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Monthly Archives: April 2014

  • Exco Levi Tours Europe and Releases New Album “Words of the Wise!”

    Canada’s most awarded Reggae artist, Exco Levi is in Europe as he readies for his tour which covers 8 cities in a span of 2 weeks, and while on tour, his label, Penthouse Records releases his EP Words of the Wise on the VP Records imprint.

    Continuing his fruitful relationship with Silly Walks Discotheque (producers of the songs “Storms of Life,” and “Strive” featuring Kabaka Pyramid which won the 2013 and 2014 Juno award for Best Reggae Recording), Exco and Silly Walks will perform several songs including material not yet released to the public. About the tour, Exco says “I can’t wait to perform for the people. They are the reason why I make the music, so performing for them is always special. Europe here I come!”

    In addition to Exco’s tour, the artist actively shared via social media his good news of a new EP called Words of the Wise which will be released to all major digital retail outlets on April 29th, 2014. The project was produced by Donovan Germaine and team at Penthouse Records via the VP Records Imprint.

    The 7 track EP includes songs previously released “Bleaching Shop,” “Life in the Factory,” “Save the Music,” “Walk Wide a Mi,” “Ready Fih Revolute” and “Can’t Live Without God” as well as an exclusive, “Under My Sheets” which has not been previously released. Donovan Germaine, CEO of Penthouse Music feels that Exco’s music “has been well received by music lovers who appreciate Reggae and want more from him. We are pleased to give his fans this album and we are confident that they will not be disappointed!”

    While on tour, Exco will be promoting his album.

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  • L3 Magazine looks at Caribbean and Urban Highlights for the month of April with Ziggy Marley | Michele Henderson | Sophia Stewart | Vince Lozano!

    L3 Magazine closes the month of April, 2014 with the biggest highlights in Caribbean and Urban news and entertainment, and does so with the help of Ziggy Marley, Michele Henderson, Sophia Stewart and Vince Lozano!

    Ziggy Marley is flying high with the release of his new album Fly Rasta which impacted the iTunes charts at #1. Fans agree that the album is another great and classic, but what does Ziggy think, and how did he implement his Father, Bob Marley’s standards on the album? Natasha Von Castle gets the answers!

    Michele Henderson is from Dominica, and is recognized as one of the most famous flautists! She has performed on several notable stages around the world, and is one of the few people who practices Scientology in her country. Is that of any significance?! Our journalist Ayeola George asks about this and more.

    No one has impacted Sci-Fi on a global scale as much as Sophia Stewart has. Creator of Terminator and the Matrix, Sophia is famous for both film franchises, as well as for the historic judgment she was awarded when her material was used without permission. Jennifer Menster sits down with the living oracle to understand how the lawsuit came about, and where she is now.

    Vince Lozano is a famous actor in Hollywood whose role as Jacoby in Pirates of the Caribbean and the television series Dads were most popular. The actor’s newest film project, Acts of Desperation is receiving a lot of attention, and L3’s Song River gets the exclusive scoop.

    In addition to feature interviews, this month offers Beauty Tips from Kay Cunningham, the art of Gerald McDermott, an inspirational word from Dr. Cheryl Hill, highlights from the Web Series Dear Jesus, model of the month and so much more!

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  • New Album (May 6) – Ragga Ragga Ragga 2014 – Raw & X-Rated Dancehall Series ft. Vybz Kartel, Spice, Busy Signal and more

    Ragga Ragga Ragga 2014, the annual dancehall series from Greensleeves, will hits the streets on May 6th, 2014. This go-to compilation has earned its stripes worldwide by consistently providing the season’s breaking hits that are bubbling in the club and busting on the streets.

    This year’s compilation features top hits from Jamaican’s biggest dancehall stars like Spice’s summer anthem “So Mi Like It” and “Go Go,” Aidonia’s “Boom Flick,” Vybz Kartel’s “Punanny A Mi Best Friend” and Busy Signal’s “Crazy Sex” as well as fresh anthems from the island’s emerging artists like Don Husky’s “On and On,” Christopher Martin’s “Secret Love (Creep),” Radijah’s “Walk Like A Dog” and Alkaline’s “Things Mi Love.”

    WATCH Ragga Ragga Ragga 2014 cover girl and dancehall queen Miss Likkle Bit show her skills on the featured track Spice’s “So Mi Like It:”

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    RAGGA RAGGA RAGGA 2014 TRACK LISTING
    1. On and On – Don Husky
    2. Punanny A Mi Best Friend – Vybz Kartel
    3. Boom Flick – Aidonia
    4. So Mi Like It – Spice
    5. Walk Like A Dog – Radijah
    6. Wine and Jiggle – I-Octane
    7. Turn Me On – Gyptian
    8. All The Way – Elephant Man & Spice
    9. 1,2,3 – Alkaline
    10. Things Mi Love – Alkaline
    11. Go Go – Spice
    12. Crazy Sex – Busy Signal
    13. Secret Love (Creep)- Christopher Martin
    14. Nuh Compatible – Bugle

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  • Maxi Priest – Easy To Love

    With over 15 million albums sold worldwide, a No. 1 U.S. Billboard hit and a Grammy nomination, the most successful solo act in British reggae history Maxi Priest returns with his brand new studio album Easy To Love on VP Records available June 10th, 2014.

    The new album is a fine representation of lovers’ rock, an effortless blend of reggae, R&B and dancehall with universal appeal. The sophistication he brings to these tracks is the mark of true quality. His delivery and phrasing are impeccable, and his choice of material and collaborators are strategic and brilliant.

    Lead single “Easy To Love” was a No. 1 hit on reggae charts last summer, evidence that Maxi Priest has a gift for staying fresh. The song features the legendary Jamaican drum and bass duo Sly & Robbie, who’ve played on some of Maxi’s biggest hits, including “Wild World,” “Some Guys Have All The Luck,” “Close To You,” and “Housecall” (featuring Shabba Ranks) as well as the new album track “Every Little Thing.”

