Maxi Priest and Jonathan Emile interview

Maxi Priest and Johnathan Emile Interview

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.  

Maxi Priest: It All Comes Back to Love

Maxi Priest guests on Reggae Lover.

 

The superstar talks about his recently released album entitled “It All Comes Back to Love.” The project was executive produced by Shaggy.
We preview the album’s title track “It All Comes Back To Love” and “My Pillow’ which sound classic.
Listen for “It’s a Summertime Vibe” feat. Bounty Killer, and Maxi’s favorite cut, “The Bridge You Burn.”
 
Also, “Cool Nuh” with Shaggy, and “Anything You Want” with Estelle and Anthony Hamilton. Maxi takes us back to his early days in East London lifting speaker boxes. The singer walks us through an evolution forged in London’s sound system scene.
 
He was the first reggae artist to have a No. 1 hit worldwide, including the U.S. Billboard charts. There’s so much to learn from this fun conversation with the living legend, Maxi Priest.

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Stream or buy the album, here: https://maxipriest.ffm.to/love
 
For more information, please visit: http://www.maxipriest.com
 
Follow Maxi Priest:
Bulby York - Renowned live & studio engineer, producer from Kingston Jamaica. Cyndi Lauper, Chaka Khan, Shabba Ranks, Jimmy Cliff, Rihanna, Britney Spears, Madonna, Michael Franti, UB40, Sinead 'O Connor, Sly&Robbie...

How to make a strong career as a music producer/engineer

Producer and engineer Bulby York rallies Jamaican superstars – Beres Hammond, Bounty Killer, Agent Sasco (Assassin), Lee “Scratch” Perry, Jesse Royal, Maxi Priest, Cherine, Sizzla, Busy Signal, Lutan Fyah and more – for his debut album “Epic & Ting,” released May 13, 2016 on VP Records.

Epic & Ting Album Cover

Epic & Ting Album Cover

Bulby’s sound spans multiple genres – merging reggae, dancehall, dub and EDM into a style of his own. The project has consistently been receiving spins on BBC Radio 1, BBC 1Xtra, Capital XTRA & much more!

As one of Jamaica’s most in-demand studio men, the Kingston-born producer has put his touch on signature dancehall records by Sean Paul, Bounty Killer and Beenie Man and also worked with the who’s who of pop music, including No Doubt, Rihanna, Britney Spears and Madonna. After years of bringing other people’s projects to life, Bulby now has a masterpiece he can call his own in Epic & Ting.

Download “Epic & Ting”: http://smarturl.it/EpicAndTing

Marsha Ambrosius, Freddie McGregor, Maxi Priest, Romain Virgo, Ikaya, Raging Fyah, Jah9, Christopher Ellis, The Green, Katchafire, Jah Cure, No Maddz, Chronixx, Jesse Royal, Kabaka Pyramid, Exco Levi, Kelissa, Jahmiel, Iba Mahr, Keznamdi

VP RECORDS REMEMBERS “THE CROWN PRINCE OF REGGAE” DENNIS BROWN

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Compilation Features Covers from Marsha Ambrosius, Freddie McGregor, Maxi Priest, Romain Virgo, Ikaya, Raging Fyah, Jah9, Christopher Ellis, The Green, Katchafire, Jah Cure, No Maddz, Chronixx, Jesse Royal, Kabaka Pyramid, Exco Levi, Kelissa, Jahmiel, Iba Mahr, Keznamdi and more.

DENNIS BROWN Double-Disc Tribute Album Will Drop June 3, 2016

DENNIS BROWN Double-Disc Tribute Album Will Drop June 3, 2016

Hailed by NPR Morning Edition as one of the 50 great voices of all time – the Jamaican musical icon Dennis Brown began his recording career at the tender age of 11 and released more than 75 albums during his all too short 42 years on Earth. Although the reggae legend passed away in 1999, his music and legacy live on.

VP Records, the world’s leading reggae label, will pay homage to Brown on June 3, 2016 with an extensive tribute album of his timeless hits and deep cuts titled, We Remember Dennis Brown. The 30-song collection features a wide and impressive range of reggae and R&B voices covering crucial Dennis Brown compositions. The set was produced by Jamaican legend Clive Hunt with an all-star team of musicians.
In February (Brown’s birthday month), VP Records premiered one song from the album every Friday for five weeks – including “Caress Me” from one of Jamaica’s brightest voices Romain Virgo, “Milk & Honey” by roots reggae rockers Raging Fyah, “Bloody City” from the Caribbean’s soulful songstress Jah9, “Promised Land” from Hawaiian reggae band The Green and “Have You Ever” by R&B powerhouse Marsha Ambrosius.

In addition to these power hitters, We Remember Dennis Brown will feature an array of singers from Brown’s native country and across the globe who he influenced. Jamaica’s latest crop of stars (including Jah Cure, Gyptian, Iba Mahr, Kabaka Pyramid, Kelissa, Keznamdi, Chronixx and Jesse Royal) as well as the island’s icons who worked with Brown (like reggae vocalists Bushman and Freddie McGregor) all offer their contributions. Freddie’s son Chino McGregor and Christopher Ellis, the talented UK-based singer and offspring of Alton Ellis (another one of Brown’s musical mentors and confidants), both deliver powerful renditions of Brown’s classics.

