Photo by @CheKothari
This year alone, Chronixx & Zincfence Redemption Band headlined tours in Africa, Japan, Europe and North America and rocked major festival shows like Coachella (USA),Austin City Limits (USA), Lovebox (UK) and One Love (Italy) as well as supported the iconic UK rock band Stone Roses at Manchester City Football Club’s Etihad Stadium.
In 2017, the 24-year-old singer and his band expand on this success, kicking off their massive North American tour on March 2 in support of Chronixx's first full length album Chronology (slated for an early 2017 release). The Chronology Tour spans 39 cities across the U.S. and Canada. Tickets go on sale this Wednesday December 14, 2016. Dates below and here.
Chronixx reveals his first visual "Majesty" from Chronology. The song, a beautiful interpretation of Otis Gayle's 1971 Studio One classic "I’ll Be Around" (originally sung by the '70s soul group The Spinners), is also featured on Chronixx's most recent mixtape "Roots and Chalice" curated by NYC's Federation Sound. “Majesty is about a spiritual vibration, the divinity within the woman and the balance that can be found within I&I. It’s celebrating that union,” explains Chronixx. In the visual, directed by Chronixx and Che Kothari, the singer serenades his love in a dreamy scenario, set on Jamaica's lush north coastal property Strawberry Fields Together in Robin's Bay, St. Mary.
Born Jamar Rolando McNaughton on October 10, 1992, Chronixx was musically nurtured from an early age by his father, dancehall artist Chronicle, and grew up surrounded by the likes of Burro Banton and Gregory Isaacs. Chronixx's youthful voice carries the wisdom of generations of reggae singers before his time and holds a positive message for the youth of this generation. In 2014, his music propelled him into international stardom. His Dread & Terrible project, featuring hits like "Here Comes Trouble" and "Captureland," immediately topped the Billboard (U.S.) Reggae chart. He was lauded by the likes of VOGUE, Vice & New Yorker as the leader of the reggae revival and landed performances on major stages including The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon(2014), NYC's Central Park Summerstage (2014), Governer's Ball (2015) and many more.
Chronixx & Zincfence Redemption - Chronology North American Tour 2017
3-02 in NEW HAVEN, CT @ Toad’s Place
3-03 in BOSTON, MA @ Paradise Rock Club
3-04 in NEW YORK, NY@ Irving Plaza
3-07 in DETROIT, MI @ El Club
3-09 in LOUISVILLE, KY @ Mercury Ballroom
3-10 in COLUMBUS, OH @ Al Rosa Villa
3-11 in CHICAGO, IL @ Metro
3-14 in LAWRENCE, KS @ Granada Theater
3-15 in DENVER, CO @ Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom
3-17 in SEATTLE, WA @ The Showbox
3-18 in VANCOUVER, BC @ Commodore Ballroom
3-19 in PORTLAND, OR @ Wonder Ballroom
3-21 in SACRAMENTO, CA @ Ace of Spades
3-23 in SAN FRANCISCO, CA @ The Fillmore
3-24 in REDWAY, CA @ Mateel Community Center
3-25 in SANTA CRUZ, CA @ The Catalyst
3-26 in RENO, NV @ Whitney Peak Hotel – Cargo Concert Hall
3-28 in FRESNO, CA @ Strummer’s
3-31 in SANTA ANA, CA @ The Observatory
4-01 in LOS ANGELES, CA @ The Fonda Theatre
4-02 in SOLANA BEACH, CA @ Belly Up
4-04 in TEMPE, AZ @ Club Red
4-05 in ALBUQUERQUE, NM @ Sunshine Theater
4-07 in HOUSTON, TX @Warehouse Live - Ballroom
4-08 in DALLAS, TX @ Trees
4-09 in AUSTIN, TX @ Euphoria Camping and Music Festival
4-10 in NEW ORLEANS @ Republic
4-13 in FT. LAUDERDALE, FL @ Revolution
4-14 in JACKSONVILLE, FL @ Mavericks at the Landing
4-15 in ATLANTA, GA @ Masquerade
4-16 in ASHEVILLE, NC @ The Orange Peel
4-18 in CARRBORO, NC @ Cat’s Cradle
4-19 in NORFOLK, VA @ The Norva
4-20 in SILVER SPRINGS, MD @ The Fillmore
4-21 in PHILADELPHIA, PA @ Theatre of Living Arts (TLA)
4-26 in MONTREAL, QUEBEC @ L’Olympia
4-27 in LONDON, ONTARIO @ London Music Hall
4-28 in TORONTO, ONTARIO @ Rebel Complex
4-30 in HUNTINGTON, NY @ The Paramount
Written by Dat Guy NJ
Brooklyn NY – Eager to attend the showcase event called Strictly The Best Live NY (STBNY) the moment I heard about it, I still battled the inclination to bow out based on an entire day of gloomy chilly weather with rain continuously beating the sidewalks. All the same, I just didn’t want to miss an opportunity to hear veterans of the Reggae/Dancehall circuit Christopher Martin (whose performances I’ve seen a few times and thoroughly enjoyed) and Spice (who I'd never seen perform). The event was held at The Paperbox, a venue that's comfortably nestled off the beaten path in a fairly secluded neighborhood in East Williamsburg Brooklyn, NY. I thought I'd be walking into an underground dive but upon arriving the first sign that things were looking up happened as I stepped through the doors finding myself in a pristine concert venue spacious in size yet surprisingly intimate. For those of you who may not have heard, the November 29th STBNY event was free entry on the guest list hosted by pioneer leaders in Reggae and Caribbean music production and distribution VP Records. Since 1991 they’ve produced an epic series of numbered releases called Strictly The Best (STB) and it's the longest running CD compilation series of its kind that's released annually in time for the year-end holiday season.
This year saw the STB release of not one but two sizable editions. Volume 54, the “Singers Edition,” features the latest songs (2015 – 2016) of popular artists accompanied by a separate bonus CD featuring the music of Jamaican groups of the 1960's going forward and at the heart, classic Reggae music selections. Volume 55, the “Deejays Edition” strictly covers the very latest Dancehall music from veteran and popular emerging artists. The bonus CD attached to Volume 55 features carefully selected songs that are collaboration tracks between Deejays and singers. Here's where it gets good. In 2016 Volumes 54 and 55 have been bundled together whereby buyers receive not two but four really great CD sets with fantastic music by many of the biggest most important names in Reggae, at a reasonable price.