    Maxi’s been tugging on women’s heartstrings ever since the mid-80’s. New and long-term fans alike will relish hearing irresistible tributes of enduring affection like “Loving You Is Easy,” “Holiday,” “Still In Love,” and “Gravity” written originally by John Mayer. 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.”

    There are many more highlights on the Easy To Love. While “Hearts Across The World” is a song for our times and pleas for people of all races to love one another, other tracks like “Fire In The Skies” simply defy categorization and are living proof of Maxi Priest’s musical versatility.“ The delicate, aching need of “Angel Wings” also demonstrates just how far reggae has evolved in the new era.

    Maxi Priest says “this album is about time, and a moment,” and with his most refined and chic collection to date, his timing could not be better.

    Fans can pre-order an autographed copy of Maxi Priest’s Easy To Love album.

    If consumers order before April 30, 2014, they will receive a free download of Maxi’s new single “Gravity.”

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  • TANYA STEPHENS AND SANJAY RELEASE CONTROVERSIAL VIDEO FOR THEIR SINGLE, “CORNERS OF MY MIND”

    Established female sing-jay Tanya Stephens recently collaborated with emerging artist Sanjay on a controversial video for their single “corners of my mind”. Directed by Daniel Saboune out of Australia and shot in Jamaica, “Corners of My Mind” video was released on International Women’s Day and since then has had tongues wagging due to its anti-abuse message.
    In the video Sanjay and Tanya Stephens are at the end of what appears to be an intense and emotionally charged relationship. Throughout they reminisce on the good times; looking back at the love they both had experienced. Tanya Stephens’s signature sharp vocals are blended with Sanjay’s soothing lyrics which deceptively takes the viewer on a love journey ending in tragedy for Tanya Stephens.

    Persons may watch the video here:

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  • REGGAE & POP ICONS BERES HAMMOND, AIR SUPPLY TO SHARE STAGE IN NYC

    NY: Reggae’s hit machine Beres Hammond will join Australians oft pop duo Air Supply as headline acts at the annual Groovin’ In The Park Concert at Roy Wilkins Parkin Queens,NY on Sunday June29, 2014.

    Hammond, who ignited New York City with musical flames when he last appeared on Groovin’ Concert at Roy Wilkins Parkin 2012 is expected to again have his way with music lovers when he belts out favorites like “Rockaway,” “In Love With You,” “What One Dance Can Do,” “She Loves Me Now,” “Step Aside” “Double Trouble” and “Putting Up Resistance.”

    Hammond’s stellar career was launched in the 70’s with there lease of “One Step Ahead,” a block buster single which stayed at number one on the charts for 14 weeks. In the 80’s he cemented his name with the smash “Tempted to Touch,” and subsequent albums “Love Affair,” “Full Attention” (1993), “In Control” (1994), “Love From a Distance” (1996), “A Day In The Life” (1998), “Music is Life” (2011) and “One Love One Life” (2012), which topped the Billboard reggae chart.

    Whenever pop duo Air Supply is mentioned, it is always in superlative, A list tones. In 2011, they mesmerized music fans at the annual Jamaica Jazz & Blues festival, and left music lovers begging for more and more.

    “This is history for us tonight!” declared Russell Hitchcock, lead singer of Air Supply, moments after the group hit the stage to rapturous applauds. With the crowd in tow, Hitch cock belted out” Even The Nights Are Better,” “Just As I Am,” “Chances Are,” “Power Of Love,” “Lost In Love” and “Here I Am,” much to the delight off an who sang along word for word.

    “We are excited about signing the group to performin Roy Wilkins Park for the very first time” an elated Andrea Bullens, co-producer and executive of Groovin’ Inc. said.

    “Air Supply is a powerful group. Their catalogue of hitsongs are impressive. To have a group of their stature share the stage with reggae icon Beres Hammond will be a musical treat for fans. I am confident it will be a fantastic presentation” she stated.

    After being signed by music mogul Clive Davis to Arista Records in the mid 80’s, Air Supply went on to score eight Top Ten hits in the United States, including “Making Love Out Of Nothing At All,” “Good Bye,” “Its Never Too Late” and “Lost In Love,” which was named “Song Of The Year” in 1980.

    Hammond and Air Supply will be joined by Chronixx, Reggae Queen Marcia Griffiths and her friends John Holt, Judy Mow attend Bob Andy.

    Sponsors supporting Groovin” In The Park 2014 include Grace Foods, TD Bank, SQPA, Nutrament, MoneyGram, The Smoke House, The Door Restaurant, Bull Zii Marketing, Groovin’ Radio, VP Records and Western Union.

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  • Trini Soca Star Fay Ann Lyons Signs to VP Records

    VP Records is happy to announce that Trinidadian soca vocalist and songwriter Fay Ann Lyons has signed to the Caribbean music record label for a multi-album record, publishing and merchandise deal.

    “We are thrilled for Fay Ann to join our artist roster. She has a spark on stage that is innate and can’t be duplicated. The multi-talented artist has already made history as one of soca’s brightest stars and we are looking forward to spreading the movement worldwide,” states VP Records CEO Chris Chin.

    Fay Ann adds to the excitement, expressing that she is “glad to be part of the team and let’s get to work!”

    Fay Ann Lyons is already a superstar in her native country 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 Organisation of Trinidad and Tobago), NACC (National Action Cultural Committee Trinidad and Tobago) and SAO (Soca Awards Organization).

    The Point Fortin, Trinidad 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.

    In 2014, Fay Ann continues to tour worldwide and will begin recording her first solo full-length album on VP Records.

