Friday, May 12, 2017

Jah9 Releases Video Prosper and Announces West Coast Tour







In celebration of National Reggae Day in Brazil, reggae revivalist Jah9 has released the video for her single ‘Prosper’. The self- produced song illuminates her raw intense vocals, while the gritty black and white visual displays her performing intensely into a microphone with solo shots of her band. 
The release of the video leads the songstress into her Unafraid U.S. West Coast tour beginning May 28th at The Cali Roots Festival. The tour ends mid-June and stops include UCLA, San Diego, Sacramento, Portland, Seattle and more. 
For more information about Jah9 and her full tour schedule, please visit: http://www.jah9.com/.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

CHRONIXX’S DEBUT ALBUM CHRONOLOGY TO BE RELEASED JUNE 30, 2017 (MAY 19 PRE-ORDER) Billboard Reveals Track Listing & Premieres Song “Skankin Sw



On June 30, 2017, Chronixx will release his official
debut album Chronology. “Evolution,” “uprising,” “continuation” and “Rastafari” - are words used by the 24-year-old singer-songwriter. The identifying aspects embody every nuance of his long-awaited opus. They tell the story of a young Jamaican music prodigy whose conscious views of the world carry the tradition of the island’s forebearers, yet also blazes a new path for traditional and non-traditional listeners. Since 2012, Chronixx has organically built that devoted fanbase, turning industry heads as one of Jamaica’s fastest, most-promising talents to represent the iconic Caribbean island to a global audience.
Billboard announced details about his forthcoming LP Chronology accompanied by a streaming preview of the album's next single "Skankin Sweet" produced by the French duo Bost & Bim. The “richly textured one drop groove” will be available through all online retail platforms May 19, 2017, the same day to pre-order the album.
Chronixx is currently touring in support of release. See full list of dates on www.chronixxmusic.com.
Chronology Track Listing:
1. Spanish Town Rocking
2. Big Bad Sound featuring Chronicle
3. Skankin Sweet
4. Ghetto Paradise
5. Country Boy
6. Smile Jamaica
7. I Can
8. Selassie Children
9. Black is Beautiful
10. Majesty
11. Loneliness
12. Likes
13. Tell Me Now
14. Legend
15. Christina
16. I Know Love [Bonus Track]

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Marjorie Kay









On April 14, 2017 Island Treasure Music will release it's second single of the year "Vision" which features the beautiful vocals of Marjorie Kay. The song is a Stevie Wonder original which was released on his 1973 album "Innervisions".

This  Reggae rendition of "Vision" is produced by stellar bassist Glen Browne which features members of his Constructive Noise Band, distributed by Zojak Worldwide and is now available on Pre Order from the iTunes store.  

ABOUT THE ARTIST
The modest and humble Marjorie-Kay is one of Jamaica’s most enchanting songstresses. Born in September, 1961, Marjorie-Kay is now in the prime of her life and is returning to the music scene with an intention to captivate the hearts of music lovers far and wide.  

In her earlier years, Marjorie-Kay shared the stage with stalwart musicians such as Jackie Jackson, Desmond Young, Glen Browne, Mallory Williams and Carl Ayton, working at The Jonkunno Lounge. In the late 1970’s, Marjorie-Kay recorded her debut single “Someday We’ll Be Together” (A Diana Ross cover), produced by Lloyd Lovindeer. 

In the early 80’s, Marjorie-Kay took a break from the music scene to nurture her family, while still making appearances in studio and on stage. Since her time at The Jonkunno Lounge, Marjorie-Kay has recorded several songs on the Island Treasure Label, with producer Glen Browne. Most notable among her recordings are cover song, “Baltimore”, and her soulful feature on Mutabaruka’s version of “Moody’s Mood”. With her passion for singing constantly burning bright, Marjorie-Kay has made appearances at choice venues and events such as Weekendz, Christopher’s, Redbones, Blue Monk, “Wellfest”, Desi Jones & Friends’ “Jazzin” and a host of other private functions. 

Marjorie-Kay’s latest recording is a cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Vision”, produced by Glen Browne for the Island Treasure Label. Now working on an album to be released in 2018, Marjorie-Kay is sure to be a soothing addition to the music industry, with her love for roots reggae and flair for crooning a beautiful ballad.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Reggae Songbird Etana Headed to Kenya









Reggae Songbird Etana Headed to Kenya

After a moving and inspiring performance for International Women's Day in Jamaica, soulful songbird Etana is headed to Kenya to lend her voice for a concert and a cause.

The multi-award winner and newly independent artist is slated to perform at "Dobba Fest" on March 18th, 2017 alongside reggae stars Luciano and Richie Spice. A humble and excited Etana stated " My fans in Kenya have steadily been asking for me, so I’m looking forward to hearing my Kenyan people singing to me in perfect harmony."

With her memorable honey coated voice, Etana will perform from her vast repertoire of hits and classics, as well as new material such as her recently released stirring single "Know Who I Am", "..If you see me walking much lighter Oh that’s because I know who I am and if you see my smile getting brighter It simply means I do understand.." With it's heartening lyrics, the latter has already garnered attention and momentum on the airwaves, "The songs speaks of where we were as a people and where we are now and where I wish for us all to be as people. United and strong." - Etana. "Know Who I Am" has also delivered beautiful visuals in the form of a lyrical video.

