Pandora’s Diego Herrera on Reggae Lover

We caught up with Diego Herrera, the Reggae/Caribbean Music Curator and Programmer for Pandora Media. He curates the popular New Reggae Now playlist.  

Diego is entrenched within the culture and has been for a long time. As you may know, we’ve been working with Pandora to help push reggae music. Our podcast is featured on Pandora and we curate playlists on Pandora as well.

We had a very interesting, informative conversation. You will love it. We loved it! Diego works in the ecosystem touching the artists, labels, and the distribution channel. We pull back the curtain and shed some light on what happens on the back end at digital streaming services. 

New Reggae Now cover.

We all use these platforms to listen to content, but how do they really work? What are the inner workings? We learn about that plus get Diego’s refreshing perspective on new reggae now and the state of the culture. He comes from a very knowledgeable point of view. Of course, after the main segment, we present the Buzzworthy, Tastemaker, and SoundClash update segments.  

Buzzworthy

  • Buju Banton denounces mask-wearing.
  • David Rodigan and Cedella Marley receive Jamaican Order of Distinction honors.
  • Barrington Levy in the studio with DJ Kahled.

The Tastemaker

  • Official music video for Koffee’s “Pressure” Remix featuring Buju Banton.

Soundclash Update

  • Downbeat pays epic tribute to fallen reggae icon Bunny “Striker” Lee on LP International’s Real Talk IG Live Show.
DJ Kash on Reggae Lover

DJ Kash Credits Jamaican Sound System Culture with Shaping his Sound

Special guest DJ Kash shares his perspective as a DJ/producer who has worked with various artists in the diaspora. 

DJ Kash just released a new single called All Night Long featuring Tifa and is working on his debut EP. We get his take on the industry, artists, culture, and how his contributions propel the music.

During this conversation we uncovered:

  • How did the song with Tifa, “All Night Long,” come about?
  • How was DJ Kash able to champion Caribbean music on ATL commercial radio?
  • How did Kash get popular on the ATL club scene and start touring?
  • How does the Jamaican sound system culture influence his style of DJing and MCing?
  • How did he get into music production?

“The best DJs in the world are Caribbean DJs …because we are the king of genres.”

DJ Kash
DJ Kash ATL on the Reggae Lover Podcast 2020.

Buzzworthy, Tastemaker, and Sound Clash Update

[Documentary] Chasing the Sound: Major Lazer – Travel with Major Lazer to Ghana and Nigeria to make the world smaller by making the party bigger.

[Single] All Night Long by DJ Kash and Tifa.

[Soundclash News] The No Jing Bang clash tournament Grand Final was Saturday, October 10th. Sponsored by the world’s #1 DJ software platform Serato, the final featured Tek 9 from Brooklyn versus Kanabis from Antigua.

[Podcast Interview] Sean Paul responds to criticisms for labeling dancehall clash culture as “slavery mentality.” – Watch Now via The Fix

[Sound Clash Audio] Eagle Force vs Love People vs Super Gold vs Inferno 10/20 (45 Shop Lock) JA ( Finals) – Listen

The Journey Chosen

The Journey Chosen review

A review of The Journey Chosen by Spragga Benz, the new album. Nick from the Jamaican State of Mind podcast links up to defend Spragga, his favorite artist.

The Journey Chosen by Spragga Benz

Buzzworthy

  • Koffee becomes Mastercard’s brand ambassador for Jamaica.
  • Buju Banton featured on FIFA 21, performs for launch.
  • SoundChat Radio launches a new website with a premium subscription model.

The Tastemaker

  • Koffee and Buju team up for the “Pressure” remix.
Share this
End of Summer 2020 Reggae Dancehall

End of Summer 2020 Reggae and Dancehall

The end of Summer 2020 is here, and we made it!

End of Summer 2020

The Reggae Lover crew discusses the trends prevailing at the end of Summer 2020 and attempts to predict what’s coming next.

The Tastemaker is Kabaka Pyramid’s “Nice Up the Dance.”

Shenseea and Tarrus Riley

Vanity Metrics in Reggae

We discuss the reggae industry’s focus on vanity metrics such as social media likes and YouTube views versus actionable metrics such as engagement and sales.

Reggae/dancehall fans find ways to get new music for free (YouTube, mixtapes, sound system audio, email blasts, SoundCloud, etc). The reggae media primarily reports on vanity metrics. Fans form opinions based on the opinions of others if they have to. They also find reasons to justify why they did not buy the new album(s).

Conversely, fans of other genres are known for taking action by collecting (buying) albums, whether digital or hard copy. They collect the new albums of the artists they like and then form their own opinions about the music. We break down the reasons for this disparity.

Are Vanity Metrics Running Dancehall Reggae?

