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  • Dr. Witty aka Mervyn Carter Tropicalfete’s 2015 recipient of Tropicalfete’s Award of Excellence

    Congrats to Dr. Witty aka Mervyn Carter Tropicalfete’s 2015 recipient of Tropicalfete’s Award of Excellence. The award honors the accomplishments & contributions of persons and/or organizations that have had a role in the development of the Caribbean Community. The achievement of the awardees is significant on an international level where their work had a positive impact to the Caribbean community in the areas of culture, social, sports & economics. Past awardees: The Madd Stuntman – Artist – I like to Move it Move it 2009, Michelle Anglin – Playwright “Lost my Heart in Haiti” 2010, Patricia Meschino – Journalist Billboard Magazine – 2011, Diosa Joseph Tropicalfete Member – 2012, Richie Richardson – Designer – 2013, Reggae Retro Cultural Promoters 2014.
    Dr  witty and Pat

    Dr. Witty was born Mervyn Carter in San Fernando, Trinidad, where he started singing Calypso on the streets, at just 10 years old; he continued writing and singing throughout his teenage years. He served seven years with the Trinidad and Tobago police service before migrating to the United States where he continued composing calypsos but he gave those songs to other artists to sing. Then in 1990 he wrote “A Statue For Jean” and decided to sing it himself, which charted a new course in his career. Whether it is a song for himself or another artist, Mervin’s calypsos are characterized by their humorous lyrics, hence his sobriquet-Dr. Witty. Past awardees:
    Dr. Witty has been chosen the winner of the Calypso Monarch competition in New York for many years, a title he has won in several US cities including Boston, Washington, Baltimore and Orlando.
    For the past five carnival seasons Dr. Witty has appeared at the Kaiso Revue Tent in Port of Spain, Trinidad. A former President of The Calypso Association of New York, Dr. Witty believes that calypso is the greatest music in the world and he is doing his best to keep the deeply rooted cultural art form alive.

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  • 2015 Top 100 International Caribbean Chart

    2015 Top 100 International Caribbean Songs for the year is a ranking of recorded music according to popularity. The Popularity is determined by air play, music sales, club play and online hits. Our Chart is not limited to genre. It shows the diversity and the creativity of Caribbean people around the World and most of all their impact on the global audience. Therefore, Reggae, R&B, Dancehall, Hip Hop, Zouk, Kompa, Soca, Reggaeton, Salsa, Calypso, etc. make up Tropicalfete Count Down Top 100 International Caribbean Songs for the year. Weekly Charts were calculated throughout the year to come up with a summary for the year. Charts have become an increasingly important way to measure the commercial success of individual songs and Tropicalfete Top 100 is a chart that reflects the songs the people consume.

    1 Shaggy Only Love – ft. Pitbull, Gene Noble
    2 Jah Cure – No Friend of Mine
    3 Tessanne Chin – Fire
    4 Olatunji – Ola
    5 Beenie Man Ft. Akon – Unstoppable
    6 Machel Montano – Like Ah Boss
    7 Destra – Lucy
    8 Machel Montano – Remedy
    9 Daddy Yankee – El Vaiven
    10 Barrington Levy – Life Is Great
    11 Benjai – Phenomenal
    12 Sean Paul – Take It Low
    13 Luciano – Prophecy
    14 Morgan Heritage – Keep On Jammin Morgan Heritage (feat. Shaggy)
    15 Lyrikal – Cloud 9
    16 Major Lazer Ft.Sean Paul & Machel Montano – One Wine
    17 Kerwin Du Bois – Circles
    18 Rupee – M.I.A (Missing In Action)
    19 Shaggy – I Need Your Love ft. Mohombi, Faydee, Costi
    20 Esco – Thick
    21 T-Vice – Warete
    22 Rocky Dawuni – Branches of the Same Tree
    23 Aidonia – Nuh Boring Gyal
    24 Richie Spice – Soaring In Love
    25 Farruko – Sunset ft. Shaggy, Nicky Jam
    26 Fayann Lyons- Raze
    27 Alex Sensation – Bailame ft. Yandel, Shaggy
    28 Enrique Iglesias – Noche Y De Dia ft. Yandel, Juan Magan
    29 Major Lazer Ft.Sean Paul & Machel Montano – One Wine
    30 Pitbull – Fun ft. Chris Brown
    31 Beenie Man – Badmind People
    32 Protoje – Sudden Flight ft. Jesse Royal & Sevana
    33 Pitbull – Baddest Girl in Town ft. Mohombi, Wisin
    34 Beenie Man – Party Vibes Nice
    35 Machel Montano & Destra – Come Back
    36 Sean Paul – Take It Low
    37 Angela Hunte and Machel Montano – Party Done
    38 Blaxx – Place In Life
    39 Machel Montano – Endless Wuk
    40 Aidonia – Pretty Please
    41 I-Octane – Hurt by friends
    42 Gyptian – Oh Yeah
    43 Kerwin Du Bois – No Apology
    44 Stephen Marley – Ghetto Boy ft. Bounty Killer, Cobra
    45 Mavado – True
    46 Machel Montano – On My Way
    47 Damian ‘Jr Gong’ Marley & Bunji Garlin – The Message
    48 Skinny Fabulous – Going Off
    49 Lyrikal – Loner
    50 Tarrus Riley – Cool Me Down
    51 Damian Marley – Who Am I ( feat. iQulah & Stephen Marley )
    52 Kes The Band – Look Fuh Dat
    53 Destra – Ooh La La Lay
    54 Tarrus Riley – Herbs
    55 Kerwin Du Bois ft. Patrice Roberts – Unforgettable
    56 Mr. Vegas – Give Thanks For Life / Gwaan Yaa
    57 Mavado – My League
    58 Patrice Roberts – Ah Feeling Mehself
    59 Kes The Band- Fallin
    60 Major Lazer – Light It Up (feat. Nyla & Fuse ODG)
    61 Mavado – Mak 90
    62 Shaggy – Bridges ft. Chronixx
    63 Cham – I’m Too Hot!
    64 Romain Virgo ft. Assassin a.k.a. Agent Sasco – Fade Away
    65 Kes The Band – Million
    66 Tommy Lee Sparta – Numb
    67 Prince Royce – Back It Up
    68 Farmer Nappy – My House
    69 Timaya ft. Don Jazzy – Timaya ft. Don JazzyI Concur
    70 Skinny Banton – Front Yard We
    71 Etana – I Rise
    72 Sean Paul & Beenie Man – Greatest Gallis
    73 Tommy Lee Sparta – Rebirth
    74 Ragga – Obsessed
    75 Carimi & Mikabe – Dife carnaval
    76 Erphaan Alves – Highest Feeling
    77 Ricardo Drue – Holding On
    78 Kurt Allen – Selfie T+T
    79 Daria – On De Road
    80 Demarco – So We Stay
    81 Asa Bantan – Wuk D Bumpa
    82 5 Star Akil- Noise
    83 Small Axe Band – Shake It Mix
    84 Tizzy & El A Kru – We Playin Mas
    85 Shurwayne Winchester – Shake It
    86 Romain Virgo – God Inna Me Corner
    87 Beenie Man – Put It
    88 Teddyson John – Ketch It
    89 Tallpree – Ole Mas
    90 T-Vice feat. Tonymix – Yok Pou Pè
    91 Bunji Garlin – Our Time
    92 Yankey Boy – Play Ah Ma
    93 Tsisy feo::Lil’C, Jade, Sweet, Damo
    94 Asa Bantan- Riddim of the Night
    95 Biggie Irie – My Island
    96 Busy Signal -Out of Many One
    97 Grand Masters – G Mix
    98 Stephen Marley ft Damian Marley & Spragga Benz – Bongo Nyah
    99 I-Octane – Don’t stop di vibes
    100 Nature – Love You – Nature

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  • "A Jamaican Music Star Will Be Born At Redemption The Concert"

    Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. ———-A Jamaican star is about to make the kind of debut, all of the Caribbean will forever remember. The reggae love-rockers vocalist has a story unlike any other breakthrough artiste on the Caribbean music circuit and added to the attained opportunity to perform at the upcoming ‘Redemption’ concert event in Trinidad and Tobago, this new buzz maker will likely inspire many who never thought they could make it in the music business.

