Sunday, December 20, 2015



While sitting here trying to figure out what Reggae artist to write on, I typed in unknown Reggae artists in Google and clicked on Your Daily Song Fix. I was scrolling down the list and putting their names in YouTube and listening to different artists. One artist that stood out was Matisyahu. The song that I listened to was “One Day” and I really like it. It was very inspiring! This 36 year old Jewish Reggae, alternative hip hop, alternative rock, reggae fusion, reggae rock from West Chester, Pennsylvania has released 5 studio albums. Out of the 5 my favorite is his 2009 “Light” album, he is singing to the people of the world. Matisyahu shows his vulnerability and pain about what’s going on in the confused world. We all need wonderful music. His singing style can appeal to people who are not really into Reggae. Some of my favorite songs by Matisyahu are, “One Day”,  “Sunshine”, “King Without A Crown”, “Jerusalem”, “On Nature lyrics” and “I will be light”. You can listen to songs by Matisyahu on Streetwise Radio. You can also listen to Streetwise Radio on MyGen365, iTunes, Athena365 and Live365.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Supa Squad

About Supa Squad 

 Squad Supa Squad is Mr. Marley and Zacky Man! The Cape Verdean dancehall duo SUPA SQUAD are about to take over the world. Zacky Man and Mr. Marley, both vocalists, songwriters and producers, have created a solid fusion of modern dancehall and new roots reggae, and their energetic performances and dynamic stage presence has won over audiences throughout Portugal. With dubplate sessions for Sentinel Sound and PowPow Movement under their belts, the duo is ready to take Portuguese Dancehall to a new level.

Supa Squad releases homonym EP Reggae/Dancehall band, Supa Squad, has finally released their debut album, Supa Squad EP. The album consists of 6 tracks including a featuring with fellow new roots artist Duane Stephenson on Little Youths track. “This EP is the end of a cycle of two years creating modern music and writing lyrics people could relate to.” says Mr. Marley. For Zacky Man, “One Love talks mainly about complicity between two persons in the begining of a relationship while Jah Jah Bless Me has a spiritual component where JAH (God) is mentioned”. Zacky Man also says “We are now working on new material for the near future”. The album was entirely produced by Supa Squad (Mr Marley and Zacky Man) showing their versatility. Tracklist: 1. Jah Jah Bless Me 2. One Love 3. Little Youths feat. Duane Stephenson 4. Man A Hustler 5. Come Together 6. No Follow Dem

Monday, August 31, 2015


More info below as well as RSVP links on Facebook - PLEASE HELP US SPREAD THE WORD!

August 28 Copenhagen, Denmark  @ Loppen
August 30 Reykjavik, Iceland @ Gamla Bio 

September 4 Nuuk, Greenland @ Katauq
September 8 Amsterdam, DL @ Cafe the Zen
September 9 Cologne, DE @ Underground 
September 10 Recklinghausen, DE @ Haltestelle
September 11 London, UK @ 229 Club
September 12 Aarhus, Dk @ V58
After a stellar United States and Canada tour throughout July and August including headlining performances at California Worldfest in Northern California,  Harbourfront Centre in Toronto, Afrikadey Festival in Calgary, California Plaza in Los Angeles and Lincoln Center in NYC, international music star and Cumbancha recording artist Rocky Dawuni is now off to Europe this week to continue his "Branches of the Same Tree" Summer tour with stops in Denmark, Greenland, Iceland, Holland, Germany and the UK with suport from Artefix Music and Neil O'Brien Entertainment.

The influential Wax Poetics Magazine just published an amazing in depth inteview with Rocky and the rise of his new sound "Afro Roots!"  Rocky Dawuni straddles the musical boundaries between Africa, the Caribbean and the U.S. to create his signature "Afro-Roots" sound that unites generations and cultures. Filled with uplifting and irresistible songs, Rocky's sixth album, Branches of the Same Tree, blends inspirations from his diverse experiences while expanding on his identity as an artist, a proud son of Africa and as a true world citizen.

