November 14th – 20th 2010
Gregory Isaacs Substance Free
The late Gregory Isaacs’ latest released album, Substance Free (Vizion Sounds label) was, according to published reports done in 15 days straight. Isaacs’ family has requested that the track ‘My Salvation’ be Gregory’s anthem on Jamaica radio stations, as well as being played during the state funeral to be held at the National Indoor Sport Arena in Jamaica November 20th.
Gregory recorded 1 track per day and each track in a single take. He also is reported to have kept his promise and commitment to the family to go substance free during the entire recording period, no substances of any kind. Gregory commented on completion of the album that it’s his first album without a love song.
Richie Stephens’s debuts on Billboard
Singer Richie Stephens earned his first ever charting album on any Billboard album chart with his latest CD Reggae Evolution which debuts at 39 on the Billboard Reggae album chart.
The 16 track Reggae Evolution features collaborations with Maxi Priest, Beres Hammond, Saba, Assassin and Mutabaruka. Stephens has only charted once in 1993 with Body Slam w/ Patra on the Billboard R&B Singles chart. Body Slam peaked at # 83.
At the time Stephens was signed to Motown Records. He also sang lead on British group Soul II Soul’s 1992 single Joy, which peaked at # 12 on Billboard’s R&B singles chart.
Monty Alexander Presents Reflections on Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra
CaribPR Wire, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. Nov. 8, 2010:
Renowned Jamaican-born jazz pianist, Monty Alexander, will reflect on the legendary Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra at a New York City show. Alexander, Jamaica’s acclaimed Commander of Distinction, will present his “King Cole and Mr. S” reflections from November 23-25th at the legendary Birdland Jazz Club, 315 West 44th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues in Manhattan. Show times for the three night shows will be at 8:30 and 11 p.m., respectively. Of course Alexander will also pay tribute to his roots by including some of his upbeat reggae-themed pieces for patrons attending the shows.
Tony Anthony Tops Chart for the First Time in Jamaica
Canadian based multi-award winning Jamaican reggae singer Tony Anthony, is living his local dream as his song “Torn” is currently #1 on Richie B’s Top 25 Reggae Singles charts on Hot 102FM in Jamaica, and #2 on Stampede’s Streets Charts.
His debut album “Million Chances” number 2 on Richie B’s Top 10 album charts, “Torn”, is the first single released from and for the past few months has been on regular rotation on radio stations across the island, so much that it is also sits. “Torn” has also gained popularity in other countries; it is now # 15 on the Caribbean top 30 music charts and spent 8 weeks at number one on Canada’s Rebel Vibez top 10 charts.
The album is also creating a huge buzz worldwide; it just made its debut on the South Florida and New York reggae album charts and has garnered a lot of interest in Europe. Earlier this year the album debuted at number five in the Netherlands’ reputed Reggae Vibes magazine Top 50 recommended albums. The second single released from the album “Bad News” is already receiving regular airplay and great reviews.
Gyptian 2010 Soul Train Award Best Reggae Artist-
The Soul Train Awards, like the UK’s MOBO (Music of Black Origin) honors the best in Black music and entertainment. Sean Paul won the first Best Reggae Artist category award in 2009. The Nominees in the Best Reggae Artist category award were Gyptian, Damian Marley, Gramps Morgan, Mr. Vegas and Vybez Kartel. Gyptian won the award for Best Reggae Artist at the 2010 Centric Soul Train Awards. The win was not surprising as Gyptian has been the most successful Reggae/dancehall artist in the US this year and he also received momentum from winning UK’s MOBO award in the same category a few weeks ago. Gyptian is the odds-on favorite to win the Reggae Grammy.
The 2010 Soul Train Awards was taped at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre in Atlanta on November 10 and will be aired on BET at 9 p.m. ET on Sunday, November 28. Gyptian also performed live at the awards ceremony.
Vegas Performs at Train Awards Pre-show Concert –
Best Reggae Artist Nominee Mr. Vegas performed at first annual ‘Soulfusion Soul’ the official pre-show concert for Soul Train Awards’ on November 9 at the Atlanta Civic Center in Georgia. He shared the stage with R&B singers Erykah Badu and Chrisette Michelle along with rapper Rick Ross and Hip Hop icon Doug E Fresh.
Sean Paul Live In Concert
Sean Paul entertained a multitude of screaming Sri Lankan fans on November 13 at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium with some of his biggest hits such as ‘Gimme the light’, ‘Get busy’, ‘and Temperature.’ Source: www.dailymirror.lk
Reggae artiste Gyptian on tour in England.
Gyptian’s tour started on October 14 with him doing 17 shows in Switzerland, France, Denmark, Sweden, Luxembourg and Norway. According to Ivor Ruddock, Gyptian’s manager each concert was over 2,000, except for in Paris which had an audience of 3,000.