Buzzworthy

  • Kahlil Wonda reviews Tarrus Riley’s new album, “Healing.”
  • Reactions to the passing of celebrated Reggae icon and trailblazer, Toots Hibbert.

The Tastemaker

Babylon Warfare by Tarrus Riley ft. Teejay and Dean Fraser.

Maxi Priest and Jonathan Emile interview

Maxi Priest and Johnathan Emile Interview

1

We talk to Maxi Priest and Jonathan Emile who collaborated on Emile’s recently released “Babylon is Falling” Remix.

Maxi Priest

Reggae music has always been at the forefront of social and political issues. One example is Bob Marley’s participation in the Amandla Festival of 1979 in Boston. There, Marley performed in support of the anti-apartheid movement and the liberation of South Africa.  

A few short months ago, the entire world was shaken when George Floyd lost his life.  People protested, buildings and businesses burned – all while in the middle of a worldwide pandemic.  Race relations were already strained, but this event managed to trigger both a national and international outcry for change and justice.

“Babylon is Falling” is a song that has put a voice to the change.  The song features 2 artists (Jonathan Emile and Maxi Priest) from different generations coming together to speak on what they’ve been through, and what’s to come.

Maxi Priest and Jonathan Emile reggae lover podcast cover.

We held reasoning on the following with Maxi Priest and Jonathan Emile:

  • How did the Remix to “Babylon is Falling” featuring Maxi Priest come about?
  • Different flavors of racism in the UK, Canada, and the Southern U.S.
  • The concept behind “Spaces In Between,” Jonathan’s debut reggae album. 
  • Maxi Priest’s excitement for his forthcoming album, “United State of Mind.”
  • Why are some Caribbean people afraid to go back to the region?
  • Billboard’s disrespect towards dancehall culture with their Verzuz cover.
  • What is the responsibility of musicians in fighting oppression?
  • The problem with trying to control musicians’ creative output.

‘Babylon is Falling’ Remix – Jonathan Emile ft Maxi Priest

Two Artists from Different Generations Come Together to Sing About the State of the World Today: 

Canadian-Jamaican artist Jonathan Emile and British-Jamaican artist Maxi Priest came together to create the Remix to “Babylon is Falling”, a track on Emile’s new album, “Spaces In Between.” The album is currently distributed by MindPeaceLove/Tuff Gong International.  While the remix to the song was recorded back in January 2020, neither artist knew at the time that the song would become so relevant a few months later.

Emile is a bilingual (English & French), multi-talented singer-songwriter, producer, and Cancer survivor.  His commanding voice resonates at the start of the song and draws the listener in immediately, asking if they know what their worth is, and then mentions the capitalistic society in which we live.  He then explains that this can’t go on and eventually, something has to change (Babylon will fall). 

“Growing up Black and Jamaican in Montreal, racism has been a fact of life. The institutional side was hidden but the interpersonal is still always present. As a Black person, you know you need to move cautiously to gain access, be accommodated, or have the opportunity to be treated with respect. This caution manifests in how you speak, how you read a room, and how you respond to racist banter or microaggressions.

Knowing that you’re seen as the other, alien, or ‘less than’ is at the forefront as you face people’s prejudice, always having to be an ambassador for your race. You become a master negotiator, code switcher, and an expert in de-escalation to preserve your body and reputation. This is a key concept in Spaces-In-Between.  I am fortunate to have parents who provided me with tactics and strategies to avoid and cope with racism as a young Black Jamaican. The knowledge I received was built on their hard work and determination.”

Jonathan Emile

Grammy-nominated Maxi Priest, best known for his Lover’s Rock and R&B/Reggae fusion tunes like “Close to You’ and “Wild World” comes in next, but he’s not singing about love this time.  In fact, he’s Deejaying (rapping), which in itself is a rare sound for him.  He rides the riddim with the smoothness that he’s best known for, but the content of the lyrics speak of the things he’s both experienced himself throughout the years growing up in England, and what he continues to see around him today.  His message, like so many, is that he’s tired. 

Here we go again – We stand firm we nah ease up the pressure – Just like a volcano bubbling over – to take it to the heights you have fi step like a soldier”

Maxi Priest

Although both Emile and Priest come from different generations, they have many things in common, including being of Jamaican heritage, and growing up and living outside of Jamaica, which has impacted them.  

Like so many people that live abroad, there are mixed feelings right now with what is happening with the racial, economic, and spiritual climate, and the uneasiness that it brings.  “Babylon is Falling” is a song that resonates with everyone, no matter where you come from, or what age you are.  

The Top 5 Revolutionary Reggae Songs of All Time

We list our Top 5 Revolutionary Reggae Songs of all time. Ras Jamal from Royal Ethiopian Sound joins the discussion to give his analysis.