Doors opened for the STBL show at 7 PM with early warm vibes and entertainment in-between acts in the hands of three DJ's although the only one I was familiar with is DJ Noah Power; he's been kicking the scene now for a good minute playing special events, putting out heavy hitting DJ remixes along the way earning a solid reputation. The other DJ's billed were Chromatic The Ultimate and the beautiful female selector Kitty Cash who did her thing and rived up the audience big-time. Moments before the show got started she invited guests to come up and dance pon di stage which many did leaving dancers and onlookers alike excited and fully pumped! The audience consisted of a diverse group of Reggae/Dancehall lovers from many different cultures and it was satisfying to experience everyone mingling and partying together. As The Paperbox continued filling, the early-warm juggling succeeded in warming the enthusiasm of attendees unified by the excellent Reggae music that filled the room as we anxiously awaited the main acts; it was a vibe that felt like total togetherness and the feeling lasted throughout the evening.
Then it happened, Christopher Martin touched the stage and the audience went insane as he opened up with his hit song "Don't Let Me Cheat." In great sound the air was filled with his strong voice and on-key melodies that created even more positive vibes that thickened the air. Early in the performance Martin was forced to sing without tracks but nobody seemed to mind because even then his voice was crisp, clear and right on key. As he progressed, his set seemed to intensify and the audience responded favorably. Enraptured by this magical feeling attendees sang along during most of Martin's set hardly ever missing a line. His time on stage was short but rammed with several of his excellent tunes that everyone wanted to hear. From STB Volume 55 he gave us his song “Pirate of the Caribbean” and went on to end his great set with “Mama” after about 30-minutes onstage. Other than the technical problem with his tracks Christopher Martin's flow was excellent and totally worth the trip to NY in the rain. A hard act to follow I hoped Spice would receive the same strong enthusiasm of Martin's opening reception but as they say, no worries.
Right from the start Spice strutted on stage with a sizzling air of confidence that everyone there could feel. However, before getting into her performance I must describe her appearance in a stunning sexy black body-fitting outfit (the top fitted with studs) that molded her tight voluptuous body and made it look like she'd been been poured into the outfit right before coming onstage. POW! Was it just me? I looked around for audience reaction and everyone that I could see had their eyes crazy glued to the stage. Still, it wasn't just about how appealing Spice looked (although I can tell you it was a huge bonus given that far too many artists hit the stage looking like they just rolled out of bed and put on street clothes, worn the day before). Spice's set put hardcore fire pon di mike giving out great sound, well performed songs like her latest 'suggestion song' called “Siddung Pon It” (translated for all those with only passing exposure to Jamaican patwah as 'Sit Down On It'). For a good minute the song went on in different phases driving the crowd wild especially after Spice invited a few ladies to join her on stage to show the dance moves to the song. Moving on to another selection a short time later, men where invited to the stage to dance with her and never having seen her handle an audience I quickly discovered that not only can Spice sing, she's a top-shelve entertainer and somewhat of an actress too. She sprinkled her act with daringly suggestive lyrics, interesting chat and facial expressions meant to intrigue her audience that taken together hit home. Her hot fire engine song you can find on STB Volume 55 is “Sight and Wine”...make sure you check it. A great performance all the way round only time will tell if she is indeed the new undisputed Queen of Dancehall as she is being hailed in a number of circles. Having finally seen her live in action vs- watching her videos on YouTube (which are subjected to editing), one thing for sure based on everything I heard and experienced that night, Spice's act is the real deal and, she is much more than just another hyped artist.
At the end of the night I was totally satisfied and interested in the STB compilations. My only displeasure is a common place flaw with Reggae in the NY area. The doors opened on a Tuesday night at 7 PM – a good time for a weeknight show - but performances didn't start for nearly four hours. Reggae people we have to do better! Start on time or much closer to it because it's a deterrent to fans who want to come out and enjoy great showcases like STBL and still get home in time to get a little shut-eye before work or school the next day. That aside, the night offered attendees a wonderful location and friendly hospitable staff at The Paperbox not to mention excellent entertainment throughout the evening making it a fun way to start off the week! And, as soon as you can make a point of filling in your music collection or making what will be a welcomed holiday gift stocking stuffer to a loved one of the STB 2016 special edition bundle Volumes 54/55 that as explained earlier, includes loads of bonus tracks. So that you see what I mean by great music I've listed below the selections you'll find on the STB compilations and encourage you to check out this link for a discount offer on your purchase of the volumes via the VP Records website!
Dat Guy NJ is a regular Reporter for the CatchTheVybz “Dat Guy” column covering all genres of music with a specialty in Reggae coverage. He also serves as the Director of Dancehall and Reggae Alliance on the Meetup.com network and Freelance Reporter for the Live Reggae NYC “Single in the City” column.
Photographer Winston Rodney is a seasoned fashion photographer and photojournalist. Traveling the world with his camera covering celebrity events, he is the CEO of Winston Rodney Photography.
Edited by G. Vanriel
(STB. vol. 54)
1. Identify My Love – Mr. Vegas 2. LoveSick – Romain Virgo 3. Unfaithful Chronicles – Dalton Harris
4. Stuck in the Middle – Ikaya 5. Cool Me Down – Tarrus Riley 6. Lay You Down Easy – Magic feat. Sean Paul
7. Take Me Back (J. Vibe Reggae Mix) – Christopher Martin 8. Bad Mind – Sizzla feat. Jah Cure
9. Strolling – Alborosie feat. Protoje 10. Get Up – Raging Fyah 11. Natty Bald Head – Morgan Heritage
12. Trap Set – Sanchez 13. Calling – Freddie McGregor 14. Hello (Reggae Cover) – Conkarah & Rosie Delmah
15. Unafraid – Jah9
(STB vol. 54 Bonus Disc)
1. Penny Love You – Wailing Souls 2. Love Has Many Faces – Heptones 3. You don’t Care – Technique
4. Born to Love You – The Sensations 5. The Beatitude – The Uniques 6. Got to Get Away – The Paragons
7. Don’t Break Your Promise – The Tamlins 8. Pass the Kutchie – The Mighty Diamonds
9. Bullseye – Brian & Tony Gold 10. Single Life – Home T. 11. Footprints – T.O.K. 12. Just as I Am – L.U.S.T
13. Down By the River – Morgan Heritage 14. Playing Games – Voicemail
(STB vol. 55)
1. Mercy a God – Vershon 2. Great Man – Jahmiel 3. One More Time – Alkaline 4. Likkle More – Vybz Kartel
5. Dancehall Dab – Mr. Vegas 6. Roast or Fry (Breadfruit) – Chi Ching Ching 7. Sight & Wine – Spice
8. Culu Culu – Savage 9. Buck Fi Mi Back – Razor B 10. Hard Ball – Masicka 11. 3G – Dexta Daps
12. Ball a Fire – Aidonia 13. Big League – Mavado 14. Pirate of the Caribbean – Christopher Martin
15. Streets – Bulby York feat. Busy Signal
(STB vol. 55 Bonus Disc)
1. Twice My Age – Shabba Ranks & Krystal 2. Half Idiot – Marcia Griffiths & Cutty Ranks
3. Who Say – Beres Hammond & Buju Banton 4. Big Up – Shaggy & Ravon
5. Bonafide Love – Wayne Wonder & Buju Banton 6. Living Dangerously – Barrington Levy & Bounty Killer
7. Intimate Woman – Red Rose & Bounty Killer 8. Give It to Her – Tanto Metro & Devonte
9. Miss Goodie Goodie – Colin Roach & Galaxy P 10. Hot Gal Today – Mr. Vegas & Sean Paul
11. Bad Man No Pet Gyal – Alozade feat. Chico & Kiprich 12. New Millenium – Vybz Kartel & Wayne Marshall 13. One Girl - Not Me – Beenie Man feat. Tanto Metro & Devonte 14. Party Time – Danny English & Egg Nog
Written by UKShasha
Barrington Levy cut his musical teeth at the age of 14 and progressed to recording a string of hits in the 70's through the 90's. Following a lull in his career, he got a much needed boost after being prodigiously sampled in the Hip-Hop and Pop genres. With an envious number of releases (both albums and singles) not to mention ‘unofficial’ outputs of his work, Levy has steadily been recording and making appearances in Europe and at select shows in America.