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  • WAYNE MARSHALL

    Jamaican reggae artist Wayne Marshall unveils his first full-length album in over 10 years Tru Colors (Jan 2014, Ghetto Youths International), which debuted at #4 on U.S. Billboard’s Reggae Album chart. The 13-track collection by the multi-faceted singjay and songwriter is produced primarily by Damian Marley and written almost entirely by Marshall. The album features an all-star cast of collaborations, including Ace Hood, Cham & Waka Flocka on “Go Harder,” Aidonia, Assassin, I-Octane, Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, Bounty Killer & Vybz Kartel on “Go Hard,” Assassin on “Stupid Money,” Bounty Killer on “Be On The Alert,” “Tarrus Riley” on “Nah Give Up” and Capleton on “Strike Dem.” Tessanne Chin, this season’s winner of NBC’s The Voice and Marshall’s sister-in-law, also contributes lyrics on the album’s closing track “On The End.” Critics like Associated Press raved that the album is “a refreshing curve to the dancehall game.”

    WATCH video for Wayne Marshall’s “Stupid Money” feat Assassin (directed by Maybach Music’s Jon J):

    WATCH video for Wayne Marshall’s “I Know” (directed by Jay Will):

    WATCH Video for Wayne Marshall’s “Go Hard” ft Aidonia, Assassin, I-Octane, Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, Bounty Killer & Vybz Kartel:

    Revelation Part II: The Fruit Of Life Tour Dates:
    4/12 (Sat) in Saint Petersburg, FL @ Jannus Live
    4/13 (Sun) in Atlanta, GA @ Center Stage
    4/15 (Tue) in Wilmington, NC @ Greenfield Lake Amphitheatre
    4/17 (Thu) in Washington, DC @ Lincoln Theatre
    4/18 (Fri) in Philadelphia, PA @ Trocadero
    4/19 (Sat) in New York, NY @ Best Buy Theater
    4/20 (Sun) in Providence, RI @ Fete Lounge
    4/22 (Tues) in New Haven, CT @ Toad’s Place
    4/23 (Wed) in Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club
    4/25 (Fri) in Chicago, IL @ Park West
    4/26 (Sat) in Madison, WI @ Barrymore Theatre
    4/27 (Sun) in Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
    4/29 (Tue) in Englewood, CO @ Gothic Theatre
    4/30 (Wed) in Boulder, CO @ Fox Theatre
    5/2 (Fri) in Aspen, CO @ Belly Up Aspen
    5/3 (Sat) in Salt Lake City, UT @ The Depot
    5/4 (Sun) in Missoula, MT @ Top Hat Lounge & Casino
    5/6 (Mon) in Seattle, WA @ Showbox at the Market
    5/7 (Tue) in Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom
    5/9 (Thu) in San Francisco, CA @ Regency Ballroom
    5/10 (Fri) in Ashland, OR @ Armory
    5/11 (Sat) in Sacramento, CA @ Assembly
    5/13 (Mon) in Santa Cruz, CA @ The Catalyst
    5/14 (Tue) in Solana Beach, CA @ Belly Up Tavern
    5/16 (Thu) in West Hollywood, CA @ House of Blues
    5/17 (Sat) in Anaheim, CA @ House of Blues
    5/19 (Mon) in Tucson, AZ @ Rialto Theatre
    5/20 (Tue) in Albuquerque, NM @ Sunshine Theater
    5/22 (Thu) in Houston, TX @ House of Blues
    5/23 (Fri) in Austin, TX @ Mohawk
    5/24 (Sat) in New Orleans, LA @ House of Blues
    6/27 (Fri) in Detroit, MI @ 4th Fridays In The Park (TBD) *STEPHEN ONLY
    6/29 (Sun) in Rothbury, MI @ Electric Forest Festival

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  • JO MERSA MARLEY

    As the eldest son of Stephen Marley and grandson of Bob Marley, Joseph “Jo Mersa” Marley is set to release his debut EP Comfortable, due in Spring 2014 on the Marley family’s imprint Ghetto Youths International (GYI). Jo grew up surrounded by music. By the time he was four years old, Jo was appearing onstage alongside his father, his uncle Ziggy and aunts Cedella and Sharon (a.k.a. Ziggy Marley and The Melody Makers) and their children as part of the group’s rousing concert finales with Jo often taking the mic and chanting the lyrics to the Melody Makers’ biggest songs. Born in Kingston, Jamaica on March 12, 1991, Jo moved to Miami at age 11 where he keenly observed his father and his uncle Damian as they created music in Stephen’s Lion’s Den studio. Back then school was the priority for Jo; traveling with Ziggy and the Melody Makers was reserved for school breaks and summer vacations, yet those experiences provided first hand opportunities for Jo to expand his musical aspirations beyond the performance stage. He started making beats when he was about 11 and then began focusing on his songwriting and vocal delivery. His latest Comfortable EP spans pop, hip hop, EDM and dancehall influences while showcasing his deft vocals, clever songwriting and flourishing production skills. Each of the EP’s riddims (except for “Bogus” which was produced by his uncle Damian Marley) were created by Jo, working alongside his father’s keyboard player Llamar “Riff Raff” Brown, with Stephen Marley handling the final productions.

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    WATCH Video for Jo Mersa’s “Comfortable”:

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  • STEPHEN “RAGGA” MARLEY

    To gear up for his upcoming summer album, Stephen “Ragga” Marley will kick off his Revelation Part II: The Fruit of Life Tour in Saint Petersburg, FL on April 12. Jo Mersa Marley, who is dropping his debut EP Comfortable this Spring, and Wayne Marshall, who is supporting his new album Tru Colors, will also join him on the road to perform in over 30 cities nationwide throughout April and May. Stephen, Jo and Wayne are all a part of the Ghetto Youths International label.