    Oneil Allen is best known by his musical sobriquet, Vytamin. With humor, he says he’s the girls’ Vitamin. His humble demeanor speaks volumes but his story is even more interesting. “It’s tough to break through in Jamaica,” he explains when questioned as to why he hasn’t made his debut onto the music scene in his Spanish Town, birthplace. He says the difficulty lies in the financial challenges often faced by up and coming acts, further explaining that the right music industry connections are required. In Trinidad, while on a recent visit, Vytamin got the attention of someone who was willing to invest in what he heard.

    Constantly in songbird mode, the budding love-rockers superstar is working arduously to ensure that the Caribbean population becomes familiar with his voice. This week, he releases two cover versions of popular songs done by R&B artistes, Bruno Mars and James Ingram. “He has a great voice and a lot of potential,” said Millbeats Entertainment’s David Millien, the producer responsible for recording the cover versions. Millien said he feels success is imminent for Vytamin and upon learning that he would be performing at Redemption the Concert on May 30th in Trinidad, the producer became excited. “That’s great! That’s a great look,” he said.

    Vytamin meanwhile continues to keep his eyes to the heavens. “I’m a person from humble beginnings. My messages will always be about peace, love and unity,” said the artiste. He anticipates sharing the stage in Trinidad with Beres Hammond- known as the king of reggae love rockers, and Jamelody, the T&T reggae star whose voice he loves. A new video for the James Ingram cover song, “I Don’t Have The Heart” is currently being finalized. He has also done the cover version of Bruno Mars’ “When I was You Man”. Beyond that, Allen will deliver his own songs in the weeks ahead. Having received tremendous support and encouragement from friends in T&T, he’s now hoping that everyone who gets a taste of what he’s capable of, will soon be rocking away to his very own vibe. Follow Vytamin on Instagram and Facebook @oneilvytamin

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  • DEXTA DAPS, FREDDY MCGREGOR, JOSEY WALES DELIVER STRONG PERFORMANCES AT ORACABESSA FESTIVAL

    New York: Dancehall newest sensation Dexta Daps, whose popularity soared following a tussle he had with police officers at the Donald Sangster International Airport in MoBay recently, proved his star billing at the second annual Oracabessa Festival at Roy Wilkins Park in NYC.

    Excitement broke out as the singer, fashionably attired in a designer suit delivered songs like ‘Dreaming,’ ‘Pretty Nicky,’ ‘Morning Love’ and ‘Jealous Ova,’ an erotic duet he recorded with dancehall diva Tifa that was well received by fans. He even showed versatility crooning Beres Hammond’s ‘Putting Up Resistance’ and the Morgan Heritage classic ‘She Is Still Loving Me.’ He garnered his biggest ovation with his dancehall anthem ‘7eleven,’ which resonated with the throngs of women that were in the park.

    Veteran singer Freddy McGregor, who brought the curtain down on the festivities, demonstrated why he is still one of the best in the business, engaging fans with ‘Africa Here I Come,’ ‘To Be Poor Is A Crime,’ ‘Push Come To Shove,’ ‘Carry Go Bring Come’ and ‘Big Ship.’ In between hits, he warmed hearts with Dennis Brown’s ‘Love & Hate’ and ‘Revolution.’

    Singer Alaine displayed stunning vocal range while performing ‘Keep Rising,’ ‘Could Not Make It Without You’ and Marcia Griffiths’ ‘I Shall Sing.’ Her magnificent performance continued with ‘My Favorite Boy’ which she used to serenade DJ Oxtail from Road International.

    Always dressed to impress, “Cornel” Josey Wales had the entire park singing along to old favorites like ‘Kingston Hot,’ ‘Every Jamaican is a Star,’ ‘Leggo Mi Hand,’ ‘Sweet Jamaica’ and ‘Undercover Lover’ which evoked memories of the 80s. Five forwards later, you could tell the crowd was warming up to the Cornel as he advocated for the legalization of marijuana, before unleashing a plea to men to ‘Pull up Your Pants.’

    The high point of the festival came midway Tarrus Riley’s performance when he invited his dad, veteran singer Jimmy Riley on stage who was helped on stage with the assistance of a walker. Not deterred, the father and son team was a force to be reckoned with and had the entire park singing along to ‘Ruugher Yet’ and ‘Love and Devotion.’

    Singer Natalie Evans, represented during the gospel segment with songs like ‘Things Already Better’ and ‘Wings of a Dove.’ Her heartfelt invocation definitely moved the crowd and set the tone for renowned gospel artist Shirley Willis of Grace Thrillers fame. Her voice may have lost a bit of luster since her near death accident in 2008 but her testimony was powerful. Her poignant rendition of ‘I Can’t Even Walk’ resonated with those who had travelled far to see the legendary artist known for classics like ‘By the Grace of God’ and ‘Not My Will.’

    Other strong performances came from Chris Martin who had his way with the ladies; Sean Paul who worked the stage with his dancers; Shuga; Stacius and NY based KConeil.

    Apart from the music that the main stage offered, organisers added a sizzling fashion show that featured designs by Signature78 which went over well with patrons. Other attractions included a Kids Amusement Area, Business Expo, Health Pavilion and Arts & Craft.

    Jimmy Riley and son Tarrus Riley

    Oracabessa 2015 - Chris Martin

    Oracabessa 2015 - Alaine 1

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  • BRANKA CARIBBEAN FOLK FESTIVAL NOW PART OF CARIBBEAN TOURISM WEEK IN NYC

    The cultures of several islands of the Caribbean will be on display in Queens, New York on June 7 with the staging of the inaugrual Bankra Caribbean Folk Festival at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center on Jamaica Avenue.

    The Bankra Caribbean Folk Festival forms part of the annual celebration of Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Week in New York that brings together a group of 32 regional destinations for seven days of jam-packed activities to market and promote the region.

    Braata Folk Singers in performance

    Jamaican cultural impresario in New York, Andrew Clarke is the brainchild behind this daytime festival that will include live performances by Braata Folk Singers from Jamaica, Something Positive Inc., Boodoosingh Tassa Group and Adlib Steel Orchestra from Trinidad & Tobago, La Troupe Zetwal from Haiti, Quake USA from Grenada and Impressions Dance Theatre from Guyana.

    “June is Caribbean Month in New York, and we wanted to go all out this year to retain and celebrate many of the cultural elements that make the Caribbean region so vibrant”, Clarke said. “It is with this spirit in mind that we created the Bankra Caribbean Folk Festival”, he added

    The Bankra festival has been designed for the entire family, so there will also be a village for children with JJ The Clown, Honeybee Face & Body Art and face painting for kids. Additionally, attendees can also enjoy folk games and dances, drumming sessions, basket weaving displays and a magician. No such Caribbean event is complete with the mouthwatering flavors of the region, so a food pavilion will provide a dazzling array of signature dishes that represent the gastronomic diversity of the islands.

    PHOTO
    Impressions Dance Theatre from Guyana

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  • Calypso on Broadway!

    Calypso on Broadway!
    Calypso music can be heard in almost all parts of these United States, but the road traveled by the pioneers was not easy to say the least. In the 1930’s, calypso was more or less unknown beyond the borders of Trinidad and the Caribbean. It was the efforts of a selected few Calypsonians that took Calypso from Trinidad and the Caribbean and into the cosmopolitan cities of the United States and Canada. These men took their product, some of which was recycled and adapted it to the US market. Many of these songs recorded between 1934 and 1950 were covered or sampled by some of the most popular international artists of that time, giving Calypso the recognition it had not garnered before.

    Lord Caresser’s “Love Alone”, The Roaring Lion’s “Ugly Woman”, King Radio’s “Matilda” and “Roosevelt in Trinidad” by Atilla were just of few of the popular hits at that time. Some of these recordings were played in movies and many occupying the number one spot on the Billboard charts a few years later.