As philanthropy plays an integral part of Etana's life, during her Kenya journey, the songstress will take part in a youth initiative organized by Brand Afrika for the government Ministry in charge of the Studio Mashinani project. " I will be involved in a couple of youth empowerment music workshops prior to the showI am always willing to give my time to share and encourage the youths. "

Upon her return Etana will head back to the studio to put the finishing touches on her upcoming album, slated to be released later this year.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Dubmatix




2017 JUNO AWARD NOMINATED FOR BEST REGGAE RECORDING (Canada’s Grammy’s)  (7th Nomination / 2010 Winner)

The ​Canadian​ composer, producer, multi-instrumentalist and seven-time JUNO Award winner and nominee hails from Toronto but has carved out a massive following on the international stage. He is a recording machine, from his debut release​ Champion Sound Clash​ in 2004, the Toronto-born ​Dubmatix ​has gone on to produce and record over​ 500 releases​ (Albums, EPs, Dubs, Remixes)

His vast collection of recordings have garnered multiple music awards from all over the world including France, Portugal, Germany and the U.K., along with critical praise from the international music industry insiders and tastemakers such as ​BBC Radio's Don Letts​, ​XM Radio USA​,​ iTunes Canada​ & USA respectively who have recognized & celebrated ​Dubmatix​' relentless inventiveness and creative style.

The accolades continue with yet another honour awarded by​ Billboard Magazine ​(September 2016 issue), who crowned   ​Dubmatix  "Is This Love" ​rendition as the​ #1 Bob Marley Remix of all time​! To date, the track has garnered over​ 8 million​ streams & growing!

2017 is already shaping up to be another big year for Dubmatix' fans (2.8 million followers on Soundcloud and 270,000 on Facebook) as the prolific composer recently completed a remix for 2016 Grammy winners Morgan Heritage​. The  recently releases two-disc deluxe edition of "Strictly Roots​" - contains the ​Dubmatix Blaze Up Remix of "Light It U​p”, which is already receiving rave reviews from outlets like:

Big Shot DJ Magazine ​- "​On his interpretation, the JUNO award-winning mixmaster maintains the original's infectious quality while managing to turn up the heat a few more degrees for maximum dance floor enjoyment
​ .".

Most anticipated this year, will see the composer extraordinaire Dubmatix, release a new album with legendary duo & ​2017 Grammy nominated​ artists​ Sly & Robbie​. The collaboration will be entitled ​"Overdubbed - Dubmatix meets Sly & Robbie" ​and is scheduled for release on Echo Beach​ in the summer of 2017.

Never one to stand still when he's not in the studio working on new material, his legions of fans can catch Dubmatix when he kicks off the 2017 touring season in April with a packed schedule of shows in France, Greece and the U.K.

http://www.dubmatix.com http://www.reggae-loops.com http://www.facebook.com/dubmatix http://www.soundcloud.com/dubmatix http://www.twitter.com/dubmatix


Over the years Dubmatix has worked with the Who’s Who of reggae legends Alton Ellis, Freddie McGregor, Pinchers, Sugar Minott, Willi Williams, Ranking Joe, Anthony B, Turbulence, Eek-A-Mouse, Horace Andy, Linval Thompson, Mykal Rose, Wayne Smith, Luciano, U Roy, Cornell Campbell, The Mighty Diamonds, Dennis Alcapone, Prince Alla, Lone Ranger and dozens more.

