Stan E Smith 2010 Entertainment News & Reggae Report
November 7th – 13th 2010
Photos of Reggae icons on exhibition in New York
A collection of portraits, performance and personal shots by photographer Kim Gottlieb-Walker are now on exhibition in New York. Through her photos, Gottlieb-Walker charts the rise of reggae with an unparalleled insight into the genre’s most iconic artists.
The images were captured in Jamaica and Southern California in the mid 1970s and many of them will go on display for the first time.
This collection of powerful and pivotal pictures features Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Heptones, Inner Circle and Jacob Miller, Jimmy Cliff, Junior Murvin, Toots and the Maytals, George Harrison, Burning Spear and Third World. The exhibition will close on November 18.
BOB MARLEY AND THE GOLDEN AGE OF REGGAE
Bob Marley and the Golden Age of Reggae [Titan Books, October 2010, $29.95/£24.99] is a new book of rare and largely unpublished pictures to some of the greatest years of Bob Marley’s career, and the history of reggae and dub music.
Through portraits, performance and personal shots, photographer Kim Gottlieb-Walker charts the rise of reggae with an unparalleled insight into the genre’s most iconic artists. Captured in Jamaica in the mid 1970s, never before collected and most never before published, this collection of powerful and pivotal pictures features Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Heptones, Inner Circle and Jacob Miller, Jimmy Cliff, Jr Murvin, Toots and The Maytals, George Harrison, Burning Spear and Third World.
Featuring a foreword from Hollywood filmmaker and former Rolling Stone journalist Cameron Crowe, this deluxe hardback collection also includes commentary from Island Records’ Jeff Walker, and founding editor of The Beat magazine, Roger Steffens.
Sales of Gregory Isaacs’s music down
The sales of the music of late reggae icon Gregory Isaacs are returning to normality following a five day rise in online popularity which surpassed Jay Z and The Black Eyed Peas.
The only top 10 album currently charting for the singer is Gregory Isaacs RIP (Reggae in Peace) charting at #5 in France on the iTunes Reggae Albums chart. He isn’t on Billboard Reggae albums nor within the top10 on Amazon indicating that sales have attenuated as it is linked with charting.
A day after his passing, fans rocketed his music catalogue to chart 17 times in the top 10 spread amongst seven countries including US, UK, France, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. The most popular album was Night Nurse which is also his signature single.
Digital sales are significant as it accounts for over one-third of global music sales and iTunes is the dominant online music store followed by Amazon.
Isaacs died at approximately 4:00 am Monday October 25 in London, succumbing to lung cancer. The artiste is said to have died peacefully surrounded by his family.
Up to five days after his death Isaacs had higher online search results than popular deejay Sean Paul, rap mogul Jay Z, legendary singer Bob Marley, popular pop group The Black Eyed Peas and popular rapper 50 Cent; according to Google Trends which compiles search data for specific key words over periods of time. His popularity however was less than rapper Kanye West and pop singer Justin Bieber.
South Florida Dancehall and Reggae Music Awards
The South Florida Dancehall and Reggae Music Awards aka the SoFlo Caribbean Dancehall Awards will launches its third Annual Ceremony with 13 new categories added to honor the best in Dancehall and Reggae Music
The ceremony will be held on Sunday, March 20, 2011 at 7pm at the Hollywood Central Performing Arts Theater 1770 Monroe Street Hollywood, FL 33020.
The South Florida Dancehall & Reggae Music Awards, the brain child of non-profit organization, Single Mothers of America, was designed to acknowledge and honor the accomplishments and contributions of entertainers and entrepreneurs of the Reggae & Dancehall arena.
Broadcasting Commission wants payola a criminal offence In move aimed at updating and modernizing Jamaica’s Electronic Media Policy, Dr Hopeton Dunn, and the chairman Jamaica Broadcasting Commission, announced at a press conference in Jamaica last week that the commission would be recommending that payola be a criminal offence under new regulatory amendments now before the Jamaican Cabinet.
Payola is deeply engrained in radio and television industry on the island, staff that supports payola could find themselves in prison if government accepts a proposal from the Broadcasting Commission to have the practice criminalized.
The move is designed to encourage the broadcasting companies to a strong stand against the corrupt practice of payola.” The main point … is that it should not be tolerated…it should be severely sanctioned…including a criminal offence as well as financial sanctions.” Dr Dunn said.