New York gets another chance to see this stalwart who is now a veteran in the Reggae industry having worked with some of the great producers, musicians and engineers who set the foundation for Reggae; that list includes revered names like Jah Life, Channel One, Henry ‘Junjo’ Lawes, Errol “Flabba” Holt, Carlton “Santa” Davis, Prince Jammy, Earl “Chinna” Smith, Bo-Pee Bowen and Gladdy Anderson to name a few.
Coming from the Dancehall heyday and having toured almost non-stop in the 80's and 90's, Barrington Levy is a showman however if you need further proof, check out his 2016 Reggae Sumfest performance – he's an entertainer who knows how to read and please a crowd; the fact that he is still making quality music after 40-years is no mean feat but a testament to his endurance and work ethic. Whether in Jamaica, England or the USA, Barrington Levy has delivered hits that have stood the test of time. In 2015 he released "Acousticalevy" which received a Grammy Award nomination that same year.
On December 13, 2016 Barrington Levy & the Detour Posse with special guest Mighty Mystic will perform in Manhattan at the famed B.B. King Blues Bar & Grill located in an area that some call the center of the arts and entertainment world – Times Square. For tickets check Ticketmaster or the BB King box office. For additional information or table reservations call 212-997 4144.
Edited by G.Vanriel
The Tamlins are one of the best harmonizing vocal trio groups to emerge from Jamaica. Electrifying is the word which most adequately describes them. Their sparkling reputation is based on their solid record of noteworthy achievements and a string of golden hits like “Baltimore,” “Ting-A-Ling,” “My Whole World Is Falling Down,” “Reasons,” and “Go Away Dream”.
The Tamlins, consisting of Carlton Smith, Derrick Lara and Junior Moore, started out as a nightclub act in 1970 and by 1972 had won the “Most Outstanding Group” award in Jamaica. This quickly opened other doors and shortly thereafter they signed a recording contract with one of Jamaica’s then top studios, Dynamic Sounds. Out of this came “Thick And Thin,” a ballad that made a good impression locally and drew interest from foreign labels such as Atlantic and Polydor.
The Tamlins developed prominence in 1974 with “Eighteen With A Bullet,” and this paved the way for their first album titled “Black Beauty,” which was released by Dynamic Sounds and State Recording in England. The Tamlins went on to record for the famous Channel One which resulted in a chain of hits -– “Hard To Confess,” “That’s Life,” “Thinking” and “Sweat For You Baby,” and also the group’s second album, “Tamlins Greatest Hits.” In 1979, they released “Ting-A-Ling” on the Hawkeye Label in London. “Ting-A-Ling” became a No. 1 hit on the Black Echoes Chart and also made it to the Top 10 of several other chart.
Inevitably, numerous local artists were clamoring for the sweet harmony of the Tamlins as backing vocals. Willingly, they threw their musical weight behind performances of artists like Delroy Wilson, Pat Kelly, John Holt, Jimmy Cliff and Peter Tosh. They later toured the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Holland, South America and the Eastern Caribbean Islands with Peter Tosh.
Out of the Tosh relationship developed a rapport with the famed ‘rhythm twins’, Sly and Robbie, of Taxi Productions. The Tamlins first single on the Taxi Label was “Star,” to be followed by “Laying Beside You Baby” and then the remake of Nina Simone’s “Baltimore,” which was also released internationally by EMI. “Baltimore” held the No. 1 spot for twelve weeks and, indisputably, it was judged the “Number One Record of the Year” in Jamaica on JBC’s “Top 100” for 1980. The group also won the “Best Group Award” from JBC, Radio Jamaica and the Daily News that same year…..
In 1986, the Tamlins performed on “Dancehall ‘86” at Cinema One with Half Pint, Josey Wales and Culture, among others. They not only got a standing ovation, but this was judged the “Best Performance of 1986” at the annual Rockers Awards Show. They also “tore the house down” at Sunsplash ’86 and the Taxi Connection Shows that same year.
Nineteen eighty-seven saw the Tamlins featured on the Freddie Jackson show at the Oceana Hotel, where they proved themselves in such stellar company, receiving thunderous applause and accolades. That year the Tamlins were nominated in several categories of media awards and won the award for “Best Performers.” In 1988 the Tamlins released their album, “I’ll Be Waiting” on the Live & Learn Label and a second album, “Love Divine” for SKD of Miami. A return engagement with Freddie Jackson was scheduled in 1989, this time at the Wyndham Hotel, and once again they stole the show. During that year they also participated in shows for the Hugo Hurricane Fund and the United Nation’s Benefit Show. The self-produced single, “Hurt So Good,” was also released that year, to critical acclaim.
Tours of Japan in 1987, performances at Madison Square Garden and in Washington, D.C. and the Detroit, Michigan award for “Top Jamaican Group” are some of the highlights and best held memories of this talented trio.
The nineties found the Tamlins celebrating two decades of success in the music industry, with gems still popping up on the charts. They also had a successful tour of Japan with artists such as the I-Threes, Admiral Bailey and Tiger. One of the high points of the Tamlins career was performing in an episode of “Miami Vice,” a popular television show during that decade. They wrote and performed several songs for an episode of the show entitled, “Soul On Ice.” They were the first Jamaican musical group to have been featured on a top-rated television series.
The Tamlins continue performing on stage shows in Jamaica such as the "Rebel Salute" and numerous vintage shows and festivals in Europe and the US. The Tamlins continue to stay in the spotlight and show their longevity. They also continue to put out solid reggae recordings decade after decade.
