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MTV Africa Music Awards with Zain 2009

Lucky Dube won the Legend Award at the MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMA) with Zain at the Moi International Sports Centre on October 10, 2009 in Nairobi, Kenya his son Thokozani Dube accepts the award on behalf of late father.

More backing for Buju

American civil liberties group slams gays for trying to prevent shows featuring Jamaican DJ

THE FLORIDA chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has come out in defense of Jamaican artiste Buju Banton. In a statement published on October 18, Howard Simon, executive director of the Florida chapter of ACLU, accused the homosexual groups of promoting censorship.

The Florida chapter of the ACLU, Buju has a right to perform at a Miami concert this week despite protests from gay groups in that city.

Banton is facing growing opposition from the gay community in Europe and the United States. According to

“It is disheartening that some of our colleagues in the gay and lesbian equality movement have embraced censorship as a tactic to combat hate speech,” Simon said.

He was responding to gay activists who have called on city officials to ban the Miami concert which is slated to feature Buju Banton and Beenie Man. “This is terribly short-sighted: Giving government the power to censor messages it thinks are dangerous never advances the cause of equality and freedom,” Simon argued.

Buju and Beenie Man are billed as headliners for the October 31 Reggae Bash show.

The event is being promoted by Global Vybz Entertainment, which is run by Jamaican Andrew Minott.

But the homosexual support group, Equality Florida, has called on Global Vybz to drop both acts because some of their songs ‘encourage violence against homosexuals’.
no evidence

The group also wrote to city officials seeking their support while pointing to songs such as Buju’s Boom Bye Bye. But Simon argued that there is no evidence Buju’s song is responsible for any hate crimes.

“Banton has sung his song many times, including during a previous appearance in Miami, with no ensuing violence. There is no basis to make the leap from a hateful and offensive pop song to incitement to riot,” Simon wrote.

He added: “The Buju Banton song in question is vile and offensive. But despite its hateful message, it is protected speech under the Constitution.”

Simon pointed out that the Florida ACLU has defended other controversial acts, such as rap group 2 Live Crew when they were under fire from decency groups who claimed their performances and music were lewd. Carla Gulatta of Amnesty International told The Sunday Gleaner that the country’s music should be a unifying force rather than a divisive on.

Gulatta’s comments came amid the recognition of the debate on the role of music in fuelling discrimination against gays and lesbians and the controversy surrounding Buju Banton’s decision to meet with a gay-rights group in the United States.

Gulatta said the meeting was “a very relevant step” noting that it could serve as a catalyst for a change in the music produced.”Buju can keep what he feels but at least he has done something quite important which is opening a dialogue,” Gulatta said.

Caribbean American Singer Soul Train Awards Nominee

Famed Caribbean American singer, Maxwell, is nominated for four 2009 Soul Train Awards. Maxwell is up for Best Male Soul, Record of the Year, and Album of the Year and Song of the Year. Maxwell, born of a Haitian mother and a Puerto Rican father in Brooklyn NY. Meanwhile in the reggae category, Sean Paul, Ziggy Marley, Movado, Serani and Taurus Riley have all been nominated.

Maxwell describes his current project, Black Summers Night, as the first installment in a trilogy of albums to be released over three years, beginning July 7, 2009. The second installment, black summers night is scheduled for release in 2010 and the third installment, blackSummers`Night, for 2011. The awards show will take place on November 29 on both Centric and BET from the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia. It will be hosted by Academy Award-nominated actors Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson and feature performances by Toni Braxton, Erykah Badu, Trey Songz, Robin Thicke and Fantasia. Tracks from the album include `Pretty Wings, Bad Habits, Never Do w/Out You, Help Somebody and Cold. Link: CaribWorldNews

Cherine Hits the Million Mark!

Jamaican singer Cherine Anderson is charting new territory for female reggae singers from Jamaica. She is the first ever female reggae singer to hit the Billboard Rock charts with her ‘Say Hey (I Love You)’ single with Michael Franti and Spearhead hitting the #48 spot on the rock chart recently. She also passed another landmark recently, and has now performed in front of over a million people during her various performances worldwide.

“She has now performed in front of audiences that cumulatively add up to a million, given the stunning number of shows. She recently returned to Jamaica after a six month tour that took her to Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, France, UK, Germany, Ireland, Holland and the last eight weeks she was in North America. She is only 25 years-old so this is a phenomenal achievement,” Althea Burrell, publicist of JADE Promotions, told ONE876.

The song peaked at #1 on Billboard Heatseekers charts and has been steadily climbing other charts. Currently, “Say Hey (I Love You)” is #21 on the Billboard Hot 100, #14 on the Digital Songs charts, #22 on the Pop Songs chart and #43 on The Radio Songs chart.

With her recent success with Franti and the Spearhead, Cherine Anderson is in rarefied air joining legends such as Diana King, Lady Saw and Millie Small who have made it to the upper reaches of the Billboard Hot 100 pop single chart. Diana King and Millie Small did it as solo acts while Saw did it with Gwen Stefani and No Doubt on ‘Underneath it All’.

Last week, Cherine continued to chart new ground for this generation of female singers when she appeared on the NBC Emmy winning programme, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, where she performed her hit, SayHey (I Love You) with Michael Franti and Spearhead.