He did four shows in the Netherlands, one show with Mary J. Blige in London at the LG Arena, before that at the O2 Arena in London. Reports state that after Gyptian was added to the line-up, there was a significant increase in ticket sales, 18,000 and 23,000, respectively, at each venue. Gyptian, who did sets of 25 minutes at each venue, performed songs such as I Can Feel Your Pain, Beautiful Lady, his new single Nah Let Go, and his international hit single Hold Yuh.
Gyptian’s opening act former ‘Scare Dem Crew’ member reggae singer Nitty Kutchie, has also been doing well on the tour. Etana joined both for six dates. He is in Africa from November 23 for one week, where he will be performing in Tanzania, Nigeria and Kenya.
Mélange of music
Jamaican-American Reggae fusion singer and rapper Sean Kingston won the hearts of Bangaloreans on his four-city tour across India. The 20 plus-year old-prodigy had the Bangalore crowd screaming for more as he performed to a packed audience at Hard Rock Café in a concert organized by Bacardi.
The enthusiastic Kingston, a Miami, Florida born and Kingston, Jamaica raised young man said of his the first time in India, “India’s music is quite popular and is a great place for young artistes to come up. Personally it feels good to come here and do shows for crowds with so much energy.”
The young boy wonder also had the music vibe in his blood being the grandson of reputed Jamaican reggae producer Lawrence Lindo. “Singing since I was six, I found life taking me into the realm of music and it was no surprise that my family supported me all through,” he recalled.
Serani’s Skip to My Luu hits Hot 97
Serani’s dance floor smash “Skip to My Luu,” featuring Ding Dong and Razz n Biggy, has been added to daytime rotation on America’s #1 radio station HOT 97 in New York.
This is Serani’s third single in the last 2 years to make it to mainstream daytime radio in the US with Billboard-charting; the other two were No Games and She Loves Me. Crossover stations in New York, Connecticut, Philly, Boston and Miami are all showing the record some love.
Skip to My Luu was #1 in Jamaica earlier this year and still is a staple at dances across the globe. It crossed into American clubs over the last couple of months and was then picked up by US radio. Skip to My Luu was produced by top tier production trio DASECA.
Jay Z and Rihanna talk about Vybz Kartel
Jay-Z admits that he wanted Vybz Kartel on his last album but couldn’t make it work. In an interview on the Cipha Sounds and Pete Rosenberg podcast Juan Epstein, Jay-Z admitted that he had dancehall star Vybz Kartel in the studio during the recording of his last album Blueprint 3 but failed to get a song that worked.
Jay had him in his Roc The Mic studio; they tried three songs and were going to spend the rest of the day trying to work out which songs on BP3 Vybz would have sounded best on. During the interview Vybz Kartel was described as the Eminem of Jamaica. Meanwhile on the Ed Lover Show (Power 1051 FM) they were curious to know which artistes from the Caribbean Rihanna would love to do collaboration with at the moment. Rihanna quickly replied…“I love Vybz Kartel, love Sizzla too and Beres Hammond.
Nicki Minaj Recording New Song with Rihanna
Nicki Minaj who has already worked with Christina Aguilera, Trey Songz, Will.i.Am, Jay Sean, and Sean Kingston is adding Rihanna to the long list of artists that she has collaborated with.
Nicki is teaming up with Rihanna for Nicki’s upcoming album. They recorded a track titled ‘Fly’ for Nicki’s album ‘Pink Friday’. Nicki wrote on her Facebook page, “I wanted to work with Rihanna for a long time. I’m very proud of her accomplishments; especially since she was born on an island like me.”
NEW MICHAEL JACKSON ALBUM DUE DEC. 13
A collection of new Michael Jackson recordings, simply titled ‘Michael’, will be released on December 13 by Epic Records in conjunction with the Estate of Michael Jackson. A teaser for the project appeared on MichaelJackson.com and was followed by the premiere of the single ‘Breaking News’ on November 8. The never-before-heard song was recorded by the King of Pop in New Jersey in 2007.The cover artwork, an oil painting by artist Kadir Nelson, displays some of the key moments and important people throughout the late legend’s life. Source: www.rap-up.com
Beenie Man & Friends Features 8 Collaborations
Dancehall maestro Beenie Man has tackled a new, and possibly his most ambitious musical project to date Beenie Man and Friends. Beenie will be writing, arranging and co-producing every song on the riddim; he will also be performing on every song on the riddim,”
Riding the success of his hit singles, Rum and Red Bull w/ Fambo and I’m Okay, Beenie is hoping to re-define his legacy as a leader and innovator in the world of dancehall.
He has recruited the dancehall stars on the musical project and produced eight great combination singles, each featuring Beenie Man, with Khago, D’Angel, Ding Dong, Fambo, Deva Bratt, Kantana, Versatile, Cee Gee and Laden.