Ting A Ling
Go Away Dreams
Live Performances ~
Summer Splash 1989
Sierra Nevada World Music Festival 2014
Reggae Jam 2013
*Credit: Reggaeville Interview by Angus Taylor
Beenie Man releases his first album in a decade, Unstoppable, this week. Comprising 22 tracks, featuring guest collaborations with old friends Akon, Jeremy Harding and Tristan Palmer, as well as former foe Bounty Killer, it's a heady mix of his past, present and future.
Beenie spoke to Angus Taylor on the phone from Kingston, Jamaica. In the spirit of the record, they touched on his early days deejaying as a 5 year old, the hot topic of hip hop’s dues to dancehall, and why he won't be playing Sting any time soon...
How is your health? You had the Zika virus recently. Are you all better now?
Yeah I'm good. 100%. I caught the Zika but I'm good now. That was like two months ago. Three days’ time I was over it. I have a strong immune system. If I catch flu it lasts two days, when for other people, it’s a week.
Did you celebrate Ethiopian New Year?
Yeah man, we do that every year because I am an Ethiopian Orthodox. We celebrated in the African way. We have seven days of drumming, we have a feast, and we have fasting.
How does it feel to get your album Unstoppable out to the people? There were a couple of delays in securing a release date.
This is an album I needed to release for the fans. Seriously, because it has been 10 years now that I haven't had an album out. The problem was I did a song with Akon and it never cleared. The song is called Unstoppable, the title track. But now it is cleared, everything is alright. The whole production. Akon, Bounty Killer, everybody on the album. Putting it all together, it is a great work.
A lot has happened since your last album, Undisputed. We’ve had the download thing, the streaming thing, the whole album format was called into question at one point. Do albums matter?
Yeah, it does matter because… Alright… when your fans want to listen to you, they want to listen to an actual 22 tracks or 12 tracks straight. So this album is a 22 track album, a double CD. It's just what the fans need today. An album is relevant to any artist that is doing music.
Did you find it easy to come up with 22 tracks for an album? 22 tracks is quite a lot.
Yes, very easy because I sang about 60 songs for the album. Every year an artist goes in the studio he will actually make an album you know? An artist is going to make 22 tracks, 30 tracks for the year so at least he has three, four, five singles released that will really shot the place to keep him relevant. Now you will have a bag of hit songs which are not relevant. You have to know what the fans want. This album is what the fans want.
You worked with Akon on the song Girls in 2006. Like you, he has a love of African and Jamaican culture – as heard in his reggae song Mama Africa. What brought you together?
I met Akon in New York when he had just sung Locked Up. I brought him to Jamaica with one song, before the album released. So when he went back to America he started to give me work. Like "This man is trying to do a remix and him need you upon it", "That man needs a remix and he needs you upon it". So he gave me a whole heap of work as my friend. When he first built his company I was the first man he signed. I said "Alright, me ago deal with this". But I am a man who can't deal with companies. Companies try to tell you what to do, when to do it, how to do what - I can't deal with that. Me and Akon are friends but me and companies are not friends like that. So I decided to come back to Jamaica, build a studio, sit down and do my thing.
Your own productions feature a lot on this project - as well as long-time producers like Dave Kelly and Jeremy Harding. Who is in your 357 crew?
357 is the label, MD entertainment is the company. My partners are Mario Campbell and Rohan Smith which is Blue - my brother. He is the man that manages everything. He is the man that controls the whole entire thing. Most of the productions on the album are produced by us. Cantana and CeeGee are two artists of mine that I signed to my company. So me and them write together.
Tristan Palmer is on the album, singing and producing the song Blue Lights featuring Bounty Killer. How long have you known Tristan Palmer?
I have known Tristan Palmer for 40 years. He is one of my oldest friends. The first time I met Tristan Palmer was at Gemini Soundsystem. The sound played in front of my yard one night. It was Tristan Palmer, Philip Fraser and Carlton Livingston. The three of them met me. And then I met Squiddly Ranking and Johnny Ringo at the same time. That night, when I walked up on the microphone I was like five years old. When I took the mic Johnny Ringo thought I was a kid that came out of the house and couldn't find my mother! So he gave me the mic to call out my mother’s name. And I said "Run the riddim now!" It was totally fun.
What made you leave the house and get on the mic that night?
I just did it! I made up my mind and said "Right, me ago over the dance". The problem was, my mother is Christian and I live in her house. So I had to wait until she dropped asleep and then just climb through the window and go to the dance. So to stop me from getting beaten by my mother Tristan Palmer had to come to my yard and tell her the reason why they needed me around them to do what I do. Because every man just laughed when I held the mic and mashed up the place. After that Tristan Palmer gave me my first number one song. Miss Angela. He is the one that produced the song. Him and Solidarity. He is the first man to give me a number one in my life. And now I have 187 to count.
You mentioned that you left your home to go to the dance at the age of five. You have Sizzla and Agent Sasco on the new record for the song Call The Crew. Sasco told me a similar story about leaving his home at age five and getting on the mic.
Yeah man, that's how it goes. You see, Jamaican artists we started out from kids. We just have to decide our lives and say we are going to do this or do that. I realise now that every artist did the same thing that we did. Do things to please the mother. So the school thing, we have to do that. Go to school and graduate, get the diploma. Just for mum’s sake so that she can be alright. But we as artists we know exactly what we're going to be from when we are five years old. We're not scared. We are Jamaicans. We’re afraid of nothing! (Laughs)
In the same song you mention being “young on Maxfield Avenue”. What did you used to do on Maxfield Avenue, location of the great Channel One studio?
Oh! Maxfield Avenue is my place. That's also how I got to know Tristan Palmer.
That's what I was thinking. He must have spent a lot of time at Channel One.
Yeah man, that is the connection! We’d go and check Tristan Palmer, Early B, Tenor Saw. Maxfield Avenue was my place to go and hang out in the daytime as a youth. I used to live across town so I would leave school, take the 15 bus, come off at Waltham and walk over to Maxfield.
Is that where you met Barrington Levy?
I met Barrington Levy at Jungle, right in the part that Volcano Sound comes from. I knew Barrington Levy from when he was young. He was a man who just looked older when he was young. He still looks the same way. Half Pint, Junior Reid, all of them I knew them from when I was a youth.
When you won the Tastee Talent contest in 1981, which songs did you sing and who did you beat? Nadine Sutherland told me she beat Yellowman in 1979.