“This is really an exciting time as we have been very busy promoting “Say Hey”. I also love the fact that this record was produced and recorded in Kingston, Jamaica, and has such mass appeal worldwide,”Cherine said in a release. She will be appearing on ER this Friday on TVJ. one876entertainment.com

Doing ‘Justice’ to international reggae

A new voice has entered the arena of Jamaican music, and like his name implies, the England-based singer has done justice to reggae music with his own unique style and flavour.

With a blazing new single featuring Kevin Lyttle and Spragga Benz, international recording artiste, Monday Justice, is ready to make his imprint on the local music scene.

“My style is like pop and R&B, but I have always loved reggae since I was eight, nine, and I’m inspired by some Jamaican greats like Bob Marley and Peter Tosh,” said Justice. “I play the piano and the guitar, and I’ve been performing for over 20 years.”

Twenty years in music may come as a surprise to many Jamaicans who don’t know him, but the artiste has been on the international music scene for some time. In fact, Justice has already garnered number one spots in Greece, Macedonia and Bulgaria for his single, Out Of Control, a fast-paced club single from his 2006 debut album, Not Your Average Man.

Monday Justice, who uses his unique birth name as his stage persona, says his encounter with Kevin Lyttle and Spragga Benz came about through his manager, who also works with Lyttle.

“Well, I was in Europe and Kevin came there to promote his new single with Flo Rida, and we met through my manager, and we just had good chemistry. After deciding to do a song, we hooked up with Keyboard Money Mike (internationally acclaimed producer), and went to master it in New York,” said Justice.

He added, “Spragga came on-board afterwards … he’s a really great guy. He just heard it, and we asked if he wanted to be a part of it, he said yes and did his thing.”

When asked why he has such a keen interest in breaking into the Jamaican market despite his success overseas, he offered a simple explanation.

“I’m of African descent, but I have a love and passion for reggae music …. I have performed in London, Greece, Russia, but despite my love of reggae I have never performed in Jamaica…. I would very much like to do a concert in Jamaica,” said the amiable Justice. Star

The Seventh Annual International Soca Awards takes places on Friday October 30th, 2009. This year the event will be hosted in the beautiful isles of the Turks and Caicos.

Thanks to all the users of our website, our fans and supporters, bajanfuhlife.com has been nominated once again for one of the coveted awards, in the category of “Favourite Soca Website”. This is a tough category with worthy rivals from across the globe, and you, our loyal supporters continue to make it happen for us.

Nominated for various awards are other local soca artiste such as Alison Hinds, Stabby the Guard, Edwin Yearwood, Red Plastic Bag, Biggie Irie, Rupee, Peter Ram and Tara Holdipp. Other talented bajans who were also nominated for their contributions are Monstapiece Productions, Dwaingerous and the Red Boyz.

The Soca Awards Organisation will be honouring seven women of power in the industry. These women    are Calypso Rose, Denyse Plummer, Fay-Ann Lyons, Singing Francine (bajan by birth), Singing Sandra, Ella Andall and Allyson Hennessy.

To see the full listing of all the nominees and their respective categories for the 2009 awards go to socaawards.com.

We at bajanfuhlife.com would like to encourage all of to support all your local people and VOTE VOTE VOTE !! Soca Awards Organization has scheduled artists to perform at the 7th Annual International Soca Awards, iSA 7 ‘Soca Week’ in Providences Turks & Caicos.

A stellar array of artists are scheduled to hit the stage during what’s being deemed “Soca Friday” in Providences, Turks & Caicos, where the 7th Annual International Soca Awards (iSA 7) is to be held October 30th, 2009. This highly anticipated award show brought to you by the Soca Awards Organization, Inc. will undoubtedly be the best iSA to date.

Directly from Trinidad & Tobago the Calypso Queen of the world, Calypso Rose the mother of Calypso; Trinidad & Tobago’s 6 times Calypso Queen & 4 times Calypso Queen of the world, Soca Diva Denyse Plumber; Antigua’s Soca Princess, Tizzy of El-A-kru; St. Vincent’s 2008 Road March King & 2009 Soca Monarch, Skinny Fabulous; Trinidad and Tobago’s Ragga will be ‘Right Up In Dey’; Extempo King/Minister, Winston Gypsy Peters is ready to sink Turks & Caicos with Extempo & Soca; Toronto based’ Soca Princess, Shyann Bailey is brining the ‘Sweetness’; & representing Grenada, the Jab, Jab king Tallpree; are all scheduled to deliver memorable performances on Soca Friday. SAO is delighted to have such talents at the iSA 7 on October 30th, 2009 at Downtown Ballpark Providenciales, Turks & Caicos, with doors opening at 5:00pm and show time promptly at 7:00pm.

We encourage you to visit www.socaawards.com for up to date information and more exciting news on the 2009 International Soca Awards including surprise guests at the upcoming award show.

South Florida to pay tribute to Marcia Griffiths

Reggae singer Marcia Griffiths, OD, will be honoured in South Florida on her birthday, November 21, for her outstanding contributions to the development of Jamaican music over the last 46 years.

The event will be staged by CRM Multimedia at the Grand Ballroom of Sunrise, West Oakland Park Blvd and will be hosted by Jamaican radio personality John T of Radio WAVS 1170, a Caribbean- oriented station in Fort Lauderdale. Artistes appearing on the show include Nadine Sutherland, Twiggy, and Jodian Pantry, Stevie Face, Duane Stephenson, Noddy Virtue, Romain Virgo and other top acts to be announced.