    Wilmoth Houdini earned the title as the Calypso King of New York in the 1930’s and 1940”s due in part to many of the Calypso events he hosted in New York. Calypso and the American Blues shared similar sentiments within recorded lines. Both genres told of a people’s struggle, so it was no surprise that during the Harlem Renaissance, Calypso was present. Calypsonians “Working for the Yankee Dollar”, would stage great productions at what was the historic Harlem Renaissance Casino and Ballroom. Built in stages between 1921 and 1923, the “Renny” as it was called hosted acts the likes of Paul Robeson, Oscar Micheaux and was the venue for many Joe Louis fights. The location was not only known as Harlem’s cultural mecca, but it was the Caribbean’s cultural mecca in North America. You see the owners were three business partners and they were from Antigua and Montserrat. The “Renny” hosted many of the best dance bands of the day and made it an obvious location for calypso productions. Performances by Houdini, Radio and others drew hundreds if not thousands to the venue.
    With such numbers Calypso then moved to Broadway selling out show after show. In 1947, Houdini chose the “Renny” for a Harlem edition of the Calypso “Pop” concerts that had previously sold out Carnegie Hall. What really kept Calypso in New York and on Broadway was acts such as Armstrong, Ellington, Basie and Calloway playing Calypso to huge crowds. They were the premiere band leaders of the day. This also afforded the New York based Calypsonians the opportunity to write songs.

    These opportunities kept calypso in the nightclubs, concert halls on Broadway and Hollywood movies.

    The success of calypso in New York ensured that it remained a genre popular in North America. Calypso became a craze in the USA 1950’s. Calypso was infused in fashion, hats etc. This led to harry Belafonte in 1956. Belafonte’s album entitled “Calypso” reached number 1 on the Billboard Charts and R&B Charts years later.

    Keran Deterville

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  • Musician Phil Nessy Releases New Music Video

    In his earlier days, he was called Rabbie Ocean with one of his most popular tune, “Carry On.” These days, he goes by the name Phil Nessy and is a St. Lucian musician based in the USA steadily rising on the music scene.

    Nessy recently released a music video for the tune; “My Life” which coincides with a “Love Your Life” campaign which he is currently undertaking.

    The Hospital Road, Castries born musician describes himself as a simple individual who enjoys singing, football and swimming. Nessy proudly describes his musical influences as the best in the business. Just listening to his music for the first time, one can easily associate his vocal ability and writing talents with that of his musical influences: Peter Tosh, Michael Jackson, Bob Marley, Marvin Gaye and Barry White. Some of his fans also link his melodious tone to Dennis Brown, Bankie Banx, Tarrus Riley, Peter Tosh and Beresford Hammond.

    Wherever and whenever Nessy performs, he is sure to have the crowd dancing and singing along to his positive and inspirational vibes. To date, Nessy has released three albums – Forward, Playing and Unchained. He is already working on his fourth album which is due to be released this summer. See link for “My Life” video.

    www.philnessy.com

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  • The Legendary Lionel Belasco: A Calypso Founding Father

    The Victor Recording Company’s sessions in Trinidad, which produced the first recording of calindas (the chants accompanying carnival’s stick fighting ritual) sung by Jules Sims, are also noteworthy for the virtuosic piano playing of Lionel “Lanky” Belasco. Born in 1881, Belasco, the son of an African-Caribbean mother and a Sephardic Jewish father, is considered among the most important musician of calypso’s formative years. The leader of Belasco’s Renowned String Band, which performed at elite society events in Trinidad, Belasco was also an arranger and a composer in addition to his role as manager and promoter for the London Electric Theater, the first silent movie theater/concert hall in Port of Spain. Belasco utilized the melodies of folk songs he heard in his travels throughout the Caribbean and South America to help shape calypso’s early identity.

    belasco

    In August 1915 Belasco sailed to New York where, over the next seven years he would record numerous calypso instrumentals at various sessions with string bands for the Pace Phonograph Corporation’s Black Swan label. In 1923 Port of Spain piano dealer H. Strong Ltd, also an agent for Victor Talking Machine Company, organized a plan with Belasco to send Guyana born vaudevillian singer Phil Madison to New York to record several songs that were part of his stage act. Madison also played the cuarto (a four stringed mini guitar, featured prominently in Trinidad’s parang music) on these recordings with Belasco accompanying him on piano. Among their joint efforts was the very first recording of “Sly Mongoose”, a Jamaican folk song that found immense popularity when performed in Port of Spain’s calypso tents, as early as 1915. Throughout these recordings, Belasco’s engaging, genre blurring style incorporated Dixieland jazz, Venezuelan folk, European classical music, and the era’s ragtime (with Belasco often referred to as the Scott Joplin of calypso), accented by a distinctive Caribbean lilt that established calypso’s acoustic foundation and gave the music its initial push outside of Trinidad.

    All vocal calypsos recorded before 1927, with the exception of those cut by Julian Whiterose and Jules Sims in Trinidad in 1914, were sung by vaudevillians, not tent calypsonians. But that changed when Belasco teamed up with New York City based calypsonian Wilmoth Houdini (born in Port of Spain as Frederick Wilmoth Hendricks in 1881). Between 1927 through 1929 Belasco and Houdini recorded almost 30 calypso sides for the Victor Recording Company. Belasco is said to have made some 278 recordings of Caribbean songs between 1914 and 1945, more than any other bandleader or singer.
    In addition to recording, Belasco ran a piano store in New York City, made piano rolls, (a continuous roll of paper with perforations, representing notes, punched into it, which are used to operate player pianos) and regularly returned to Trinidad for carnival, to hear the latest songs by the island’s calypsonians. In 1945, Belasco made his very first recordings with calypsonians based in Trinidad; some songs that Belasco copyrighted were purportedly the work of other artists who did not have his understanding of standard music industry practices.
    Lionel Belasco continued to record, in the United States and England, until the mid 1960s. He passed away in June 1967

    Patricia Meschino

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  • The First Recorded Vocal Calypso: Iron Duke in the Land

    The First Recorded Vocal Calypso: Iron Duke in the Land
    Two years after the first instrumental calypsos were recorded in the Big Apple, sound engineers from the Victor Talking Machine Company (the forerunner to RCA records) located in Camden, N.J. sailed to Trinidad in 1914 with the intention of recording a full repertoire of the island’s indigenous music. The cosmopolitan population of the larger island of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is reflected in various cultural expressions but especially through its music: the earliest recordings done in Trinidad included Spanish language parang (a seasonal music heard in the months leading up to Christmas, rooted in traditions from nearby Venezuela), Hindi language east Indian music, from the descendants of indentured servants brought to the island from India in 1845, and the clangorous rhythms made from striking metal objects with sticks or an open hand, the forerunner to the island’s world renowned steel bands. Of all of the homegrown
    styles heard in these early recordings, calypso would prove to be the most commercially viable.

    Several vocal calypsos were recorded during Victor’s initial session in Trinidad with “Iron Duke in the Land” by Henry Julian a.k.a. Julian Whiterose, widely regarded as the very first. Whiterose was a chantuelle, the lead vocalist of the Whiterose masquerade band who made the transition to (calypso) tent singer. By the early 1900s English words began replacing French patois in calypso; “Iron Duke In The Land”, a charmingly boastful declaration, was sung predominantly in English, accented with an occasional patois expression; Whiterose’s vocals were supported by a lively, somewhat jagged chorus of background singers epitomizing the chantuelle’s African derived call and response oral tradition. Just like the instrumentation heard in the 1912 recordings done in New York City by Lovey’s String Band (which included violins, upright bass, cuarto, guitar, flute) the initial recordings in Trinidad provided a link between late 19th/early 20th century dance music such as the English waltz, the Spanish paseo, and strains of American ragtime intertwined with calypso’s embryonic aural identity.