New Zealand rockers also create a breezy rendition of “If I Had The World.” The worldly collection proves that his universal sound transcends all boundaries of time, race and creed. Each artist adds their own original flair to Brown’s profound soul-stirring sound – touching the hearts of new and old fans alike on this unique multi-disc collection. We Remember Dennis Brown will include deluxe packaging as well as extensive liner notes on the belated legend.

Dennis-Brown

DENNIS BROWN

Dennis Brown was greatly influenced by American balladeers such as Sam Cooke, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin as well as Jamaican singers like Delroy Wilson and John Holt. At only 12-years-old, he cut his first hit “No Man Is An Island” at Clement “Coxsone” Dodd’s famous Studio One. Within the years, he was a force to be reckoned with musically – dubbed the “Boy Wonder of Jamaica” and “Crown Prince of Reggae.” Before he was 16, he had worked with Jamaica’s top recording artists (Alton Ellis, Horace Andy) and producers of the time (Prince Buster, Dennis Alcapone, Winston “Niney” Holness and Vincent “Randy” Chin).

In the 1970s, he worked closely with producer Joe Gibbs and released multiple albums. One of the album’s songs “Money in my Pocket,” peaked at #14 on UK Top 40 chart becoming one of the biggest international hits in Jamaica’s history. This success landed him the cover of the NME’s February 1979 issue. Enthusiastically adapting to the new dancehall era, Brown released a huge amount of work throughout the 1980s recording with genre’s major producers like King Jammy on Brown’s 1986 album The Exit and Gussie Clarke in 1989 with the Gregory Isaacs duet “Big All Round” and the album Unchallenged. He continued to record prolifically in the 1990s before his passing. His 1994 album Light My Fire and 2001 release Let Me Be the One were both nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album.

TRACK LISTING:

Iba Mahr, Jesse Royal, Keznamdi, Chronixx, Exco Levi, Kelissa, Jahmiel, Kabaka Pyramid & Rockaz Elements – I Need Your Love (Rasta Children)
Bushman – Don’t Want To Be No General
The Green – Promised Land
Raging Fyah – Milk and Honey
Christopher Ellis – Created By The Father
Mutabaruka & Marla Brown – Words of Wisdom
Chino – Melting Pot
Yahsha – The Existence Of Jah
Jamelody- Halfway Up, Halfway Down
Freddie McGregor – Little Village
Mykal Rose – Easy Take It Easy
Jah9 – Bloody City
Richie Spice – Wolves and Leopards
Shuga – Black Liberation
VP Hit Team – To The Foundation
Romain Virgo – Caress Me
Marsha Ambrosius – Have You Ever
No Maddz – Rocking Time
Maxi Preist – Love Me Always
Jamelody & Ikaya – Love Has Found Its Way
Sanchez – Your Love Got A Hold On Me
Katchafire – If I Had The World
Etana – Should I
Jah Cure – Ghetto Girl
Christopher Martin – Baby Don’t Do It
Gyptian – How Can I
Ikaya – For You
Dalton Harris – No More Will I Roam
Jah Vinci – Money in My Pocket
VP Hit Team – Silhouette

Culture and Lovers Rock Reggae Songs (2010 – 2015)

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Maxi Priest brings reggae to the fans at Stage 48 in Manhattan, on March 31, 2013. Photography by Clyde Belcon

Maxi Priest brings reggae to the fans at Stage 48 in Manhattan, on March 31, 2013.
Photography by Clyde Belcon

 

 

This episode starts in 2015 with a couple new entries from Queen Ifrica and Archangel Superpec, but the overall selections focus on one-drop remixes, pop music covers, lovers rock, and roots reggae singles mostly from 2012 through 2014. The mix is filled with the sounds of today’s hottest producers and artists like ChronixxJah9, Damian Marley, Tarrus Riley, Jah Cure and more.

Playlist:

1 Queen Ifrica – Let Me Get To Know You
2 Archangel Superpec – There She Is
3 Maxi Priest featuring Stylo G – Easy To Love (Remix)
4 Beres Hammond – In My Arms
5 Them Island Boyz featuring Jah Cure – Kiss Me Girl
6 Romain Virgo – This Love
7 Sanchez – Now and Forever
8 Tarrus Riley – Young Heart
9 Gyptian – Love You Forever
10 Jah Cure – Love You Anyway
11 Rihanna ft. David Guetta – Right Now (J-Vibe Reggae Remix)
12 Chronixx – Alpha and Omega
13 Mavado – Soldiers (R.I.P Roach)
14 Usher – Climax (Walshy Fire / Jus Bus Reggae Remix)
15 Gappy Ranks – Carpenter
16 Jah9 – Steamers A Bubble
17 Tarrus Riley – For Me
18 Sean Paul featuring Damian Marley – Riot
19 Daville – Mirror
20 Tessanne Chin – If You Love Me
21 Shaggy featuring Beres Hammond – Fight This Feeling
22 Roots Queen – Fly With Me
23 Protoje – KIngston Be Wise
24 Busy Signal featuring Damian Marley – Kingston Town (Remix)
25 Jah Bouks – Angola
26 Amy Winehouse featuring Alborosie – Sweet Guitar (Remix)
27 Lutan Fyah – Diamond At Home
28 Tarrus Riley – Cold Girl