Dubbed the Empress of reggae music and Ambassador of Jamaican music Marcia began her career in 1964 working with the late Byron Lee while recording for Coxsone Dodd’s Studio One Records. She’s shared center stage with R&B greats such as Carla Thomas, Betty Wright and Ben E King in the 1960s and ’70s. Marcia’s first recording was Land Of Love for Studio One and her first hit singles were Words recorded with the late Free I and Feel Like Jumping which was written by Bob Andy. Her first album Marcia Griffiths At Studio One also featured the first collaboration with Bob Andy on a song titled Always Together. Her other hits includes Piped Piper with Bob Andy, Dreamland, Young Gifted And Black, Stepping Out in Babylon, Deep In My Heart, Peaceful Woman and Electric Boogie, an international hit written by Bunny Wailer from which the dance The Electric Slide is an international dance craze. Marcia Griffiths was a member of the group ‘The I-Three that included Judy Mowatt and Rita Marley who provided background harmonies for Bob Marley and the Wailers. Marcia was awarded the Order of Distinction in 1994 and the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in 2004 for her outstanding contribution in the field of music Source: JamaicaObserver.com

Sean Paul In Japan For Three Shows

Dancehall deejay Sean Paul is currently in Japan for perform at two shows in Tokyo and one for cable television giant MTV in Osaka.

From the U.S. to Nigeria to Jamaica to Japan, Sean Paul has been busy touring and making promotional appearances in support of his “Imperial Blaze” album which was released almost two months ago. That aside, he has reportedly been busy in the studio once again, doing collaborative recordings, with at least one of these being with the popular French house music DJ, record producer and remixer – Bob Sinclar Source: Dancehall.Mobi

Lady G: still a good listen after 20 years

Lady G is one of the longest reigning female deejays in the business.

Right now, I can only think of Sister Carol and Lady Ann who came before her and are still performing and recording. However, unlike some of her peers, she has not changed her name or reinvented herself, to survive more than twenty years in this male-dominated industry. Her latest album Rated G demonstrates her enduring ability to chat biting lyrics and ride tight riddims. I was pleasantly surprised when I first listened to this CD. For instance, her writing skills are still intact, and her lyrics are still thought provocative. To prove this point, check out the tracks Ghetto Vibes and What A Gwaan.

Rated G also contains songs that address the conflict between the sexes – Free, The Question featuring Lovindeer, In the Mood and Last Time are examples. Other outstanding offerings include Look At Her Now, Right Time with Anthony B – (disappointingly, this combination does not have the fire she had with her mentor Papa San on Legal Rights or Roundtable Talk) – and Know Your Rights which features the late Danish rapper Natasja, who died in an auto accident in Jamaica in 2007. Among my picks are Why Look At Her Now and Jah Above All Things.

Co-produced by Lady G, Clive Hunt, and Vincent Wright, Rated G is a testament to hard work and self-confidence. Janice Fyffe has illustrated to all artistes (male and female) that one can survive the changing fads that is dancehall music, stick to a conviction, stay focussed, and 20 years later can produce an excellent album. Legendary musicians like Sly Dunbar, Robbie Shakespeare, Steven Marsden, Donald Dennis, Kirk Bennett, and Kenroy Muir, have made their contributions in the production of Rated G.

The album is distributed worldwide by Tad’s Records, and is already doing well in the market, at home and abroad. Congratulations. And do we hear another 20 years? Source: JamaicaObserver.com

Sizzla Kalonji on European tour Promoting Ghetto Youth-Ology Album

Sizzla Kalonji and the Fire House Band are currently on a ten-week European tour promoting the album, Ghetto Youth-Ology. Already one week into the tour, Sizzla and the crew have performed in the cities of Rotterdam, Geneva, and Groningen with over thirty more shows to go in Germany, Sweden, Holland, Denmark, Norway, Italy, and France.

According to reports, the Reggae crusader has been receiving rave reviews from the press in those areas. It is further reported that venues were packed to capacity with show goers representing all nationalities, genders, and religions sharing the music and love of this artiste. The rich sounds from The Fire House Band have the crowds excited and enjoying the music.

According to Sizzla, his songs represent the cries from the youth in the ghetto who continue to be marginalised and ignored by many. Sizzla takes the time to cater to the needs of his hungry European fans by pulling from his catalogue of over 50 albums to include songs like Black Woman and Child, Thank You Mama, Woman I Need You and others. He even sings Beautiful, a song described by Chris Blackwell as brilliant and a masterpiece. Sizzla Kalonji gives the people a special treat, which includes the newest European favorite Crucial Times, featured on his upcoming album to be released later this year. Source: JamaicaObserver.com

Shyne will be deported to his country of birth, Belize.

Miss info reports that Angie Martinez spoke with Shyne and he wanted to share this update….Shyne’s team is fighting to stay in the US where his mother and his grandmother live and where they raised him….but it seems like he’s going to have to continue the fight from Belize. Shyne will be released from Immigration custody but will then be deported to Belize soon. He has Harvard Professor Charles Ogletree advocating on his behalf in concert with his legal team. They’re still urging fans to reach out to Governor Patterson’s office to petition for Shyne’s pardon (Paterson’s email / Paterson’s address) but deportation is imminent.

