I noticed the recent uproar caused by, and massive publicity being given to Billboard Magazine, who announced their best of 2015 recently. The initial blip that came on my radar was a Jamaica Observer article, but since then I have seen many of my peers in the reggae industry, especially those representing Jamaica, sounding off and voicing their disapproval of Billboard as if this was an objective award selection.
This controversy inspired my inquisitive mind so I did some research into Billboard Magazine’s previous year’s Reggae superlatives and found that it’s solely based on Reggae Album sales and these statistics have never been friendly to Jamaican performers. Check the history over the past 5 years:
No Jamaicans have been Reggae Artist of the Year according to Billboard Magazine
By simply visiting Billboard’s website and reviewing the rankings I saw that what happened in 2015 – a non-Jamaican crowned Artist of the Year – also happened in 2014, 2013, and so on and so forth. No one slammed the magazine when California-based reggae group Rebelution, Israel’s Matisyahu, or American rappers NAS and Snoop Lion were crowned.
If anything, Jamaican reggae artists, supporters, and the media alike should be reporting that 2015 was the best year in recent history for Jamaican reggae acts as evidenced by releases from Morgan Heritage, Protoje, Jah Cure, and Kymani Marley all selling well enough to be on the 2015 Reggae Album charts. Yes, Joss Stone (UK) sold more, but in prior years only the Marley name could be found consistently among the top selling reggae albums reported by Billboard.
Congratulations to the aforementioned artists carrying the reggae banner in 2015. How can we continue this resurgence of Jamaican reggae and secure a place for artists from the genre’s homeland on international music charts, and concert stages? Start by putting your money where your mouth is. Vote for the artist you love by buying their album.
Presented by Krushmore Entertainment, the legendary Royal Peacock will host the official Atlanta album release for Ky-Mani Marley’s “Maestro,” on Wednesday, November 25, 2015 – the night before Thanksgiving. Ky-Mani will give a live performance with his Maestro Band. Early vibes will be selected by Highlanda Sound alongside Revolution Sound. Limited $15 early-bird tickets are on sale now!
Bubbling in the city by popular demand we bring you RUB-A-DUB
Highlanda.net and The Honorary Citizen present RUB-A-DUB – A style of Jamaican Reggae emerging in the 70’s and 80’s, the term “Rub-a-Dub” comes from a dance style where the man and woman rub up very close together. This takes place Sunday October 18th at The Sound Table located at 483 Edgewood Avene with music by DJ Empress Rah, alongside DJ Passport and also Highlanda Sound. Doors open promptly at 8pm for this Free Party.
Daddy U-Roy and the crew come to the A town!
The world’s original Rub-A-Dub sound system with Daddy U-Roy himself and the crew straight from Jamaica. Big up all who respect foundation and know this is the greatest of the great.
Highlanda Sound with Ras Fraser Jr. and Little Twitch on Youtube:
Highlanda Sound with Kahlil Wonda selecting the riddims, featuring Little Twitch and Ras Fraser Jr. performing live at Rocksteady ATL. Recorded live on Friday October 2, 2015 at Studio No. 7 in downtown Atlanta. Also in the area to touch the microphone is Jahfyah Kush. #RocksteadyATL is a roots reggae session monthly on #1stFridays
Highlanda Sound ft. Ras Fraser Jr. and Little Twitch on Soundcloud with download link:
Highlanda Sound ft. Ras Fraser Jr. and Little Twitch on Mixcloud:
DJ Passport segment on Soundcloud with download link:
Roots selector DJ Passport juggling from Ska to current reggae revival anthems live at Atlanta’s reggae 1st Friday, #RocksteadyATL inside Studio No. 7.
Isis Swaby segment on Soundcloud with download link:
Featured at #RocksteadyATL our special guest DJ, Rockers International and Radio Kangol representative out of NYC, Empress Isis Swaby, visual artist, DJ/producer and daughter of famed reggae icon Horace “Augustus Pablo” Swaby.
Rebel Sound recording artist Ras Fraser Jr., the son of legendary Reggae singer Phillip Fraser, brings you his new single “Vacation For Two“.
Vacation For Two by Ras Fraser Jr. – Artwork
Many people from Jamaica never get to see many of the island’s beautiful wonders that the tourists see everyday when vacationing there. “Vacation For Two” is about a Jamaican couple taking a vacation on their own island and seeing its amazing sights for the first time.
“Vacation For Two” is currently doing well on the radio in Jamaica and is in the Hot Tracks section on the iTunes Reggae Page. Download “Vacation For Two” now.
Macka B – Neva Played A 45 – Artwork
The title track ‘Never played a 45‘ is an ode to vinyl lovers because “there’s something about the feel of the vibe.” Previously released on a 45, the original Peckings label pressing sold out fast and is now highly sought after.
The popular ‘Medical Marijuana Card‘ features an animated video which has amassed over 250,000 views. ‘Rasta Tell Dem‘ is already hugely popular and has been rinsed out by David Rodigan and others.
The song recounts Rasta’s canny observations of things that are just now coming to pass. ‘African‘ is an astute social observation to the standard we’ve come to expect from Macka B; shedding light on the realities of Africa as the cradle of humanity. Download ‘Never played a 45‘ now.
Born in Spanish Town, St. Catherine, Jamaica, Kafinal has emerged as an entertainer and vocalist with diverse talents.
The singer/comedian/actor who is now based in Toronto, Canada credits his sometimes difficult upbringing with giving him his strong work ethic and sense of humour. The second of five children for his parents, he remembers how his mother worked hard to make ends meet. With that determination, he has decided to pay homage to her with his work.
Like many of the musical greats he started singing as a child in the church as well as in school and at community events. In 2001 while still living in Jamaica his professional musical timing had come and he released songs like “Cooking Dat Pwile” and “Drive By”.
Upon relocating to Canada, Kafinal began to make a name for himself on the Caribbean live show and performance circuits both as a singer and comedian.
The re-emergence of his first love, music, which Kafinal describes as “soul-filling”; presents him with an opportunity to entertain the best way he knows.
Influenced by all genres of music, he lists Bob Marley, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson and Beres Hammond among his musical influences.
For Kafinal the sky is indeed the limit as he plans to build on the exposure and fan-base he has garnered and take it to the highest level. He promises to continue to put out excellent music with the best production quality.
Lyrically he is definitely on his way as he has already released not only “catchy” but very relevant content. His latest project is titled “Road Tonight”, has been rocking the airwaves in Jamaica, Toronto, the Caribbean and North America.
Expect more from this talented brother of the Caribbean.