We define what a revolutionary song is and how the music of the 70s differs from the messages in today’s music. There are different kinds of revolutions. The conversation takes us through some responses that have emerged as a result of today’s struggle for racial justice.

Top 5 Revolutionary Reggae Songs with Ras Jamal from Royal Ethiopian Sound on Reggae Lover (podcast).


Anthony B, Sizzla, Jah9, Yeza, Kabaka Pyramid, Protoje, Akae Beka, Lutan Fyah, Warrior King, and Queen Ifrica are commended for their contributions to the movement. We each listed some honorable mentions in addition to our top 5 revolutionary reggae songs. Listen to the Pandora playlist inspired by this episode.


Kahlil Wonda’s Top 5 Revolutionary Reggae Songs

  • Bob Marley – Burning and Looting
  • Bob Marley – Revolution
  • Peter Tosh – Equal Rights
  • Sizzla – Made Of
  • Bob Marley – Slave Driver

AGARD’s Top 5 Revolutionary Reggae Songs

  • Bob Andy – Unchained
  • The Abyssinians – Declaration of Rights
  • Peter Tosh – Equal Rights
  • Dennis Brown – Revolution
  • Bob Marley – War

Ras Jamal’s Top 5 Revolutionary Reggae Songs

  • John Holt – Police In Helicopter
  • Bob Marley – War
  • Peter Tosh – Equal Rights
  • Dennis Brown – Revolution
  • Beres Hammond – Another Day In The System

We also debated:

  • Where is the revolutionary music of this generation?
  • What is the difference between conscious music and positive music?
  • Is reggae supposed to teach or help people?
  • Outside of revolutionary music, what tactics can lead to the results we seek?
  • Does an artist have to be a rasta to be conscious?

The Tastemaker

  • Protoje’s “In Search of Lost Time” album. Notable track, “In Bloom” ft. Lila Ike.
  • Sevana’s ‘Mango’ from the “Be Somebody” EP.
Listen to the Pandora Playlist inspired by this segment.

Buzzworthy

Super Cat releases a new single, “Push Time” with production by Salam Remi. A new album is forthcoming.

Ras Jamal’s Recommended Books for Ongoing Learning

  • The Sankofa Movement: ReAfrikanization and the Reality of War by Kwame Agyei and Akua Nson Akoto.
  • Yurugu: An African-Centered Critique of European Cultural Thought and Behavior by Marimba Ani.
  • Blueprint for Black Power: A Moral, Political, and Economic Imperative for the Twenty-First Century by Amos N. Wilson.
  • Destruction of Black Civilization: Great Issues of a Race from 4500 B.C. to 2000 A.D. by Chancellor Williams.
  • How Europe Underdeveloped Africa by Walter Rodney.
  • Any books by Eric Williams, John Henrik Clarke, or Marcus Garvey.
Listen to the Pandora Playlist inspired by this episode.

An in-depth conversation with Steve “Urchin” Wilson, a part of Sean Paul’s management for the past 18 + years.

We discussed how Steve has been pushing the culture in nightlife and through his work in the recording industry. He shares how he got started in the business, and his thoughts on Jamaica getting more hardcore about honoring reggae icons. We touched on strategies for harnessing the economic potential of reggae, the Sean Paul success formula, and much more.

An in-depth conversation with Steve "Urchin" Wilson, a part of Sean Paul's management for the past 18 + years.

Steve “Urchin” Wilson Bio

After getting his start at Bob Marley’s legendary Tuff Gong record label as a marketing exec, Steve spent 10 years cross-training in every imaginable area in the entertainment industry including a stint as studio manager for the GeeJam Studios where he oversaw studio sessions for The Roots, Common, The Gorillaz, No Doubt & The Jungle Brothers amongst others.
In 2001 this Jamaican trailblazer signed on to help pilot the dizzying career of multi-platinum Grammy winner Sean Paul.

He spent the last 15 years traveling to over 100 countries and presiding over logistics, booking, touring, promotion & recording for the Dancehall superstar.

While honing his role as a reggae ambassador Wilson simultaneously plotted to bring EDM & house music to his Homebase of Kingston via his Brand New Machine party series that saw super DJs like Diplo, Bob Sinclar, CongoRock & Toddla T spin in Jamaica for the first time. He has gone on to export the BNM party concept to Montego Bay, Cayman, London & New York City.

Steve is also partners in FSOR Music (Future Sound Of Reggae) a boutique label that has featured releases from Mink Jo, Transdub Massiv, Naomi Cowan, Jesse Royal & Craigy T amongst others.

Most recently he was one of the local partners of the initial staging of the critically acclaimed Tmrwtday Culture Festival in Negril, Jamaica.