And what about Shyne’s mental state? Angie says “Shyne is one of the strongest people I know and he’s handling this situation just as I’d expect him to. It must be frustrating for all of his friends and family; he served his time, and keeps getting all these different dates and conflicting information. But he’s a soldier, he’s dealing with it.” Source: caribbeanfever.com

Baby Tash’s Facebook hits Toronto Top Ten chart

Evidently, music lovers are logging on to Baby Tash’s ‘Facebook’ song, as the song has roared to #11 on the Blazing Bubbler’s Rising to the top chart on disc jockey Richard Banton’s weekly Toronto Top Ten Reggae/Dancehall Singles Week Ending Oct 17th. The song is being played in England; it is doing well in New Jersey and other areas of the USA. The buzz is definitely building on Baby Tash,” manager/publicist Ray Alexander said. The chart show is aired on a programme called Radio Dubplates Saturdays 10am to 1pm on CHRY 105.5FM The Beat with Richard Banton. ONE876entertainment.com

Female DJs in lesbian tryst

Rumours that two well-known female deejays have entered into a lesbian relationship are running rampant in the Corporate Area. For obvious reasons, ONE876 cannot divulge the names of the females who are making the jell-o but let’s just say that they make good music together.

One source told us that the female deejays, who had been friends for years, found that they were increasingly attracted to each other and decided to experiment a little. “It’s quite the little scandal, a lesbian friend of mine told me that the two had had a fling and that they were continuing the relationship under cover because both of them have boyfriends but people in their little circle know because of the tension between them,” the source said. “Since that, things have been different between them; they are now friends with benefits. They are not really lesbians because one of them is involved with a popular deejay but maybe they are just being bicurious.”

A bisexual is a person who has romantic and/or sexual relations with other people of more than sex (not necessarily at the same time).For some people, bisexuality is a phase between homosexuality and heterosexuality, for others it can be a brief experimentation. Someone who is “bicurious” is still exploring their sexuality, but they might be attracted to both. one876entertainment.com

Protesters Gathered Across Street From Buju Banton’s Performance–But Was There Anything To It?

Reggae artist Buju Banton didn’t realize “faggot” had become a bad word.

At least, that’s the story according to friends and colleagues of the artist, who stood in front of Trincity/Palm Beach Club last night, watching the protesters rally across the street.

As we mentioned yesterday, protesters affiliated with various gay rights groups had prepared to protest the artist’s appearance in Deep Ellum last night. And sure enough, dozens of people holding flags and signs stood behind police barricades and shouted over Main Street at the club during Banton’s show.

“Attention Palm Beach Club!” said Daniel Cates, co-founder of Equality March Texas, as he lifted a loud speaker to his mouth. “By allowing Buju Banton to perform this evening, you are promoting the brutal execution of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. We will not stand for murder music in our community.”

Leaning against the club’s wall was Gramps Morgan, who was on tour with Banton as his opening act. “Hear that?” said Morgan, in disbelief. “They’re calling it murder music… You cannot call reggae music murder music.”

The ugly truth? Many of the protesters hadn’t listened to Buju Banton’s music. They had only read about the inflammatory lyrics on various Web sites–and they believed them. “I don’t listen to his music,” said Lividia Violette, 24.

Another activist, Rick Vanderslice, said he had only read about the lyrics online on a gay rights activist site. “I’ve not listened to them, but seen them in print.”

And finally, Blake Wilkinson of Queer LiberAction, said he also read about on-line: “The lyrics come from news sources which I thought were reputable,” said Wilkinson.

Back across the street, Morgan waved off the protest.

“They have no idea what they’re protesting about,” he said. “They just got news because they’re united. It shows you how powerful unity can be. They got news from their heads and they’re just rolling with it.”

But several news sites were quoting Banton as telling a Jamaican newspaper that “the war between me and the faggot” seemed far from over. Morgan didn’t deny that Banton had indeed said that–just that the meaning of his words had been twisted.

In San Francisco, Banton had met with the gay community. Both sides had agreed to bridge the culminating divide. However, later that evening, protestors showed up to Banton’s performance regardless. And that’s when Banton commented about the continuing war.

The use of the derogatory term, however, was harder to explain. The group outside of the club, mostly from the Caribbean, admitted that Jamaica was more or less a “homophobic island.”

In fact, during a conversation with the evening’s DJ, the word came up again. When asked why he chose to use the term, the man seemed confused.

“So, they are not?” said the DJ. “Oh, I didn’t know faggot was bad … In Jamaica it’s norm. Here, I didn’t know its offensive to them. “And this is the same explanation Morgan gave for his touring partner Banton.”[Banton] had a meeting with his manager and some other people and he was educated about the word,” said Morgan. “He said, ‘I didn’t know it offended them.'”

Ky-Mani Marley to star in Islamorada Reggae Fest Nov. 21

The TIB Bank of the Keys amphitheater, built at a cost of about $1 million, in Islamorada Founders Park is the site of the Bayjama Reggae Fest, Saturday, Nov. 21. Ky-Mani Marley, son of the late reggae singer Bob Marley, is the headliner of the Bayjama Reggae Fest, Saturday, Nov. 21 from 2-10 p.m. outdoors at Islamorada Founders Park hosted by Islamorada Community Entertainment.