I sang my first recordings, Too Fancy and Over The Sea. I beat everybody! It was like Junior Tucker, Nadine Sutherland, Chevelle Franklyn. I got beaten the first time by Yellowman. The first time I entered was me and Yellowman. Yellowman wore yellow shoes, a yellow hat and yellow glasses and sang a song about being yellow and I couldn't beat him. There was nothing I could do! (Laughs) But the next time I went back and I actually won.
As mentioned, Bounty Killer is on the song Blue Lights. Do you two laugh about the old days?
Yeah, of course. We have been in war for what… 22 years? So all we have to do is purely laugh about it because we were never nasty. We have never had a fight. We have never had a fuss more than lyrical fights and lyrical arguments. It is just lyrical confrontation.
Recently there's been confrontation over dancehall artists getting fair credit by hip-hop artists. Some of this focussed on your sample on Controlla by Drake. As somebody who knows the music, what is the exact relationship is between dancehall and hip-hop? Is reggae hip-hop's father? Are dancehall and hip-hop cousins?
Dancehall built hip-hop, man. Without dancehall, so there be no hip-hop, my lord. Some of the biggest hip-hop songs are taking from Jamaican songs. You know that and I know that too. For example, the first man who did hip-hop is Jamaican.
DJ Kool Herc. The man who sang Kung Fu Fighting [Carl Douglas] is Jamaican. Busta Rhymes is Jamaican. Biggie Smalls is Jamaican. So the music is Jamaican influenced 100%.
Jamaica has also been very influenced by America since the 50s.
Yes man, since the 50s for true. The cars and the dressing and the gold chains and the big watches and all those things. Otherwise our music influences hip-hop music. There is no rapper’s house that you can go in right now that doesn't have a Bob Marley picture.
There is a desire, within elements of the industry, to try to copyright Jamaican musical forms. Is that realistic?
Not really. There is no copywriting dancehall. Dancehall music comes from everything else. If they copyrighted dancehall music then you’re copyrighting the next man’s style. Because dancehall music comes from the foundation. It never changes. Everything that we do, the youth that come after us will come and do it back. If you copyrighted dancehall everybody would be broke. Nobody would earn any money! (Laughs)
As someone who has performed at Sting many times, what do you think of Sting’s new international concept?
I am not involved with Sting. I don't have anything to do with Sting. I am done with Sting. I don't think it's any longer a ghetto show because of the price. $3000, $5000 to go in as a VIP. It is no longer a ghetto show. Ghetto people don't have that money. I have nothing to do with Sting. Notice I haven't done Sting for the past 10 years. I don't know anything about Sting or the concept or anything that they are talking about.
You recorded the song Three Against War with Tristan Palmer and Dennis Brown. You also recorded with Dennis’ daughter Marla Brown. What are your memories of Dennis?
Dennis Brown was my greatest artist I've ever seen in my life. My memory of Dennis Brown is when the big artists busted Jamaica like Shabba Ranks and Ninjaman, Dennis Brown would close the show. When Papa San and Tiger ran the place Dennis Brown would close the show. He is one of our greatest artists, other than Bob Marley. We knew Dennis Brown. Dennis Brown was the nicest man you could ever know.
By: Dat Guy NJ
American visa issues for Reggae sensation Sizzla Kalonji that resulted in an eight year absence from the US market recently ended for the fire brand DJ who performed in the area for the Labor Day holiday weekend. Needless to say, the demand for additional performances by the critically acclaimed artist continues and its just been announced that Sizzla is returning to the area on Friday, October 21, 2016 at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill, Manhattan; the venue continues to make excellent strides in presenting high-quality Reggae music events all year round that are suitable for all ages, and at affordable ticket prices.
Fans who may have missed Sizzla's recent NY performance and followers who just can't get enough of his music are strongly advised to purchase their tickets early. This upcoming appearance is expected to be a SOLD OUT event with people from all over the tri-state area scooping up tickets as fast as they are printed. And if you're feeling lucky, stay locked for the announcement of a chance to win a free ticket via our news alliance partners Live Reggae NYC on the Facebook network courtesy of B.B. King NY!
*Photo Courtesy of ReggaeReflection.com
Doors for Sizzla's performance at B.B. King NY open at 11 PM EST with a showtime of 11:59 PM. At this writing we just don't yet know who the early warm artists will be but no matter, Sizzla will be in the house and you can count on his characteristic high energy performance, outstanding repertoire of cutting edge music backed by fiery lyrics.
Advance tickets will be going for $39.50 and $45 on the day of the show; advanced reserved VIP seating will be made available at $75 per person at the spacious B.B. King as well as a limited number of first come first serve tables carrying a mere $10 food and/or drink minimum for early bird arrivals to the venue.
For additional information and to purchase tickets on-line please visit the B.B. King website via this link. Get ready to sizzle with Sizzler on October 21st - see you there!
New Date, October 23, 2016 REMINISCE REGGAE SUNDAY with REGGAE RADIO!
Doors 3PM to 7PM / Showtime 4PM
Not to be missed the return of Reminisce Reggae Sunday tribute show ft. Robin Andre and The Reggae Rockers performing LIVE the music of: Bob Marley and the Wailers, Jimmy Cliff, Steele Pulse, Luciano, Berres Hammond, Shaggy, UB40, Adele and Cold Play.
Delicious Homemade Jamaican Patties, Specialty Drinks and more available on site.
Admission $10 in advance/ $12 at the gate: For additional information and tickets visit TicketWeb now!
By: Dat Guy NJ
In Queens, New York on Labor Day Sunday,September 4, 2016 Irie Jam Radio celebrates their 23rd Anniversary with "The Return Of Sizzla" at Roy Wilkins Park making tickets for the event one of hottest in town. Following an eight year absence from the NY scene you may have heard that Sizzla recently had his US visa re-instated; his performance at the anniversary celebration is the very first NY area appearance of this highly celebrated Roots and Culture Reggae artist which has the streets buzzing with fans anxiously awaiting this momentous occasion.
Irie Jam Radio well-known as producers of top notch events is pulling no punches and bringing their fans an incredible lineup of popular artists that in addition to Sizzla includes top celebrity artists Richie Spice, Bugle, Elephant Man, Anthony B, Mr Vegas, I-Wayne and newcomer Jahmiel.
Attendance at the Festival is suitable for all ages and I highly suggest that you purchase your tickets quickly to take advantage of the great $49.99 discount price (while it lasts). I also stongly suggest that you only make your ticket purchases from "official" outlets or by using your credit/debit card securely online via the IrieJamRadio.com website.