The songs on Branches of the Same Tree  reflect influences as wide ranging as New Orleans funk, Brazilian samba, even the lilting sounds of Hawaiian ukulele, seamlessly integrated into a unique and approachable style. The album features appearances by an all-star lineup of guest musicians, including veterans from Michael Franti and SpearheadSteel PulseBen Harper and The Innocent Criminals and Ziggy Marley. Already a superstar in West Africa with a devoted international fan base, Branches of the Same Tree brings Rocky's music to even wider audiences around the world. The first single from the album"African Thriller" (remixed by Jeremy Sole of KCRW FM) is a hit worldwide with the fantastic accompanying video that has set the dance world a blaze!

Rocky just launched his new music video for the song "Nairobi " in partnership with (Follow this link to view the video ). The track appears on Dawuni's acclaimed 2015 album. Filmed in Kenya's capitol city, the video is an ode to this "beautiful city in the sun" and a plea for peace and celebration of shared destiny. The video captures a picturesque portrait of iconic and historic monuments of Nairobi as it explores the everyday life of the city. Dawuni serves as a traveling minstrel, journeying across neighborhoods, bearing a message of goodwill.

Blessed with easy-going charisma, the musician and United Nations Foundation Ambassador  has performed and collaborated with Stevie WonderPeter GabrielBonoJason MrazJanelle Monae and John Legend, among many others. Named one of Africa's Top 10 global stars by CNN, he's showcased his talent around the world at major festivals and prestigious venues such as The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., The Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles and Lincoln Center in NYC.

What's up next for Africa's shining star? Stay tuned...

Filmed in Nairobi, Kenya, the video offers a tribute
to a city, country and people.


ROCKY DAWUNI  can be heard on Streetwise Radio, Live365,iTunes,Pandora,BigSplif420 Reggae.