Marley will be joined by the rocking reggae of Kevens and special guests, the Dalai Lama’s Tibetan Monks from the Drepung Gomang Monastery, who will bless the crowd and venue, and offer chants and prayer for peace.

General Admission is $20 in advance, with tickets available at TIB Bank locations or online, and $25 at the gate. The family-friendly, waterfront site at mile marker 87 bayside does not allow coolers or backpacks but dogs on a leash are welcome. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Food, drinks including beer and an array of fine vendors and art will be on hand.

Ky-Mani Marley’s first musical appearance was in 1996 when he recorded Like Father Like Son, an album consisting of cover versions of some of his father’s songs. His next album, 1999’s The Journey, received mass critical acclaim, and achieved relatively good sales. His 2001 album, Many More Roads, was nominated for a Grammy Award for best reggae album.

Islamorada, Community Entertainment, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing entertainment and cultural events to Upper Keys residents, provides musical and arts scholarships to local students. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.keysice.com. For information about Islamorada, visit www.fla-keys.com.

Source: Examiner.com

Soulja Boy, Mavado & Serani Had A Heroes Weekend – Montego Bay

Weekend gone was Heroes Weekend in Jamaica and some of the Alliance “giants” were out in full force representing the current generation of Jamaican Heroes.

Serani, debut album No Games dropping next Tuesday the 27th, was the special guest at a special media all-weekend event organised by Jet Blue. The airline had invited 150 media, bloggers and tastemakers on a “Jet Blue Mystery Tour,” where by the invitees turn up at the airport unaware of their destination until the last minute. All guests were put up at the luxurious Iberostar Grand Hotel in Rosehall, Montego Bay, and the Jamaican city that Jet Blue has just started to fly to.

Guests were treated to a five star weekend, culminating at an All-White party on the Sandals Cay Island off the Mobay coastline, with Serani as the surprise guest. About a minute into his performance, a rainstorm blasted the island but Serani used it to his advantage, jumped into the crowd, and had everyone doing the “call down the rain” dance. The vibes were unforgettable and were only stopped because the rain damaged the mic and he could sing no more, but his performance won him many fans and will certainly garner him great media coverage for his album release on October 27.

Richie Spice Saves The Day In Bermuda

Little did reggae star Richie Spice know when he departed the island last Thursday for a show in Bermuda that was billed to feature himself, Serani, Bugle and Konshens along with the Gumption Band and MC Richie B of HOT 102 FM that he would end up doing a full concert. The event was annually held Culture Shock Fest, this year’s staging was dubbed ‘The Next Generation’ was originally scheduled to take place on Friday October 16th at the Somerset Cricket Club grounds in Somerset, Bermuda. However, the event had to be rescheduled for the next day because of the inclement weather conditions that affected the island of Bermuda on Friday.

Unfortunately, Serani, Bugle and Konshens had to leave Bermuda on Saturday as it was said that they all had other engagements to attend in Jamaica. However, Richie Spice decided to stay and do the show along with his younger brother Snatcha who wasn’t originally billed for the show.

On Saturday night, an estimated crowd of two thousand patrons turned up at the venue to witness what turned out to be a musical treat, as Richie Spice delivered a masterful performance. He had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hands from start to finish as he delivered countless hits such as World Is A Cycle, Brown Skin, Di Plane Land, Earth A Run Red, Street Life, What A Day and Spice In Your Life in a performance that was over an hour long.

The show was opened by Snatcha who delivered a very good performance as he delivered songs such as Fight For My Cause, Love Boat and No War. As expected, all involved with Culture Shock Fest ‘The Next Generation’ were very pleased as Richie Spice saved the day with a show stopping performance.

Richie Spice’s next overseas engagement will be at the Heineken Music Hall in Amsterdam on October 31st where he will share the bill with the likes of dancehall music icon Shabba Ranks, Jah Cure, Tanya Stephens and Duane Stephenson. Source: outaroad.com

Jah Cure on tour in Europe

Reggae star and Danger Zone/SoBe Entertainment recording artiste Jah Cure his new band An.Ti.Dote is on a  European tour begging October 22, in Switzerland, on to Lisbon, Portugal, Munich, Berlin, Mannheim, Germany, Amsterdam, Holland, Ghent, Belgium and ends in  Paris, France Nov. 2nd. Star

Flippa, Young Buck to collaborate

Flippa Mafia said he would soon record a song with Young Buck. Upon his return to the United States      next week, he said, he will record the song with the US rapper. He said this newest link with Young Buck came through Rootical Records, which is located in Miami. “Dem link with Def Jam South and dem mek di link with Jamaican artistes for collaborations. I guess dem just like my style,” Flippa Mafia told THE STAR, while noting that they made the link between himself, Lil Wayne, Ra Diggs and J Stills for Crime Spree. That song, he said, is doing well in New York, Philadelphia, Miami and in the Mid-West. Meanwhile, he is also preparing for his birthday party, Birthnite Flossment, which will be held on October 31 in Philadelphia.

