed.
Jamaica Day 2008
On July 26, thousands of fellow ‘yardies’ from all walks of life and some from as far as Ottawa and Montreal converge on Toronto to celebrate Jamaica Day 2008. The massive of people did not just simply show up though out of a sheer desire to come gallivant but did so out of patriotism, solidarity and nationhood pride to honor Jamaica’s 46th Anniversary of self-governance from them British tyrants.
Interview with Junior "Gabu" Wedderburn
This month we interview Junior "Gabu" Wedderburn master drummer of Broadway's 'The Lion King'., His drumming styles and music draws upon the traditional Jamaican ritual styles of Kumina, Afro-Christian Pocomania, Tambu, Bruckins, and Nyabinghi. He fuses this with African tribal drumming to create a unique sound that is universal..
An Interview Jamelody
Every ever so often special talent comes along with a charismatic voice. Trinidadian reggae singer Michael Williams is a special talent and a charismatic vocalist. Williams says he sings God’s melodies and chose, most appropriately, the name JAMELODY. Like reggae’s defining vocalist Dennis Brown, JAMELODY’s vocal style bridges R&B, Pop/Rock, Gospel to Reggae.
Review: Best Of The Best….A Few Of The Best
Best Of The Best has the reputation of being best reggae stage-show north of Jamaica. Most years, patrons are treated to a high quality show, filled with top billing artists. This year, there were a good amount of top performers, but the line-up was a bit lighter than usual.
An Interview with Etana: The Strong One
With hit songs ‘Wrong address’ (2006) ‘Roots’ (2007) and her chart topper ‘Warrior Love’ Etana has had several # 1 songs on Jamaican, England, Us and the Virgin Island on reggae charts. Arguably the most successful female singer in reggae today, she’s struck a symbiotic chord with audiences. This Jamaican born Miami bred siren described by Vibe magazine as “established herself as formidable performer and songwriter whose music and reputation precedes her’ has won the female Singer of the Year for 2007 at several award shows this year including the International Reggae and World Music Award and the Reggae Academy Award. On stage she exudes a regal bearing and the attitude of a diva; her live stage presence commands attention
REGGAE - IN - MOTION
Singer Kris Kelli is one of the new breed of female artist. She entered the music business in 2003. Her debut CD “My World” was released in Japan by Pony Canyon in 2006. The album boasts 15 tracks including two collaborations with Beenie Man and Vybz Kartel. Kelli’s had several successful singles, including ‘Fly Boy’ “Fame” w/ Vybz Kartel, ‘Step it up’ and ‘Truth Unfolds’ and a remake of Althea & Donna’s 70’s chart topping hit ‘Uptown Top Ranking’. Kriss is no stranger to international success having had two # 1 song in Italy “Hide Away” and “Flip Up”. Jamaicans.com Stan Evan Smith spoke with Kriss.
Reggae - In - Motion : Beres ‘Cudjo’ Hammond: The Man, His Thoughts, and His Music
Who is Beres ‘Cudjo’ Hammond? The “Reggae Role Model of The Year” in Jamaica according to the Excellence in Music and Entertainment Awards for 2008. Arguably, the most successful songwriter/composer/singer/performer in Reggae music’ since 1990, Hammond is the voice of Reggae soul power.
Hammond’s effect on audiences often times defies description, but let me try. ‘Cudjo’ Hammond’ romantic rude boy love songs have women literally lose their minds, and their clothes.
A Conversation With Musical Artist, Family & Child Activist And Air Jamaica Jazzfest Performer Michael Bolton
The architecture of great music is province of creativity. Michael Bolton is a musical artist; blessed with an abundance of talent he combines his song writing and music producing skills. His great vocal ability spans many musical to create genre defying music.
Interview: 'Pepse' Brown - A Gospel Artiste's Uncompromising Faith
Lloyd Brown or ‘Pepse’, as he is known, has chosen this name on the premise that he is the ‘one that always pray for just about everything’. This God-ordained name as an acronym means ‘Praying Everyday Persistently Seeking Elohim’. He also jokenly added, “I am also a pepsi drinker as oppose to coke’.
Who’s really responsible for DANCEHALL decadence?
February was declared Reggae month; Reggae music is therefore destined to gain added notoriety locally as well as overseas because of its close association with brand Jamaica . Dancehall music is unquestionably the most popular genre. It is unapologetically raw and rude being a creation of the rabble. It is therefore by nature uncouth and uncontrollable. A firestorm has erupted as to whether dancehall is the source of our decadence or its natural by-product, the jury is still out.
It’s Official, February is Reggae Month.
There was a month long wide range of activities staged to celebrate February as Reggae Month. February, which is also Black History month and when the Grammy award for 'Best Reggae s Album is given, was chosen, partly because it coincides with the birth of Bob Marley, the King of Reggae music and Dennis Brown, the Crown Prince of Reggae music.