Gappy Ranks







Born Jacob Williams In Harlesden To A Jamaican Father And Dominican Mother, He Dealt With Numerous Obstacles After Leaving School. Once He Overcame These Issues He Joined Up With Childhood Friend And Fellow Artist Reddmann (Uk), And Was Enlisted Into The Uk Dancehall Collective Suncycle. Their First Album Titled Suncyle Included Ranks' Homage To His Home Town, "Harlesden". Their Second Album I Am Somebody Was Released On The Uk Label Jamdown Records. Ranks Left The Group In 2004 And Began His Solo Career. Nicknamed 'Gappy' Due To The Gap Between His Front Teeth, He Initially Worked Under The Name 'Daddy Gappy', Before Opting For The Cutty Ranks
Influenced 'Gappy Ranks'. In 2005 Gappy Ranks Was Featured On The Vice Law Entertainment Mix Tapes. That Same Year, He Won The 'Best Song' Award At London's Silk Awards For "Little Understanding", Released By Uk Reggae Record Label Stingray Records, Also In 2005, Ranks Contributed To The Single "What We Do" By Kray Twinz Featuring Twista And Lethal B, Which Charted Nationally In The Uk At Number 23. Ranks Performed Live At Earl's Court In Front Of A Crowd Of 17, 000 For The First Kiss 100 Awards. He Also Played A Full Uk Tour Which Brought Him To Cities Such As Manchester, Birmingham, And Newcastle. He Recorded For Former Uk Reggae Giants Jet Star Records In North West London Where He Became Assistant Engineer, Giving Him Time To Grow And Develop His Love For Music And Network Which Led Him To Work With Record Label Peckings. On 26 December 2009 Gappy Ranks Childhood Wish Was Granted, As He Performed At The Celebrated Annual Sting Event In Jamaica. He Began To Tour Throughout The World Starting With European Countries Such As France, The Netherlands, Italy, Germany, And Switzerland. In 2010 He Released His First Album Put The Stereo On On Greensleeves' Peckings Subsidiary. Ranks Was Nominated For The 2010 Mobo Award In The 'Best Reggae Act' Category. In 2011 Ranks Followed Up With His Second Album Thanks & Praise, This Time On His Own Hot Coffee Music Label, Which Was Distributed By Vp Records. Thanks & Praise Included "Stinkin' Rich" (Produced By Italian Producer Macro Marco), "Longtime", (Produced By Special Delivery) And The Title Track (Produced By Grammy Award-Winning Uk Producer Jazzwad) Gappy Ranks Has Since Toured And Performed Throughout Europe, The Us, The West Indies, And Australasia. His Tour Also Included Japan And On March 2011 He Found Himself In The Middle Of The World's Biggest Earthquake And Tsunami. The Disaster Claimed Over 20,000 Lives And Gappy Ranks Recorded A Tribute, "I Was There". Ranks Returned To The Uk And Was Featured On BBC’s Later...With Jools Holland, Performing "Longtime" And "Heaven In Her Eyes". That Same Year He Opened An 18 Date Tour Our In California, Nevada, Oregon, And Washington For Collie Buddz. He Has Performed At Legendary Venues Such As Bb King's In New York, The Roxy Theatre In Los Angeles, The Fillmore In San Francisco, The Jazz Cafe In London. He Has Also Been Billed For Worldwide Festivals Such As Summer Jam In Germany, The Glastonbury Festival In The Uk, And Best Of The Best In Miami. In November 2012 He Headlined His Own 16 Date Cookies Tour In West Coast USA, Canada, And Costa Rica, In 2013 Ranks Performed At The Raggamuffin Reggae Festival In New Zealand,
As Well As His Cookies Reloaded Tour 2013 Of The East Coast USA. June 2013 Saw Gappy Ranks Performing At The Sierra Nevada World Music Festival For The First Time. On 17 September 2013, His Third Album Shining Hope Was Released. In June 2014 Gappy Ranks Collaborated With New Zealand Hip Hop Producer PMoney On An 8 Track Ep Titled The Baddest; The Ep Was Recorded At Red Bull Music Academy In Auckland, New Zealand. The End Of 2014 Saw Gappy Ranks Collaborate With "Tom Chasten" Of The Legendary "Dub Club" In Los Angeles For A Ep Titled "Gappy Ranks Meets Dub Club" Released & Distributed By Top Us Record Label Stones Throw Records". Ranks Showed His True Passion As He Founded, Presented & Hosted His Music Festival Titled “Pelpafest” Which Showcased Over 30 Artists Such As Don Andre, Exco Levi, Omi & Braintear Spookie Just To Name A Very Small Few. The Festival Which Is Solely Focused On Rising & Unestablished Artists Has Since Grown Much Interest & Anticipation Worldwide. At The Start Of 2015 Gappy Ranks Has Released 19 Tracks On His Mixtape Titled "Mad Move" Which Has Quickly Gained Support Over Social Network, Radio & Dancehall Events. Unpredictably, Gappy Ranks Showcased His Own Sound System To The World Which Took The Name “Sound Gappy” With Over 1000 Doublets Collected In Record Time From Global Artists, Ranks Gave His Tuesday Afternoons To His Locals Radio Station Real Beat Fm In Which He Single Handedly Presented A Live Broadcast Show For 10 Months, Breaking New Music, Entertainment News & Artists Whiles Never Playing A Single Gappy Ranks Track. In 2016 With Numerous Single Recordings & Weekly Live Appearances Gappy Ranks Delivered His 4th Album Titled “Guide Me”. The Eclectic British Born Artist Has Hand Picked His 13 Tracks And Delivered, Compiled & Executed A Sure Classic Feeling Which Hits The Listener From The Title Track Guide Me Produced By Jamaican Column Zj Chrome Of Cr203 Who Has Worked With Some Of The Very Best In The Industry. With A Very Large Catalogue Ranks Embarked On His World Tour Tilted “Guide Me World Tour” Visiting The Territories Such As South America, North America, Europe, Australasia, Asia, West Indies, Central America, Canada & Africa In Which He Visited Of 8 African Countries & Documenting The Experience Compiled Into A 20 Minute Documentary. 2017 Has Gappy Ranks Aka Plea Lee Entering Another Time Capsule Within Music. A Sure Favourite For All Dancehall Patrons Alike - Ep Tiled “Pon Di Lawn” Gives The Listener A Journey Into The Fabric Of Sound System Culture Complimented With The Excellence Which Is The 1987 "Tonight Riddim" By King Jammy's Records To Name 1 Of 10 Featured Tracks From The 80S 90S Dancehall Era Ranks Plans To Surprise The Fans Of His Music With More Classic & Live
Appearances In The Near Future, Along With A Pon Di Lawn Tour & The Return Of PELPAFEST.
©2016 HOT COFFEE MUSIC | Hot Coffee Music HQ

Videos (mov/mp4) : Gappy Ranks - Baddest [Official Video] Gappy Ranks - Best Is [Official Video] Gappy Ranks - Carpenter [Official Video] Gappy Ranks - Had Enough [Official Video] Gappy Ranks - Longtime [Official Video] Gappy Ranks - Shining Hope [Official Video]

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

QUEEN IFRICA WILL RELEASE HER THIRD STUDIO ALBUM CLIMB IN 2017 ON VP RECORDS Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley Featured on Opening Track The Reggae Songstress Will Showcase New Album in NYC on Nov 16