Luciano’s trial set for February 2010

Reggae’s self-proclaimed Messenger, Luciano, who is charged for harboring a wanted man, has his $60,000.00 bail bond extended when he appeared in court on Tuesday. He is scheduled to return to the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate’s Court for trial on February 2 next year.

In March, the singer was arrested and charged after an early morning shoot out between the police and a wanted man, Andrew “Shooty Shooty” Senior, at Luciano’s Westminster Crescent studio.

Reports are that the police went to the studio in search of Shooty Shooty who was wanted for several counts of shooting and murder. During a fierce gun battle, Shooty Shooty was killed and three police officers were injured.

Luciano was subsequently charged for harboring the fugitive. He however has maintained his innocence      as it regards to Shooty Shooty’s background and says that the wanted man was never a member of his security team, as was alleged. Posted by YardFlex a

Etana’s Mission to Motivate Youth

Often infused with messages and real-life stories, Etana’s music is credited with moving all who listen. Riveting songs like Wrong Address, Roots, Not Afraid and her latest single August Town stay true to Etana’s signature style. But beyond the soulful singer’s love of music, lies a passion to help the youth. And throughout her career, Etana has taken pride in inspiring and motivating youth through music and many other efforts. Moreover, the soulful songstress is especially vested in empowering young girls.

“I have always taken a special interest in the youth as they hold the key to the future,” says Etana sincerely. “I am particularly driven to encourage young girls since they often don’t recognise their full potential because of some of society’s stereotypical roles placed before them.”

She adds, “I want young girls to hold their heads up high and embrace their power. I typically tell them that they can do any and everything once they put their minds to it.”

Etana has regular talks with the Young Reggae Girlz, Jamaica’s Under-17 and Under-20 female soccer teams. A hit among the team members, Etana shares music and life experiences with the team and encourages the girls to respect themselves so that others can respect them. Etana indicates that a major part of “respect” comes with abstinence. Further, the artiste lets the Girlz know that it’s okay to be strong black women.

But no talk is complete with out focusing on the central theme of education. A critical component, the artiste declares, “education is the greatest way to overcome poverty and be successful.”

Motivational talks with the Reggae Girlz are just a snippet of Etana’s commitment to the youth, as she regularly visits schools through out the world. No matter where Etana is performing, she goes out of her way to visit schools in the respective area.

While the youth are too young to attend most of her performances, she brings entertainment directly to them by dropping in on surprise visits. Etana sings some of her best-known selections and intermittently motivates the classroom to pursue an education, stay focused and make good decisions. She continuously lets the classrooms know that all things are possible
with education.

In addition to these independent efforts, Etana is now a featured artiste on the RE School Tour. Recently, she commanded the standing room only crowd at the Tour’s first stop at St Andrew Technical High School.

Although she was pegged for a three-song set, the crowd’s overwhelming response made her stay to perform two more.

Throughout her set, Etana consistently delivered the message of abstinence and staying in school to the youth and thanked the teachers for helping to mold and shape the leaders of tomorrow. Etana is slated to perform on the tour each Tuesday that she is in Jamaica until the tour’s end in mid-November. Etana willingly joined the RE School Tour for a second time because it’s platform is directly in tune with her efforts involving youth.

Etana’s work involving youth is ongoing. It is the singer’s utmost goal to launch a youth-driven foundation in the future centered on the themes of education and empowerment. Plans for this foundation, which will formalise Etana’s efforts, will begin soon.

Mavado reigns at Soulja Boy show

MONTEGO BAY, ST James – Due to persistent showers, there was a two-hour delay to the start of Flettes Promotion’s fifth staging of Barefoot Party which eventually got underway here at Tropical Beach during the early hours of National Heroes’ Day.

But the late start and the no-show of two booked acts, Bounty Killer and Elephant Man, could not put a damper on the high-energy performances which characterised the show, much to the delight of the fans who braved the inclement weather to converge on the venue.

The musical treat began with Grammy-nominated American rapper, Soulja Boy, who took the stage shortly after 2:00 am and immediately connected with the audience, especially the scores of female fans, during his 30-minute stint.

Female teen-aged fans jostled at the front of the stage to get a touch of their rap idol, who unleashed his popular songs such as Tell Them, Crank it Up and Kiss You Through the Phone.

As the US rap star revved up his performance, he took off his shirt and threw it into the crowd, creating a mad rush among the young female patrons who contended for ownership of the piece of garment.

But, the spotlight was snatched by the man from the gullyside, Mavado, who hit the stage running. From the moment he was introduced by MC Miss Kitty, he had the patrons screaming as he eased into Gangsta for Life. He quickly shifted gear and ripped through Real McCoy, Touch the Road, Me Money Nuff, Money Changer and other hits from his repertoire.

Mavado, who interacted with the patrons, called for a ceasefire among supporters of his Gully outfit and the rivalling Gaza crew, as he bemoaned the recent violent passing of three of his friends.

“If you say Gaza or Gully, it don’t matter but me miss me friend them,” Mavado rued.

After making this statement the ‘Gully’ god again went on a lyrical onslaught, reeling off Again and Again, Fall Rain Fall, Hope and Pray, House Cleaning, among others.

Mavado made way for his perennial rival, Vybz Kartel, who entered to wild cheers and got the crowd in a frenzy, scoring with Money fe Spend, Gal a Wha me do You and others from his collection.