According to The Doctor “No other artiste in the business has ever tried anything like this before. I am proud.” “The only thing I haven’t done is build the riddim, which was done by Danny Browne.” There is a video for the single ‘Time of My Life’ w/ D’Angel, and a medley video with all the others, ‘I already have the concept in my head, it is going to be sick,” he said, laughing.
“It is something I had always wanted to do, but I just didn’t have the courage to do it at the time. So I just sat down and did it and it all came together. Right now, ah MD time now, Gaza done gone across the world already, now ah MD time,” Beenie Man said.
He has been trying to convince Bounty Killer to participate in the project, but the “logistics of getting him to voice the song is hard.” Serani voice already, Mavado agree to voice, Beenie says ‘it is up to Bounty, Elephant and Kartel if they want to be on it’. His son, Marco Dean lends his voice to the instrumental.
In the meantime, the project has already been released and the artiste says it is getting excellent rotation on radio. Beenie Man is scheduled for a two-week tour of Africa in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa and back to Jamaica on December 1. After that he has a three-city swing through Canada.
Peter Tosh album coming in 2011
The estate of reggae icon Peter Tosh, ‘The Black Prince of Reggae’ may have lost the vote to legalize ganja in the California midterm elections but they are going ahead with plans for a new album and merchandise.
Cory Lashever, manager at Jampol Artiste Management which administers the estate said “It was something that the Tosh family supported and we got them hooked up with the Just Say Now Campaign.”
Having already decriminalized marijuana in that state, the Peter Tosh estate joined forces with key institutions and activists including the Just Say Now Campaign, FireDogLake, — a popular website, Students for Sensible Drug Policy and former police chiefs, judges, prosecutors and a former deputy attorney general hoping to persuade Californians to vote to legalize ganja in the mid-term election.
Jampol the North American- based company manages the estates of The Doors, Janis Joplin and Rick James. Jam develops and extends artiste brands via releasing documentaries, CD, remixes, websites and visuals. During the year, the estate improved Tosh’s Internet presence via the ganja campaign, a new site and social media fan pages. For 2011 the estate plans to release a Tosh album on vinyl and also online. It also plans to start selling new merchandise including T-shirts and books in order to broaden awareness in the US — the world’s largest consumer market.
Jam still sees potential in Jamaican music despite the drop in reggae sales since 2008.” Is the problem reggae or music sales in general? I don’t think it is reggae alone. The sales of recorded music are going down overall,” he said.
Baby Cham’s back in the Game
Grammy Award nominated recording artiste Cham, who has been living overseas, is set to, after being out of the spotlight for some time, make a slew of appearances at various shows this Christmas season in Jamaica.
A dancehall maestro Cham, who is known for mega hits Ghetto Story/w Alicia Keys (2006) and Babylon Boy is booked to appear on GT Christmas Reggae Extravaganza Show in St Elizabeth on Christmas day.
Cham is Santa Clause and the Grinch in one. He plans to bring the dancehall vibe and energy to the people as well as the message with my good friend Bounty Killer; they have settled their differences and are on a path to making hits in the studio once again. The Dave Kelly, Cham and Bounty Killer new studio work have some new hits including Bounty Killer’s new track, ‘The Message’. For Cham it’s going to be awesome this Christmas.
The DJ, who is currently signed to Atlantic records, explains the reasoning behind his hiatus from the music business.” Cham is not into mediocrity, so I am not the kind of deejay who is going to put out 15-20 tunes in a month, no, when we decide to work on a project my fans can know that is pure quality they are getting and not quantity.
Cham is riding high with his latest single Stronger which was recorded in Dave’s Miami studio, on (the Kid Is Back riddim), featuring Bounty Killer and Mikal Roze. He says he will be everywhere this Christmas Weddy Weddy, Passa Passa, even Sting if the money is right. Cham made a guest appearance along with former arch rival Bounty Killer recently, and ignited the Arthur Guinness concert with dazzling performances. He is currently in the US where he is promoting his latest projects.
Don Corleon Records Hits #1 in Japan with “Let’s Do it Again” (J. Boog)
Don Corleon producer for such A-list recording artists as Sean Paul, Rihanna and Vybz Kartel, has renewed his contract with BFM Digital to continue digital distribution and marketing services for his label, Don Corleon Records (DCR). BFM Digital is a leading digital music aggregator and distributor of independent music.
DCR’s relationship with BFM began in 2009 with the intent to strengthen their presence on music services outside of their already established markets of Jamaica and the U.S. By utilizing BFM’s extensive network of distribution channels throughout the World, Don Corleon Records has been able to reach consumers in new markets and open up new revenue opportunities.
IRAWMA 2011 heads to T&T
The 30th staging of the International Reggae and World Music Awards (IRAWMA) will take place in Trinidad and Tobago on May 2011.The producers of IRAWMA — Martin’s International and Associates (MIA) Board of Managers said more than twelve other countries were reportedly vying for the rights to host the event which is now in its 30th year.