    Whiterose recorded additional calypsos for Victor including “Bayonet Charge by the Laws of the Iron Duke” and the French patois calypso “Belle Marie Coolie”; “Iron Duke in the Land” is thought to be the only single from that historic session to have survived the past 101 years.
    While in Trinidad Victor also recorded calindas, songs that accompany the ritual of stick fighting, sung by Jules Sims. Piano solos by Lionel Belasco were also part of this pioneering endeavor, the first of its kind for the English speaking Caribbean.

    The same year the U.K. based Columbia Graphaphone company ventured to Trinidad and conducted would be the final recording session for Lovey’s String Band: Lovey (George Bailey) passed away in the 1920s.

    Patricia Meschino

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  • The Early Calypso Stars Coming to New York City

    Calypso is a style of Afro-Caribbean music that originated in Trinidad and Tobago during the early to mid-20th century. The roots and rhythms can be traced back to West African Kaiso, along with the arrival of French planters and their slaves from the French Antilles in the 1700s. Today the musical art form can be heard internationally, with many Caribbean islands presenting their own interpretation of what a Calypso song should sound like.

    In the early 1900s the largest number of black immigrants settling in the Northeast (New York City) was from the English-speaking Caribbean. These immigrants were only 1.3 percent of the New York City population and faced intense racism, but by 1923 they became a 12.7 percent of the city’s population. Many of these immigrants were young, unmarried men. Calypso was not far behind.

    According to many sources, the first Calypso records were made in 1914 and the Calypsonians who visited New York recorded throughout the 1920s. The giants at that time were bards the likes of Johnny walker, Sam Manning, Wilmoth Houdini, Atilla the Hun and Roaring Lion. New York became the Mecca for calypso away from Trinidad and Tobago. United States record labels Decca and Bluebird sent engineers with mobile recording devices to Trinidad annually and would record material that would later be released in cities globally. London was a major market at the time for calypso hits, but New York always was the home away from home for the genre. Atilla, Lion, King Radio, Lord Beginner and Growling Tiger were all recording in New York City, immersing themselves in the “Yankee” culture. It is important to note that by them immersing themselves on this side of the ocean, they were introducing the Caribbean to a new way of life causing the start of the Caribbean migration we see today.

    Calypso told of the struggles of a people. The New York recordings saw the same stars almost presenting a new way of living through songs. Calypso had arrived and the cultural landscape of New York City would never be the same.

    by Keran Deterville.

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  • Calypso-The First Recorded Music From the English Speaking Caribbean

    Calypso is often cited as the first genre to sell over a million copies: Harry Belafonte’s “Calypso” album released on RCA Records in 1956 holds that distinction. But the New York born, Jamaica raised Belafonte wasn’t an authentic calypsonian, a controversial issue addressed by Belafonte and others in the brilliant 2004 documentary “Calypso Dreams”. Belafonte’s “Calypso” was released more than 40 years after the very first calypso records were made-in New York City-but calypso’s lineage goes back much further, as the organically developed original soundtrack for the world’s ultimate street party, carnival in the southern Caribbean island of Trinidad.

    The result of some 300 years of cultural interactions between African, Spanish, French and English traditions, Trinidad carnival’s celebrations are rooted in the elaborate masquerade balls staged prior to the Catholic Lenten season by wealthy French landowners and their slaves. Under the slave master’s restrictive eye, the Africans were permitted their own celebrations, referred to as jammette (in Trini vernacular jammette means outside the circle of respectability) carnival, which featured chanting, drumming, dancing and masquerading as African folkloric characters or as mockeries of their colonial subjugators.
    Following the 1838 Abolition of Slavery, the rituals of the freed slaves permanently altered the identity of the staid French celebrations. The call and response vocals of the chantuelle (French Creole for singer) led bands of masqueraders in stick fighting and cane burning rites. String instruments were added to the satirical and oftentimes risqué French Creole jammette songs, which became known as calypso. By the early 1900s, English language lyrics had been incorporated into calypso, which was now performed in makeshift structures called tents, which, to this day remain annual carnival attractions.

    In May 1912, five years before the first jazz recordings were made, Lovey’s String Band traveled from Port of Spain, Trinidad, to New York City with the specific intention of making records. Founded sometime in the 1890s by Lovey (b. George Bailey or Baillie), a violinist, Lovey’s String Band was reportedly Trinidad’s most popular act of the era performing a broad selection of dance music usually at elite dances or fancy masquerade balls.
    According to a report in the Port of Spain Gazette, Lovey’s String Band departed Trinidad in May 1912 and seemingly spent most of June and early July in New York City where they recorded several sides, all instrumentals, for the Victor Talking Machine Company and the Columbia Phonograph Company. Many of these instrumentals had Spanish titles including “Manuelita”, “Cavel Blanco”, “666 Trinidad Paseo”, “Oil Fields-Trinidad Paseo” and “Mary Jane (Mari-juana)”(marijuana was still legal in the U.S. at the time of this recording, although by 1914 its usage would be restricted in several states, including New York, a precursor to the plant’s illegal status at the federal level in 1937). The Spanish influence, especially from nearby Venezuela, on Trinidad’s string music as heard in Lovey’s recordings, presented multi cultural marketing strategies for Victor and Columbia Records.

    Ninety years after these sessions took place, in 2002, American ethnologist Dick Spottswood unexpectedly came across Lovey’s recording of “Mango Vert” (adapted from a traditional Trinidadian folk melody) for Columbia. Spottswood’s discovery led to the National Recording Board of the Library of Congress selecting “Mango Vert” for preservation, in perpetuity, in the United States’ inaugural “Top 50″ list of recordings.

    While the 1912 recordings by Lovey’s String Band bear little resemblance to the calypsos that would be recorded throughout the 1930s and 40s, which ushered in the first calypso craze in the United States, these recordings remain significant in bringing exposure to calypso beyond Trinidad’s shores, while authenticating its status as the first recorded music of the English speaking Caribbean.

    By Patricia Meschino

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  • Going Green for Carnival

    Tropicalfete inc 2015 Labor Day Presentation for Brooklyn Labor Day Carnival will be going Green more information coming soon.

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  • The Big Apple’s Core Relationship to Calypso: A TropicalFete Immigration Heritage Week Special

    The years 2012 and 2014 marked the 100th anniversaries of two important developments in the trajectory of Caribbean music: in 1912 Lovey’s String Band traveled to New York City from Port of Spain, Trinidad and made the first instrumental recording designated as calypso; two years later, the first calypso record with vocals was recorded in Port of Spain by Julian Whiterose, for New York City based label Victor Records. So began the close, collaborative, musical relationship between Port of Spain and New York City.

    Calypso Project1
    In observance of New York City’s 11th annual Immigrant Heritage Week, April 17-April 24, which celebrates the contributions of New York City’s diverse immigrant communities, Tropicalfete Inc, a non profit Caribbean cultural arts organization, is pleased to announce their multi media program which will highlight the contribution calypso music, created on the island of Trinidad and popularized throughout the Caribbean, has made to New York City’s diverse cultural fabric. Conversely, Tropicalfete will also examine the role New York City has played in calypso’s evolution through the efforts of record labels, concert promoters, artists and entrepreneurs who call New York City their home.
    On April 21th, veteran journalist Patricia Meschino and journalist/artist Keran “Fimber” Deterville will start at the beginning, 103 years ago, when the very first calypso record was made, and through a series of articles, songs, and related information, to be published on Tropicalfete.com, various social networks and other media platforms, they will work their way through the decades of the music’s development, offering invaluable conversations about the New York City area record labels that specialized in calypso recordings; the prestigious Manhattan venues such as the Village Vanguard that regularly featured calypso shows; the calypsonians that became big stars in the Big Apple; calypso’s celebrated run on Broadway; the immigration challenges faced by Trinidadian calypsonians at Ellis Island and so much more.
    Tropicalfete’s partner in this important endeavor is popular radio personality Trevor Wilkins, host of the “The Trevor Wilkins Calypso Show”, the world’s longest continually running calypso radio program, which has been broadcast since 1997 on WNYE (91.5 FM), a non-commercial radio station operated by the NYC Media Group, a division of the New York City Department of Information, Technology and Telecommunications.
    Tropicalfete Inc is proud to present this program for Immigrant Heritage Week 2015, which began on April 17th, which was the day, 108 years ago, when the greatest number of immigrants from sailed into Ellis Island to start new lives in the United States.