The Jamaican award-winning singer, songwriter and social activist Queen Ifrica returns with her new studio album Climb in January 2017 on VP Records.  The lyrical crusader calls for global change on the album and rallies comrades like Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley on the opening hip-hop tinged track "Truvosation."
  WATCH: Queen Ifricia's

She touches on key social issues throughout the album. The soul-tinged reggae track  "I Can't Breathe" rails against ongoing police brutality in America; the ska flavored "Rebellion" name checks uprisings across several continents that have secured rights and improved the lives of many marginalized individuals. This sentiment is reinforced on "Battlefield", which warns "we never yield, its war on the battlefield, if you nah hear you ah go feel."  
She also continues to uplift the younger generation. Queen's beautifully sung lyrics encourage perseverance during hard times on the title track and she reveals two of her greatest motivational sources, her mother and grandmother on "Ask Me Granny."  On "Black Woman" she implores young ladies to know their worth and not be swayed by objectifying trends in popular culture.
"These songs come to me as I am watching the world; I see myself as a social worker that uses music as my tool because music is the greatest weapon to impact societal change, to help young people to understand themselves more," Ifrica says.
On November 16, 2016 in NYC, Queen Ifrica will be performing select tracks from the album to give fans a taste of what is to come. The intimate live show will be held directly after the launch party for Jamaica's renowned Rebel Salute music festival at Milk River in Brooklyn, NY.


Queen Ifrica
Swooping in from Montego Bay, Jamaica, Queen Ifrica has taken the reggae scene by storm with hits like "Randy," "Boxers and Stockings,"  "Jus my Brethren," "Below the Waist" and "Daddy" as well as more recent singles like "Love Is Not Blind" and "I Can't Breathe." From her humble beginnings of winning talent contests to joining the Tony Rebel's Flames crew in 1998, she has blossomed into one of the genre's top cultural artists with her roots firmly secured in the Rastafarian faith.  Climb is Ifrica's third full-length album, following Montego Bay (2009, VP Records) and Fyah Muma (2007, Flames Productions).

Sunday, November 6, 2016

LEAF OF LIFE

 NOW PLAYING ON STREETWISE RADIO

Fresh off his performance at Reggae on the River where Anthony B called him on stage, Leaf of Life is ready for more! Hailing from Kingston Jamaica, one of the most exceptional & futuristic reggae/dancehall artist is here on his US tour & available for the 2017 festival season.
And see a taste of his performances & musical ability here: 

Monday, October 3, 2016

Sizzla Brings the Heat to Oakland, CA, By Shelah Moody






It was hot enough at Sizzla’s Oakland show to turn a press and curl into an afro. As one photographer put it, it was so hot in the club, even the walls were sweating.
On Sept. 23, Grammy nominated reggae dancehall super star Miguel Collins, aka Sizzla Kalonji, backed by the Gumption band, literally brought the heat to the Venue nightclub in Oakland. Case in point, by Monday, Sept. 25, temperatures in Oakland had soared to a blazing 92 degrees, not cooling down until Wednesday, Sept. 28.
Sizzla’s first Bay Area performance in eight years was sold out, with people literally piled on top of each other to catch a glimpse of the musical leader of the Bobo Ashanti Rastafari Movement.
 Incidentally, the Bobo Ashanti house of Rastafari was founded by Prince Emmanuel Charles Edwards in the 1950s. The Bobo dreads are known for wrapping their hair in colorful turbans. In the late nineties, when Sizzla first emerged as a musical super power, I watched Sizzla meticulously iron a long piece of fabric and wrap his hair before a Long Beach, CA show, which is an art form in itself.
“Being in the western hemisphere, in a system designed to colonize black people and to keep them down, you have to get that knowledge of self; knowledge of being and where you’re coming from,” said Sizzla, 40. “When you go to Bobo, it reminds you of your true self, because you keep the Sabbath, you’re praising a black God; you have black men chanting and black priests and black empresses. It reminds you of your true African culture, your true ways. The Sabbath brings thing to re-memory. Apparently, it’s the foundation of our culture. All praise to the holy priest, Emanuel I, Selassie I, Jah Rastafari.”
Jah Warrior Shelter Sound System, featuring King I-Vier and Jah Yzer  alongside DJ Danny Smoky kicked off the show, followed by the multi-racial, IrieFuse band, which combined heavy metal with roots reggae. The temperature rose as the Gumption band, featuring Phanso Wilson on drums, Kevo Gitz on guitar, Taddy P. Camp on bass and  Dwayne Morris on keyboards took the stage and played a soulful set of roots and dub. Collectively, the band members have played with the likes of Beres Hammond, Maxi Priest, Luciano, Jesse Royal and other heavyweights.
Sizzla’s journey from his heavily guarded dressing room to the stage was a surreal, ritualistic experience, and so began the night’s deification of Sizzla Kalonji, whose name literally translates into hot, healing black seed. The air was thick and sweet with ganja smoke as a few rough looking handlers parted the crowd and cleared a path, cell phones and cameras set to video mode, onlookers stood on chairs and tables to welcome August Town, Jamaica’s favorite son as bowed in reverence, counted a few beats, placed his hand on his heart and began the few riffs of his opening song and raced onto the stage.  (see link:  https://youtu.be/uN8aZkEZ0NU).
What followed was a world class Bobo dread get-down that went on until curfew.  Merging roots reggae with hip hop, dancehall and shades of seventies R&B, Sizzla kicked his legs high in the air and performed songs such as “Show Us the Way,” “Guide Over Us,” “Be Strong,”  “Dry Cry,” “Woman I  Need You”  “Give Me a Try” and his signature composition, “Words of Divine.”
The event was not without controversy. One month before the show, it was announced that Sizzla’s show, originally scheduled at the fashionable 1015 Folsom nightclub in San Francisco had be cancelled due to pressure from the LGBTQ community. Sizzla, along with other dancehall artists, have been accused of promoting anti-gay rhetoric and inciting violence against members of the LGBTQ community. In a 2016, interview with Island Stage magazine Sizzla stated that he was not a man of hate, but a man working to end violence and promote education in his August Town community.
“You shouldn’t be afraid of Sizzla. I’m not an animal; I’m not a cannibal,” he said. “I don’t support violence on no level or no degree. What you need to do is to get to know Sizzla. If you don’t know someone, I don’t think that you should stand aside and criticize the person. Spend some time with the person; get to know the person and then we can see where we best go from there. You don’t need to be afraid of Sizzla; you need to be part of the movement for Sizzla. Love to the world. Yeah yeah! Don’t do that, ‘fraid a Sizzla fe wha?”