The Tastemaker

Soundclash Update

  • Tek 9 defeats the Polish sound system, Splendid in the first round of the No Jing-Bang Online Clash Tournament.
  • Irish and Chin announced the new date for World Clash 21 will be May 2, 2021.

The Caribbean-American experience with Brian Cox of The Vault: Classic Music Reviews Podcast

The Vault: Classic Music Reviews podcast host, Brian Cox gave us an education on the island of Grenada. 

Brian shared his unique perspective as a first-generation American of Caribbean descent. He described the soundtrack of Grenada, and how music has changed there over time. We learned about the music and food you would encounter at a typical Grenadian party.  

The Vault Classic Music Reviews podcast host, Brian Cox quoted on Reggae Lover podcast.

The Vault: Classic Music Reviews is a top-rated music commentary podcast. The co-hosts, hip-hop fans that grew up in the 90s, review classic hip-hop, R&B, and reggae albums 20 + years after their release. They break these albums down to see if they stood the test of time. Listeners get a perspective on classics from a fresh point of view. The Vault: Classic Music Reviews also includes guest interviews, round table discussions, and artist catalog debates.

Night Life Buzz

Special guest, MC, is the founder of Nitelifebuzz.com, a top-rated nightlife website.

Night Life Buzz (Nitelifebuzz)

The NiteLifeBuzz media-house provides events photography and promotion services around the world. They publish some of the best quality photos of nightlife, and Caribbean parties. Our conversation fits this season’s emerging industry insider theme.


As the proprietor and owner of NiteLifeBuzz.com, MC does many things within the industry. He knows a lot of people and has tremendous insight, especially when it comes to New York City. We talked about partying in Jamaica, reggae music, and much more.


We had a great conversation covering a bit of history in New York and in Jamaica. This had us reminiscing about former online hangouts, DancehallReggae.com and Highlanda.com. We also drifted back to party life and island excursions when “outside” was open.


Buzzworthy

  • Buju Banton as the musical guest on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon. Performs his song “The World Is Changing.”
  • Popcaan debuts album, “The Fixtape.” First week sales.

The Tastemaker

  • Rising reggae star Lila Iké NPR Tiny Desk (home) concert.
  • Protoje – Like Royalty ft. Popcaan

This season, we have a few bonus episodes coming your way. Check whatever platform that you listen to us on. We’ll definitely have great new content for you. Until next time, stay safe. Make sure you find some good reggae music to keep your nerves calm and your mind focused on where it needs to be.

Tessellated Interview

We sat down for an interview with Tessellated, the Billboard chart-topping, Emmy-nominated Jamaican artist who blew up in 2017 with the hit single, Pine and Ginger.

During our Interview with Tessellated we uncovered:

  • What were his early musical influences?
  • From where does he draw his inspiration?
  • Who is he listening to right now?
  • What’s next on the horizon musically?
  • How did he get to #1 on the Billboard Jazz charts?
  • How did he earn the 2020 Emmy nomination?
  • How would he describe his lyrical and production styles?
  • The fusion of Afrobeat and Dancehall on new single, No Ansa feat. Crayon from Nigeria.
Tessellated Interview
Interview with Tessellated on the Reggae Lover podcast. Click to Play.

Tessellated Bio:


With Jamaican influence on international music inescapable in the current era, a new wave of exciting artists is emerging from the Caribbean island. One artist leading the charge for this global assault on the music industry is Tessellated, a multi-talented 23-year-old artist/producer from Kingston who burst onto the scene in 2017 with his bona fide Caribbean hit
collaboration – Pine & Ginger.


Citing influences from many genres, a unique blend of styles and sounds shapes the backdrop for Tessellated’s musical endeavor. Through this, he aims to push forward a fusion of Jamaica’s roots presented alongside other world genres. With this original style, Tessellated has now carved out a lane of his own already garnering support from music
industry heavyweights such as Camila Cabello, Lily Allen, Diplo, Major Lazer, Jorja Smith, and more.

Continuing the trend of breaking boundaries, last year Tessellated picked up a huge sync deal for his track ‘I Learnt Some Jazz Today’, a fusion of jazz, dancehall & hip hop, with Apple for their film ‘Bounce’ created for the release of their new AirPods. After its release, the song saw massive support worldwide, racking up several million plays in a matter of
months and going #1 on the Jazz Billboard Chart, a first for a Jamaican artiste.

Since then, Tessellated has signed with Sony/ATV Publishing and is currently gearing up to release his first solo project.

Naro from The Fix JA

The Fix JA podcast has been a dominant force in media for quite some time now. The three co-hosts, Naro, Ari, and Javi, have dynamic chemistry and synergy.


