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.