    Because the calypso story, and New York City’s relationship to that narrative, continues to evolve more than a century after it began, Tropicalfete’s curated segments will extend beyond Immigrant Heritage Week and will run throughout Caribbean American Heritage Month (June) with supplemental programs to be created for broadcast on New York City television and radio stations.
    For further information, please email: info@tropicalfete.com

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  • BOB MARLEY HONORED WITH YEAR-LONG CELEBRATION FOR HIS 70TH BIRTHDAY

    Throughout history, no artist has so dominated the world of music as Bob Marley. A musical, political and even spiritual icon, a figure of almost mythical proportions, both poet and prophet, Marley was the first Jamaican artist to give voice to the struggles of his people and the Rastafarian culture, and the first to gain worldwide fame.

    Today, Bob Marley remains one of the 20th century’s most important and influential entertainment icons. Marley’s lifestyle and music continue to inspire new generations around the world as his legacy lives on through his music. In the digital era, he has the second-highest social media following of any posthumous celebrity, with the official Bob Marley Facebook page drawing more than 74 million fans. Marley’s music catalog has sold millions of albums worldwide and his hits compilation, Legend, holds the distinction of being the longest-charting album in the history of Billboard magazine’s Catalog Albums chart and remains the world’s best-selling reggae album.

    The Marley family will honor the legacy of Bob Marley commemorating his 70th birthday milestone and his importance in the history of global music with a year-long celebration.
    UMe, a division of the Universal Music Group, will work closely with the Marley family for new unreleased material ensuring the highest possible quality, integrity and detail to honor the Marley legacy. The Marley family is also giving UMe unprecedented access for the first time to material from their private collections and their vaults. Releases will be announced throughout the year, sure to please longtime fans and collectors with rare and unearthed treasures, as well as Deluxe editions of key albums with bonus material. New material will highlight special treasures in both audio and video formats. The first release on the schedule is BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS–EASY SKANKING IN BOSTON ’78. The new package, of completely unreleased material available for the first time in any format, will come in Blu-Ray/CD combo pack, dvd/cd and cd versions. The video was shot with a hand-held camera by a fan that Marley allowed to sit right in front of the stage. The result is remarkable footage that captures Marley from just a few feet away, allowing one to experience the intimacy of his set. While the cinematographer was shooting with film and needed to change rolls during the performance, the gaps in the live footage have been augmented with specially created animation over the existing audio. This also marks the first time they have approved newly created material, in this case animation, for a Marley release. The animation video was produced by Craig Bernard and Sara Mora Ivicevich; created and directed by S77 & Matt Reed and Michael Scroggins was the Oil Light Artist on the project. Between them, their resume includes recent projects including Bruno Mars, Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers and many others.
    Robert Nesta “Bob” Marley was born February 6, 1945 in Nine Mile, St. Ann Parish, Jamaica. Music was Marley’s escape and way to survive Trench Town, a government tenement housing project where he lived that was teeming with poverty and crime. One bright spot from Trench Town was another local, Alfarita “Rita” Constantia Anderson who he later married. He cut his first single, “Judge Not,” in 1962 when he was just 17. It turned out to be a local hit, and was followed by “One Cup of Coffee,” “Terror” and “Do You Still Love Me.” Although he earned very little money from his records, he ended up meeting Peter McIntosh (Peter Tosh), and together joined with childhood pal Neville Livingston (Bunny Wailer) to write songs together as The Wailing Wailers, named because they were ghetto sufferers who’d been born “wailing.” They debuted with “I’m Still Waiting” and its “rude boy” ska style follow-up, 1964’s “Simmer Down,” topped the Jamaican charts. Soon they would be known simply as the Wailers.
    A man who rose from the humblest of origins to become a champion for the oppressed, Marley was a streetwise sharp dresser influenced by the U.S. civil rights movement and the music and fashion of black America. He sang of rebellion, Rasta, partying, uprisings and love. Long before the world discovered him, both Bob Marley & The Wailers and Jamaica were grooving to rocksteady classics “Sugar Sugar” “Soul Shakedown Party,” and perhaps his deepest devotional track, “Selassie Is The Chapel.” Other classics included “Duppy Conqueror,” “Soul Almighty,” “My Cup,” “Trenchtown Rock” and “Small Axe.”

    Marley knew that his music and reggae was just limited to Jamaica and set his eyes on the world. In order to break out of the Jamaican market and on his own, Marley moved to London and signed with CBS Records U.K.. In 1971, Marley founded his own Tuff Gong label and was signed to Island Records by its leader Chris Blackwell, who had licensed some of his band’s previous releases for Island Records and offered Marley a deal to record their debut album, recording CATCH A FIRE at Harry J’s in Kingston. 1973’s CATCH A FIRE, their first album released outside Jamaica, signaled the emergence of reggae’s patron saint and immediately earned global acclaim, even garnering the group its first tour of the U.S. Reggae’s first true album, rather than a collection of singles, CATCH A FIRE included such well-known tracks as “Stir It Up,” “Concrete Jungle” and “Slave Driver”–all of them fiery, politically charged, and uncompromising.

    The album BURNIN’ that same year launched the reggae anthems “I Shot The Sheriff” and “Get Up, Stand Up.” Eric Clapton’s #1 pop version of “I Shot The Sheriff” gave a major boost to reggae’s acceptance with the general public and to recognition for Marley, who some have called the first Third World superstar. But the album would be the last Wailers effort with Tosh and Livingston. By 1974, the original trio of Marley, Tosh and Livingston broke up, going their separate ways.

    With a new backing band which included brothers Carlton and Aston “Family Man” Barrett on drums and bass, Junior Marvin and Al Anderson on lead guitar, Tyrone Downie and Earl “Wya” Lindo on keyboards, Alvin “Seeco” Patterson on percussion and the I-Threes (his wife Rita Marley, Judy Mowatt and Marcia Griffiths) on background vocals, Bob Marley and the Wailers hit their stride, achieving their first U.S. hit with “No Woman, No Cry,” from 1975’s NATTY DREAD. The album featured Marley’s name on top for the first time, and is considered by many to be his finest album and one of reggae’s best – balancing revolution and celebration like no other reggae album before or since.

    Marley then followed it up with 1976’s RASTAMAN VIBRATION, which proved to be Marley’s American and commercial breakthrough, climbing to #8 on the Billboard 200. RASTAMAN VIBRATION paired hard-hitting tracks such as “War” (essentially a musical recitation of a speech by Haile Selassie, the Ethiopian emperor considered a prophet of Rastafarianism) with lighter fare such as “Positive Vibration.”
    Bob Marley & The Wailers were declared Rolling Stone’s Band of the Year for 1976. “Marley, like Dylan, has transcended genre,” wrote the magazine. “You only have to see him on stage, a dancing dervish, dreadlocks wind-milling, to realize that here is a rock & roll star.”

    Marley was becoming an international superstar, not just a pop music personality, but a political figure for the underclasses around the world, a lightning-rod for liberation in such songs as “Get Up, Stand Up,” “Exodus,” “Waiting in Vain,” “One Love,” “Zimbabwe,” “Africa Unite,” “Wake Up and Live” and “Survival.” The singer/songwriter was the target of an assassination attempt at his Kingston home on the night of December 3, 1976, during rehearsals for a free concert called Smile Jamaica. During this attempt, a bullet grazed his chest, wounding his wife and manager. A defiant Marley went on to perform at the show just two days later, his injuries visible to one and all, and it further solidified his heroic stature as a real leader of the people and his true commitment to his words “One Love.” The violence forced Marley to move to England for a two-year exile.

