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.
Alborosie – Specialist Presents Alborosie And Friends – Artwork
Alborosie & Friends pairs the multi-talented musician /producer with some of reggae’s greatest voices, celebrating a range of classic hits and developing talents. The 2 CD set is scheduled to be released in the US on June 24 with a single disc vinyl LP to follow.
New Absinthe Riddim Album artwork
Jamaican-based production house Jus Eazy Productions presents its latest riddim album, Absinthe, available digitally worldwide on December 11, 2012, with the pre-order available now. Boasting 12 sizzling tracks including the riddim’s instrumental, Absinthe guarantees a solid soundtrack for any party, come this holiday season.
The first single is from Jamaica’s songbird Denyque, a sexy, dancehall-tinged romantic offering titled “One More Night.” The second single, “Alcoholic,” is another certified party anthem from Future Fambo. Acclaimed dancehall artists Voicemail, Red Fox, QQ, Toi, Richie Loop and others take turns giving fans a shot of the Absinthe album (see track list below).
“The creative process was amazing,” reveals producer Marlon Easy. “I got a chance to work with some really talented writers. I didn’t get to work with all the artists I had in mind but the ones that I did work with, delivered. It took me almost a year to complete 11 songs but I’m satisfied with the finished product.”
Jus Eazy Productions has been producing and releasing music globally for the past seven years, fusing multiple genres including reggae, dancehall and pop. The company was formed by two brothers, Ian Easy and Marlon Easy, hence the label name Jus Eazy. They have produced tracks for some of the biggest names in reggae and dancehall music, including Busy Signal, Christopher Martin, Anthony B, Red Fox, Voicemail and most recently, Ky-mani Marley. They have also added another esteemed notch on their belt with production for commercials for one of the biggest brands in the world, Pepsi.
Jus Eazy Productions’ Absinthe album will be available worldwide on December 11, 2012 from all major digital retailers and is distributed by FOX FUSE. For more information on Jus Easy Productions, follow their mission at Facebook.com/JusEazyProd or Twitter.com/MarlonEasy.
ABSINTHE TRACK LIST
1. Anarahk – Inna Di Party
2. Future Fambo – Alcoholic
3. Richie Loop – Holiday
4. Denyque – One More Night
5. Alwayne – Heart On Fire (All U Need)
6. Toi – Freeze Time
7. Red Fox Ft DeShaun – Your Love
8. Micha Ciselle – How Do I Say Goodbye
9. Voicemail – U & I
10. QQ – Turn Me On
11. Ajrenalin – Shot Abroad
12. Marlon Easy – Absinthe Version
Protoje discusses his evolution as an artist and talks about his forthcoming sophomore LP entitled “The 8 Year Affair” as Dancehall Now, your modern Dancehall 101 radio show featuring the best new Caribbean music on the planet debuts his new single “Kingston Be Wise.”
Live broadcast every Tuesday at 6pm (EST) on Daflavaradio.com, VibesFM 106.1 in Gambia, Future Movement Radio.net, 1420 & 1430AM in Atlanta, and Route1Radio.com out of West Haven CT in addition to being heard live via smart phones and other mobile devices.