The Fix JA features the best of the best of the Jamaican dancehall and reggae scene. They cover what’s hot and bubbling in Kingston from an objective point-of-view. The co-hosts interact with guests in a unique, honest, and real way.


We had the privilege of speaking with Naro, one of the dynamic hosts of The Fix JA, formerly Nightly Fix. From his base on the island of Jamaica, Naro keyed us into many aspects of the culture. If you have yet to check out The Fix, please do so as soon as you finish this episode.


Listen to Reggae Lover Podcast episode 205 – The Fix JA to learn:

  • Do Jamaican youth respect dancehall icons and history?
  • Are young people in Jamaica building sound systems any more?
  • What is the importance of quality media platforms and voices covering our music?
  • Why and how did The Fix JA podcast get started?
  • How did Naro, Javi, and Ari became the co-hosts and develop their chemistry?
  • How does Naro handle the controversy that surrounds him?
  • How does The Fix JA crew get the toughest dancehall personalities to be vulnerable?
  • Why is it important to give upcoming artists an outlet?
  • How does one stay up on the latest dancehall music?
  • What is the state of the Jamaican entertainment industry in this COVID19 era?
  • Why do people around the world have more reverence for reggae than people in Jamaica

It was a dope conversation. We look forward to linking up more in the future. As mentioned in the intro to this episode, we had to scrap the other segments for this week. Look out for more essential content curation in addition to some bonus episodes.

Please visit ReggaeLover.com to catch up on past shows. Make sure to subscribe on your favorite podcast platform.

Behind The Scenes with former Island Jamaica manager Neil Robertson

A look behind the scenes with Neil Robertson, a music industry exec. from the golden era of reggae and hip-hop.

Behind the Scenes, Reggae Lover podcast episode artwork.

Neil Robertson worked behind the scenes as an A&R for Island Records. He was also a label manager and marketer for Island Jamaica. Neil was in the boardrooms and studios working with Beenie Man and Luciano. Later, as an artist manager, he toured with some of the best in the business, made deals, negotiated, and influenced.

Born and raised in NYC, Neil currently curates the music program at Alley Cat Amateur Theatre at The Beekman Hotel. He also handles DJ programming at The Seaport District/Pier 17 for Howard Hughes Corp and Pier A Harbor House for HPH Hospitality.

Behind the Scenes Highlights

  • A&R for Island Records, Gee Street, and Richard Branson’s re-entry into the music business, V2.
  • Worked on RZA’s “Bobby Digital In Stereo GOLD,” “Wu-Tang Forever,” and Gravediggaz “The Pick, The Sickle & The Shovel.”
  • Worked on DJ Premier’s “Afu-Ra Body Of The Life Force.”
  • Helped usher in a new era of Reggae and re-establish Island as the premiere Reggae label in the world.
  • Launched the careers of Beenie Man (Slam/Maestro), and Luciano (Where There Is Life, The Messenger).
  • Launched Sizzla’s “Praise Ye Jah” as an independent release.
  • Gold single for the Senseless soundtrack “Movin On Up” featuring Prince Be, John Forte, and Ky-mani Marley.
  • Toured the extensively in the hip hop world as a manager for Afu-Ra.
  • Toured the world establishing Ky-mani Marley, Specialist Dillon, Rootz Underground, and Jesse Royal.
  • Produced the “I&I Survived” album with the infamous punk rock band, the Bad Brains.
  • Production work on Stone Love’s classic album, “Champion Sound Vol. 1.
  • Managed Tessanne Chin (winner of The Voice) and Jesse Royal.
  • Consulted VP Records, producing live events including Puma events at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.
  • Produced 4 shows during the 2012 Olympics with AEG at the O2 Indigo.
  • Currently, curates and DJs live events at Alley Cat Amateur Theatre.

Tastemaker

  • Hezron – Resilient. Music for the soundtrack of the revolution.
  • Kabaka Pyramid’s new single Energy on the Divine Majesty Riddim. Great follow up to Babylon Fallin, which was a tastemaker selection a couple of weeks ago.
  • Divine Majesty riddim compilation. Features Kabaka Pyramid, Chronic Law, T’Jean, Royal Blu, Runkus, and more. On Israel records, produced by Sonovik.

Soundclash Update

  • Team Torment Locked and Loaded
  • Once again, Poison Dart @SoundManLinkUp

Changes We’ve Been Going Through

Popular reggae artists have pushed the sonic envelope recently. The reception by reggae lovers has varied.

There are different perspectives on why this is, and if its the right direction for the music. We analyze perspectives and presumed motives in the context of the current revolution and in general terms.