Sunday, September 4, 2016

May the Pulse Be With You: Grammy Winning Reggae Band Releases New Documentary, “Dreadtown” By Shelah Moody




Steel Pulse @ Mountain Winery, Saratoga


“Reggae music pleases kings and queens, so I’m sure that it will please you,” announced lead vocalist/rhythm guitarist David Hinds.
I first saw Steel Pulse at the Waikiki Shell in Honolulu, HI, 1988. Ironically, the U.K.’s Grammy winning reggae band was the opening act for a local group, Cecilio & Kapono. My first exposure to the music of Steel Pulse came via the reggae show on KTUH FM, our local university radio station. I was captivated by their roots and dub sound and their militant and spiritually uplifting lyrics. Songs like “Handsworth Revolution,” “Chant a Psalm a Day,” “Stepping Out,” “Ku Klux Klan,” “Not King James Version,” “Blues Dance Raid,” “Roller Skates” and “Drug Squad” became the soundtrack of my young adult life. Steel Pulse was rocking against racism and speaking out on police shootings of unarmed black youth decades before Black Lives Matter.


David Hinds and Selwyn Brown. Founders of Steel Pulse


It was fate that led me to spot a fabulous young dread, David Hinds, and his magnificent towering dreadlock, walking out of the Food Pantry, our neighborhood overpriced grocery store, in Waikiki, 1989 on the eve of Steel Pulse’ headlining Waikiki Shell performance. I remember running through the “don’t walk” sign to catch up with David and grabbing the sleeve of his denim jacket.
“Excuse me, are you….”
“Oh, yes,” he said. “And you are…?
I quickly introduced myself and the underground publication, “Scrawling Wall,” that I was writing for at the time. I did not know that I was shaking and sweating in the Honolulu heat.
You seem like you are afraid of me,” said Hinds.
Oh no, I’m just a bit nervous because I love you guys so much,” I said.
What followed was a two hour interview for “Scrawling Wall” with Hinds, who introduced me to band members Steve “Grizzly” Nesbit on drums, Selwyn Brown on vocals, keyboards and melodic, Phono Martin on percussion and vocals and Sidney Mills on keyboards. Hinds spoke to me in depth about the influence of the Black Power Movement in America, discrimination against blacks and other peoples of color in the U.K., and the songwriting process that led him to write classics such as “Throne of Gold” and “Ravers.” When Hinds opened his jacket to reveal an oversize button depicting a cow pooping with a circle and I line over it, (“No Bullshit”), I knew that we would be friends for life.
Ironically, Steel Pulse came to town to perform during my last weekend in Honolulu and I hung out with the band members at Diamond Head Beach, where the warm sand glistened like millions of diamond chips. The Pulse was with me when I left Honolulu for good to attend graduate school in San Francisco. While tears flowed, I played their 1991 recording, “Victims” on the plane. The first single was “Taxi Driver.” Putting worlds into action, Steel Pulse filed a class action suit against the New York Taxi and Limousine Commission, due to drivers refusing to pick up blacks and dreads.
In the summer of 1994, the staff of the Reggae Calendar International lost our dear friend, Joyce Ann Cooke, who was killed in a car crash on the way to Reggae on the River. Headlining at Reggae on the River that weekend was none other than Steel Pulse. A blessing came out of tragedy that weekend; my feature story on Steel Pulse for “Reggae Calendar International” caught the eye of Steel Pulse’s tour manager, who recommended me to MCA records to write the press release for their upcoming album, “Vex.”
A standout track on “Vex” was a song called “No Justice, No Peace.”
“The practice of so many injustices has left us with very little confidence in the judicial system,” said Hinds. “Above the angry groove of the drum and bass, “No Justice, No Peace,” lashes out at the outcome of the Rodney King trials. “No Justice, No Peace” goes on to acknowledge Mike Tyson’s incarceration in comparison to a Kennedy family member’s acquittal on an almost similar crime.”
Fast forward to fall, 2016. Steel Pulse is currently touring with one of the biggest acts in reggae music, multiple Grammy winner Ziggy Marley. When reggae music was rough and uncut, Steel Pulse opened for Bob Marley, who dubbed them the Young Wailers.