However, his performance seemingly ran out of steam when he teamed up with female sidekick Gaza Indu. The lyrical master never regained enough momentum before the exhausted patrons, some who turned out from as early as 8:00 pm on Sunday, started to leave the venue.

Earlier, queen of the dancehall Lady Saw gave a commendable and mature performance, scoring with Walk Out, Chat to mi Back, among others.

The queen of the dancehall then introduced Beenie Man, the king of the dancehall who, as usual, reeled off his many hits while parading his great showmanship, to a warm reception from the audience. He used the opportunity to introduce Kitty Paw, Classical and his daughter Baby Trish and son Hypit; and Tadius, another infant. They all gave good accounts of themselves.

Earlier, Flippa Mafia who entered after the departure of Soulja Boy had the crowd rocking, especially with Title and Tell Me Say Kill Him. The patrons scrambled for a wad of $1000 notes which he scattered into the crowd.

In the meantime, Junior Barnes, executive director of Flette Promotion, disclosed that no-shows Elephant Man became ill and could not make it while Bounty Killer had “private issues”. Barnes, however, disclosed that both artistes had agreed to perform at a promotion he has scheduled for Saturday, December 12, at Pier One, Montego Bay.

He noted that already Mavado, Lady Saw and Flippa Mafia have all been booked to perform alongside Bounty and Elephant Man on the December show.

Tosh’s popularity waning?

Iconic artiste less popular online than Kartel and Mavado

By Steven Jackson Observer staff reporter

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The relevance of reggae legend Peter Tosh may be waning, as deejays usurp his online popularity and position on the charts.

The late Peter Tosh, who would have celebrated his 65th birthday last Sunday – October 18, is arguably the most important reggae star after the late Bob Marley, but while Marley dominates the charts and has an incomparable online popularity, this eludes Tosh.

Dancehall stars Vybz Kartel and Mavado have since April this year usurped Tosh in terms of Internet searches – a measure of popularity. In previous years it was the reverse. The Sunday Observer utilized Google Trends which compared as a ratio, the search activity for each artiste over time. Currently, for every 100 searches for Vybz Kartel there were 63 for Tosh. Mavado has an advantage over Tosh of two more searches per 100. These two deejays are the latest to usurp Tosh following Sizzla, Shaggy, Sean Paul or Damian Marley. Conversely, Bob Marley is so popular online that for every 100 searches for Marley there are 26 for Sean Paul and three for Tosh. Despite the fall in dominancez, Tosh is still comparatively very popular and towers over most other reggae and dancehall stars. He is three searches more popular than Beenie Man per 100 and is three times more popular online than Bounty Killer, Dennis Brown and Beres Hammond. Hammond however is more popular in New York.

Tosh currently has no album charting on Billboard, while Marley has one album in the top 10. Tosh has never scored a number one album on Billboard’s Reggae albums chart according to Billboard data. His best result was number 4 in 2000 with Scrolls of the Prophet: The Best of Peter Tosh.

Tosh, however, has a remastered album, The Best of Peter Tosh 1978-1987, which is currently number 2 in Greece on the iTunes Reggae albums chart. Tosh does not chart elsewhere on iTunes Reggae albums charts which lists 22 countries. Comparatively, Marley’s Legend album tops iTunes Reggae albums in 19 of the 22 countries listings including: Greece, US, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Australia, Belgium, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Dancehall stars Vybz Kartel and Mavado have since April this year usurped Tosh in terms of internet searches – a measure of popularity

Tosh’s family, according to overseas media reports, is establishing an official website www.officialpetertosh.com in commemoration of his 65th birthday this year. The Sunday Observer attempted unsuccessfully to contact Tosh estate for comment. Also Dr Omar Davies, former minister of finance and Tosh scholar, did not respond to queries up to print.

The last time Tosh charted on Billboards Reggae albums chart was in 2001 and his influence on the charts has waned over the decade. His 1997 album Honorary Citizen peaked at number 5, Scrolls of the Prophet: The Best of Peter Tosh’ peaked at 4 in 2000, Live at the One Love Peace Concert peaked at 12 in 2000, Live and Dangerous Live in Boston peaked at 12 in 2001, Super Hits peaked at 7 in 2002.

Reggae: a bridge between worlds

Says Swiss historian, journalist, producer

By Basil Walters Observer staff reporter

It’s hard to explain, how the Reggae scene in Switzerland today is dominated by roots and cultural artistes of the 70s, whose message is heavily focused on an afrocentric world view and highly critical of a Eurocentric way of life and belief system. This is no less puzzling for visiting Swiss music historian, journalist and record producer Marc Ismail, who was hard-pressed to explain how a country like Switzerland, with an almost 100 per cent white population, embraces a music that by and large extols virtues of Rastafari.

Another revelation from Ismail is that as far as Reggae is concerned, there is no generation gap in terms of Reggae among his country’s seven million inhabitants. The acts that are big in Switzerland, touring there sometimes twice per year, include Burning Spear, Max Romeo, Toots, Israel Vibrations. There is also home to the legendary Lee Scratch Perry.

“The most popular reggae artistes in Switzerland and in Europe are the 70s roots artistes, the most militant Rasta artistes. And this is something very interesting to study, because you think the artistes that sing about love would be the more popular…,” Ismail argued.