Friday, August 21, 2015

The Evolution of CK

The Evolution of CK
“There’s just something about music that hypnotizes me…when it hits, it’s like I’m no longer Clara..that’s when I become’CK ”. Born Clara Mkaamerica Kahwa on March 5, 1984, CK had a love for music before she could talk. “My mom said she had to stop going to church because the moment I heard music there I was heading to the altar to perform, so I guess my love for it started then”. Birthed by Tanzanian parents, CK was born in Baton Rouge Louisiana, USA and migrated to Jamaica in Oct 1987. She attended Zenith Preparatory then went on to St. Andrew High School for girls. “I sang a little in high school, I was in the choir for a while then opted out. I fantasized about being the next Brandy, Monica or Janet Jackson, as I locked myself in my room and sang the entire Brandy album, ‘Never say never" like it was my own (laughing) imagining sold out tours across the world but back then it was just a fantasy". Thereafter, she went to UWI to acquire her Bachelors in Mathematics (major) & Economics (minor). “It was in my last year at UWI that I really said ok let me try a ting. My younger brother, Timothy, who has been obsessed with music since he was 14 was behind the computer building riddims and one day while he was blasting his riddim, I began writing to it and that same day recorded in the closet in his room and I think that’s where my musical journey really started, with Timmy".
After which Timothy met popular DJ, Supa Hype and made him listen to the track they did. SupaHype liked the track and decided to send some instrumentals for CK to write to, one of which was called the “Supanatural” riddim. "I wrote a song called ‘Trouble’ on it and it got a lil air play (blushing & laughing) but it was like kinda surreal hearing myself on the radio knowing that this is what I’ve been waiting for yet part of me was still dissatisfied, I wasn’t the artiste I envisioned myself to be, I didn’t know where I wanted to go with music, I didn’t discover my sound or my image but I knew I loved to write and sing".
WHO IS CK – With the entertainment capital of Jamaican radio, FAME FM, listing her as one of the top 10 artistes to watch out for in 2014, C K describes herself as soft but rough, smooth yet edgy; sassy, soulful, fun yet vulnerable, all reflecting the many moods and styles of her music. Rooted in reggae and dancehall , CK brings a R&B/Pop twist to the table as her influences range from Alaine, Lady Saw, Tifa to Janet Jackson, Rihanna and Monica. So far on her musical journey she has teamed up with the musical geniuses Kunley “Ward 21” McCarthy ,Andre ‘Suku’ Gray, artiste and producer Karl Morrison ,Timothy “Quik Keyz” Kahwa , Comar “Frankie Music” Campbell, Kenyan discjock and producer “ZJ Heno”, UK discjock and producer Steve “Asha D” Ash and most recently, Jamaican A-list producer and international artiste Craig “Leftside” Parks . Her music is gaining airplay locally and internationally as she gradually carves her place in the music industry. She performed at Sumfest 2013 &2014 on the Digicel Stage and most recently gave an exuberant performance at “JaRIA live” the 2014 series held during February by the Reggae Industry Association of Jamaica. She recently joined forces with International Dancehall Artiste, Konshens and represents proudly for the females on “Body of the year” as she displays her growth and diversity as a sultry singer.
“ My aim as an artiste is to give you a show every time you watch me whether through the choreography in my performance or through the passion I display while singing my songs. I truly want to entertain my audience, not only vocally or lyrically but with all of my talents…I want you to get lost with me in the music ....”
DanceC K has been dancing for over 11 years. She was classically trained by Elizabeth Samuda at Vickers Dance Studio up to Grade 8 after which she joined Movements Dance Company of Jamaica at age 14 in 1998. “Movements taught me the art of performance. I had mentors like Michelle Tappin-Lee, Monica Campbell- McFarlane and other principal dancers in the company to watch and learn how to transform into different characters through dance and how to just learn to lose myself in the music and let it take me to where it & the choreographer wanted me to be. That’s where my passion for music reignited. Through working with world renowned choreographers like Christopher Huggins and some of Jamaica’s known & breakthrough choreographers , Michael Holgate, Neila Ebanks, Joni McCalla, Liane Williams to name a few, I became a better performer and dancer cause they pushed me to explore my other sides and really become one with music. So then I used that drive in singing. All these people helped me start my journey in recognizing the artiste that once upon a time I never believe existed”.
Come take a journey with her on the evolution of CK.
CK's Latest Single Now Playing On Streetwise Radio  "FACE BOY"

Body of the Year with Konshens

I wanna be down

Party up in here Official Video 

True Colours Official Video

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Thursday, July 9, 2015


Who: Stephen Marley, Wyclef Jean, Jo Mersa Marley, Luciano, Capleton, Don Carlos and More..
What: Third Annual Oroville Rock Reggae Jamfest
When: July 17-19
Where: Riffles RV Campground 4514 Pacific Heights Road, Oroville, CA