According to Ephraim Martin, President of MIA, “there could be no better time for the annual IRAWMA to be hosted in T&T than next year at a time when Chutney music will be introduced as a world music category in IRAWMA. Over the years several sons and daughters of TNT were awarded at the annual IRAWMA in various cities. Some were named to the Hall of Fame/Lifetime Awards, among them Roaring Lion, Lord Kitchener, Black Stalin, Calypso Rose, David Rudder, Super Blue and Mighty Sparrow who was also named Master of the Caribbean in 2009.”
One of Trinidad’s favorite sons, Machel Montano, has been among the top winners for the past three consecutive years at IRAWMA which was held at the Apollo Theatre and York College Performing Arts Center, in New York
According to Martin, in the days ahead the nomination ballot will be issued to Caribbean/Reggae and world music experts worldwide to start their nomination process which must be returned by the January 15, 2011 deadline. In a few weeks there will be an official launch to give further details on the 30th IRAWMA.
Yendi bags new American Toyota campaign
Jamaican beauty Queen Yendi Phillips is featured in the new North American Toyota campaign, shot by film director Hype Williams. This commercial is one of several Jamaican, regional and international projects being undertaken by Yendi who was placed second at the Miss Universe in Las Vegas last August.
Phillips resume include the Pepsi Refresh commercial (the US) and the Sprite campaign (India) She’s been a special guest on the Food Network show Throw down with Bobby Flay and has been host/presenter of Movie Hang Time and Digicel’s Rising Stars in Kingston
Phillips is in hot demand globally and Yendi Phillips has been booked for appearances, event hosting, speaking engagements, commercials and film roles. She has been travelling to the wider Caribbean and the United States to complete these assignments.
Yendi was a finalist at Miss World 2007 in China, prior to her dramatic success at Miss Universe. In Sanya, China, Yendi was the only contestant to make all five fast-track competition finals. Yendi’s runway work and her covers and editorial credits include several Caribbean and international publications, such as Skywritings magazine, Caribbean Beat magazine, Woman & Home, Fair Lady, Buzz, Collage, Soul, Basia, Ocean Style among several others.
Jamaican female producer ‘The Wizard’ on Nelly Furtado’s album
Nelly Furtado is set to release an eclectic collection of remixes showcasing versions of her latest Spanish singles including Manos Al Aire, Bajo Otra Luz, Mas and Fuerte. Made to cater the tastes of DJs and Dance club fanatics, Mi Plan Remixes is sure to take over clubs and dance charts around the world. The Wizard is currently working on another remix for the pop superstar as well as production for local reggae/dancehall artistes.
Diana King on Jazz & Blues line-up, album drops 2011.
Diana King has been confirmed for the Jamaica Jazz and Blues festival next year. The singer, known for the 1990s mega hit ‘Shy Guy’, announced her inclusion on the ‘Jazz’ line-up during a reception for R&B singer Kenny ‘Babyface’ Edmonds atop the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in Kingston, Jamaica.
King’s latest album, ‘Warrior Girl’, is now only available in Japan — where she just completed an eight-show promotional tour. She stated that the album is currently being ‘tweeked’ for Jamaica and the rest of the world, with a release date set for March 2011.
She explained that Warrior Girl has been her most challenging project to date as she wrote and produced more than 100 tracks, from which she chose 20 for the album.
“Warrior Girl’ showed me that producing is not easy. I built a studio in my house and produced the album from there. There are no collaborations, it’s just me on tracks that represent how I was feeling at the time… but it gave me great joy,” King said, adding that the music on the album is everything mixed with Reggae. “That’s my style… so why change it,” she quipped.
Tune in to Stan E Smith 2010 Entertainment Reggae News Report: on Radio/internet:
WNSB Hot 91.1FM @ 2:15pm EST Sunday ‘Caribbean Connection’ w/Lady Cham 1:00pm-4:00pm streaming Live www.westindiantimes.netVibes24/7 Virginia Beach, VA.
WGUN 1010AM @ 3:00 pm EST Friday-Saturday ‘SupremeCaribRadio’ w/BarryD 2:30 pm-4:30 pm streaming Live www.biggunradio.com/ Narcross, Atlanta, GA.
WPFW 89.3 FM @ 12:30pm ETS Sunday ‘This is Reggae Music’ w/Tony Carr 12am-2:00 pm streaming Live www.wpfw.org Washington.DC.
Read Stan Evan Smith Weekly Entertainment News / Commentary & Reggae Report: Online:
Music Writer, Westindiantimes.net (Virginia Beach VA) Senior Music Writer, Jamaicans.com. Blog (seebreeze) (Fl.)
Contributing Editor, Everybodys Magazine (NYC) Music Writer, Jahworks.org (Oakland CA)