“But no,” he stressed, “the artistes that sing about repatriation, His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie, slavery and their forefathers are the most popular ones. Those young people (in Switzerland), their forefathers were not taken from Africa, so they don’t have any reason to repatriate…or singing about life in the ghetto, there is no ghetto in Switzerland. Some people have a hard life, but nothing compares to what people are experiencing here in Jamaica. It may sound strange but the music with the most impact is the roots music. And the artistes realize that and they have to perform the same songs again and again.”

Ismail was in Jamaica for a presentation organised by the Department of Literatures in English in association with the Institute of Caribbean Studies at UWI.

Speaking under the theme, It a Go Dread Inna Switzerland: Reggae Music as a Bridge between Worlds, the record producer, with a passion for Jamaican dub music, explained how Wayne Smith’s Sleng Teng, brought about a digital evolution in Switzerland to the point where it created a divide among the fans. For while some were catching on to the new sound, others were slow in terms of their appreciation of it.

Added he; “.there would be one part of the audience that would love that new style, still listening and wanting to know what’s going on in Jamaica to get the newest music and to follow the evolution. Then the other part of it is some who didn’t understand this change and were very disappointed of it because they had discovered first roots reggae played by musicians and to them it ought to stay that way…”

Notwithstanding, even though to some extent, dancehall music sparked a lot of interest, it is confined mainly to dances where it is being played heavily. But when it comes to live performances it is the vintage roots and culture artistes that are on top of things.

“Now in 2009 in Switzerland we have 15 bands that play mostly roots reggae, some of them play dancehall too, some play ska because ska is very big in Germany,” Ismail noted.

“…..Over the past four to five years,” he goes on, “we are experiencing a very strong revival with very young listeners. This struck me when I was here two years ago. I celebrated my 30th birthday here in Kingston and I was very lucky because there was a show with artistes I love like Ken Boothe, the Cables, Leroy Sibbles, Pat Kelly. And I was sitting there looking around and the audience, I would say, average age, was 50/60 years old. If you take the very same show to Switzerland the audience would be 20 years old. Because it doesn’t have anything to do with generation it just that, it’s not their parents’ music, it is their music even if they are 15…so the same people in the same age, would go and see Vybz Kartel and Mavado and their friends would go and see Ken Boothe.”

Switzerland’s introduction to reggae came during the ska explosion in England in the late 70s, via the 2 Tone era, Ismail said. 2 Tone Records was an English label that released mostly ska and reggae-influenced music with a punk rock and pop music overtone. Within the history of ska music, it is classified as its second wave.

“And to many of them (Swiss fans) ska was the English side of reggae, because at the same time reggae was exploding, was 2 Tone that came from England with a ska revival 15 years after ska ruled Jamaica but then people thought it had been created in England,” Ismail explained.

“So it was a great discovery for them to realize that actually ska was the grandfather of this genre of music, reggae. And after the ska they discovered another wonderful style between ska and reggae that was rock steady,” he added.

Sonia Pottinger – a true Jamaican musical heroine

By Basil Walters staff reporter

Sunday, October 25, 2009

On the heels of National Heroes Day, Jamaica’s renowned female music producer, Sonia Pottinger, OD, triumphed in the Supreme Court, which ruled on Wednesday that she is the rightful owner of the famed Treasure Isle record catalogue.

The highest court of the land was convinced that this collection of recorded music, one of the richest in Jamaica’s history, originally belonging to legendary producer Arthur Stanley ‘Duke’ Reid, was sold to her in 1975. The Honorable Justice E Brown dismissed other claims to the contrary, including that of Anthony Reid, son of the late Duke Reid, as well as that of other notable producers.

Given that legal victory, one cannot help but ponder just what message Pottinger was sending when she named the various labels she created as SEP (Sonia E Pottinger), Gayfeet, High Note and Glory Records.

The grand dame of Jamaican music who in February was honoured at the Excellence in Music, and Entertainment (EME) Awards, has been experiencing success since she opened her Tip Top Records Shop in 1965.

From that year, the widow of the late Lyndon Pottinger – himself a record producer – was the matriarch of the local music industry until the mid-1980s. During the rocksteady to early Reggae periods she produced music for some of reggae’s finest artistes beginning with her release of Every Night by the duo, Joe White and Chuck.

For Yesterday’s Notes, that marked the start of Sonia Pottinger’s prolific era of hits that gave us gayfeet (for dancing) such as The Whip by the Ethiopians, Delano Stewart and the Melodians’ Swing And Dine, as well as a slew of others from Ken Boothe, Alton Ellis, Marcia Griffiths, Phyllis Dillon, Culture, Bob Andy, U Roy, Big Youth and Toots and the Maytals.

Almost on the eve of her victory in the Supreme Court, this ‘musical heroine’ struck a high note when she landed an online distribution deal with the US-based Independent Online Distribution Alliance (IODA). The deal will see her musical treasures being distributed worldwide distribution through IODA’s network of digital retail outlets, mobile retailers and subscription services.

This will pave the way for more glory to Sonia E Pottinger as under the three-tier agreement, IODA will distribute the songs through Notable Music which represents her own High Note and Treasure Isle Records.

As early as next year, Notable Music will re-release her entire catalogue of Tip Top reggae music. What a glorious reward for Jamaica’s first female record producer. Observer

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