Listen to this episode to hear:

  • Reactions to Chronixx saying there is no match for Sizzla in a clash.
  • Reactions to Chronixx’s song “Cool As The Breeze/Friday.”
  • “Who would be the next best Jamaican versus battle?
  • A Taste of Sumfest: Who were the best performers?
  • Should artists give a different performance online versus in-person?
  • Is the reggae revival over?
    

Tastemaker Segment:

  • Jada Kingdom – Win (Single and Video).
  • Buju Baton – Blessed (Official Music Video).
  • Poison Dart @ Sound Man Link Up.
  • Team Torment “Locked and Loaded.”

Podcast: Jillionaire Interview 2020

Major Lazer’s Jillionaire sits down with Reggae Lover’s AGARD and Kahlil Wonda.

Jillionaire Interview (Major Lazer, Feel Up Records)

Jillionaire Interview

Christopher Leacock aka Jillionaire is a Trinidad-born DJ/Producer, entrepreneur, IT guru, and restauranteur. He shares insights and drops gems while taking us through his amazing career.

In this Jillionaire interview, he came off like a scholar and an elder. He dropped a lot of knowledge. Dropped a lot of history, and a lot of perspectives. This conversation was nice and mellow – very different energy than last week’s show with Walshy Fire. Nevertheless, Jillionaire had profound things to say and you will enjoy the discussion.

Jillionaire Interview (Major Lazer) on Reggae Lover


Buzzworthy

Big ups to Buju Banton who’s been continuing his promotion of Upside Down 2020. Last week that promo brought him to a couple of very big platforms. One of them being the Breakfast Club.t


And the other one being Trevor Noah’s Daily Social Distancing Show. Buju is doing it all.


He was also recently interviewed on Sway’s Universe Sirius XM, Shade 45.


He is covering all grounds right now. And he also was able to do a performance on Trevor Noah’s Show to close out that on that episode. He performed “Buried Alive” from the Upside Down 2020 album.


The Tastemaker

Buju’s got a song called “I Am a Jamaican,” which won the Jamaica Festival competition for 2020.

I love the song. I love the video. It speaks for Jamaicans living abroad and at home. The composition embodies the Jamaican patriotic spirit. Make sure you don’t miss that.

There is a new single from Kabaka Pyramid, a response to the current social injustice. The song, “Babylon Fallin,” came out on July 17th, 2020 with accompanying visuals. The music video features clips of scenes with the police facing off against citizens.


Kabaka uses his well-known lyrical prowess in this very conscious song. It’s social commentary. One of the themes that we’ve been talking about on this platform is the need for music like this. This song definitely goes on that list of revolutionary music. And it’s right on time.


The riddim is a different kind. It is not a “one-drop” beat. The message and production are coherent with the times. Regardless of what genre you subscribe to, once you hear the song, you hear what he’s talking about. If you’re anything short of an anarchist or a racist yourself, then you will feel the passion. The release has seen coverage by The Source, a nod to Kabaka’s rep as a dope emcee.


Soundclash Update

Every Friday Team Torment presents the Locked and Loaded dubplate showcase. Hear four different sounds weekly live on YouTube. Shout out and the entire Team Torment crew, King AP, Blackheart, and the rest of sounds.


Also in sound clash news, Soundclash.com has a new series coming out sponsored by Serato called No Jing Bang. The tournament will be hosted by D.J. English Fire, Chris Diamond, Walshy Fire, and Warrior Sound.

What do I love about this? First of all, it’s great to see the unity between Chris Diamond, Walshy, and Warrior. Two of the top online clash promoters have now joined forces. Secondly, the major corporate sponsorship for this sport is a huge win. Look out for more developments from the No Jing Bang series. We’re glad to see some growth in the SoundClash community as we all adapt to this new normal.

Coming Up


This season, we will bring you more interviews due to what’s going on in the world right now. Some great potential guests have definitely freed up. We look forward to sharing more exciting, insightful conversations with you. So stay tuned.

Get In Touch


Reggae Lover Podcast is produced by Andres AGARD and Aubrey Kahlil Agard. Visit ReggaeLover.com for full show notes, archives, and more information. If you’re interested in a sponsorship or donation, please email info@ReggaeLover.com. Follow us on Instagram @ReggaeLoverPodcast. Like our Facebook page at Facebook.com/ReggaeLoverPodcast.

Walshy Fire: No Negative Vibes

Our special guest is Walshy Fire from Major Lazer. 

We enjoyed reasoning with someone that AGARD and I have known for decades. Before the podcasts, and before all the fame. If you’re not familiar with Walshy Fire I don’t know what rock you’ve been under. He has been everywhere in the world to deejay. 

Walshy Fire talked about the state of the culture. We commented on dancehall, reggae, and business. We talked about soundclash and life in general. We didn’t get into a lot of his background. If you want to check into his background, he’s done many interviews in the past. If you’re looking for that go check out this spot

During this conversation, we checked in and started shooting from the hip. The session was militant, and energetic, which is a good combination.