Alaine Signs Endorsement Deal with Telecom Giant LIME
Reggae singer Alaine who recently started her own record label 1Thirty1 Records, is making more strides with a deal with LIME. The You Are Me singer is now officially part of the LIME family, as she recently signed a lucrative endorsement deal with the telecoms giant. Apart from being an ambassador for the brand, Alaine will also be featured in the company’s advertising campaigns and billboards.
No clashes at Sting 2010 – Organizers promoting unity at Boxing Day event
Promoter of the annual Boxing Day event, Sting, Isaiah Laing says there will be some great reasons for patrons to come out to this year’s show. “It will be something really special to see,” he noted.
Known is for its many memorable clashes and violence, Sting this year, promoter Isaiah Laing said will be built on unity, “there will be no clash, this year we might have a powerful collab(oration).”
He noted that no expense will be spared on security and that this year will be no different. He gave a firm promise “we can’t afford to compromise on this.”.
This year show will host artiste performing in six segments: 13 Bad Girls of Sting, Comedy Hour, Spotlight, Disc Jocks, Starlight and 13 Warriors of Sting.
Names announced for 13 Bad Girls are Ce’Cile, Pamputtae and Lisa Hyper; Comedy Hour will feature the comedic talent such as Twin of Twins, Food Kartel and Tanto Blacks. The Spotlight segment will feature artistes Nesbeth, Zamunda and Singer Jah as well as upcoming talent.
Laing said further details will be released at the Event press launch on November 23, as with regard to other segments.
Laing says he has taken note of the many complaints that were lodged regarding last year’s staging such as the show being too drawn out. Laing stated that once the prime acts start making their way on stage in the category dubbed 13 Warriors of Sting, it will go right through to the end.
Romain Virgo completes US tour
Romain Virgo completed his first extensive one-month tour of North America along with Capleton and Munga Honorable. Playing dates in New York, Connecticut, Boston, North Carolina, Chicago, Kentucky, Colorado, New Mexico and other cities. The tour Romain Virgo
was promotion for his self-titled debut my album, developing a fans base while introducing them his music.
He singer returned to Jamaica to shoot the video for his single ‘Taking You Home’, on Donovan Germain’s Big Stage riddim.After releasing the video, Virgo left on November 24, for his second one month tour of Europe.
Stevie Face to shine brighter with new album
Reggae singer Stevie Face continues to steadily rebuild his career after his career was put on hold a few years earlier by a car accident. Over the last two-and-a-half years, Face has built a success repertoire of hits of cover and original songs with such tunes as ‘Coming Home Tonight’, ‘Tell It Like It Is’, ‘In The Living Years’ and his latest chart-topper, ‘Thank You For Loving Me.’
The smooth-voiced lovers’ rock singer’s music has seen success is not only in Jamaica but internationally. In England he is currently ranked as one of the top reggae singers as his popularity continues to grow in Canada, the USA and the rest of Europe.
His recent performances at Richie Stephen’s album launch and HITZ 92 FM’s big road party, ‘Party Function Inna Junction’, which left the patrons, especially the ladies, begging for more are still talk of the town in Jamaica.
Stevie has several upcoming shows in France, Canada, England and Holland.
Face and his manager/producer Paul ‘Computer Paul’ Henton is currently in the Boot Camp studio recording his third album slated for release in the first quarter of 2011.
‘Thank You For Loving Me’, his latest video hit is holding down #1 on CVM TV’s HIT LIST Reggae Count Down. His track ‘Baby Come To Me’, w/ Florida-based songstress Fiona, a re-make of Patti Austin and James Ingram 1983 R&B hit is also enjoying strong rotation play and is also featured on the R&B Hits Reggae Style Compilation distributed by VP Records.
PREZIDENT BROWN – TOURING THE WESTERN U.S., CANADA AND HAWAII – MARCH / APRIL 2011
In April 2010 Prezident Brown did a special combination tour, co-billing with the Wailing Souls. The tour was a great success. People loved both of the acts. Over the summer of 2010, Prezident Brown also performed on the Reggae on the River festival, and numerous other shows on his own.
Last summer, 2009, in support of his Common Prosperity release, Prezident Brown performed at a number of key festivals including the Reggae Rising festival in Piercy, California, the Eugene Celebration in Eugene, Oregon and the Monterey Bay Reggae festival in Monterey, California, all within a western U.S. tour.
