Women in Reggae

Many women have made a name for themselves in the male-dominated genre of Reggae music.

Here we speak of some current notables and analyze some of the issues that have always existed. There is always a balance of positive and negative and we touch on that in this Reggae Lover episode.

Reggae Grammy

Of the several female artists that continue to hold their own, here are some highlights:

Etana has produced above average music for at least the past 10 years. She earned a nomination for Best Reggae Album at the upcoming 61st Annual Grammy Awards for her latest project, Reggae Forever. She is the first female nominee in that category since Sister Carol in 1997, and the fourth ever.

Spice became the first reggae artist to cross the 1 million followers mark on Instagram. Known for raunchy lyrics, she ventured into social commentary on her single “Black Hypocrisy.” The song, which tackles the issue of colorism is on her Billboard chart-topping mixtape entitled “Captured.” I hope that Spice tackles more serious issues in the future. She can be a positive influence for young women the way she is controlling the media right now.

Queen Ifrica has wowed audiences at festivals like Rebel Salute and Reggae Sumfest for the past several years. Her songs have broached the toughest topics from incest to skin bleaching. She sings out against crime, unhealthy diets, corruption, and other evils. Queen Ifrica is also well-rounded and able to discuss love and sexuality in tasteful ways.

Leaders of the new school:

Reggae revivalist Jah9 is as refreshing as she is an enigmatic force. She’s a yoga practitioner and poet turned reggae performing artist. Her dancehall career was nurtured by RoryStoneLove who produced her debut album. Jah9’s lyrics are deep, thought-provoking, and meaningful. Her music is powerful yet diverse.

The 17-year-old singer, songwriter, and guitarist, Koffee, emerged as a star in 2018. Her single’s, “Burning,” and “Raggamuffin,” gained local and international attention. Look out for her new hit, “Toast,” which looks to be an even bigger smash.

Lila Ike is one of the protege’s of Grammy-nominated reggae revival leader Protoje. She was a unique style and flair with songs about love and socioeconomic topics.

Twenty-one-year-old Yanah is known as “The Tiny Powerhouse.” With a hand-full of songs released to date, she has captivated listeners. Her delivery is sultry and passionate.

Sevana is another songstress working with Protoje’s In.Digg.Nation Collective record label. She stood out on “A Bit Too Shy” and “Sudden Flight” which featured Jesse Royal. Sevana has an amazing sound – one of the sweetest voices to come out of Jamaica in a long time.

Naomi Cowan came out with a fun 2018 single called “Paradise Plum.” She has an R&B/soul, reggae vibe and is actually the daughter of musician Tommy Cullen and singer Carlene Davis. She spent time in Canada where she went to college and then earned a Masters in digital media. After some time running her parent’s businesses, she has turned her focus to a music career. Look out for big things from Naomi!

women in reggae (2)

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Kristine Alicia‘s 2nd album “Songs from Zion” debuted in 2017. Produced by RoryStoneLove and featuring Dean Fraser, the 11-track album is classic roots reggae with inspirational messages. Kristine’s vocal prowess bolsters the project. Rory’s Black Dub label has been grooming many promising female artists.

The ever-versatile Keida and potent lyricist Karamanti both represent a strong female presence. Their content centers around themes of unity and consciousness. Karamanti launched her own record label, BlackWuman22 Music.

Dancehall artist Dovey Magnum has risen to international fame in the past year. She’s by far one of the most powerful female performers in her class and her talent is undeniable. Her spiritual side is expressed in “Prayers Me Use and Win,” but her more popular anthems are X-rated. Dovey can definitely affect positive change by injecting conscious messages into her music.

Kelissa is the daughter of the lead singers from the foundation group Chakula. She attended University in California where she toured extensively. Kelissa also performed and spent time in Africa gaining notoriety there. She has toured and collaborated with Chronixx in the studio as well.

Other artists mentioned:

Marcia Griffiths, Nadine Sutherland, Tanya Stephens, Lady Saw (Marion Hall), Lady Ann, Lady G, Sister Nancy, Sister Charmaine, and Shensea.

The challenges:

There are many other female artists out right whose music is only about sex and sexuality. Their music gets to the forefront in the major media channels more often than not. Selectors and radio disc jockeys have been doing more following than innovating. Their playlists feature the same raunchy songs, with few attempts to introduce more diverse subject matter. It seems quite difficult to get played as a new performer. This only entices young upcoming women to embrace the same age-old cliche – sex sells.

Spice, who many refer to as the new Queen of Dancehall signed her record deal in 2009. Since then, her label has failed to release a full-length studio album of her songs. We dissect this issue trying to figure out how this could even happen.