    EXODUS would be Marley’s only album primarily recorded outside Jamaica; its London sessions were the first time the band recorded in the 24-track format. His exodus resulted in an album that was tough and reflective, angry and romantic, suitable for domestic consumption and for crossover success.
    Featuring the international hits “Jamming,” “Waiting In Vain” and “One Love/People Get Ready,” EXODUS was named Album of the Century by Time Magazine. “Every song is a classic, from the messages of love to the anthems of revolution,” Time wrote. “But more than that, the album is a political and cultural nexus, drawing inspiration from the Third World and then giving voice to it the world over.” The irony of EXODUS is that in leaving Jamaica, Marley brought reggae home to the rest of the world. Along the way, he popularized the innovative form known as “versions,” which separated out and spotlighted the instrumental rhythm tracks to reggae songs. Due to this process, reggae’s loping, hypnotic rhythms would find its way into rock ‘n’ roll.

    Upon his return, and not one to give up his quest for peace, he famously brought together Jamaica’s warring factions, having political rivals Michael Manley and Edward Siega join hands with him on-stage during his historic “One Love Peace Concert” in Kingston, which took place on April 22, 1978. No bullets this time.

    Shortly thereafter, Marley was awarded the United Nations’ Peace Medal of the Third World in June, 1978, by the African delegation for his efforts “on behalf of millions of disenfranchised blacks round the world.”

    The mellow KAYA in early 1978 was highlighted by “Is This Love,” one of the most buoyant and unabashed love songs in the Marley repertoire, and “Satisfy My Soul.” BABYLON BY BUS, released later that year, is considered one of reggae’s most powerful concert albums. The fist-pumping SURVIVAL in 1979, with the track “Africa Unite,” was followed the next year by UPRISING, which featured the impassioned “Redemption Song.” Marley’s support for the struggles of Africans brought attention to their plight and he became an honored guest on that continent, including performing in 1980 at the celebration of Zimbabwe’s Independence Day.

    Bob Marley stands as one of the giants of world popular music, with his untimely death at the age of 36 on May 11, 1981 in Miami from cancer complications, leaving us without one of the most revered and influential performers of the 20th century.

    In 2014, thirty years after its original release, Bob Marley & The Wailers, LEGEND, shared the top of the charts, holding the No. 5 spot on Billboard’s 200 Album Chart among Maroon 5 (#1), Jeezy (#2), Guardians of the Galaxy Soundtrack (#3), and Ariana Grande (#4). Marley’s accolades include inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1994) and ASCAP Songwriters Hall of Fame (2010), a GRAMMY® Lifetime Achievement Award (2001), multiple entries in the GRAMMY® Hall Of Fame, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (2001). His music was the centerpiece of a 2011 Grammy tribute by Bruno Mars, Sting, Rihanna and sons Damian and Ziggy Marley. In 2004, Rolling Stone placed Bob Marley #11 in its list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time,” and in 2012, an acclaimed feature-length documentary, Marley, directed by Kevin McDonald (The Last King of Scotland, State of Play) was released to critical and audience acclaim.

    Bob Marley’s legacy truly lives in the artists and generations he has influenced. Today, the spiritual, political and musical resonance of Bob Marley’s work continues to be felt around the world.
    Bob Marley’s 70th birthday – an occasion to celebrate his global legacy.

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  • Thanks for A Super 2014

    Dear Cultural Partners;

    On behalf of Tropicalfete Board of Directors, we would like to thank you for the roll you played in making 2014 an incredible year for us and wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2015.. Your donations, funding, advice time and effort helped us execute our mission. We are proud to be an organization that contributes to New York City’s artistic and educational community. We just couldn’t do it without you.

    We took on a new challenge this year providing cultural activities for terminally ill patients in the form of steel pan instrument performances with Ricardo Greenaway. Tropicalfete continued its free music workshop on Copyrights & Royalties with Roger Meltzer. We ventured into webinars to educate young artist about the business aspect of the music industry.

    Music studio softwares were given to artists at various open mic events throughout New York City so they can develop their skills. Tropicalfete had the pleasure to be part of VH1 Save The Music Family Day hosted by Nick Lachey with panist Ricardo G. and vocalist Fimber that showcased the power of the Pan. We also got to introduce the steel pan instrument to hundreds of children and their parents.

    One of our designers M. Luke was selected to be part of Materials for the Arts Reuse Remixed: Art Works Show. We had pieces were display in the MFTA Gallery. With a strong team of creative designers, we executed a presentation called Masquerade Ball Caribbean Edition for the 47th West Indian American Day Carnival Parade for adults and kids. Daria, Renne, Gillia, Nathalia, Jason, Ms. Mary, Mr. Gibbs, Nicky were instrumental for Tropicalfete coming 3rd place small band category kids. We also brought the carnival atmosphere to the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library.

    In 2014 we started a new event Tropicalfete’s Creative Day in the Park at Lincoln Terrace Park Children Play Ground. The event had a puppet show with Ventriloquist. Park goers got to interact with the Steel Pan Instrument, there were Masquerade Costumes, instruments for the kids to play, dance, Games and Stilt Walking.

    Tropicalfete Award of Excellence 2014 Presented to Reggae Retro for Promoting cultural Reggae Music since 2002. We again made our contribution to Caribbean Heritage Month in June with a cultural reading program with Barnes & Noble. Jason Edwards had the stilt walkers Kaisokah Moko Jumbies take part in the historic Peoples Climate March. We took part in Keep the Children Safe Halloween Parade for our second year. Tropicalfete continued to move ahead with its’ programing and engage in over two dozen cultural events. Three college reference letters were done for our volunteers.

    Thanks again for your unwavering support

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  • Tropicalfete Top 100 International Caribbean Songs for 2014

    Tropicalfete CountDown Top 100 International Caribbean Songs for the year is a ranking of recorded music according to popularity. The Popularity is determined by air play, music sales, club play and online hits. Our Chart is not limited to genre. It shows the diversity and the creativity of Caribbean people around the World and most of all their impact on the global audience. Therefore, Reggae, R&B, Dancehall, Hip Hop, Zouk, Kompa, Soca, Reggaeton, Salsa, Calypso, etc. make up Tropicalfete Count Down Top 100 International Caribbean Songs for the year. Weekly Charts were calculated throughout the year to come up with a summary for the year. Charts have become an increasingly important way to measure the commercial success of individual songs and Tropicalfete Top 100 is a chart that reflects the songs the people consume.