    Stephen “Ragga” Marley, the 8-time Grammy-winning artist and Bob Marley’s son, is gearing up for his summer album Revelation Part II: The Fruit of Life, released on his label Ghetto Youths International (which is co-owned with his brothers Damian and Julian). His forthcoming album is the second installment in a two part series, following his 2012 Grammy-winning Best Reggae Album Revelation Part I: The Root of Life. Whereas The Root of Life is a celebration and preservation of roots reggae, filled with powerful messages, enriching spirit and live instrumentation, The Fruit of Life will utilize a diversified sonic palette to express the far-reaching impact Jamaican music has had on various genres, especially hip hop. The new album features a variety of guest collaborations with Rick Ross, Dead Prez, Rakim, DJ Khaled, Busta Rhymes, Wyclef Jean, Shaggy, Black Thought (of The Roots), Bounty Killer, Sizzla, Capleton, Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, Ky-mani Marley, Jo Mersa and more. Stephen will get back on the road in the U.S. with Slightly Stoopid throughout the summer to promote the new album.

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  • Saint Lucian Diplomats to Present at Town Hall Meeting

    NEW YORK, NY – Saint Lucians in the tri-state area are invited to a Town Hall Meeting designed to bring Saint Lucian nationals in the Diaspora together with New York-based diplomats to discuss issues of common concern and, more importantly, describe their roles in the overall development of Saint Lucia. The event is scheduled for Thursday, April 10, 2014, at 7:00PM and will be held at the Saint Lucia House, located at 438 E 49th Street, between Church and Snyder Avenues in Brooklyn.

    Highlighting the evening will be presentations by H.E. Ms. Menissa Rambally, Saint Lucia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, and the Hon. Julian Du Bois, Saint Lucia’s Consul General in New York. In regards to the upcoming event, Du Bois said that he “welcomes the opportunity to participate in such an important forum, interacting with Saint Lucians from all walks of life, understanding their perspectives on issues of national significance.”

    Also featured at this event, Inspector Lucius Lake of the Passport and Immigration Division of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force will address issues some overseas-based nationals may face when renewing their Saint Lucian passports. Dr. June Soomer, Ambassador Extraordinaire and Plenipotentiary CARICOM, OECS and Diaspora Affairs, will also be in attendance and is expected to address attendees.
    Finally, there will also be a special presentation by a representative of the New York City-based Opportunities For A Better Tomorrow (OBT), an innovator in the areas of education and workforce training. The presentation will be geared toward providing young people access to a wide range of educational, developmental, and job readiness assistance. OBT is best known for its Youth Education and Job Training Program, which provides business-skills training with integrated GED classes to young adults in a simulated corporate environment. OBT also provides job-training and literacy programs to adults. All trainees receive extensive job-retention support after placement.

    The Consulate General of Saint Lucia invites all nationals to participate in the events scheduled for Thursday, April 10, 2014. A similar event has been scheduled to take place in Connecticut on Thursday, April 24, 2014 at the Sportsman, located at 2976 Main Street, Hartford.

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  • T&T Reggae Concert Designed to Promote Love, Unity, Peace and Respect, Coming In May

    Port-of-Spain, Trinidad – The airwaves across Trinidad and Tobago will soon reflect a strong mission to promote peace, love, unity and respect. Tropix Entertainment, in collaboration with several sponsors and corporate entities have partnered to use music in a bid to inject these values into society once again- values they believe are needed to bring Trinidad and Tobago back to the paradise it once was.

    Redemption the Concert is an event carded for May 31st at the Hasley Crawford Stadium. The production will feature internationally acclaimed reggae singers, Beres Hammond, Gyptian, Sanchez and Duane Stephenson- all on one stage for the very first time in T&T. Each artiste was chosen for a specific purpose as, according to organizers, on show night, each performer will present something different, something guaranteed to touch the hearts and souls of patrons, in quite a unique way.

    A slate of top seeded local entertainers will compliment the visiting artistes and the show is one that will see a campaign designed to preach and spread, peace, love, unity and respect across the media, for an entire month leading to May 31st. “This is what we need to do, as promoters,” said a Tropix Entertainment official. “We all have a responsibility to society and realistically, what we put out into the atmosphere, is what will come back to us. Our aim is to promote these values of peace, love, unity and respect and our hope is to see these values and principles shared across the country once again. We all stand to benefit from that,” said the official.

    The event has been touted “a must-attend” concert of 2014 and with the likelihood of other reggae and dancehall concerts set to be staged on local shores this year, Tropix Entertainment is promising patrons that their attendance at this particular show will bring nationwide results in the months that follow.

    Redemption The Concert is one of two major events being planned this year by the promotional outfit. They assure that the second event, while still under wraps for now, will also be a spectacular showcase of international talent, once again aimed at delivering messages of love to the people of this country and others who may visit from abroad.

    Tickets for Redemption the Concert go on sale on April 21st.

    Beres Hammond

    Duane Stephenson

    gyptian

    redemption

    Sanchez

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  • Jamelody Goes Against The Grain With ‘Gun’

    Port-of-Spain, Trinidad – Gun. A word that immediately triggers fear in some but for the youths on the street, the youths in the crime hotspots in Trinidad and Tobago and many other countries across the world, gun talk is real talk. ‘Gun’ is the name of T&T reggae crooner and VP recording artiste, Jamelody’s latest contribution. The simple yet strong song-title is meant to draw attention to the lyrics embedded in the track- draw attention to what he wants the masses to hear.

    Unlike the traditional soothing and melodic vocals many have come to know the artiste for, this single, produced by Pengco Music’s Randal Alexander, takes on a completely different energy, an energy that symbolizes his versatility as an entertainer no doubt. More along the lines of a chant, Jamelody’s raspy tone accentuates the lyrics, which speak of the gun in quite the metaphorical sense.