Prezident Brown is a substantial musical messenger who has knowledge to share in his songs. He is well loved and respected internationally. Prez is consistently a hard working artist, who keeps performing live and spreading out his fan base and putting out new CD’s that bring truth and light to his listeners. Prez has a more subtle, understanding character than most of the other contemporary reggae artists, and his music carries more of a sincere message of love and unity.
Prezident Brown is a champion of the new roots and reality consciousness reggae movement that entertains, informs and inspires. Prez’s latest release entitled Common Prosperity was produced by himself, his bass player Devon Bradshaw and his guitsy, Ian Coleman. Ian Coleman, known as “Beezy”, also works with Ziggy Marley. Other of his earlier releases are called To Jah Only, Generation Next and Prezident Brown – Showcase Volume One, Two, Three and 4 Health and Strength.
“It’s a rough road, as I trod along. Guide I oh Jah with thy mighty hand. It’s a rough road and I have to make my footsteps sure” chants Prezident Brown.
Prezident Brown is steadily sacrificing within the music business, to bring his powerful music and message to the people of the world. He is currently in Ocho Rios, Jamaica working on his next CD project. People are looking forward to seeing him again live on this upcoming March 2011 tour.
SONIA POTTINGER PASSES
(Jamaica Gleaner) Sonia Pottinger, who blazed a trail as reggae’s most successful female music producer, died Wednesday evening at her St Andrew home. She was 79 years old.
David Plummer, the youngest of Pottinger four children, told The Gleaner that his mother had suffered from Alzheimer’s disease in recent years. He did not say if it caused her death.
Born in St Thomas, Pottinger was introduced to the music business by her husband L.O. Pottinger, an engineer who had relative success as a producer in the mid-1960s. She went on her own during that period, scoring a massive hit with Every Night, a ballad by singer Joe White.
Pottinger had considerable success in the late 1960s with her Tip Top, High Note and Gay Feet labels. She produced Errol Dunkley’s debut album,
Presenting Errol Dunkley, and hit songs by vocal groups like The Melodians (Swing and Dine), The Gaylads (Hard to Confess) and Guns Fever by The Silvertones.
In 1974, Pottinger bought the Treasure Isle catalogue and operations of pioneer producer Arthur ‘Duke’ Reid. She had even more success in the era of roots-reggae, producing chart-toppers by Marcia Griffiths (Hurting Inside and Stepping Out of Babylon) and Culture (Natty Never Get Weary).
Errol Brown, Reid’s nephew, was engineer for many of Pottinger productions in the 1970s. He said she was no pushover in the studio.
“She loved the music … loved it too much,” Brown said. “She knew what she wanted in the studio, and had a lot of respect for the musicians.”
Musicologist and sound-system operator, Winston ‘Merritone’ Blake, said Pottinger was a sharp businesswoman in a male-dominated field.
BUJU IS FREE AT LAST!!
Free at last. Reggae superstar artiste Buju Banton, after close to a year in a United States jail, has been granted bail in immigration court. He had been incarcerated at the Pinellas County lock-up in Florida.
Banton was offered bail with tough conditions following a hung jury in his gun and drugs trial. As part of his bail condition, Banton will have to wear a tracking device and will be under 24-hour surveillance from a security company. He has also signed an extradition waiver and will not be allowed to leave the Middle District of Southern District of Florida until his trial begins.
Buju Banton cannot leave his home unless he is visiting a doctor and his lawyer. He must also submit himself to urine tests to prove that he is not using banned substances
J’can lock-out – Foreigners dominating Jamaican music form
Local acts missing on international dub charts
DUB music — a psychedelic reggae form — is charting in 14 territories on the reggae charts but Jamaican bands are not riding this wave.
It represents another Jamaican genre under-represented by locals which translates into lost revenue and acclaim for the industry.
“Europe and other countries have taken our roots music and are studying and learning it,” Uprising Roots drummer Black Kush told Splash, adding that Jamaican youths concentrate on studying dancehall and US pop. “A few years from now no Jamaican youth will even know about dub.”
None of the dub bands or compilation albums charting are Jamaican. Even, Gregory Isaacs In Dub album was produced by the UK duo Mafia & Fluxy.