Oroville, CA--The vision. The journey. The destination. Ifa Journey Promotions in partnership with Stephen Marley, proudly present the Third Annual Oroville Rock Reggae Jamfest, July 17, 18 and 19 at Riffles RV Campground in rustic and mystical Oroville, CA.
Coinciding with the birthday of the Honorable Haile Selassie I, known to Rastafarians as His Imperial Majesty (H.I.M) and the year of Bob Marley’s 70th birthday, Oroville Rock Reggae Jamfest marks the first time Stephen Marley and Wyclef Jean—two of the music industry’s most influential artists—have performed together on the same stage since Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers toured with the Fugees on the Smokin’ Grooves Tour in 1996.
Stephen “Ragga” Marley, a ten time Grammy winner and producer, is gearing up for the release of his fourth studio album, “Revelation Pt. 2 - The Fruit of Life” on the Ghetto Youths International label.
Headlining performer Jo Mersa, one of reggae’s hottest young performers, will the Marley legacy of delivering conscious messages over irresistible dancehall inspired beats. Grandson of Bob Marley and son of Stephen, Jo Mersa has been touring alongside his father and the Ghetto Youth’s International Crew, performing acclaimed tracks such as “Comfortable,” “Sunshine and “Rock and Swing.”
Headlining performer/musician/rapper producer Wyclef Jean, co-founder of the Fugees, is a three time Grammy winner who is known for his humanitarian efforts, such as Yele Haiti. In 2012, Wyclef released his first book, “Purpose: An Immigrant’s Story.” In the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake, Wyclef and his wife rushed to Haiti, helping to dig graves for some of the victims.
On the heels of his critically acclaimed performance at the22nd annual Sierra Nevada World Music Festival, soulfully conscious reggae singer Luciano will perform at the festival; and fiery DJ Capleton, the king of militant dancehall will returns to Northern California for the first time in three years. Jamaican singer/DJ Prezident Brown, a favorite at the 2015 California Roots Festival, who just released his critically acclaimed EP. “The Journey,” will also perform, along with California favorites Don Carlos and the iKronik Band.
Multi-cultural reggae and rock inspired bands such as Reggae Angels, Twisted Strategies, and Bad Neighbor will represent the California roots music vibe, and Alika and Aflora Reggae will drop Latin beats.
Festival producer Ifa Journey, who is also an established performer who grew up with Stephen Marley, will deliver his unique blend of reggae which he describes as African inspired and healing.
The family friendly Oroville Rock Reggae Jamfest will also feature international and vegetarian cuisine as well as clothing, crafts, a children’s area and more.

Artists bios furnished on request.
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Copyright Shelah Moody, 2015
Stephen Marley Photo Credit: Wonder Knack

Saturday, June 13, 2015



Veteran Sensational songbird Angella Stewart has been thrilling audience for over thirty years with her smooth, melodious tones, hailing from Kingston, Jamaica. Angella is the ‘First Lady’ of a musical family that includes singer Tinga Stewart, Roman Stewart and the late musician Own ‘Fox’ Stewart.
Angella’s outgoing, people-loving personality enables her to reach out and touch the spirit with her songs of inspiration and love. Angella launched her oversea performance career as an opening act for one of reggae’s most internationally successful bands, Steel Pulse at the Sunrise Musical Theater in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in 1981. Angella has since then continued to tour the globe from Jamaica, Europe, Canada and the United States.
Beginning with ‘Ready for the Love’, her first recording produced by U Brown, Angella has worked with some of reggaes renowned producers including John Carol, Willie Lindo, Percy Chin/Jah Life, Owen ‘Fox’ Stewart, Sly & Robbie, Derrick Barnet and Herbie Harris. Her recording credits are two albums; ‘Good Good Loving’ and ‘Teasing’ for Miami Based Calabash Records, with various singles like, ‘Born to Lose’, ‘Could I Have this Dance’, Mother’s of Creation’ ‘Remember that Sunday’, ‘Makes me Love You’ a Christmas Classic ‘Gee Whiz It’s Christmas, ‘Groove Me’ and ‘Feel So Good’ hit the UK charts. Angella also did a splendid cover of Marcia Griffiths (Survival). Angella have worked with artist such as Mighty Diamonds, Beres Hammond, Tinga Stewart and Neville Lindo.