    1 Enrique Iglesias, ft. Sean Paul, Descemer Bueno, Gente De Zona- Bailandoby

    2 Pitbull feat. Jennifer Lopez & Claudia Leitte – We Are One (Ole Ola) -The Official 2014 FIFA World Cup Song
    3 Machel Montano – H.M.A. (Happiest Man Alive)
    4 Shaggy ft. Ne-Yo – You Girl
    5 Kerwin Du Bois – Too Real
    6 Ziggy Marley – I Don’t Wanna Live On Mars
    7 Sean Paul feat. Damian Marley – Riot
    8 Farmer Nappy – Big People Party
    9 Mavado & Jadakiss – Musical Masquerade: Just Like Magic
    10 Bunji Garlin – Carnival Tabanca
    11 Tessanne Chin – Count On My Love
    12 Spice – So Mi Like It
    13 Ziggy Marley- Fly Rast
    14 Skinny Fabulous – Behaving The Worst
    15 Prince Royce – Soy el Mismo
    16 Machel Montano – Ministry Of Road (M.O.R.)
    17 Timaya Ft. Sean Paul – Bum Bum Remix
    18 Bunji Garlin – Truck on D Road
    19 Kerwin Du Bois – Spoil Mehself
    20 Sean Paul feat. Konshens – Want Dem All
    21 Lyrikal – Conquer Meh
    22 Kerwin Du Bois – Press Ah Button
    23 Benjai – Come Out To Play
    24 Major Lazer – Lose Yourself feat. Moska & RDX
    25 Kes The Band – ‘Endless Summer
    26 Machel Montano – E.P.I.C.
    27 LL Cool J Ft Mavado – The Hustler
    28 Fay-Ann Lyons – Catch Me
    29 Major Lazer – Come On To Me ft. Sean Paul
    30 Daddy Yankee – Ora por mi
    31 Cham ft. Damian “Jr Gong” Marley – Fighter
    32 Bunji Garlin – Red Light District
    33 Kerwin Du Bois & Lyrikal – Lockdown
    34 Sly & Robbie, Spicy Chocolate feat. Crystal Kay, Beenie Man – Love On My Mind
    35 Tarrus Riley – Burning Desire
    36 5Star Akil Feat. Nadia Batson – Never Done
    37 Destra – Just A Little Bit
    38 Romain Virgo – Stay With Me
    39 Maxi Priest – Loving You Is Easy
    40 Tommy Lee Sparta – Dream
    41 Shaggy (feat. Super Cat & Maxi Priest) – Night Flight
    42 Machel Montano – Haunted
    43 Daddy Yankee – La Nueva y La Ex
    44 Kerwin Du Bois – Galavanting
    45 Fya Empress – Ah Ketch It
    46 Carimi – MikaBen – BABY I MISSED YOU
    47 Rastafari On Wall Street – Lee “Scratch” Perry
    48 Sweet C- Something One to Believe In
    49 Machel Montano – Shameless
    50 Biggie Irie – Pankatang
    51 Shakira – Can’t Remember to Forget You ft. Rihanna
    52 Etana – Thy Will Be Done ft. Jo Mersa Marley
    53 Christopher Martin – Let Her Go
    54 Fay-Ann Lyons – Done D Party
    55 Shal Marshall – FEEL 2 WUK
    56 Mr. Vegas – Selfie
    57 Soja [feat. Collie Buddz] – She Still Loves Me
    58 Give It To – Me Destra
    59 I-Octane – Cya do it ft. Vanessa Bling
    60 Busy Signal – Money Flow/Greetings(Ribbidibi)
    61 Chuku Chuku – Denise Belfon
    62 5 Star Akil – To Meh Heart
    63 Tommy Lee Sparta – Hero
    64 Mavado – The Truth
    65 Dj Gil feat Alison Hinds – Gimme di Zouk
    66 Konshens – She Did It Again
    67 Destra – Road Call Calling Meh
    68 Ragga Fava Refix
    69 Daria – Me Aint Fraid
    70 Busy Signal “Bou-Yah [Vampire Teeth]
    71 Shurwayne Winchester – Girl Born to Wine
    72 Timaya – Sanko
    73 Tizzy & El-A-Kru – Super Feter
    74 Gyptian Ft Kes – Wet Fete
    75 Fimber – Mi Siwo A
    76 Blaxx – Fettin Away
    77 Shakira – La La La (Brazil 2014) ft. Carlinhos Brown
    78 Shaggy (feat. Peetah Morgan & Tessanne Chin) – Deadly Love
    79 Sledge – No Better than I
    80 Beenie Man – My Life So Happy
    81 Patrice Roberts – Hold On Tight
    82 Meta and The Cornerstones ZION STEREO
    83 Richie Spice – I use the Herbs
    84 Nature – No Gun Around
    85 Tasha – KEEP THEM WAVING
    86 T Vice – “NSA” No Strings Attached
    87 Spragga Benz – Duppy Nuh Frighten Vampire
    88 Erphaan Alves & Blaxx – Contagious
    89 Tallpree – Jab Nation
    90 Teddyson John – First Time
    91 3 Canal – Carnival Comin
    92 Nu Vybes aka Sugar Band – Freaky Mas
    93 Scrappy – Closer
    94 Aidonia – Love Off U Gyal [
    95 Socaholic – Ricardo Drue
    96 Asa Bantan – Down
    97 Cassi – Man In yuh House
    98 Yankey Boy – Red Eye
    99 T-Vice – Skandal kanaval
    100 Kurt Allen Sweet sizzling Summers

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  • Setting the Stage – 2015 and Beyond GLOBAL ALL-STAR SUMMER CONCERT

    GLOBAL ARTISTS CELEBRATE THE PROMISE OF A PROSPEROUS AND SUSTAINABLE FUTURE

    Friday, 6 June 2014 — The stage has been set at the United Nations with global artists bringing a message of hope for a better future in 2015 and beyond.

    Global voices came together in song to bring a message of hope during a unique event at United Nations Headquarters in New York, hosted by the President of the General Assembly, John W. Ashe. The purpose of the concert titled – Setting the Stage: 2015 and Beyond – was to raise public awareness about the historic opportunity that will arise in 2015 when world leaders come together to pledge to end poverty and put the world on a sustainable path.

    The event featured the zouk band Kassav’and soca artists David Rudder, Machel Montano and Tizzy. The Band Lalon from Bangladesh and Hip Hop artist Emmanuel Jal brought to the stage the voices and testimonies of Least Developed Countries. Through the rhythms and energy of world

    "Setting The Stage - 2015 And Beyond" Global All-Star Summer Concert

    "Setting The Stage - 2015 And Beyond" Global All-Star Summer Concert

    "Setting The Stage - 2015 And Beyond" Global All-Star Summer Concert

    "Setting The Stage - 2015 And Beyond" Global All-Star Summer Concert

    "Setting The Stage - 2015 And Beyond" Global All-Star Summer Concert

    "Setting The Stage - 2015 And Beyond" Global All-Star Summer Concert

    "Setting The Stage - 2015 And Beyond" Global All-Star Summer Concert

    "Setting The Stage - 2015 And Beyond" Global All-Star Summer Concert

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  • BUNJI GARLIN SIGNS DEAL WITH RCA RECORDS IN CONJUNCTION WITH VP RECORDS
 FOR HIS INTERNATIONAL HIT “DIFFERENTOLOGY (READY FOR THE ROAD)”

    New York, NY Trinidadian soca vocalist Bunji Garlin has inked an exclusive deal with RCA Records in conjunction with VP Records. The two labels will join forces to promote Bunji Garlin’s international smash hit “Differentology (Ready For The Road).”



    Garlin is thrilled to partner with RCA. “It’s an honor to be considered to be a part of this entity and I look forward to all the possibilities, ups and downs that comes with it. Our whole camp is excited about this development and would hope that it will be encouraging to many who have dreams and have been constantly told that it can’t happen for or to them,” he states.

    VP Records CEO Chris Chin comments: “The partnership represents another monumental step forward for Caribbean music. ‘Differentology’ is a song that has proven itself well beyond the core audience and connected to so many through mainstream radio airplay, placements on hit TV programs, and features at major sporting events. We are now primed for RCA to propel this track to the masses.”

    “Bunji and the team at VP have laid an incredibly successful foundation, fueled by great music, hard work and determination. This is an exciting time for all involved as RCA and VP collectively navigate Bunji to the next level of his career,” states Peter Edge, CEO of RCA Records.

    Known to many as the “Viking of Soca,” Bunji Garlin has taken the genre to new heights. His explosive single “Differentology (Ready For The Road),” which was remixed by Major Lazer as well as Busta Rhymes, is currently 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 for Best International Performance, was featured on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, won NYC’s HOT 97 FM’s Battle of The Beats competition and chosen by NPR as one of the year’s favorite anthems, as well as MTV Iggy’s Song of the Year. 



    On May 1, 2014, Bunji Garlin made his national TV debut on BET’s 106 & Park to perform his hit. He will return to New York City area on June 1, 2014 to take over the main stage on Hot 97’s Summer Jam concert, followed by a day of promotional activities for “Differentology (Ready For The Road).”



    Born Ian Alvarez, Bunji Garlin is known for his high-energy stage shows, lyrical confidence and eloquence. The Trinidadian artist and international soca royalty is both a composer and performer of soca and ragga soca. The latter is a blend of soca with dancehall music that he made his own during the start of his career in the late ‘90s. He has won the “Ragga Soca Monarch” competition in both 2000 and 2001, the Young King title in 2001, the coveted title of International Soca Monarch in 2002 and then reclaimed this title for three more years. Bunji Garlin recently unleashed his new EP Carnival Tabanca and will release his upcoming studio album later this year. His anticipated release will be his first full-length release since 2007’s Global (VP Records).