    In the past few years, Jamelody has proven quite capable of holding his own. As a Trinidad and Tobago reggae artiste, he has earned the respect of many reggae heavyweights and producers in Jamaica. Over the years, he has also delivered several memorable reggae anthems, among them, ‘Pressure,’ ‘Love Crazy’, ‘I Wanna Love You’ and ‘Special To Me.’ He has wowed audiences in and out of T&T, in turn proving that he is capable of standing erect on any international stage.

    This time around, Carenage, Trinidad native Michael ‘Jamelody’ Williams is making a very strong statement and having teamed up with one of Trinidad’s renowned producers, he is certainly expected to cause a stir in the coming weeks. The track is scheduled for release this week. According to Pengo Music’s, Randal Alexander, there are several other projects in the pipeline between Jamelody and Pengco Music. He says the work has only just begun and assures the products delivered will be impressive.

    The song is yet another musical articulation of the feelings many people have regarding life and the violent situations that are becoming the norm. In his single, Jamelody says his gun is the spiritual gun, a gun that won’t aid in shedding blood but rather one that will save lives and deliver knowledge and wisdom.

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  • Bio Intro for Roger Meltzer for 4/26/14 Seminar: Copyrights and Royalties: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

    Roger Meltzer is the Founding C-E-O and Director of A&R of Capsicum Records, a Hartford-based indie now known globally for its reggae-in-fusion sound — what DJs have called “Roots on the bottom, and pop on top.”

    A former staff writer-producer-arranger at the Sound of Philadelphia (Philadelphia International Records), where he was mentored by Kenny Gamble, Thom Bell, McFadden & Whitehead, Jerry Butler, Lou Rawls, Bruce Hawes, Slim Marshall, and Bill Bloom among others, Roger is no stranger to Billboard and other music industry charts.

    His songs have found their way onto one chart or another 47 times. In 2013 alone, three of his titles hit TropicalFete’s Top 100 International Caribbean Countdown.

    Roger is also the producer and host of The Capsicum Show, a weekly one-hour show broadcast on UFDV Radio, 87.9-FM in Kingston on the internet which is simulcast on three U.S. and one U.K. stations.

    A 36+ -year veteran of the music business, he frequently lectures on copyrights and royalties for nonprofit organizations. This is a return engagement for Roger on this subject for Topicalfete.

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  • Congratulations Exco Levi ft. Kabaka Pyramid – 2014 Juno Reggae Recording of the Year for Strive produced by Silly Walks Discotheque!

    2014 continues to be an outstanding year for Exco Levi who made Canadian history where Reggae is concerned by winning the 2014 Reggae Recording of the Year category, marking 3 consecutive wins.

    The only artist to win 3 back to back Juno Awards (the Canadian equivalent of a Grammy) for Best Reggae Recording, this accomplishment is shared by his co-performer, Kabaka Pyramid, and producer, Silly Walks Discotheque. The Awards, held in Winnipeg, Canada, is the 44th annual production which recognizes the best Canadian talent in a wide range of genres. Exco’s acceptance speech thanked all who were involved in the songs production, and thanked the great country of Canada who helped him realize his dream of being a recording artist.

    Reaction from the international community has been swift as Manager and producer Donovan Germaine, label mate Busy Signal, and backing sound system Rootsman Sound have all expressed congratulatory praise on the win. Donovan Germaine says “I am very proud of Exco. He is making good music which the people love … the sky is the limit.”

    Exco just completed a West Coast tour of the United States, and will be on tour in Europe in April, 2014. The artist recently released “Cali Farmer” and “Wadada” which are Dubwise and available for download at the links below.

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  • New Video – Christopher Ellis – Left Unsaid

    Christopher Ellis, the youngest son of the late legendary Jamaican vocalist and rocksteady pioneer Alton Ellis, reveals his brand new video “Left Unsaid,” directed by Mykal “Kush Asher” Cushnie and filmed in Jamaica. The “gorgeously sung” tune, according to The FADER, is off the London-based singer’s debut EP Better Than Love on the Marley-owned label Ghetto Youths International.

    WATCH “Left Unsaid” video:

    Ellis steps on the scene as one of reggae’s most promising singers of this generation. His debut EP Better Than Love, which dropped this past fall, is produced by Damian Marley and penned by Ellis himself. The 5-song love story is refreshing modern take on classic reggae, R&B and rocksteady.

    COMPLEX chose the EP as one of the best albums in November 2013, raving that “not only does he hit each note with precision and feeling, but he knows how to bring a song to life through his subtly controlled phrasing. Such nuances are increasingly rare (and thrilling) to find in the Auto-Tune era.”

    Purchase Better Than Love EP now in iTunes:

    Track Listing – Better Than Love EP:
    1. Roller Coaster
    2. Left Unsaid
    3. You Babe
    4. Spoiling Me
    5. Better Than Love

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  • THA VOR CONTINUES TO SHOW HIS VERSATILITY IN BOTH HIP-HOP AND REGGAE

    Canadian recording artist *Tha Vor *who is known by many as a conscious, underground hip-hop artist, continues to show his versatility by releasing both dancehall and hip-hop tracks on a consistent basis.

    A few years ago *Tha Vor*, who had always done hip-hop, began studying the Rastafarian way of life. Being of Jamaican background (both parents are Jamaican although he was born in Canada) *Tha Vor* thought it important that he shared some of his findings on Reggae/Dancehall rhythms. It was then that he recorded “*King of Glory*”, a reggae song about His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie:

    Since then, he has been operating comfortably in both genres and getting the full support of music critics for doing so.

    *Tha Vor*’s music reflects his life, emotions and journeys while also including positive messages when necessary. Both he and his management team want to make it clear that *Tha Vor* will continue to record both Reggae and Hip-hop as he wants to be able to express himself in all aspects and in all topics.

    Persons can listen and download *Tha Vor*’s brand new hip-hop track entitled “*Always Love You*”.