Angella’s first international hit, was in 1982 with ‘When Love Comes Knocking at Your Door’ recorded at Dynamic Sound Studios, it rose to the #9 position on the charts in Holland and later it was covered by (Queen Ifrica) and was followed by ‘Breakfast in Bed’ and ‘Just One Look’ which also enjoyed popularity in Europe. Angella won the El Suzie Award, for the Most Promising Female Vocalist Award in 1982, held at the Carib Theater in Kingston Jamaica.
Angella went on to enjoy chart-topping success with her 1984 number 1 hit ‘Moonlight Lover’ which also received Best Love Song of the Year awarded held at the Carillon Branch Hotel by the Reggae Connection of WEDR in Miami, Florida. Her original composition ‘Good Good Loving’ remained at #1 for five weeks on the UK Charts.
In 1990 Angella crowned Shabba Ranks the King of the DJ’s at CB Smith Park in Pembroke Pines, FL. 1996 Angella also opened for The Queen of Dancehall (Lady Saw) in Fort. Lauderdale FL.
Angella hailed as “The First Lady of Love” enchanted us again with her third album in 2003 entitled ‘Empress of Love’. The 12-track album was launched at the Head Quarter of JAVAA’S Jamaica Vibe in New Kingston, Jamaica. Jah Life Records, her current record label, base in Brooklyn, New York distributed the album world wide.
Angella now reflects “I was aboard for a while working with the Calabash Company but I think it is now time to reconnect with my fans at home and all over the world. I do think the time is ripe for more of my music to smooth the heart and souls of the people”.
In 2006 Angella tour London with The Ethiopians, Heptones, The Silverton’s, The Melodians, and Big Youth a Foundation Extravaganza an incredible line up and “Blasts from the Past” from Studio One Blvd to Kingston, Jamaica.
Angella has performed songs from her extensive discography to live audiences everywhere; she will continue to expend herself ceaselessly as Jamaica musical gift to the world. Angella has blossomed into a stable songwriter, singer and music teacher. Angella say’s” It’s better to be there rather than ask someone how the show was.

In 2015 Angella recorded New Single entitles Do It to me One More Time and Take This Heart.
Management Contact
Jamal N. Stephenson
(954) 681-8865

Monday, May 18, 2015


Following Her Recent Initiative to "Stop Ebola and Build For the Future"
Jamaican Reggae Singer Joins Hawaiian Songstress Anuhea on
June Dates for The Queen Of The Islands Tour
On the heels of Etana's United Nations' performance and the release of her "Better Tomorrow" single for the "Stop Ebola and Build For the Future" campaign, the reggae singer along with her band Raw Soul Rebels will embark on her Spring 2015 U.S. tour.  The tour kicks off in Raleigh, NC on May 15, 2015, heads Northeast and covers Midwest and West. For the June portion of her tour, Etana joins forces with Hawaiian songstress Anuhea for the Queen Of The Islands Tour, a one of a kind musical experience starring reggae's top female solo acts of this generation. See full schedule below.
In addition to raising awareness for her most recent initiative to fight Ebola, Etana also continues to tour for her latest album I Rise (VP Records). These dates will be the second leg of her U.S. tour supporting the release.
Purchase Etana's I Rise now on iTunes:

The soulful Jamaican vocalist who has been described as "reggae's Jill Scott" (NPR) or"reminiscent of India.Arie" (Essence) - dropped her fourth album I Rise on Oct 28, 2014. The album was helmed primarily by the legendary Jamaican multi-instrumentalist and producer Clive Hunt (Stevie Wonder, Peter Tosh, Rolling Stones, The Wailers, Grace Jones, Jimmy Cliff). It hit #1 on the U.S. Billboard Reggae Album chart, making Etana one of the three Jamaican female artists ever and the first in nearly two decades (since Diana King and Patra in the mid-90s) to land this highly-coveted chart position. I Rise follows Etana's critically-acclaimed albums Better Tomorrow (2013), Free Expressions (2011) and The Strong One (2008). With poised assurance, she continues to evolve spiritually, mentally, emotionally and musically and carry the torch as reggae's leading lady.