The DUNAMIS Experience Interview: A Dancehall Gospel Artiste Tells All
Dunamis: a Greek word which essentially means ‘POWER’. According to Neil Hall, aka Dunamis, “I did not choose the name, the name chose me’. Dunamis is scheduled to have an album launch concert (called the Dunamis Experience) on April 5, 2008 at the Macedonia Center in Mount Vernon, New York. Even though his album (DUNAMIS) has been accessible to the public since June 2006, Dunamis did not have an official celebration of his album. He has shared stage with gospel heavy weights, to name a few, Papa San, Carlene Davis and Grace Thrillers.
Tributes to Dennis Brown, the Crown Prince of Reggae Music
The mark of one who is great can always be measured by the how he is respected by his peers, read what Freddie McGregor, Richie Stephens and Ibo Cooper have to say about Dennis Brown’s importance to Jamaican music and Brown’s impact on Freddie & Richie careers.
Reggae’s Crown Prince Should be Honored
Brown is arguably the greatest singer in the history of Jamaican music,his contribution to Jamaican music makes him just as much an architect of reggae music as Bob Marley.
Ajaniah Sule- The Rising of A ‘Reggae Prophetic Voice’ in the Wilderness?
Ajaniah’s memoir includes being a former informal DJ for various sessions, obtaining a Masters Degree at the University of the West Indies in Applied Mathematics with components of Physics. He is currently a full time Lecturer at University of Technology and part time Lecturer at UWI and Jamaica Constabulary Staff College. The launching of his debut album AJANAIAH-Free Chants of Reggae Chapter One.
Alaine, Music is all Me
At 29 Alaine (Laughton) hot, at the top of her game as female reggae entertainer she’s had more hit singles than any other female reggae artist this year. Alaine is the heavy favorite female singer of the year. She’s the perfect combination of beauty and multi talent, she is also an actress, copping a role in the Whoopi Goldberg movie 'Clara's Heart.
I-Wayne Book of Life
Book of Life” is not as hot as Lava. However, on Life Wayne cast himself as the 'fire warrior' against injustice. It is chock full of danceable and some familiar rhythms like ‘Free the People
(Sattamasagana riddim) and Good Enough
(Burning Spear’s ‘Call on you’.)
The album maintains Lava militancy; it is just more reflective. The Book of Life
is definitely a must for roots and culture fans and should garner new ones. Life is the singer’s best and most enjoyable work to-date. Now if we could just find a hit single on life.
Rewind & Review Big Heist RiDDim
For the most part these riddims have successfully propelled a new crop of ghetto posturing gangster artists like Vybz Kartel, Movado, Adonia to the fore. Big Heist RiDDim
is chock full of positive messages -a fresh riddim.
Interview with Dennis Thompson Pt2
Dennis Thompson has forgotten more important events in modern music than most people know of. From an early age, it seemed, Thompson was destined for a career in music.
Calibe Thompson, a Fresh Female Singer
Calibe isn’t a household name in Jamaican music though she is Jamaican. She claims reggae as her root because that is where she’s from. To get her unique sound Calibe mixes pop and rock and soul and jazz. Flattered though she is by comparisons to female singers like Diana King, India.Arie and Lauryn Hill she says she doesn’t sound like any of them because her voice and style changes with each song. Calibe has toured with Beenie Man and opened Kevin Lyttle. I spoke with this relatively unknown singer.
Reggae Interview Series: Reggae Music In Estonia
This month in our series "Reggae Around the World" we interview the group Def Räädu from Estonia. The group's mixture of reggae with dub, trip hop, house, rock steady and jazzy flavored beats has produced hits singles in Estonia and Europe.
Peter Tosh - Reggae's Black Prince
The history of reggae music, or the reggae story, and its importance is invariably
and inextricably linked to the Wailers, Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer and Bob Marley. They single-handedly transformed what pop music could be used for as an instrument of liberation. As the Wailers, they created a complex music, Reggae music, and redefined in popular culture by shifting the focus to concerns with the realities of the poor and oppressed and their quest for equal rights and justice.
Dennis ‘De Menace” Thompson: Engineer Extraordinaire - Part 1
What has Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Monty Alexander, Alicia Keys, Missy Elliot, Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Buju Banton and Marcus Miller all have in common? They are music legends and great musicians you say, well, the question wouldn’t be asked were the answer quite that easy. Try Dennis Thompson, he has worked with all of them. Dennis Thompson, a Kingston College old boy who migrated to New York City in 1973 is one the worlds best live show engineers.
Reggae Interview Series: Reggae Music In Japan
This month our series "Reggae Around the World" we interview DJ Tokiya from Black Assassin Sound System in Japan. The have been playing reggae at night clubs, dances and on the radio in Japan for over 15 years.
Judith Gayle……..A Story of How the Sun Shined Again
Judith Gayle-Wright was born and raised in Chateau, Clarendon. From ever since she could remember, music has always been her love. She traveled to the Cayman Islands to perform in 1983, and when she was about 14 years of age, she auditioned for the ‘Tastee Talent Competition’. Although she was not selected for the competition, Judith had shown her audience a taste of what is to come.