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  • Marcia and Judy get Reggae award

    MARCIA Griffiths and Judy Mowatt, members of Bob Marley’s harmony group the I-Three, were honoured with the Reggae Ambassador’s Award in New York City last Tuesday.
    The awards were presented at the Jamaica Consulate by VP Records and Groovin’ Inc, co-promoters of the annual Groovin’ In The Park concert.

    Griffiths and Mowatt were recognised for their “supreme artistry, outstanding achievement and contribution to the development and promotion of reggae worldwide”.
    Veteran tour manager/booking agent, Copeland Forbes, was also honoured for his contribution to the music industry.

    Griffiths thanked VP founder Pat Chin and Groovin’ In The Park founder Christopher Roberts for the award.

    “I feel like I am truly blessed as this award is deeper than music. Thank you for allowing me to share this journey. Without you I would not have reached this milestone,” she said.

    Mowatt, a born-again Christian, was also appreciative.

    “Had it not been for God, for his gift and talents that he gave to me, I would not have been here this evening. So it is with heartfelt gratitude, I give thanks.”
    Griffiths and Mowatt will perform at the fourth Groovin’ In The Park, scheduled for June 29 in Queens, New York. Chronixx, John Holt and Bob Andy are also headliners.

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  • Bunji Garlin to Perform at HOT 97 Summer Jam Main Stage / ASAP FERG’s New Song on Carnival Tabanca Riddim

    Hot 97 FM, NYC’s premiere hip hop station, announced the full line-up for their annual Summer Jam concert last week, and Bunji Garlin will make history as the first Trinidadian Soca artist to perform at the festival. He is confirmed for the main stadium stage along with 50 Cent, Nas, Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne & Young Money, Wiz Khalifa, YG, Ty Dolla $ign, DJ Mustard, The Roots, Trey Songz, Sevyn Streeter, Kid Ink, Action Bronson, Troy Ave and more. Summer Jam will be held this year on Sun. June 1 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ.

    In addition to this news, A$AP Ferg, the NYC-based rapper with Trinidadian roots, released his new song “Petit Valley” rocking over the Carnival Tabanca riddim, which is also Garlin’s title track to his new EP. On Ferg’s blog, he writes “shout out to all my Trini fam #petitvalley & @bunjigarlin for giving me the honors of blessing the world with the Fergie Flow over ‘Carnival Tabanca’ which is my favorite song right now.” There are also plans to release new material between the two artists at a later date.

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  • Deep Jahi Shares The “Harsh Reality” About Jamaica

    New York, USA – 2012 Magnum Kings of Dancehall winner Deep Jahi, has been leaving his musical prints all over since he rose to national fame. The artiste whose real name is Rushane Sanderson is a former student of Mongue College in Jamaica and has been busy pursuing his dreams of not just being a proud father but an accomplished artiste and entertainer.

    The artiste who is more popularly known for his single “Life Goes On” which encourages all to not just reflect on those who has passed but charge a way forward keeping close the memories as they rely on ‘Jah The Almighty’ for strength and guidance.

    It’s his latest single “Harsh Reality” on the Rich Chorus Riddim courtesy of Studio Vibes Records, which takes all on a detailed journey as he shares his perception of reality and the state of affairs of Jamaica on various levels. The single which evokes mix emotions from its listeners help one to come to terms not just with our shared reality but show how our action and inactions contribute to the nation’s dyer situation.

    The single will be available on iTunes on the 29th of April, will be distributed by 21st Hapilos one of the leading Digital distributors of Reggae and Dancehall globally. Rich Chorus Riddim which also features other acts such as G-Whizz, Khago, Diago, Formula One and Zamunda will be available on the same digital platform amongst others.

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  • Kabaka Pyramid, Embarks on his “Lead the Way” Spring European Tour After JUNO Award Win


    New York, New York. International reggae lyricist Kabaka Pyramid, is ready to embark on his “Lead the Way” Spring European Tour after his recent Juno Award win.

    On Saturday, March 29th reggae artists Exco Levi and Kabaka Pyramid won the prestigious Canadian Juno Award for Best Reggae Recording of the Year, which was a collaboration with the three time Juno award winner Exco Levi for the single ‘Strive’. ‘Strive’ produced by Silly Walks, on the Honey Pot Riddim talks about striving and never allowing anyone or anything to get you down.

    “Its an honour to be recognized for the works we do and the positive music we continue to put out. I thank the fans and the committee of the Juno Awards” says Kabaka Pyramid.

    With only four months into 2014 Kabaka Pyramid has received several awards and global recognition and is set to embark on his European tour. Commencing in Prague on April 9th, Kabaka Pyramid will be in Europe for over five weeks performing in several cities; Vienna, Andorra, Munich,Dortmund, London, Zurich, Oslo and Bordeaux, just to name a few.

    “We give thanks for the opportunity to travel and spread the music. The “Lead the Way Tour” will be a great vibration and the european fans will get a chance to see the growth in Kabaka Pyramid’s career says Abishai Hoilett of The Bebble Rock Management Team.

    Following his European Tour Kabaka Pyramid is set to embark on his U.S. East coast tour.

     

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  • MR. VEGAS TO SHARE STAGE WITH AMERICA’S BEST

    Kingston, Jamaica – International Dancehall Star Mr. Vegas is set to add yet another milestone to his expanding career. The artiste, who is currently on a multi-city tour of the United States, has been officially added to the lineup for Miami Urban Radio 103.5 The Beat’s 2014 Beat Down Concert at BB&T Centre in Miami on Thursday, June 12, 2014.

    Branded as one of the hottest urban music shows in Florida, the 2014 Beat Down Concert will feature the biggest names in Hip Hop and R & B and now also the hottest name in international Dancehall Music, Mr. Vegas.

