Gaining Access

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“Gaining Access” with guest Odessa Chambers, a publicist and television producer based in Kingston.  She is the creator of O-Access Jamaica and host of the podcast “Reasonings with Odessa.” Episode 174 (Season 5, Ep. 2)

Reggae Lover O Access Jamaica Podcast

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Buzzworthy

  • Koffee to perform SuperBowl Weekend
  • Buju Banton on Bad Boys Forever soundtrack

Tastemaker

  • Kahlil Wonda: Mortimer’s EP ‘Fight the Fight,’ and Single, “Lightning.”

  • AGARD: Salaam Remi, Buccaneer, and Red Rat, “No Normal Lover.”

Soundclash Update

  • Mighty Crown meets with Prime Ministers
  • World Clash Finale lineup released

Main Segment

Interview with Odessa.

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Billboard named Joss Stone Reggae Artist of the Year 2015, But Here’s the Thing

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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

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.

New Strictly Roots Album from Morgan Heritage, The Royal Family of Reggae

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The Royal Family of Reggae, Morgan Heritage, have released their newest album, Strictly Roots. The album, which has been available for pre-order since March 10th, 2015, has reached #1 on the iTunes Reggae Chart, and the first single, “Perform And Done” has received substantial rotation on commercial radio. The album is available in retail stores nationwide including Best Buy, Target, Walmart, and Barnes and Noble. Purchase Strictly Roots on iTunes, here: http://apple.co/1zzk8II or on Amazon, here: http://amzn.to/1OyYCe8.

The sensational roots reggae quintet, which comprises siblings Peetah Morgan (vocals), Una Morgan (keyboard/vocals), Gramps Morgan (keyboard/vocals), Lukes Morgan (rhythm guitar) and Mr. Mojo Morgan (percussion/vocals), is undoubtedly one of contemporary reggae’s most powerful forces on the global stage. Guided by sheer acumen and a passionate desire to make their already rich musical legacy even more impactful, Morgan Heritage, after much deliberation and contemplation, triumphantly delivers their latest album exclusively on their very own label CTBC (Cool To Be Conscious) Music Group.

Strictly Roots features a wide variety of guest performers including platinum selling pop/dancehall phenomenon, Shaggy; American reggae and R&B vocalist, J Boog; third generation ambassadors from the Morgan and Marley families, Jemere Morgan and Jo Mersa Marley; reggae sensation, Chronixx; lead singer Eric Rachmany from rock, world and reggae band, Rebelution; and Bobby Lee from the American Grammy-nominated pop reggae band, SOJA.

Morgan Heritage recently premiered “Wanna Be Loved” (ft. Eric Rachmany of Rebelution) with ThePier.org. On working with Morgan Heritage, Eric Rachmany of Rebelution told ThePier.org, “It’s an honor to collaborate with Morgan Heritage. In my eyes they are one of the best Reggae bands of all time. Their style is like no other out there and their story is remarkable. They sent me ‘Wanna Be Loved’ and I immediately connected with the concept that each and every one simply wants to be loved for who they are.” In addition, Morgan Heritage previously partnered with Billboard.com to premiere the video for their first single, “Perform And Done,” as well as working with Yahoo! Music to premiere “So Amazing,” the second single off the album.

Regarding the album, Una Morgan states, “We are thankful that the first album we’ve released as an independent label has been received so well. We hope our independent efforts will be an additional example for others to continue follow.”

Morgan Heritage, which has established themselves as the premiere live group on the reggae circuit, is currently on tour in support of Strictly Roots. The tour also features third generation ambassador from the Morgan family, Jemere Morgan, as a special guest. In addition, Oxfam, an international confederation of 17 organizations working together with partners and local communities in more than 90 countries, will be on site for select shows on the Strictly Roots tour. Regarding the partnership, Oxfam’s Outreach Project Manager, Bob Ferguson, added, “Oxfam America is pleased to be joining forces with Morgan Heritage and their fans to help right the wrongs of poverty and injustice. Oxfam believes that music can change the world, and we are looking forward to working with The Royal Family of Reggae to help make some positive and real social change.” For more information, please visit www.Oxfam.org.

