The Business of Reggae

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If you are in the reggae music recording industry or thinking about getting into the business, then you need to hear this.

Hosted by Highlanda Sound co-founders Kahlil Wonda and AGARD, Reggae Lover is a podcast that pulls back the curtain on the issues, insights, back-stories, and adventures of the biggest names in reggae. Discussions center around the culture, economics and all things relatable to reggae lovers.

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Listen to this if you love reggae music and consume it via streaming services, digital downloads, vinyl records, CD, mixtapes, concerts, and/or dances.

In this episode of “Reggae Lover,” we discuss the current landscape faced by reggae artists from Jamaica and other Caribbean countries. This includes looking at how music distribution has changed in recent years and the impact of copyright laws.

We offer tips to help up-and-coming artists steer away from the evils of the business and suggest avenues of potential revenue that are commonly overlooked. This includes discussion of global trends as it relates to reggae and dancehall.

We tackle questions like Who is making all the money? Should artists go independent or pursue recording contracts with major labels? How can reggae/dancehall artists compete in the global marketplace? Are the GRAMMY awards even relevant?

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Dancehall vs. Reggae: Is there a difference?

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Most people define dancehall as a genre that stemmed from Reggae. Others contend that Reggae music is the genre, but dancehall is a place or a culture.

In this ongoing debate, we analyze these points of view and list the pros and cons of each. Within that context, we uncovered issues that affect the perception of the music as an art-form and its viability as a business.
 
This is a dedication to all reggae lovers and we invite you to share your opinion in the comments. Join the conversation and share based on your own personal interaction with reggae.

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Who are the Best Vocal Harmony Groups in Reggae?

This mix features reggae’s vocal harmony groups from the 60s, 70s, and 80s.

I took it back to the roots on this one. I focused on songs with an impressive vocal arrangement. This is a specific selection of songs with male singers harmonizing together.

I featured The Wailers, mostly from the “Catch A Fire” album. That album has that very dry, grassroots sound. This was before instrumentation such as horn sections and electric guitars were added. Before the female energy of the I-Threes was added.

The mix also featured some of The Heptones‘ Studio One era hits. I dropped in some original Israel Vibration before they split. Other groups featured are The Techniques, The Abyssinians, The Gladiators, The Sensations, The Mighty Diamonds, and The Silvertones. You also hear songs from Lloyd Parks and We the People, The Sharks, The Royals, The Cables, and The Flames.

Listen to those names and you know these brothers were from a different time. These vocal groups created some of the most beautiful music and the most powerful songs. You feel their passion because of the emphasis conveyed within the harmonies. There was something special about those days.

Best Vocal Harmony Groups | Reggae Lover Podcast Episode 107

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Its the sweet soulful sound of great reggae music! If you enjoy this, check out episode 74. It’s entitled “The Greatest Reggae Bands of All Time (not including the Wailers).” That show features Aswad, Steel Pulse, Third World, Israel Vibration, Black Uhuru, and Inner Circle. Similar material is on The Studio One tribute episodes: 55 and 56.

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It’s a new season of the podcast! I am back in full effect with new shows coming out every week until the end of the year. Thank you so much for listening. If it’s your first time, this is a livication to you, the reggae lover.

Whether you know the songs you hear on this show or not, my goal is that you feel uplifted after listening. I want you to feel joyous and happy. The music should help you to transmute any negative energy into positive. You should enter a different frame of mind via the therapeutic mixes and level up.

For booking information or to sponsor this podcast, email reggaeloverpodcast@gmail.com. Thank you to everybody listening from around the world. I love that you get to tune in and listen to me doing what I love most. We are sharing a vibe and keeping this music alive. Until next time, have a great week. One love!!

Ras Fraser Junior’s ‘Journey to Greatness’ (Interview) | Reggae Lover # 98

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Ras Fraser Jr discusses his new album “Journey to Greatness.”

ras fraser jr. interview

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Find out how this multi-talented musician got his start in the business and why he feels its important to remember your roots. He offers solutions for upcoming reggae artists both in and outside of Jamaica to bump up to the next level and more.

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Sugar Minott | Reggae Lover Podcast Episode 86

Reggae lover podcast episode 86 is about Lincoln Barrington Minott, also known as dancehall music pioneer, Sugar Minott.

Sugar Minott Dancehall Hero

Sugar Minott, Dancehall Hero

In a live dancehall setting during the 1970s, it was common for artists to perform over pre-recorded instrumentals. Sugar Minott was the first artist to recreate that style inside the studio. He worked with Coxsone Dodd and sang new lyrics over the instrumentals of popular Studio One songs.

After leaving Studio One, Minott founded his own record label called the Black Roots. He also founded a sound system called Youth Man Promotions, and later a record label by the same name. His vision was to give young artists an outlet, and a chance to make their name in the music business.

Sugar Minott moved to England where he was achieving more success than he was in Jamaica. The lover’s rock craze started in the UK and Sugar was one of the major players in that movement. While in England he discovered the group Musical Youth.

Back in Jamaica, he’s also credited with discovering many young talents. He gave unknown artists the chance to perform live in the Dancehall and record for the first time. It was Sugar Minott who actually recorded Garnet Silk‘s first song. Other artists associated with the Black Roots and Youthman Promotion movements include Barrington Levy, Little John, Nitty Gritty, Tenor Saw, Junior Reid, Jah Stitch, Ranking Dread and Ranking Joe.

Sugar was a very Dynamic, versatile artist with successful records in different styles. Lovers rock, Roots, covers, dancehall style, and original written material. Sugar Minott recorded for his own record labels, and he worked with other top labels and producers. Working with Mikey Dread, George Phang, Sly and Robbie Jammys, Channel One and with the Bullwackies label out of New York City. Sugar Minott recorded over 60 albums and countless singles.

He passed away in 2010 to heart disease. To see him on stage I was very impressed. Even in his old age, he was a very energetic performer, acting out scenes, jumping, prancing and dancing across the stage. All with his voice still sounding sweet like sugar. Very comfortable in a dancehall setting, he would ask the band or the selector to play some Studio One, and he could sing for hours – entertaining and thrilling the crowd.

I salute the great Sugar Minott. His legacy lives on with his daughter Pashon Minott who is a bonafide recording artist in her own rights. If you enjoy this mix I hope you will add some of the songs to your music collection.

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