With this climate how can new female artists get discovered while avoiding exploitation? How can we achieve more balance on the lineups of shows and concerts? How can radio, dancehall, and mixtape playlists become more diverse? How can reggae music, a genre that once stood as a voice for the voiceless embrace its own women? How can we become less hypocritical as an industry and as a society?

In this, the age of the #metoo movement, and “Surviving R. Kelly,” it is imperative that we protect and support our women. This discussion may pose more questions than answers, but it spawns a dialogue that needs to be had.

Add the names of female artists that should have been highlighted in this piece (tag them in the comments). Do you agree or disagree with the statements we have made? Do you have an answer to the questions posed? Let us know. Thanks for listening, reading, and sharing. This is dedicated to you. #reggaelover 

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Ragga Ragga Ragga is Back With the 2014 Edition

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The annual dancehall compilation from Greensleeves features the latest raw and X-rated tunes that are bubbling in the clubs and heating up the streets. This year’s installment includes hits from Spice, Vybz Kartel, I-Octane, Alkaline, Busy Signal and more.  Download Ragga Ragga Ragga 2014 now!

Various Artists - Ragga Ragga Ragga 2014 - Artwork

Various Artists – Ragga Ragga Ragga 2014 – Artwork

WATCH Ragga Ragga Ragga 2014 cover girl and dancehall queen Miss Likkle Bit show her skills on the featured track Spice’s “So Mi Like It.” 

 

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Highlanda Releases Dancehall Now Mixtape Volume 5 Online

Another new Highlanda Sound System Mix featuring DANCEHALL’s hottest artists and riddims NOW including Busy Signal, Konshens, Shaggy, Beenie Man, Spice, Aidonia, Popcaan, Dovey Magnum, Mavado, Gappy Ranks and more….

DOWNLOAD MP3 or LISTEN VIA MIXCLOUD

Mix featuring Dancehall's hottest artists and riddims NOW including Busy Signal, Konshens, Shaggy, Beenie Man, Spice, Aidonia, Popcaan, Dovey Magnum, Mavado, Gappy Ranks and more....

Dancehall Now Mixtape 5 promo

DOWNLOAD MP3 or LISTEN VIA MIXCLOUD

Dancehall Now Episode 18 – The Ladies of Dancehall Now Edition

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Dancehall Now
Image by highlanda via Flickr

This is the latest episode of the syndicated Dancehall Now podcast produced by Highlanda Sound System for the week of March 16, 2009 featuring the very latest dancehall music in a radio broadcast format.

Episode 18 is the Ladies of Dancehall Now edition and its all about the female artists that are representing in the business for 2009.  Artists featured include Lady Saw, Ce’Cile, Tanya Stephens, Spice, Macka Diamond, JC Lodge, Marcia Griffiths, D’Angel, and Patra to name a few.

Dancehall Now is in keeping with Highlanda Sound’s stated mission to entertain and promote reggae music world wide. This show may contain language that may be considered by some to be offensive. Views expressed by artists and guests on this show are not necessarily shared or endorsed by Highlanda Sound.

Right Click the file and select “Save As…” to download the entire mp3 file or just click to listen to the audio stream now.  We sincerely hope you enjoy the selections.  Please send your comments, feedback, and requests to podcast@highlanda.net or feel free to comment here.  If you like what you hear please subscribe to get automatic updates when new shows are added.

Direct mp3 Download (right click and “save as”)

Playlist

1   Bad Mon Goin Cry – Lady Saw
2   Better Know Yourself – Shema
3   Love Of A Lifetime – Alaine
4   Keep It To Yourself – Queen Ifrica
5   Holla (Independent Ladies) – Ce’Cile
6   Bossy Ladies – Raine Seville
7   Automatic – Marcia Griffiths/Busy Signal
8   Blessing – Etana/Albarosie
9   Ramping Shop – Vybz Kartel/Spice
10  Wibble Wabble – Macka Diamond/Unicorn
11  The One – Selena Serrano
12  Destiny – J.C. Lodge
13  Mek Dem Talk – Tanya Stephens
14  Burning – Shermaine
15  Broken Melody – Tessanne Chin
16  Kinston State of Mind – Cherine Anderson
17  Bubble Like Soup (Soca Remix) – Timberlee/Oscar B
18  Man Next Door – John Holt/Nikki Burt
19  Natural High – Sasha
20  Push Over – D’Angel
21  All Night Long – Traeydonya/Patra
22  How Could I Leave – Althea Hewitt

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Dancehall Now Episode 17 – The ‘I Wish I Was In Trinidad’ Edition

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Soca singer Machel Montano performing at the 2...
Image via Wikipedia

Make sure to download this show for the exclusive combinations within such as the remix of ‘Brooklyn Go Hard’ which features Wayne Wonder, Foxxy Brown, M.I.A, and Jay-Z, & ‘Automatic’ by Marcia Griffiths and Busy Signal.