    Purchase “Differentology (Ready For The Road)” now on Soca Gold: 2013:

    https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/soca-gold-2013/id633775218
 


    Watch the official video for “Differentology (Ready For The Road)”(directed by Nigel Thompson):


    Purchase Major Lazer remix of “Differentology (Ready For The Road)” on Strictly The Best Vol. 49:
    https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/strictly-the-best-vol.-49/id766579979
 


    Watch the video for Major Lazer remix of “Differentology (Ready For The Road)”:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8HgpnX6QUQY



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  • BUNJI GARLIN x SXSW // ROLLING STONE CHOOSES SOCA ARTIST AS MUST SEE SXSW 2014 ACT

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  • Kris Kelli is the rising star in the industry

    ATLANTA, GA (May 13, 2013) — Kris Kelli, a rising star in the industry and Block Entertainment’s newest signee, partners up with Roc City produced track for her new single “I Got UR Man” — an authentic dance-hall-inspired record — from her recent mix tape “Warrior.” The Caribbean native has taken the music world by storm with her effortless blend of island pop, soft R&B and gritty passion for a refreshing, unique sound. Over the past two years, the island artist has released hit single after hit single, drumming up anticipation for her latest project. Now with a new image, new sound and brand new campaign, Kris Kelli is on the horizon for international stardom.
    Named after her growing worldwide fan base “Team Warriors,” Kris Kelli’s latest project is an audio documentary explaining what a true warrior means to the Jamaican beauty. She plans to release music videos for “I Got Ur Man” and the sultry fan favorite “Like A Drum,” and is slated to embark on a mufti-city tour this summer.
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  • Swiss Duo Lends Hypnotic, Ethereal Twist to Bob Marley Cover Song

    Los Angeles, CA – Very few can say that they’ve had the privilege of working with an international superstar like Celine Dion, or had their music featured in an Academy Award winning film like “Little Miss Sunshine”; however, this is listed among the numerous accomplishments from the band Aurah. Marc Dold and Judith Martin who form the powerful electronica duo, showcase their effortless skills once again on the band’s latest single “3 Little Birds,” an ethereal modern interpretation of the Bob Marley classic. The single is off their upcoming EP Summon the Sky, due out this summer. The pair recently released a colorful music video for the track on YouTube; which transports viewers into the imaginative and tranquil world of Aurah. The video has already caught the attention of many, gaining over 8,000 views; attesting to the group’s large and ever-growing fan base.

    Aurah’s signature sound builds with a steady, vibrating pulse that expands with layer upon layer of harmonic exploration. Influenced by the fusion of modern electronica and world music, Martin’s echoing voice compliments Dold’s ambient, textural guitar stylings resulting in a genre they have labeled Organica. Standing independently as almost a completely different song, Aurah’s “3 Little Birds” is carried by a mid-tempo guitar beat, amplified by bright belli-like synths, crashing symbols and drums. Produced by Dold and Martin, with Blair Shotts on drums, the single embraces the easy-going vibe with just enough excitement in the chorus. Martin’s vocals match perfectly with the lyrics of the song as she sings the reassuring words “don’t worry about a thing.”

    The duo is all hands on deck with their involvement in the creative process and take the lead with their artistic visions. Martin directed, edited and assisted in shooting the music video, which was shot in beautiful Costa Rica. Taking on a more adventurous approach, the music video features multiple screen boxes to portray Aurah’s iridescent and partly trippy view of the world. In one box, Martin is shown singing on a bus and taking in the view, one is a kaleidoscope view of the country’s fruitful nature, while others show the locals and children playing and laughing freely. The video is sure to leave viewers as hypnotized as their music does.

    Switzerland’s hidden gems, Dold and Martin, were destined to share their talents with the world. The musically inclined pair met as teenagers while they were both making their rounds in the local music scene. The two eventually left Europe for Boston where they furthered their studies at the prestigious Berklee College of Music. Soon after, Dold and Martin joined forces to record their first album, “Judith Martin,” and from that Aurah was created. Shortly after, Dold aligned with DJ, Christian B., to form the producing team, Swiss American Federation (S.A.F.). The pair scored two #1 Billboard hits with a remix of Enya’s “Only Time,” which became a 9/11 anthem, and Celine Dion’s “A New Day Has Come,” the title of her Las Vegas show and album. Although Judith Martin and Marc Dold are not quite household names yet, you have probably heard their work. Dold’s numerous production credits include major artists such as, Paul Van Dyk, Peter Gabriel and Nelly Furtado. In addition, both Dold and Martin composed the original film score for “Loving Annabelle” and “Sunset Junction.” Their repertoire expands showcasing tracks included in the films, “Little Miss Sunshine” and “Blood Diamond,” among countless other films and hit television shows.

    “3 Little Birds” is available for a free download, when you like Aurah’s Facebook page and the video can be viewed on their YouTube channel. Learn more about Aurah and check out the single at www.Aurah.com.

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  • NEW – MACHEL MONTANO, KERWIN DU BOIS feat. LADYSMITH BLACK MAMBAZO – POSSESSED- CARNIVAL 2013

    From the rhythmic bosom of Africa comes a collaboration that is filled with all the warmth of home, melded amidst the undying love of sincere Soca aficionados around the world. In “Possessed”, Machel Montano and Kerwin Du Bois are joined on a spirit-infused harmonic journey alongside South Africa’s triple-time Grammy award winners, Ladysmith Black Mambazo. The world famous male choral group have added their distinct and unforgettable vocal tones to such legendary albums as, Grammy winner Paul Simon’s Graceland. This is in addition to their uncountable nominations for Grammys, Emmys and Oscars over the years, and the multiple Drama Desk and SAMA Awards they have won for their consistently enchanting releases. This soothing yet compelling melodic production was done by Kerwin and inspired Machel to fulfill two lifelong dreams. The first being, taking Soca to Africa and secondly working with Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Poignant from start to finish, the track embraces a new frontier for all the artists involved, as it magnificently demonstrates our undeniable musical ties, which exist beyond all barriers of time and space.

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  • International Power Soca Monarch Semi Finalists 2013

    PLAY WHE International Power Soca Monarch Semi Finalists 2013

    1. Fay Ann Lyons – De Stage Open
    2. Austin ‘Super Blue’ Lyons – Fantastic Friday
    3. Destra Garcia – Carry On
    4. Neil ‘Iwer D Boss’ George – Unfinished Business
    5. Rodney ‘Benjai’ Le Blanc – Engoma
    6. Shurwayne Winchester – We Control D Road
    7. Nadia Batson – Gutter
    8. Edghill ‘MX Prime’ Thomas – Rell Vibez
    9. Wilt ‘Tallpree’ Cambridge – Muddy Jab
    10. Dexter ‘Blaxx’ Stewart – In Charge
    11. Gamal ‘Skinny Fabulous’ Doyle – Monster {Reigning Monarch in St. Vincent}
    12. Lornette ‘Fya Empress’ Nedd-Reid – Rum Please
    13. Marvin ‘Swappi’ Davis – Cha-os
    14. Timel ‘BoyBoy’ Rivas – Put yuh flags up
    15. Devon ‘Prophet Benjamin’ Samuel – No Lokani
    16. Jeffrey ‘Peter Levels’ Biddeau – Ready Again
    17. Rickey ‘Lil Rick’ Reid – Cyah Bother We
    18. Trevor Gore – Once Again
    19. Anslem Douglas – Bacchanal
    20. Jason ‘JW’ Williams & Ancil ‘Blaze’ Isaac Jr. – Timing It
    21. Devon Matthews – Start It Up
    22. Megan Walrond – Full Flight
    23. Marcus ‘Lava man’ James – Psycho {Reigning Monarch in Grenada}
    24. Shivonne ‘Lil Bitts’ Churche – Raise D Dust
    25. Emmanuel ‘Chris’ Garcia – No Soup
    26. I-Stan ‘Chosen’ Scott – Bring A Flask And Come
    27. Anthony ‘Squeezy Rankin’ La Fleur – The Renaissance
    28. Erphaan Alves – Doh Test We
    29. Ronald ‘Natro Date’ Wickham – Masquerader Drunk
    30. Olatunji Yearwood – Tunji Mantana

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