Walshy Fire Reasoning

  • How quarantine has changed life.
  • The soundtrack to the revolution.
  • Soundclash.com and the Quarantine Clash series.
  • Upcoming Major Lazer albums, artists, and mixtapes.
  • The “Customized Years” book.
  • The energy of nightlife versus day parties.
  • Influencers standing against destructive music.
  • The end of “niggering.”
  • Highlights for 2020 so far.

Buzzworthy, Tastemaker, and Soundclash Update

Please join us next week for a reasoning session with Jillionaire from the Major Lazer crew. Tell a friend to tell a friend and shared a link to this show. Tweet a link to the show and tag @ReggaeLoverPod. We’ll be looking for you online using hashtag #ReggaeLoverPodcast

Follow us on Instagram @ReggaeLoverPodcast.

Like our Facebook page at Facebook.com/ReggaeLoverPodcast.

FULL SHOW NOTES

Upside Down 2020 Review

This is our 200th official episode of Reggae Lover. We talked about “Upside Down 2020,” the long-anticipated album from Buju Banton. 

There’s such a thing as an instant classic, and this Buju Banton new album is that.  Listen to our in-depth analysis of every track.

Click for download.

Buju Banton New Album, Sales and Streams

We also talked about record sales and chart performance.  The album got close to 3000 sales in its first week. That includes all physical copies, digital downloads as well as streams.  What is a “stream?” What is the stream worth? A stream is a fraction of a sale. So you need a certain amount of streams, whether it be songs or the entire album, in order for it to equal one sale. 

It was actually a strong debut compared to other releases from Jamaican artists.  We look at the fact that Vybz Kartel released his album on the same day as Buju.  His album, “Of Dons and Divas,” sold a little less than half that of “Upside Down 2020.” Koffee’s “Rapture,” EP which won the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album had less than 600 first week sales. 

We have had episodes about Billboard, sales, and what it means for Jamaican reggae artists. Music is actually the marketing tool for touring, merchandise sales, etc.  In that case, Buju is in good hands with Roc Nation. I’m sure they’ll exploit this album very well.

Chart Performance

The Buju Banton new album, “Upside Down 2020” debuted in the number two position on the Billboard reggae chart. Also, on the Itunes chart for reggae music, it debuted at number two.  At the time, Bob Marley held the number one slot on both of those charts.  Vybz Kartel’s “Of Dons and Divas” debuted at the number six position on both charts. 

The Tastemaker Segment

Last week’s episode, we didn’t get to go into this segment at all. As a result, there were a few things that I wanted to make sure that we mentioned.    

Firstly, the Dré Island album, a debut album that features Popcaan on the “We Pray” single. The name of the album is “Now I Rise.”  I bumped it or a good little while when it first came out. He’s doing press for the album right now. Go look for “Now I Rise” from Dre Island. Very good music. 

If you’re a fan of Chronixx or Damian Marley, you’ll definitely love Dre Island.  He’s very talented in his own right.  He has a song out with Tory Lanez. So he has crossover songs as well. 

Secondly, there’s an awesome release from Grammy nominee, Etana. An album entitled “Gemini,” which debuted on June 19th, distributed by Kojak WorldWide. That album is official. Very good production. “Gemini” brings a strong balance of dancehall, reggae, and lovers’ rock. There is some roots reggae flavor as well. 

Kabaka Pyramid has a feature on there. Nomadz has a feature on there along with an artist known as Yhasha. This may be her best album to date. It’s definitely one of my favorites. Every song has a good vibe. I would add the whole album to my quarantine playlist. Take my recommendation. This is good, solid music. 

Thirdly, we have to talk about Koffee. Her new single entitled “Pressure” is an inspirational song for the times.  She speaks to the ghetto youths, but she’s also talking to every man. Every one of us is under pressure, if not now, at some point. It’s that type of message that can help to pull you through that kind of a situation. So I love it. She’s singing. She’s deejaying. It’s message music.  A music video for that is also out.

In addition, Koffee is on “Bigger Love,” John Legend’s new album, released June 19. The song that features coffee is “Don’t Walk Away.” This song a breakup love song duet between the two of them. The curious thing is, so far, Koffee’s material hasn’t been love songs. There’s Justin Bieber’s, “I don’t care” remix where she appears alongside Chronixx.  That would be the first but is more pop dance. 

“Don’t Walk Away” is more of an R&B style song. Definitely check that out. And of course, if you’re a John Legend fan, we talked about him earlier with this feature on the budget album. He’s got a big project out right now. 