IrieJam's September 4th staging of the Return of Sizzla promises to be an historical event that you absolutely won't want to miss. Gates open at 11:30AM so arrive early to ensure that you get a great spot for what promises to be an excellent show not to mention an afternoon of delicious Caribbean food and specialty drinks from the many vendors who are sure to be on hand.Continue reading
Maxi Priest, Gyptian, Bunji Garlin and Fay Ann Lyons Will Perform at the Free Daytime Concert
Sound Provided by Massive B (Bobby Konders & Jabba)
Jamaica Tourist Board Sponsors Event
Fox 5 Good Day NY Previews Event Today
VP Records has teamed up with SummerStage to celebrate the label's 35th year in business. From VP's artist roster, reggae stars Maxi Priest and Gyptian as well as soca royalty Bunji Garlin and Fay Ann Lyons will take the stage in NYC’s Central Park for this momentous occasion. DJs Bobby Konders and Jabba of Massive B will also provide sounds throughout the day. The free concert kicks off at tomorrow (Sat. June 27) from 2pm-7pm.
This year marks the 35th anniversary when VP Records’ founders Vincent and his wife Patricia Chin moved their headquarters from Kingston, Jamaica to Jamaica, New York – transforming their operations into the largest Caribbean music company worldwide. There will also be a special VP Records 35th anniversary pop-up exhibit entitled A Reggae Music Journey, which designed by acclaimed artist Michael Thompson. The display will be located outside of the event for all the patrons to enjoy.
"VP Records is proud to bring this all-star lineup into the heart of Manhattan. We're all looking forward to celebrating the 35th anniversary with an historic day of reggae and soca music in the park," states VP Records Senior Director of Marketing Brian Greenspoon.
Following several partnerships with VP Records, The Jamaica Tourist Board joins the label again as an official sponsor for the event. They will giveaway travel and merchandise on site. JTB's Business Development Manager Kris DaCosta says, "the VP Records and SummerStage collaboration is a great fit for us. Reggae music is a huge part of Jamaica's storied history and this event gives us a great opportunity to share with New Yorkers the good vibes to be had on Island."
SummerStage is also celebrating their 30th anniversary this year. SummerStage is a program of City Parks Foundation that presents performances of outstanding artistic quality, free of charge, to serve the diverse communities of New York City. To celebrate their 30th anniversary, they have extended the season from May to October, and added more than 20 free shows in Central Park and 15 neighborhood parks across the city.
VP Records co-founder Patricia Chin adds “SummerStage’s 30th Anniversary and VP Records’ 35th Anniversary are significant milestones that we are honored to acknowledge together at the prestigious Central Park venue.” After 35 years, Miss Pat (as her staff affectionately refers to her) is still very much involved with the day-to-day operations of VP Records.
Today, Maxi Priest and Gyptian performed their latest singles and Patricia Chin appeared on FOX 5 Good Day NY morning show to preview the event.
With over 15 million albums sold worldwide, multiple Grammy nominations and Top 10 Billboard hits (including the No. 1 smash “Close To You”) – the most successful solo act in British reggae history, Maxi Priest, continues to hit the road throughout 2015 in support of his first studio album in almost a decade, Easy To Love (VP Records). Easy To Love is a fine representation of pop, reggae and R&B blended together in one set. The title track was a No. 1 hit on reggae charts last summer, evidence that Maxi Priest has a gift for staying fresh. “Hearts Across The World” is a song for our times and pleas for people of all races to love one another. The soulful “Without A Woman” features Jamaican legend Beres Hammond and even echoes the themes and intensity of James Brown’s “It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World.” Maxi continues to tug on women’s heartstrings with irresistible tributes of enduring affection on “Loving You Is Easy,” “Holiday” and his rendition of John Mayer’s “Gravity.”
Jamaican reggae singer Gyptian broke into the reggae scene in 2005 with his string of hits like “Serious Times” “Beautiful Lady” and “Mama, Don’t Cry.” He hit international stardom in 2010 with his critically-acclaimed album Hold You and its RIAA certified Gold title track (produced by Ricky Blaze), which featured a Nicki Minaj remix, and earned him a 2010 MOBO and Soul Train award. Gyptian just released his new single "All On Me" and his latest fourth studio album Sex, Love and Reggae, which peaked at #1 on the Billboard Reggae Album chart, is a marked departure from his previous releases and unveils another layer of his artistry. The musically diverse set takes the listener from dancehall to soca to global pop and R&B sounds and features an eclectic mix of production from Jamaica – including Shane C. Brown. Justus Arison and Stanley “Rellee” Hayden, Russian and Linton “TJ” White – and is co-executive produced by Jerry “Wonda” Duplessis (Miguel, Mary J. Blige, Lupe Fiasco, the Fugees).
Born Ian Alvarez, the Trinidadian ragga soca star Bunji Garlin is known for blending of soca with dancehall. Hailed recently by Rolling Stone as “America’s first soca star,” Garlin has clearly taken his native country’s genre to new heights. His single “Differentology (Ready For The Road),” which was remixed by Major Lazer & Busta Rhymes, was a massive hit in North America more than a year after its release in the Caribbean. In 2013, the single received a Soul Train Award win, was featured on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, won NYC’s HOT 97 FM’s Battle of The Beats competition and was chosen by NPR as one of the year’s favorite anthems as well as MTV Iggy’s Song of the Year. Garlin introduced soca to more mainstream music circuits by performing at last year’s SXSW, CMJ Music Festival, FADER Fort, Mad Decent Boat Party and alongside Jillionaire and Major Lazer during their 2014 tour stint. That same year, he made his national TV debut on BET’s 106 & Park to perform “Differentology” and returned for their Carnival takeover episode with Fay Ann Lyons and A$AP Ferg for their “Truck On D Road” remix. In his native country, he has won multiple Carnival competitions – including the “Ragga Soca Monarch” title, the Young King title and the coveted International Soca Monarch. He has released eight albums independently and three additional albums on VP Records – Revelation (2002), Global (2007) and Differentology (2014) – the latter being a joint venture with RCA Records.
Fay Ann Lyons
Fay Ann Lyons is already a superstar in her native country of Trinidad and across the Caribbean. During Trinidad & Tobago’s Carnival season’s annual competitions, Fay Ann has set the record as the only female artist to score the Carnival Road March title three times, taking the crown in 2003, 2008 and 2009. In 2009, she also won International Soca Monarch in Groovy, People’s Choice and Power category and is the first soca artist ever to win that soca ‘triplet’ of titles. In addition to these feats, she has taken home 17 awards between the COTT (Copyright Organization of Trinidad and Tobago), NACC (National Action Cultural Committee Trinidad and Tobago) and SAO (Soca Awards Organization). The Point Fortin native has soca in her DNA. Her father Superblue, a soca legend who has won the Carnival Road March title nine times and Trinidad Soca Monarch competition seven times, was instrumental in honing Fay Ann’s skills as a songwriter and performer. She became a front-liner for the band Invazion led by Naya George and today is an official member of the Asylum band (previously known as “Censation”), founded by her husband and soca royalty Bunji Garlin. Fay Ann continues to tour worldwide and is recording her first solo full-length album on VP Records.