                                       Drummer Wayne "C-Sharp" Clarke

      
Though they players and the groove may have changed over 40 years, the message remains the same. Steel Pulse current lineup includes core members, Hinds, Brown and Mills, along with Wayne “C Sharp” Clarke on drums, Amlak Tafari on bass, Jerry Johnson on sax, and Makiesha McTaggert on vocals, rapper BaRuch Hinds (son of David) and David Elecceri on guitar. 


Vocalist Keysha McTaggart and keyboardist Sidney Mills

They’ve added an acoustic version of “Chant a Psalm a Day” and new songs such as “Don’t Shoot” and “Put Your Hoodies Up (4 Trayvon),” livicated to the unarmed black youth across the country who’ve been killed by police.

Steel Pulse newest members David Elecciri, guitar, and rapper BaRuch Hinds

After seeing the Pulse live at least 100 times over the years, the show is new to me every time and I wait for the point when they play “Rally Round” and I can throw my fist in the air and sing along with the refrain “Closer to God we Africans!”
Steel Pulse is also gearing up for the release of “Dreadtown,” the definitive documentary of Steel Pulse, which memorializes their 40 year career and evolution of as a band. With Hinds as executive producer, “Dreadtown” was directed by Yoni Gal of Driftwood Pictures. Past and present band members and family are featured in the film, as well as luminaries such as the Marley family, Gwen Stefani, Michael Franti, Snoop Dogg, Johnny Rotten and Alpha Blondy.
"Dreadtown" has been in the making for eight years, said Hinds, 60.
“We started out doing the video, for our song "Door of No Return." (see link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UsO4aYNFc9U). The song is about a captured slave who is actually a king. My son, BaRuch, has the lead in the video. The song is about someone of high realms all of a sudden finding himself on an auction block in the United States or somewhere like that, and being sold. The whole idea of "Door of No Return," not that I'm veering from the subject of "Dreadtown," is that there is a place called Goree Island, a small island off the coast of Senegal, and on Goree Island is a detention center or a fortress where slaves were held until they were dispatched to various parts of the world. There was an opening through the fortress that the slaves had to go through that was called the door of no return. Once they went through the door, and went throughout Europe and parts of the Americas to become slaves, they never had a chance to return.”
“I was very emotional about the whole thing and thought I was actually representing my ancestors returning through the door of no return,” said Hinds. “My point is, we decided to take it to another level and make a movie on the making of "Door of No Return." It was so interesting what developed as far as ideas and what we contributed, and the next step was to turn the whole the Steel Pulse experience and advertise our 40 year legacy. That's how "Dreadtown" came into play. We're hoping that it can be completed by the end of the year. It's crucial now, because there are so many issues involved. We started out, as you know in England where we were facing racism and all of the stuff that came along colonialism and of course, we go back to 400 years of slavery. To know that things have come around 360 degrees in this day and age; where England has exited out of Europe—racism is at the root of it all. You’ve got Donald Trump establishing his format of racism right here in the U.S. It’s as if our songs have been revitalized for that same reason. Our story needs to be out there; it needs to be told and I’m hoping that it will be something that people are very much interested in. I hope it doesn’t have a “sell by” date or gets put on the shelf after a period of time, because we are living in times where things are very much disposable. We want to know that your children and grandchildren can still have this film as a template of how things are and were. I hope that it can be part of a school’s curriculum. We want to have people taking time out with kids of all ages and dimensions and looking at it and saying, wow, this is what’s happening, and sort of have it as a debate or whatever they want to use it as. We want it to last for a long, long time, even after Steel Pulse has retired as a band.”
May the Pulse be with you at: www.steelpulse.com





On Twitter: @Steelpulse

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Sly & Robbie & The Taxi Gang - Touring North America & Hawaii

Sly & Robbie & The Taxi Gang
- Touring North America & Hawaii September, October 2016
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Sly Dunbar (drums) and Robbie Shakespeare (bass), the arrangers, producers, songwriters, session musicians and developers of raw talent, are widely acknowledged as ‘the world’s greatest rhythm section’. ‘The Riddim Twins’ have been together for over 40 years….between them they are estimated to have played on or produced over 200,000 recordings. Their list of collaborators is a veritable who’s who – there’s every prominent Jamaican artist from Beenie Man to Sean Paul to Peter Tosh, Don Carlos, Michael Rose, Junior Reid, Shaggy, Cherine Anderson, Bitty Mclean, Black Uhuru, Gregory Isaacs, Dennis Brown, Ini Kamoze; and they have played with and produced artists such as Ben Harper, Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, The Rolling Stones, Grace Jones, Paul McCartney, Carlos Santana, Sinéad O’Connor, Britney Spears, Alicia Keys, UB40’s Ali Campbell, Joe Cocker, No Doubt, the Fugees, Michael Franti and countless others.

Sly and Robbie, affectionately known as the Riddim Twins, are perhaps the premiere architects of the modern sound of Jamaican music. Building on the cornerstones of Studio 1 and other early pioneers of the Jamaican recording industry, Sly and Robbie became the driving force behind the fabled Channel 1 sound that dominated reggae throughout the late 70’s and early 80’s. Subsequent work, most notably with Peter Tosh and Black Uhuru, set the pace for the changing sound of reggae in the post-Bob Marley era. They continue to record and build bold new arrangements working consistently in the present moving into the future.