    103.5 The Beat’s afternoon personality, Papa Keith, announced the official lineup last week, which includes performances by Kendrick Lamar (Swimming Pools, Don’t Kill My Vibe), Trey Songz (NaNa, Heart Attack), Future (Turn on the Lights, Same Damn Time), Rico Love (They Don’t Know, Be Like), Yo Gotti (Act Right, Got Dat Sack), Mr. Vegas (Heads High, Bruk It Down), Ace Hood (Bugatti, Hustle Hard) and DJ Khaled (No New Friends, I’m On One).

    Being one of the radio stations in Miami that gives full support to dancehall and reggae music, Mr. Vegas says he had to say yes when he was called by 103.5 The Beat, “Knowing how much support the station has given to not only me but dancehall and reggae music in general I had to say yes when they requested me to perform”.

    Mr. Vegas says he is excited at the opportunity to perform on a stage with some of America’s best performers, “I am very excited about this show. We have been on tour for the last month and it is good that the people continue to listen to my music. This concert is another way for me to reach new fans and continue opening doors for Dancehall Music”.

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  • Dancehall Artist Richy Rych Tours the US with Everton Blender and Yard Squad Band!

    Ready for the road, Dancehall and Reggae entertainer Richy Rych joins the legend Everton Blender on his US tour that begins in Louisville, Kentucky, and continues to its conclusion April 20th, 2014 in Austin Texas for the Austin Reggae Festival.

    Considered as one of the forefront artists in the crossover market between Reggae / Dancehall and Hip Hop, Richy has steadily been gaining fans who are eager for more of what the artist has to offer. In particular, his song “Summertime,” produced by DJ Sky for Sky Records based in Manchester, Jamaica, and has been gaining a lot of traction with fans in the mid-west who can’t wait for the warm rays of sunshine. About the song, Richy says “the song is from my album ‘Jamaica Mih Come From,’ and really is about friends getting together to party and have a good time … so let’s have fun!”

    Richy’s album will be available on iTunes and all leading digital retail outlets in May, 2014, and adds notable stage appearances with Tanya Stephens and Serani (to name a few), as a part of his resume, and is known for his radio friendly music. His addition of creativity makes him the go-to person when the genres Reggae, Dancehall, Hip Hop and Pop meet.

    Ever one for Marketing, Richy Rych travels in his wrapped van making him a visual target for fans as soon as they arrive on site for one of his performances. As the introductory act for Everton Blender, Richy adds musical diversity for fans who enjoy both Reggae, Dancehall and a splash of Hip Hop. Richy is a proud born and raised Kingstonian who migrated to the US on an athletic scholarship, and and has 2 studio albums recorded to date.

    He is currently backed by Yard Squad Band and is based in St. Louis, Missouri.

    Tour Dates:

    4/4/14 – Louisville, KY

    4/5/14 – Cincinnati, OH

    4/6/14 – Sky Lounge – Southbend, IN

    4/7/14 – 2720 Cherokee – St. Louis, MO

    4/8/14 – Rest Day

    4/9/14 – House of Loom – Omaha, NB

    4/10/14 – The Lazy Dog – Boulder, CO

    4/11/14 – Spice Land – Colorado – Silver Springs, CO

    4/12/14 – Lake Hassau, AZ

    4/13/14 – Yuma – AZ

    4/14/14 – Phoenix, AZ

    4/15/14 – Rest Day

    4/16/14 – Rest Day

    4/17/14 – El Paso, TX

    4/18/14 – Murphy’s – Dallas, TX

    4/19/14 – Flamingo Cantina – Austin, TX

    4/20/14 – Austin Reggae Festival – Austin, TX

    After the tour, Richy Rych will back Jr. Reid in his home city of St.
    Louis, MO on April 26th, 2014.

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  • Marcia Griffiths for 2014 ‘Groovin in The Park’ festival in New York City

    KINGSTON, Jamaica – Marcia Griffiths kicked off her year-long golden anniversary celebration earlier this year on the opening night of Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival, and is now booked for Groovin In The Park festival in New York City on June 29.

    “After weeks of negotiations, a deal was reached for the reggae queen to join Chronixx and other soon-to-be-announced acts at the festival …” a press release from The PR Agency said on Thursday.

    “We are truly honoured to have a reggae legend of the stature of Marcia Griffiths perform at Groovin in the Park 2014,” Christopher Roberts, CEO of Groovin Inc, said. “This is her 50th anniversary in the music industry and she will be going all out to entertain fans and sweep them away with musical treasures.”

    The release said her upcoming performance is billed Marcia Griffiths and Friends in NYC and will feature original I-Threes member Judy Mowatt, veteran singer John Holt and a reunion with her long-time singing partner Bob Andy.

    Griffiths gained international recognition with Bob Andy in 1970 with their cover of Nina Simones Young, Gifted and Black, which sold half million copies in the UK and Europe. She later toured the world with Bob Marley and the Wailers as a member of the I-Threes before hitting the Billboard chart as a solo act with her monster hit ‘Electric Boogie’.

    Other hits from the Griffiths include Feel like Jumping, Melody Life, and Truly.

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  • T.O.K – EPK

    With the continuing success of dancehall and it’s influence on pop music worldwide, the buzz is on: Who are the next superstars to rise from Jamaica’s bottomless musical psyche? If you ask The New York Times, it’s T.O.K. the reggae/R&B infused harmonious quartet who the paper hailed as “the world’s greatest dancehall-reggae boy band.” Unlike reggae dancehall crooners of yesteryear, Xavier “Flexx” Davidson, Craig “Craig T” Thompson, Alistaire “Alex” McCalla, and Roshaun “Bay-C” Clarke – the crew of 20 something Kingstonians collectively known as T.O.K. – don’t need to hunt down the right Stateside hybrid to take their music worldwide.