In conjunction with VP Records and led by United African Congress, Give Them A Hand Foundation and the Friendship Ambassadors Foundation, Etana recently became actively involved with the "Stop Ebola and Build For the Future" campaign. She performed at a special launch event held in the United Nation's headquarters in NYC. Her song "Better Tomorrow" was also chosen as the initiative's official anthem. She is donating the song, so that the proceeds go towards children orphaned by Ebola and rebuilding the communities affected in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra  Leone. The song was featured on the iTunes Music homepage and peaked at #2 on iTunes reggae singles' chart.  Purchase now: Also, watch a series of online video shorts highlighting the issues and featuring "Better Tomorrow" as the theme song:
U.S. Tour Dates:
May 15 @ Nuvo Lounge in Raleigh, NC
May 17 @ Montego Caribbean Lounge in Virginia Beach, VA
May 20 @ Howard Theatre in Washington D.C.
May 21 @ The Grog Shop in Cleveland Heights, OH
May 22 @ Kola Ultra Lounge in Farmington, MI
May 23 @ The Wild Hare in Chicago, IL
May 24 @ Fine Line Music Cafe in Minneapolis, MN w/ Ryan Daniels
May 25 @ Vaudeville Mews in Des Moines, IA
May 27 @ Bottleneck in Lawrence, KS w/ Gonzo
May 28 @ Hodi's Half Note in Fort Collins, CO w/ Gonzo
May 29 @ Fox Theatre in Boulder, CO w/ Selassie & Family
May 30 @ Cervantes in Denver, CO w/ Gonzo
Jun 1 @ Liquid Joe's in Salt Lake City, UT w/ Gonzo
Jun 3 @ The Showbox in Seattle, WA w/ Anuhea
Jun 4 @ Wonder Ballroom in Portland, OR w/ Anuhea
Jun 5 @ Arcata Theatre Lounge in Arcata, CA w/ Anuhea
Jun 6 @ Mezzanine in San Francisco, CA w/ Anuhea
Jun 7 @ Mystic Theatre in Petaluma, CA w/ Anuhea
Jun 10 @ The Catalyst in Santa Cruz, CA w/ Anuhea
Jun 11 @ The Observatory in Santa Ana, CA w/ Anuhea
Jun 12 @ The North Park Theatre in San Diego, CA w/ Anuhea
Jun 13 @ Reggae In The Desert in Las Vegas, NV w/ Anuhea
Jun 14 @ Livewire in Scottsdale, AZ w/ Anuhea


Press Photo (Marvin Bartley):

Album Cover:

Stream Album - Etana I Rise:<>
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PW: abc123

Download Entire Album - I Rise (PRIVATE PRESS USE):

***Etana is available for promo requests in each market. Press tickets are available upon request.***
PR Contact:
Tiffany Mea

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Sunday May 17 SLY & ROBBIE & The Taxi Gang with Bitty Mclean 1743 San Pablo Ave. Oakland Ca.
                                                     Click Here For More Info

Hiya Flames

Eurlando Kwesi Ontonio Williams, also known a Hiya Flames was born in the musical parish of Kingston on July 13, 1991. He grew up with his grandmother miss Pearl Manning from a young age. She taught him proper life principles and good behavior which remains incorporated in his lifestyle today. He was brought up in the district of Waltham Park on Crescent road where he attended the Crescent Road Basic School. There he was seen as the one with the great spirit for entertainment. He then moved on to The St. Peter's Claver Primary where he excelled. From there he advanced to Denham Town High School where he took education as a serious priority. He was a very exceptional student in his form serving as prefect as well as a Jamaica Combined Cadet Force member. Hiya Flames started out in music at a very tender age inspired by a major sound system He traveled with owned by his family named Agony Disco. Watching his eldest cousin Nero Marshall singing in and around Kingston on the sound system, Hiya Flames was seen as a very versatile dancer as well in the community. The name Hiya Flames derives from one of his musical Idrens Hotta Flame of whom he respects very dearly. Hiya Flames left Kingston In 2006 along with his family to the parish of Clarendon where he met up with friends with musical minds and talent. He recorded his first two songs with his idrens Hamma One and Radish as a collaboration. With the true guidance of Jah, he and others started Nik-y Production where he recorded great music, developed and generated his musical skills. From there he met up with Fire Royal Records where he recorded a number of songs. Hiya Flames cites Rastafari as a true way of life to express his self positively through his lifestyle. The great ones he has observed that has trod this road before him has taught him about one god, one aim, one destiny. Brain power is the main power. Acknowledging his African roots Hiya Flames changed his legal name from Eurlando to Wondo In 2002. The inspiration of Rastafari to his music lead him to acknowledge that music is to motivate the mind of the people and strengthen them mentally. Hiya Flames Trods the music with true integrity and determination Jah Jah H.I.M.a guide we, he stand beside me, he shineth the light.