Dancehall-reggae artistes launch merchandise online
As more Caribbean artistes branch out into merchandising, a few of dancehall-reggae’s best have started an internet-based entrepreneurial venture in the United States, reggaemerch.com.
The newly launched online store hosts a range of dancehall reggae street gear from Busy Signal, Gramps Morgan and Bunji Garlin with a slew of other artistes including Etana, Konshens and the Alliance brand to follow the fast growing trend.
Also available on the reggae online store are lifestyle brands Repja and Cyclothing. Reggaemerch.com inventory currently consists mainly of t-shirts mainly, but the online inventory will increase shortly to offer a wider variety of products.
Reggaemerch.com ships to more than 190 countries worldwide and offers the option to pay through Western Union for those who do not hold a credit card. Posted by YardFlex
Cen’C Love gets set to drop album
For singer Cen’C Love the American Born daughter of Bunny Wailer was destined to strum her guitar and get involved in the music business. , “I’ve always known music is in my blood, but the music bug really bit me when I got my first guitar in high school.”
Raised between Kingston and Atlanta Cen’C attended Dekalb School of the Arts, a performing arts school in Atlanta, Georgia where she had musical training throughout high school, and vocal training from one of Jamaica’s own classical vocalists, Dawn-Marie James. While attending school in Atlanta she studied dance, drama and writing.
Coming into her own as a stage performer was not an easy task, but according to Cen’C she overcame shyness by embracing her “unique sound and creating more masterpieces helped me to deal with stage fright,” she shared.
“As a new artiste, sometimes I worry if the audience will feel me the first time around, recording is the easy part,” she continued.
According to Cen’C, her father’s musical influence did not just reach out to her alone. “My father has influenced me by influencing the whole reggae music business. The Wailers helped set the pace for reggae itself, and my father has transitioned through many generations. He respects me as an artiste, and I respect him even more as a father of reggae and a living legend,” she said unable to hide the note of pride in her voice.
However, as much as she admires and respects her dad, Cen’C is all about creating her own space in the music industry.
“My music is ‘now music’. It represents this time and space where the world is very small, and everyone rubs off on each other. It is like this melting pot, and reggae is home. In a sense I would call it soul music, because it connects with many souls,” she explained.
Cen’C doesn’t believe in boundaries and as such, she is working hard at accomplishing in the various fields of work. She is a musician, singer, songwriter, fashion designer and a visual artist.
For Cen’C Love art is a lifestyle. For most of her summers she travelled around the US with her fashion designer/dancer mom, attending art and trade shows where she received some of the inspiration that she now applies to her work.
Cen’C has performed on stages in Jamaica, Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York and Amsterdam. In Atlanta at the 2008 Natural Hair Show and at the Centennial Park Wednesday Wind-down in July 08, she honed her talent in front of very appreciative audiences. She appeared at the Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam 08 and at the Reggae Awards in New York in the spring of 2009. Cen’C is preparing to release her 12-track album, Love Letter, the single Casanova and its accompanying music video.
Taking it to YouTube
Gentleman and Chris Martin rack up views on Internet
German reggae artiste Gentleman and Jamaican rising star Chris Martin’s single To the Top surpassed four million views on YouTube — the popular Internet site, making it amongst the most watched dancehall videos ever.
The rapid growth in the popularity of the track, amassing some 10,000 views a day to surpass the four million mark and beat Gyptian’s Hold You, the nation’s top summer song.
It’s the highest viewed song for both artistes, and is promotion for the single which is currently at #1 in Luxembourg, # 4 in Austria and # 2 in Switzerland on iTunes Reggae Singles charts.
Some of the most popular dancehall videos include Sean Paul and Rihanna’s Break It Off at 32 million, Sean Paul’s So fine at 23 million, Shaggy’s It Wasn’t Me at 14 million, Damian Marley’s Welcome To Jamrock at five million, Vybz Kartel and Spice’s Ramping Shop at 4.5 million.
Gentleman is Germany’s most popular deejay based on his constant chart presence. Martin, who previously gained fame via the popular television talent show, had kept media presence by aligning with the label and management team of international reggae star, Shaggy. Both artistes will tour Europe starting November in support of respective albums.
Martin’s self-titled album features Busy Signal, Assassin, Shaggy, Lady Saw, Mr Easy, and D Major.
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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)