Sly and Robbie also have an extensive tour history on the world stage. Their group the Taxi Gang includes a horn section and features an ultimate lineup of top Jamaican recording musicians. Sly & Robbie and the Taxi Gang have recently been top performers on the Tribute to the Legends, the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival, Reggae in the Desert and Reggae on the River. They tour North America, Canada, Europe, Japan, Australia and China. When Sly and Robbie and the Taxi Gang perform their music is far outside of the box – jazz Reggae – very courageous and experimental. Theirs is roots reggae music at its heights.

For bookings contact:
Peter Wardle | Kings Music International
Office: (510) 653-4069
Cell: (510) 326-8445
Fax: (510) 653-5083

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Conscious, Sexy Dancehall Singer Fyakin Makes Reggae on the River Debut Aug. 7 By Shelah Moody






Photos Courtesy of Fyakin

Fyakin performs with Anthony B and also at a late night/early morning dancehall set on the South Beach Stage at the 32nd Annual CAReggae on the River Festival, French's Camp Piercy, . www.reggaeontheriver.com
Have you ever wondered what it’s like for an artist to perform at a massive, historic event such as the famed Reggae on the River for the first time? For Fyakin, a conscious young singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist, the journey is well worth the wait.
Fyakin, a.k.a. Nicholas Levy, was born in Kingston, JA in 1988 and is currently based in Miami, FL. He derived his moniker from the Yoruba name Akin, which means “valor awakes.” A favorite on the Jamaican music scene, Fyakin created a buzz by performing at events such as Sizzla’s birthday bash, Sting, East Fest and Island Explosion to name a few. During the summer of 2015, Fyakin released his acclaimed full-length album, “Child of the Nile” on Nyle Banks Music. This year, Fyakin released his fiery single, “Warrior Ways.”   A devoted father and former professional soccer player, Fyakin describes his music as soulful, uplifting, cultured and truthful.
“You can expect a passionate performance and you might see me playing some Congo drums here and there; maybe a little keyboards,” said Fyakin. “You never know what can happen. Expect the unexpected when it comes to me. I keep growing and finding new talents each day.”
Shelah Moody: How do you feel about performing at Reggae on the River for the first time? What are some of the stories that you've heard about Reggae on the River from other artists?
Fyakin: I’ve just heard the show is a well-organized and properly promoted; it's huge has a lot of people there. It's my first time at Reggae on the River and my first time in California. It's quite an elated feeling for me to be a part of one of the greatest reggae festivals so to speak. My plan is to give the people a great performance--one to remember. I will be performing with Anthony B doing a song we both collaborated on for his tribute to the legends album.


SM: What do you have in store for the ladies in the dancehall?
Fyakin: I’ve got a lot in store for the ladies-- some sweet soulful lovers’ rock music that I am sure the ladies will enjoy. Tracks like “Sweet Music,” “I Miss Your Love” and “You are My Lady.”
SM: How do you feel about sleeping amongst the majestic California redwoods?
Fyakin: I've never experienced camping out before so I will see how that works out for me.
SM: Will you take a dip in the Eel River?
Fyakin: Not sure but I just might do so!
SM: Speaking of the Reggae on the River experience, I was gonna ask you about the myth of Humboldt ganja.
Fyakin: LOL. Nope, never heard of it!

Follow Fyakin on the web: www.fyakin.com
INSTAGRAM: darealfyakin



Saturday, July 23, 2016

Up Close and Personal with Tanya Stephens at the 23rd Annual Sierra Nevada World Music Festival By Shelah Moody



“It someone had told me when I was 20 that 40 was so sexy, I would have never believed them!” --Tayna Stephens, Sierra Nevada World Music Festival 2016
Let’s get one thing straight. Tanya Stephens thinks that she is the greatest thing since, and before, sliced bread. And the prolific reggae/dancehall singer /songwriter is proud of it, too, with more than 20 years of music to her credit.
After her riveting performance at the 23rd Annual Sierra Nevada World Music Festival at Mendocino County Fairgrounds in Boonville, CA (www.snwmf.com) on June 18, Stephens addressed the media in the press tent. In fewer than 20 minutes, she became our BFF. As Stephens was escorted from the stage to the press tent, she was literally mobbed by fans who showered her with hugs, kisses, gifts and praise.
Stephens, who rose to popularity with her risqué dancehall hits and love songs such as “Yuh Nuh Ready Fi Dis Yet,” Draw fi Mi Finger,” “Boom Wuk,” “Goggle,” “It’s a Pity,” “I Can’t Breathe” and “These Streets” said she prefers not to be labeled as a “female” artist. Stephens said her most feared question is “what advice would you give to young women who aspire to break into the music industry?”
“I would say, try not to take too much advice, because there’s no one way to do this,” said the dusky voiced singer, who performed on the SNWMF bill with world music greats such as Etana, Beres Hammond, Toots and the Maytals, Leroy Sibbles and others that weekend. “What works for Tanya Stephens may not work for another female coming into the business. It’s changed since I came in. I would say, don’t be labeled as a ‘female’ artist, just be an ‘artist.’ Stop being intimidated by the word ‘fraternity’ and stop thinking that this is a male dominated industry. They may be many in terms of numbers, but in terms of potency, not so much. We have them beat. Just come in, kick down the door and do your thing. Don’t be hung up on the ‘female’ label; our job is not sexual. I know that people mean well when they compliment me by saying that I’m one of the best female artists, but I feel marginalized by my gender. I look at women and I see no competition. That may sound egotistical to some people, but I’m not an accidental artist. I work very hard. If you hear me put out 10 songs, it means I made maybe, 150 songs. I demand more than just the title female artist. It’s like saying all right, we need some breasts, and I don’t even have that much breasts.”
To date, Stephens has recorded nine solo albums including “Big Things a Gwaan (1994), “Too Hype” (1997), “Work Out” (1997) “Ruff Rider (1998) “Sintoxicated” (2001) “Gangsta Blues” (2004) “Rebelution” (2006), “Infallible” (2010) and “Guilty” (2013).
Stephens has released more than 100 singlesand collaborated with artists such as Lady Saw, Bounty Killer, Shabba Ranks and Marcia Griffiths to name a few.
“I’m a woman when I’m with my husband; I’ve been married for a few years,” said Stephens, who turns 43 this year. “But I don’t see that as something that defines me. I don’t complete him and he doesn’t complete me; we’re just two people who are doing this together. When I’m with my husband, I’m his woman, but with you guys, I don’t have to be a woman, do I? ‘Cause we’re not all sleeping together now are we? I need to be a woman for our kids because they need a mother. But when we are working together, why can’t we just be people? If we embrace the terms “women’ and female,” we embrace marginalization and the limitations put on us.”