Finally, we’ve got a new song from Anthony B entitled “Black and Proud.” This is not a protest or a revolutionary song a la “Fire Pon Rome.” He’s not telling you who needs to get burnt up in the fire. It’s a revolutionary song along the lines of just making this simple statement. I’m black and I’m proud. 

If you follow the news you know that saying “Black Lives Matter” is offensive to many people. So saying things like “black power” or “black and proud” is also going against the grain. These are the messages that we want to hear from our reggae artists, especially our cultural artists. And Anthony B is known for being that guy. 

This one is on the new World Rebirth rhythm produced by Reggae Vibes Music. It’s a brand new song released on July 8th. Anthony B’s “Black and Proud.” Please check it out. It’s awesome. Good reggae music. Good for the heart, the soul, and the brain. 

Sound System Update and Wrap up

We also gave a very concise recap of some recent sound system, soundclash live online events.  In conclusion, we announced next week’s special guest will be Walshy Fire of Major Lazor

Please share this show with a friend and tag @reggaeloverpodcast (IG) or @reggaeloverpod on Twitter.

Caribbean Black Lives Matter

We are back with a new season after taking an eventful summer break. Our first episode, Caribbean Black Lives Matter, features Nick, the host of the Jamaican State of Mind podcast.

Caribbean Black Lives Matter

At the time of recording this, we were grappling with strong emotions. This, as a result of the series of events ensuing from the George Floyd lynching.  Caribbean black lives matter.

We added a spin on the conversation as Caribbeans. Hear views on how American racism is viewed in the Caribbean and particularly Jamaica. It’s an interesting conversation.

We covered race, policing, protests, other solutions, and more.  Most importantly, you’ll hear different perspectives on how reggae music is and should be interacting with the politics of today.  

This is a time where we need Reggae music reform. Reggae needs another renaissance. We need to return to the culture once again. The music needs to reflect what’s actually going on in reality. There is too much music about flossing. We are living through curfews. The time is dread right now. People need more. And when you talk about revolution, that’s what reggae music is supposed to be doing. Reggae should be there to help fill that void and burn that fire.

At recent protests on the streets of American cities, Bob Marley and Peter Tosh’s music could be heard. Will any of our modern artists create music that will be a part of the soundtrack for the revolution? This is one of the underlying themes for this season of the podcast. #reggaereform

Because of the length of this conversation, we didn’t get into some of the other segments that we usually do, but they will be back throughout the season.

The Tastemaker segment will be back. Soundclash updates will return if and when we have SoundClash content or sound system subject matter. Today, we just wanted to take the time to highlight this important conversation, Caribbean Black Lives Matter.

Reggae Music Forever (Replay)

Our special guest was Shawn from the Reggae Talk podcast and Reggae Music Forever blog.

Reggae Music Forever Reggae Lover Podcast episode cover art image

Certainly, we discussed the state of dancehall/reggae culture with Reggae Music Forever aka Shawn including topics:

  • Firstly, Dancehall supporters versus die-hard fans of roots reggae.
  • Secondly, The overlooked conscious dancehall movement.
  • The American reggae scene.
  • Comparing white and black Americans taste in reggae.
  • Reggae Talk Podcast 1-year Anniversary event.
  • Other passions outside of reggae.
  • Is reggae music on life-support?
  • In conclusion, Predictions for the future.

Resources:

Click here for Full Show Notes and episode transcript.

The New Music of Jamaica (Replay)

WALSHY FIRE STATED THAT “JAMAICAN ARTISTS ARE ON THE VERGE OF CREATING A NEW GENRE” IN A RECENT INTERVIEW. THIS CLAIM WARRANTED FURTHER EXPLORATION SO WE WENT IN ON THE NEW MUSIC OF JAMAICA.

 

New Music of Jamaica (Replay)

Before analyzing today’s music we reviewed the many genres that Jamaica has created. That amazing history includes Mento, Ska, Rock Steady, Reggae, Dub, and Dancehall. Reggae sub-genres Nyahbingi, lover’s rock, and rub-a-dub are also popular styles.

There was a peak in dancehall popularity in the early 2000s followed by a decline in quality reggae. At that time vinyl formats transitioned to the CD. Then CDs went out and digital downloads came in. As a result, DJs started using laptops to play music and consumers turned to personal electronics. This transitional period subsequently led to what we call the reggae revival.

The current global dancehall and reggae revival movements are creating genre-bending trends. Artists like Protoje, Chronixx, Kabaka Pyramid, Jesse Royal, Damian Marley, Lila Ike, and Koffee are synonymous with such trends.

Based on our analysis there either is a new emerging genre, or the concept of genres is simply dead. Distinctions between genres have become blurred and young audiences around the world are embracing that change.

READ MORE: https://reggaelover.com/