Massive B (Bobby Konders & Jabba)
Massive B was formed over 10 years ago with DJ Bobby Konders’ vision of starting his own sound system. At its start, the voice behind Massive B was none other than Jabba. There have been many additions to Massive B as it continues to grow. New members include Big Dawg, Chudney Shotta, D-Life and X-Man, among others. Massive B has toured all over the globe, playing major festivals and dances, and representing NYC along the way. Locally, Massive B is a Brooklyn staple, performing annually at the borough’s West Indian Day Parade and weekly at the Buzz Nightclub for ‘Fire Sundays,’ where they spin the hottest reggae, dancehall, hip hop, R&B, and soca music. Bobby and Jabba can also be heard on-air every weekend on Hot 97 FM.
By Grace Vanriel
Lining every available crook and cranny of the spacious multilevel Irving Plaza concert hall located in downtown Manhattan, it was elbow room only for fans out to see Chronixx and his band ZincFence Redemption on their 2015 “Capture Land Tour.” The concert was jam-packed and only the VIP areas offered slightly more breathing room and seating options and even there, it was an unprecedented crush. It's hard to imagine that as a Reggae act, Chronixx only started touring outside of Jamaica W.I. in 2013, and that by the following year he was already seeing exponential growth of his fan base and receiving a flurry of bookings as he grew in international acclaim but, it's true. With record sales also steadily growing, everything required for a successful music career is in place and pointing towards a prosperous professional future. It's also now impossible to deny that this young, high pitched, lyrically motivated Rastafarian sing-jay calling himself Chronixx and his extraordinarily talented band mates with an unmistakable sound are much more than just fly-by-night one (or two) hit wonders.
Creating and singing great Reggae music is one thing. But actually winning the unwavering loyalty of fans is another. Chronixx (born Jamar McNaughton) has been very successful at doing both. While the first-ever EP released by Chronixx in 2010 consisting of seven tracks called Hooked on Chronixx earned him industry respect, the EP did not make him an overnight celebrity. His rise to fame was short but incremental receiving its first incredible boost when he performed on NBC's ‘Tonight Show’ as a special invited guest of show host Jimmy Fallon. The song he chose was already a popular hit single from his second EP Dread and Terrible (2014) called Here Comes Trouble (Rootsman Rhythm). The performance broadcast live on US national television certainly helped catapult Chronixx into a number two spot on the Billboard Digital Reggae Singles chart, and brought him to the attention of American audiences. However, that performance alone does not explain the sheer speed in which he has continued to rise in popularity since that time which is a dream come true for the artist, and Reggae history in the making.
Following the Dread and Terrible Tour, the Capture Land Tour is the second major tour undertaken by Chronixx and is so-named after another song on his Dread and Terrible EP. Capture Land continues to build around a theme of unification through increased social consciousness and takes this interesting new celebrity to twenty-one shows across the United States that kicked off on May 23rd at the California Roots Festival and ends on June 20th at the Fillmore in Miami. Enthusiastic New York fans attending the Irving Plaza show, as part of the 2015 Governors Ball After Dark series, arrived early and in full force, waved Ethiopian flags signifying their understanding and unity with the lyrical messages by holding up lighters and singing along with Chronixx as he performed Rastafari inspired Reggae. Chronixx kicked off his generous two hour concert with the song Alpha & Omega and included a number of other outstanding well performed selections namely: Start a Fire, Eternal Fire, Never Give Up, They Don't Know, Most I, Thanks and Praise, Access Granted, Somewhere, Smile Jamaica, and a popular remake of the Inner Circle song featuring Jacob Miller called Tenement Yard (News Carrying Dread). Tastefully sprinkled throughout the set were short thanks and praises to Jah and brief social commentary on subjects that impact our daily lives, making the entire evening a true Roots & Culture Reggae styled presentation.
Chronixx and the ZincFence Redemption's obvious love of Reggae music was apparent in their overall presentation at Irving Plaza. Their generous set never faltered in energy characterized by lyrics that created a storyline and most importantly, a seamless ability to move artfully between the traditional Reggae beat to the modernization of the sound that successfully blended older styled presentations with a newer one. Without going into a lengthy debate on the existence of a “Reggae Revival,” at this point I would interject that if by definition the term is narrowed to mean the “popularization of traditional Reggae music” then I would have to agree, a change has come. It was a sight to behold - Reggae lovers attentively watching Chronixx's every movement on stage, absorbing his message, and swaying where they stood clearly transformed by what they saw and heard. The evening was a totally uplifting experience that fed the mind and moved the body.
Jamar "Chronixx" McNaughton, Joshua "Flubz" Jones, Nnamdi Robinson, Elisha Ellis, Hector Lewis, Evan "Yello" Mason, Stephen Coore
Grace Vanriel is the founder and CEO of the Live Reggae NYC network and co-founder of The Reggaeholics Movement; she is a freelance writer for Where Itz At Magazine, Senior Correspondent for ReggaeReflection.com, CatchTheVybe.com, TheReggaeVibe.com and the Assistant Caribbean Editor for CitiLyfe.com (online and print).
Marjorie Flash is the CEO of MyFlash Photography; she is a freelance photojournalist for Where Itz At Magazine, ReggaeReflection.com and contributing photographer for Catchthevybe.comContinue reading
The Genre's Top Selling Annual Compilation Features Today's Hits in Pop, Reggae, Dancehall, Roots and Lover's Rock
Compilation Includes an Eclectic Mix of Artists Including
Magic, Eddie Murphy, Beres Hammond, Spice ft. Vybz Kartel, Busy Signal, Gyptian, Romain Virgo, Dexta Dups, Inner Circle ft. Chronixx & Jacob Miller, Etana, Queen Ifrica, Ikaya, Toian, Jah 9, Jah Cure & Gully Bop
SLY & ROBBIE & the TAXI GANG with BITTY MCLEAN - TOURING NORTH AMERICA -- MAY / JUNE 2015
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 35 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 have an extensive history. They have toured North America, Europe and Japan with the Taxi Gang which includes an ultimate lineup of top Jamaican recording musicians. 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.
Johnny Osbourne, who will also be featured on this tour package, is a popular Jamaican reggae and dancehall singer who rose to success in the late 1970s and mid-1980's. His career has been going strong for 30 years and shows no sign of letting up singing soulful reggae and also having a massive dancehall catalog. With his warm voice filled with conviction and yearning, he is one of the Jamaica's best, especially on standards like "Ice Cream Love," "Water Pumping," and countless rub-a-dub singles. His album Truth and Rights was a notable roots reggae success. Osbourne is best known for his mid-1980s dancehall reggae hits "Buddy Bye" based on King Jammy's Sleng Teng riddim "Ice Cream Love" and "Water Pumping".