Jah Fenixx

Jah Fenixx Bio

Born in the city of Montego Bay, Parish of St. James, Jamaica; Donald Fogah(Jah Fenixx) was raised by his parents in the parish of Clarendon. Jah Fenixx grew up in the small town of Free Town, Jamaica. Attended the Brown's Basic School in Free Town, then on to Free Town Primary where he did well. Three years later he moved to Old Harbour, St. Catherine where he attended the Old Harbour Primary School and exceeded to Old Harbour High School, where he did  wonders at that school. Moved on from there to attend the Heart Trust NTA, Spring Village, St. Catherine where he did exceedingly well. While attending high school Jah Fenixx started his first Recordings of his lyrics at Zion Yard Studio in Old Harbour. Jah Fenixx lived a life of an average decent young man. He is the first child of his mother's three children and the fourth of his father's eleven children. With one older sister and two older brothers He soon realized that he had to be the one to try and help himself because his parents had too many responsibilities, which to his eyes seemed impossible at the time. His parents separated at the age of Twelve years young where his father took him and a few more of his own, his mother took the others. That was when his I-ma moved to live in the neighbouring community of Sandy Bay, Clarendon. Growing up to see a poor family is enough to make anyone discouraged but could not make Jah Fenixx faulter. This gave Jah Fenixx motivational drive and actually helped him to discover his character...His Destiny to Rise! While growing up in the community of Free Town he was a great Icon of is his Peers, he embodied certain qualities and was always the observing type. Sandy Bay is where he started to gain strength for his music career, doing some recordings with Fire Royal Records. Jah Fenixx has a burning Desire to make it better not only for himself but the ones and ones around him as well as the music. This Burning Desire is what has created and developed Jah Fenixx the "Inflammable...Eva Burnin."

Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Reggae Soul of Rusty Zinn

Rusty’s mix of classic reggae, rock steady and ska is imbued throughout with the sound of his magnificent voice, his hook laden original compositions and his thorough understanding of the place of soul in Jamaican music. Of the twelve tunes on ‘The Reggae Soul of Rusty Zinn’, (RockBeat Records, to be released in February 2015) nine are written by Rusty, and show his command of the craft. Meaningful lyrics, memorable and melodic tunes set in timelessly crisp productions, all topped off by his warm and intimate voice. The kind of songs that should be on every radio stations’ playlist.

Rusty Reggae Soul cover 2The album’s opening song ‘Rise Up’, is up on YouTube and is rapidly gaining views. The tune shows the ska side of Rusty’s musical personality, and is a joyful paean to hope and optimism in these doubtful times. It has the sensibilities of a ‘We Shall Overcome’ lyric but with a far better tune and a totally irresistible dance beat. All the songs on the album, whether written by Rusty or not, reflect love, a yearning for love, or an unflinching optimism in what lies ahead. ‘Pushing Towards A Dream’, ‘She Comes From Nothing’ and ‘Woman Don’t Settle’ acknowledge problems but point to solutions, while ‘Angie I Love You’ (written for his wife),’Do I Stand A Chance With You’,’Lover’s Glory’, ‘Put Your Faith in Me’, Frankie Valli’s ‘I Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You’, Gladys Knight’s ‘Is There A Place’ and Jimmy Holiday’s ‘Turning Point’ are unabashedly romantic to the core. ‘Gift Of Love’ is a glorious celebration of life’s central theme set to a riffing ska rhythm.