    Raised on MTV, BET, and hip-hop culture, the members of this quartet aren’t strangers to the spotlight from media powerhouses like the above. T.O.K.
    was included in MTV’s first “Advance Warning” (a prestigious nod to up-and-comers)and appeared on the very first season of BET’s “106th & Park,” well before any dancehall artists graced that stage. Now returning with their sophomore album, Unknown Language, the quartet merges dancehall, R&B, hip-hop, and Jamaica’s sound system into their own natural blend. “The inspiration for our album title comes from just wanting to take the group and dancehall music to another level,” explains Bay C. “We want to capture the world with our music.” T.O.K.’s hit single, “Fire, Fire,” produced by Dane “Fire Linx” Johnson has already captured the dance floors. The Dancehall/Soca anthem, the riddim and chant of “fire, fire” vocals that repeat on the high-energy track will leave even the most rhythm challenged person dancing in the aisle. “We didn’t start the fire, but we keep it blazing,” offers Flexx. Still raising ‘booyakas’ on dancehall floors is “Gal You Ah Lead,” produced by Bobby Konders. The song was listed in Blender Magazine’s “Top Songs of 2004.” and is currently in rotation in nightclubs from coast to coast. T.OK. experiments with the reggaeton sound on “She’s Hotter,” featuring Miami’s own, Pitbull, and links with the bombastic one himself, Shaggy, on “De Ja Vu.” T.O.K. has many facets, and the group’s softer side is revealed beautifully on the ethereal-sounding “Footprints,” a tribute song written by Alex and Bay-C for Alex’s brother who was killed by a stray bullet June 2003.

    The T.O.K. story started humbly enough more than a decade ago with four ambitious high school boys. Alistaire, Roshaun, and Craig were in the school choir at Campion College headed by John Binns, while Xavier attended Calabar High. Originally, the acronym T.O.K. stood for Touch of Klass, but over the years it has taken on different meanings from ‘Taking Over Kingston’ to ‘To Klaat,’and whatever else the creative minds of T.O.K. can come up with. From the beginning, life was about “T.O.K. – school and music,” says Alex. “Xavier and I loved singing and were good friends. I went to school with Craig and Roshaun, so we brought them in. This was in the early 90’s, during the whole emergence of Boyz II Men, so we started out singing their songs and sounding a whole lot like them. But together as a unit, we developed the sound you hear now. It’s about combining the hardcore dancehall sound with R&B harmonies and hip-hop, creating something brand new.”

    The group garnered a lot of attention for their killer harmonies, soaring leads, sinewy deejaying, studly appeal and innovative production on their first album, My Crew, My Dawg released in 2001. “We make our music for all different types of people from all different walks of life and T.O.K. is too big, too broad, and too damn wicked for our music to be used to divide,” explains Bay-C. “Our growth is reflected in our music. Unknown Language is more like a evolution rather than a change,” adds Craigy T. “We wouldn’t be true to ourselves if we did straight R&B covers or tried mimic a style that isn’t our own. We’re Jamaican and our culture is reflected in our music and that’s what gradually happened. Music is music and it’s one big umbrella under which all the genres fall together. If you listen hard enough, you’ll hear similarities.”

    The key to T.O.K.’s evolution are radio friendly tracks weighed equally between Stateside and home-grown sounds, vocal training from renown Jamaican coach Georgia Guerra, and years of performing on Jamaica’s famed North Coast hotel lounge circuit. “It was all experience for us,” says Flexx. “The cabaret circuit is a totally different audiences.” Bay-C adds “Actually, we weren’t fully accepted in the hotel circuit. The other groups sang straight, but we always tried to do something different and bring something of our own. We’d do a Bob Marley song or an Ini Kamoze song like `Hot Stepper.’” Flexx interjects laughing, “Now that we’ve gotten to where we are, the only time we come to hotels is when we stay there.”

    In Jamaica, a young musician’s road to stardom often begins through the annual Tastee [Patty] Talent Contest. Through Tasteee, T.O.K. caught the ear of Nuff Records’ Stephen Craig, and the group voiced a few tracks for the label. In ’96, the famed drum and bass duo, aka “Riddim Twins” Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare, released T.O.K.’s “Hit Them High” for the Taxi label. Later that year, T.O.K. went to Main Street (dancehall hit-maker Danny Brownie’s studio/label) where Brownie’s nephew, Richard “Shams” Browne (son of famed guitarist Glenn Browne) was the board engineer. Just two years older than the members of T.O.K., Browne was about to launch his own label. T.O.K. wanted to be part of Main Street’s stable, but Richard made his bid.

    T.O.K.’s first track for Browne was “Send Them Come” over the young producer’s Gypsy riddim and released by his first label, High Profile. The group then recorded “Hardcore Lover,” featuring Lady Saw over his Baddis riddim for High Profile. The tune soared to #4 and led to their signing with reggae music powerhouse, VP Records, which further established T.O.K.
    as a new force to be reckoned with.

    Unknown Language has all the ingredients in place which translate into BREAK-OUT, big time. Hit producers like Tony “CD” Kelly, Steve “Lenky” Marden, Bobby Konders, Cordell “Scatta” Burrell, Robert Livingston and Christopher Birch provide a sound that goes way beyond the usual “strung together proven tunes with new tunes as filler” common to reggae music. “We all want to keep on excelling and pushing as far as we can go,” says Alex.

    “Sky’s the limit. We’ve found a certain chemistry and we want to maintain that chemistry and vibe. You grow with the business, track what changes are happening and adjust. We all can sing, harmonize, and deejay, so that opens a wide range of different avenues for us at any point, if any one avenue is the in thing.”

    With America’s and the world’s fascination with dancehall steadily growing, T.O.K. knows that they have the watchful eyes of both their faithful fans back home and the genre’s newfound converts squared directly at them. It’s a responsibility the group takes seriously, regardless of any Unknown Language they seem to speak.

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