During 1967 Osbourne became lead vocalist of The Wildcats, and recorded for producer Winston Riley, although nothing was issued. The Wildcats' manager then financed a session at Coxsone Dodd's Studio One, from which his debut single, "All I Have Is Love", was released. In 1969 he recorded an album, Come Back Darling, an again for Riley. On the day that he completed the album, Osbourne emigrated to Toronto, Canada to join his family. After singing with various soul and reggae groups, he became lead vocalist for Ishan People, and recorded two albums with them. The group broke up in 1979, and Osbourne decided to return to Jamaica.
Shortly after returning, he recorded "Forgive Them" and "Jealousy, Heartache And Pain" for the Studio One label. Through late 1979 and early 1980 he recorded extensively for Dodd, with these sessions culminating in Truths And Rights. In 1979 he also had a hit for King (then Prince Jammy) with "Folly Ranking", and an album of the same name followed in 1980. The success of these recordings made him one of the most in-demand vocalists on the island, and a glut of material was released, including Fally Lover, Warrior, Innah Disco Style and Never Stop Fighting, between 1980 and 1982. In 1983, he began the year with two big hits, "Yo Yo" and "Lend Me A Chopper", and later in the year enjoyed further success with "Water Pumping", an adaptation of Hopeton Lewis "Take It Easy", which had also served as the basis for Johnny Clarke's 1976 hit "Rockers Time Now".
The hits continued with "Get Cracking", "Check For You", "Rewind" (1984), "Buddy Bye", "No Sound Like We" and "In The Area" (1985). In the late 1980s he was particularly successful when recording for Bobby Digital and had hits with "Good Time Rock" (1988) and "Rude Boy Skank" (1988), both of which are included on his 1989 album, Rougher Than Them. Throughout the 1980s he continued to record for Coxsone Dodd, and singles included "Keep That Light", "Unity" and "A We Run Things."
The other featured artist in this package is Bitty Mclean. Bitty has many notable worldwide hit songs and he has toured Europe and Japan extensively doing festivals and club dates backed by Sly & Robbie and the Taxi Gang. Most of Bitty's studio work is also in collaboration with Sly and Robbie. Bitty is a much loved UK based talent with an astonishing voice and unnerving ability to pen a pop smash. McLean launched himself into the high end of the British charts with a string of Top Ten hits in the early 90s. Born in 1972, Bitty's earliest memories were punctuated with the music he would hear courtesy of his father's sound system, where he started by singing over Jamaican Dub and Instrumental riddims. In 1992, McLean not only co-produced but played and sang on UB40's hugely successful album Promises And Lies which sold 8 million copies. Bitty's own recordings including It Keeps Rainin, Dedicated To The One I Love, Here I Stand notched up 3 UK top ten singles by 1994 selling over 1 million records. The subsequent years saw Bitty accrue a fearsome catalogue of top 30 singles, as well as playing UK arena tours with UB40, Wet Wet Wet and Simply Red.
In 2004, Bitty released the superb On Bond Street, in which Duke Reid's Treasure Isle instrumentals played by the legendary Tommy McCook and the Supersonics formed the basis of the album. Bitty complemented these 35 year old tracks with such elegance it was hard to believe he was not there when the tracks were originally recorded.
Bitty followed up with a major collaboration with the worlds' greatest rhythm section, Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare. The trio recorded Movin' On, a brand new studio album in Kingston, Jamaica. Featuring the hits Real Thing, Lately and Let Them Talk, Movin' On came out in 2009 to widespread critical acclaim, as the New York Times hailed it as the best Reggae album of that year.
Following tours of Europe and Japan with Sly & Robbie and the Taxi Gang, Bitty went back to the studio and recorded a follow up to Movin' On entitled The Taxi Sessions. The Taxi Sessions blends Sly and Robbie's classic hard rockers and rub a dub riddims recorded during the 80's with a first rate line up of Jamaican musicians with Bitty's trademark voice. Featuring the Riddim Twins' distinctive sound along with Bitty's songwriting and vocals, The Taxi Sessions not only reaffirms, but also solidifies Bitty McLean as one of Reggae's premier singers and songwriters, as exemplified by superb tracks such as Blessings By The Score, Brotherman or A Step Closer
Capleton, "The Prophet" is currently the hottest entertainer in the worldwide reggae fraternity. Contact Peter Wardle at Kings Music International if you are interested in booking him in July or for Festivals or one offs.
Capleton is currently on tour in Europe. October / November 2013 Capleton and the Prophecy Band did another very successful major North American tour with Kings Music International that covered from San Diego, CA to Seattle, WA to Houston,Texas and New Orleans and from Burlinton VT to Miami, FL. Last August Capleton toured the European festival circuit. June 2013 after a 6 week tour in Europe and a short South America tour, Capleton passed through the Western US for festival appearances. He again proved his strength as a performer on these shows. In Jamaica artists are afraid to perform after him because he is a hard act to follow.
October / November 2012 Capleton and his Prophecy Band did a major Kings Music International North American tour that was a great success. In Jamaica, he is one of the most popular reggae artists on the island. On the major Jamaican shows he is consistently towards the top of the billing.
When Capleton dropped the tune Alms House in 1992, he established himself as more than an entertainer, but as a guiding light of righteousness through music. "United we stand and divided we fall," he sang for the benefit of his fans and dancehall comrades. "Nuff of them nah go know themself till them back against the wall." Other of his anthem songs are Lotion Man, Good So, Prophet, I-Testament, One Mission and More Fire.
Many of Capleton's songs "and most of his critics" make mention of this blazing fire. Capleton hopes to clear up the confusion once and for all. "Is not really a physical fire. Is really a spiritual fire, and a wordical fire, and a musical fire. You see the fire is all about a livity. But is people get it on the wrong term. People get confused. So when a man say 'more fire' him think that mean say you fi go light the cane field or go light the church." Fire, Capleton explains, is a way of reminding one's brother that they are going astray. "That way a man know say him doing something wrong. That even give him the urge to know say Yo check up on yourself. What you're doing is not right, or else him would not say 'Fire fi dat,' or 'Burn dat' or 'More fire.'" "If we go check it back now," he continues, "fire is for the purification of earth, anyhow you check it. This earth itself have to even emerge from the literal fire also, which is the volcanic activity, we a talk bout lava. The hottest element to rise up in the morning is the sun. The water cleanse, but it's still the support from the fire that burn the water, burn out of the bacteria so the water coulda heal we fi cleanse. The herb heal, but it's still the fire fi burn the herb so the herb coulda heal we also."
To Book:Continue reading