After performing at SNWMF, Stephens headed to Europe to play the summer festival circuit. Yes, she has a new album in the works, but right now Stephens is taking it easy and loving it.
“It feels nice; it feels like the best of me, really, said Stephens. “So, I’m in no rush. I’m working on a new album, but I haven’t completed it yet, not to my liking. I have to like it first. And when I like it, then I will think that it deserves your ears; and I will release it. I have no record label; I have no boss, I have no deadline. I can take my time, and I hope you guys will exercise some patience. I have to live up to my own expectations and meet my own standards. That’s my process.
“I’m grateful that you give me a platform, and the fact that people actually like what I do is amazing,” said Stephens. “Nobody has to like my music. Of course, I think that I’m the greatest thing since or before sliced bread, but nobody has to agree with me.”
Oh, and another thing, Stephens has a wild and wicked sense of humor and her sharp wit shines through in her lyrics and conversation. One member of the press asked about her brief business venture as a bar and restaurant owner in Ocho Rios.
“That was not a good pairing,” said Stephens. “Just think about it; me with a bar! (laughed). That didn’t work out. I was my best customer, but that was bad for business.”
Stephens, who hails from St. Mary, grew up in a typical Jamaican household which means that she was influenced by country western music, gospel and Calypso. One of her first influences was Trinidadian calypsonian Lord Kitchener, who inspired Stephens’ love of writing with his double entendres. Stephens also considers SNWMF Saturday night headliner Beres Hammond a great writer. As a student of literature, Stephens loves a good story—the plot, the suspense, the climax. Sidney Sheldon is her favorite novelist; she collects his books in hard and soft cover.
Stephens’ also gushed about one of her biggest musical influences, Motown heavyweight William “Smokey” Robinson.
”Influence is a mild way of putting it,” said the Stephens. “I’ve been in love with Smokey since I was about 10 years old. ‘Tracks of My Tears’ is my all-time favorite song; it’s been my favorite since I was in grammar school.”
To the delight of everyone in the press tent, Stephens crooned a few bars of “Tracks of My Tears.”
“People say I'm the life of the party 'Cause I tell a joke or two/Although I might be laughing loud and hearty/Deep inside I'm blue…”
“I don’t collect keepsakes; I’m not a person who takes a picture with an artist to say ‘look who I’m standing next to,’ because I think I am all that and more,” said Stephens. “A friend brought me an autograph from Smokey, and that’s the only (memorabilia) I’ve kept throughout my entire career. Smokey Robinson was the soundtrack of my childhood and my adulthood. Every pain I’ve felt, I’ve cried with Smokey. I literally cried with Smokey. It’s crazy; you know me and Smokey’s relationship. He doesn’t know we have one.”
Ironically, Stephens said she has no desire to duet with her idol any time soon. “You know what, I don’t like meeting the people I really, really love, because then, they become human. And the truth is, no human can live up to your expectations, so I don’t want to spoil Smokey for me. I would rather Smokey stay just the way he is, over there with his fabulously-getting-younger self.”
Stephens’ currently has another great love, former presidential candidate and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. She even wrote a song for him called “Bernie a di Realist.” https://soundcloud.com/j…/tanya-stephens-bernie-a-di-realist
“Listen, for me Bernie Sanders is not about politics,” said Stephens. “Bernie taps into everything I feel inside as a human; everything I’ve wanted. You know, the peace. The caring for each other. Doing what we know is right as opposed to what is popular and what is on the books. We wrote the damn books so we can change the books. This is what Bernie stands for. So, for me, it’s not even about winning or losing, it has nothing to do with the Democratic Party or the Republican Party. I’m not an American and I can’t even vote here! Bernie is inspiring people all over the world to fight and rebel against what we know is wrong with the system. This country is rich! There shouldn’t be any poor people. Just like Jamaica is rich! There shouldn’t be anyone starving! Even if he is not running for president, I’m with Bernie forever. I love that man! He’s kind of rivaling Smokey right now.”
videoFollow Tanya Stephens on Twitter: @Tanya_Stephens


On Instagram: @tanyastephensofficial