Since Trinidad Carnival (aka the greatest show on Earth) is currently taking place, this episode of Dancehall Now features Jamaica’s Dancehall King Beenie Man doing the Soca thing alongside Trinidad’s lyrical giant, Bunji Garlin on the remix of ‘Plenty Gal,’ a bonafied 2009 mega hit. Also in the mix is Beenie Man featuring Trini Jacobs with the Soca version of rapper T.I.’s ‘Live Your Life’ entitled ‘Superstar.’ Other carnival themed highlights featured are ‘Tonight’ by Reggae songstress Alaine featuring Machel Montano, and ‘Fly Away’ sung by Machel Montano and Collie Budz out of Bermuda.

Dancehall Now Episode 17 also includes new music from Daville, Vybz Kartel and Spice, Tarrus Riley, Laden, and Ms. Triniti featuring Beenie Man by request.

Right Click the file and select “Save As…” to download the entire mp3 file or just click to listen to the audio stream now. We sincerely hope you enjoy the selections and mixing. Please send your comments, feedback, and requests to podcast@highlanda.net or feel free to comment at http://www.highlanda.net/html/contact.php. If you like what you hear please subscribe to get automatic updates when new shows are added.

Dancehall Now Episode 17

Playlist:

1 Automatic – Marcia Griffiths/Busy Signal
2 Brooklyn We Go Hard (Remix) – Wayne Wonder/Foxy Brown/Jay-Z/M.I.A
3 You Have It – Beenie Man
4 Fly Away – Machel Montano HD feat. Collie Budz
5 Burnin Burnin – Ms. Triniti feat. Beenie Man
6 Human Nature – Tarrus Riley
7 U A De Boss – Sizzla
8 Baby Mother Drama – Kiprich
9 Time To Shine – Laden
10 Ramping Shop – Vybz Kartel feat. Spice
11 No Games (Remix) – Serani feat. Raekwon
12 Sleepless Nights – Buju Banton
13 Jah Live – Luciano
14 Tonight – Alaine feat. Machel Montano
15 Superstar – Beenie Man feat. Trini Jacobs
16 Plenty Gal (Remix) – Bunji Garlin feat. Beenie Man
17 Start A New – Tarrus Riley
18 The Best In Life – Sizzla
19 Missing You Right Now – Daville
20 Know How Fi Love Dem Up – Assassin feat. Josey Wales

http://stuff.highlanda.net/rss/podcast/s2/Dancehall_Now_Episode_17.mp3

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Dancehall Now Episode 15 is here!

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Dancehall Now Episode 15 features new Busy Signal, Daville, Vybez Cartel, Serani, Beenie Man ,and Baby Cham to name a few.  Listen or Download now.

Right Click the media file link and select “Save As…” to download the entire mp3 file or just click to listen to the audio stream now.  We sincerely hope you enjoy!  Please send your comments, feedback, and requests to podcast@highlanda.net or feel free to comment right here.  If you like what you hear please subscribe to get automatic updates when new shows are added.


Dancehall Now Episode 15

1  Sweep Da Floor (Pop Champagne Remix) – Elephant Man
2  Sort Dem Out – Demarco
3  Nothing To Smile About – Morgan Heritage
4  Love of A Lifetime – Alaine
5  Bullet – DJ Khaled featuring Rick Ross & Baby Cham
6  Ramping Shop – Vybez Kartel feat. Spice
7  Last Man Standing – Vybez Kartel
8  I’ll Be Your Best Friend – Daville
9  Nikki Burt – Make Ends Meet
10 All I Need – Shurwayne Winchester/Serani
11 Mek Noise – Erupt
12 Money Tree – Busy Signal
13 Time To Shine – Laden
14 People Want Change (Roots) – Capleton feat. Obama
15 Single Ladies Remix – Beyonce feat. Buju Banton
16 Gimme Gimme Gimme – Beenie Man
17 Make Her Stamma – Busy Signal
18 Jah Jah See Dem A Come – Sugar Roy, Conrad Crystal and Gyptian
19 Girl I Want You (Soca Road Remix) – Serani
20 Missing Your Love – Wesley Diamond
21 Tonight Is Yours – Daville
22 Crying Out – Duane Stephenson

Media files:
Dancehall_Now_Episode_15.mp3 (MP3 Format Sound, 111 MB)