Modern Hit Songs on Classic Studio One Riddims

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studio 1 discomixes front

Welcome to another episode of the Reggae Lover Podcast. This installment takes us on a Studio One rhythm excursion, but instead of the original vault classics, here I feature songs produced and released in the last two decades. This mix highlights some of the best new recordings on remade versions of defining riddims recorded at Studio One such as “Answer,” “Love Me Forever,” “Vanity,” “Cuss Cuss,” and more.

Studio One is one of Jamaica‘s most renowned record labels and recording studios, having been described as the Motown of Jamaica. The record label was involved with most of the major music movements in Jamaica during the 1960s and 1970s including ska, rocksteady, reggae, dub and dancehall. Learn more about Studio One here.

TRACK LIST:

1 – Gappy Ranks – Put The Stereo On
2 – Chezidek – Far-I
3 – Luciano – Skank If You Skanking
4 – Sanchez – Praise Him
5 – Shinehead – Promises
6 – Burro Banton – Tek A Set
7 – Anthony B – Warrior
8 – Sizzla – Solid As A Rock
9 – Morgan Heritage – Reggae Music
10 – Sizzla – Jah Never Fail I
11 – Luciano – Where There Is Life
12 – Ray Darwin – False Alarm
13 – Sizzla – Just One Of Those Days
14 – Beres Hammond – They’re Gonna Talk
15 – Buju Banton – Innocent
16 – Jamelody – Loving Drives Me Crazy
17 – Gappy Ranks – Pumpin Belly
18 – Macka B – Never Play A 45
19 – Tarrus Riley – Protect Your Neck
20 – Warrior King – Melody
21 – Brian and Tony Gold – Sex Me
22 – Hopeton James – Send Your Threat (dubplate)
23 – Richie Spice – Youths Dem A Get Cold
24 – Beres Hammond – One Love, One Life
25 – Sanchez – Kiss Me Once
26 – Terror Fabulous – Can’t Stop Di Princess
27 – Sanchez – Chronic
28 – Doniki & Steady Ranks – Trod On
29 – Anthony B – One Thing
30 – Capleton – Can’t Sleep At Night
31 – Stevie Face – Can’t Go Round It
32 – Torch – I Need Your Love
33 – Anthony Cruz featuring Nikkiesha Barnes – Hold Me
34 – Romain Virgo – Live Mi Life
35 – Buju Banton – Lipstick Stains
36 – Etana featuring Vybrant – I Love U
37 – Eljai – The Leaders
38 – Luciano – Give Praise (dubplate)
39 – Garnet Silk – Kingly Character
40 – Chris Demontague – Love Is In The Air (Dub Mix)
41 – Gyptian – Never Seen Love Like This
42 – Tinga Stewart and Princess Jameli – Guilty

Laza Morgan Named Musical Ambassador for National Caribbean American Heritage Month

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The Institute for Caribbean Studies (ICS) led by Dr. Claire Nelson has announced its selection of Jamaican-American reggae artist Laza Morgan as Musical Ambassador for National Caribbean American Heritage Month (NCAHM).

Laza-Morgan

As NCAHM Musical Ambassador Laza will help spread the word to a younger audience that June is Caribbean American Heritage Month. He will also serve as a role model to other young Caribbean American musicians and artists.

Laza Morgan is the son of acclaimed Jamaican music legend and hit maker, reggae singer Denroy Morgan. Laza was born into the Morgan Heritage Family Dynasty of reggae music and has been surrounded by music his entire life. Laza grew up in Brooklyn, NY, attended school in Springfield, MA and lived in a distinctly Jamaican household.

This year the NCAHM Musical Ambassador Program is being managed through RedCarpetShelley.com who has signed on as a National Media Partner. RedCarpetShelley.com is fast becoming the mecca for Caribbean Entertainment news.