The focus of Rusty’s music is always centered on the voice first and foremost. He says: “when I was a small child the very first music I remember hearing were vocal groups like The Spinners and The Stylistics. My parents were always playing music from their youth, mostly Doo Wop, Sam Cooke, The Beatles, Ray Charles, Fats Domino and so many more. I think being raised on all that kind of music made me subconsciously develop certain standards to uphold in my music.  Those standards are elements such as soulful singing, good messages, strong arrangements, nice chord progressions…“ These are key ingredients in Rusty’s personal brand of Reggae which is also much influenced and inspired by such great Jamaican singers as Alton Ellis, Ken Boothe, Delroy Wilson, and Slim Smith. and he now brings the sensibilities of soul to his chosen brand of Jamaican music. Emphasizing melody, romance and feeling, he terms his musical vision ‘A Journey to the Soul of Lovers Rock Steady.’

Rusty Zinn’s musical journey started in the eighties in the blues field. A stunning guitarist and singer, he established a world wide presence as a young blues turk,  and all who saw and heard him marveled at his mastery of the idioms, his astonishing guitar playing, his soulful singing – a musician’s musician. However,by the turn of the millennium he found himself drawn to the melodies and rhythms of Jamaican music and rapidly and thoroughly immersed himself in the idiom, studying it and learning its history just as thoroughly as he had the blues.

‘When I was in Kingston in 2009, recording my ‘Manifestation’ CD it was like I was in a dream state. It was like being in reggae Disneyland because on every street corner you would recognize a reggae legend. When I started my recording session there it was the first time I could remember my knees knocking together just like they did the first time I performed on stage at the age of 18. There I was singing and performing my own material with my heroes – some of the biggest legends and veterans of Jamaican music. The great producer Bunny Lee even walked in while I was singing a song. He watched and listened for a while and then gave me a thumbs up and a great big smile and turned and walked out the door.’

Over the years Rusty has performed with a multitude of Jamaican artists, and befriended even more. He’s recorded with the legendary Jamaican rhythm section Sly and Robbie, Boris Gardiner, Robbie Lyn, Mikey Chung, Soul Syndicate, Scully Sims, Hux Brown and many more.

His YouTube video of ‘I Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You’ has received more than 865,000 hits.

He has twice received Joe Higgs Music Award nominations as Best International  Reggae Artist (in 2007 and 2009) and for Best Male Singer category (alongside such legends as Beres Hammond) in 2009. These nominations were a great honor for Rusty as Joe Higgs, known as The Godfather of Jamaican Music, has had a huge impact and profound influence on his music, particularly his approach to songwriting. Other Jamaican performers who have had an impact on his music are his many mentors, Milton Henry, Mikey Mao Chung, Barry Biggs, Clinton Fearon, Tony Chin, and Fully Fullwood. Rusty sought out many of these Jamaican music notables and befriended them so that he could soak up the true vibes of some of Reggae’s foundational singers and musicians. He found that many of these men who are his heroes were more than approachable and willing to share their knowledge with him.

When reviewing an earlier CD in The Beat publication Chuck Foster (KPFK ‘Reggae Central’) wrote “…. did I mention this guy can sing?” and compared his songwriting talents to the great Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham.

Sly Dunbar, of the legendary rhythm section Sly & Robbie, recently commented: ‘I was blown away by his singing … his voice is clean and smooth. He is a great artist. ‘Nuff respect to Rusty.’

‘Great songs, delivery and execution that hits you with truths, rights & Love! ‘  Doug Wendt (Midnight Dread)

Rusty’s manager, Bob ‘Rob’ Bell says: ‘My first years in the music business were with Island Records and Trojan Records from 1965 through 1972 – the golden age of ska, rock steady and reggae. Rusty has that sound and feeling down without playing the nostalgia card – he plays to the heart’. Echoing the latter sentiment, James Austin of Rockbeat Records adds that ‘this CD has excellent “crossover” potential, opening up the world of Reggae to a whole new audience’.