UK

Estelle Talks ‘Lovers Rock’ and Why Reggae Should Never Be Called “Tropical Music”

Estelle Talks 'Lovers Rock' and Why Reggae Should Never Be Called "Tropical Music"

100% Real Talk When Two Girls From West London Link

Estelle’s brand-spankin-new Lovers Rock (released her own label Established 1980 Inc and VP Records) has been described as the Grammy-winning UK singer’s most personal album to date. We’ve been looking forward to this one since last year, when she first told us about it. The album is not only a retelling of her parents’ love story, but also her first time tapping fully into her West Indian roots with a full-fledged reggae album, with touches of Afro-beats, dancehall and soca and features from the likes of Tarrus Riley, Chronixx, Hood Celebrityy, Kranium, and Konshens. Just don’t call the sounds “tropical” or “island pop”! Having grown up steeped in England’s reggae culture—her father produced on Louisa Mark’s debut album—Estelle is not jumping on anybody’s bandwagon, and being a West London girl she is not one to hold her tongue or to suffer fools gladly. Every time Reshma B and Estelle link up it’s 100% real talk. Don’t believe us? Check out the reasoning right now. Video After The Jump… Read more »

Music Is A Mission:
David Rodigan Speaks His Mind About Today’s Sound Clash Culture

Music Is A Mission: David Rodigan Speaks His Mind About Today's Sound Clash Culture

Will Sir RamJam’s Recent Soundclash On The Sea Be His Last?

UK radio presenter David Rodigan has been described as the “outside world’s greatest ambassador of Jamaica’s musical heritage.” He’s been honored with an MBE by the Queen of England for his contributions to British broadcasting and recently published his memoirs, entitled My Life in Reggae —”the unlikely story of an Army sergeant’s son from the English countryside who has become the man who has taught the world about Reggae.” This year David Rodigan will be touring the globe once more to celebrate his 40th year in the business. He’s cut countless dubplates and won many clashes in his time, but had largely “walked away from clashing” prior to his participation in the recent Soundclash on the Sea during the 2017 Welcome To Jamrock Reggae Cruise. In this exclusive interview, Rodigan speaks to Boomshots about the roots of sound system culture, explains the difference between dub plates and specials, shares his thoughts on the true role of selectors and DJs within the reggae industry, reflects on whether modern clash culture has “spun out of control,” and speaks frankly about where he thinks the music that now inspires so much of the mainstream is heading. Interview After The Jump…
Read more »

WATCH THIS: Chronixx “Likes” Official Music Video

WATCH THIS: Chronixx "Likes" Official Music Video

Like it or Love it, Chronixx Keeps His Culture In New Visuals
Chronixx carries us on a journey through music in the video “Likes” from his forthcoming debut album Chronology. Directed by Joachim Maquet (@alleyesonit), the video was shot in London on the UK portion of his fore-running Chronology tour. Known for his intimiate performances and high-quality visuals, this video also features scenes from the sold-out Brixton Academy show. The upcoming U.S. tour with Nas and Lauryn Hill this Fall will not be one to disappoint! Video after the jump…
Read more »

Reasoning With Estelle: “Reggae Is In My Soul”

Reasoning With Estelle: "Reggae Is In My Soul"

West London Singer Delves Deep Into Her Reggae Roots

The first time most of the world heard about Estelle Fanta Swaray, she was collaborating with Kanye West on the Grammy-winning smash “American Boy.” That song, which featured Kanye spitting his best soundboy slang—”Here comes the number-one champion sound!”—appeared on her 2008 album Shine, along with a handful of straight-up reggae tracks, like “Magnificent,” featuring Kardinall Offishall. Although she’s often described as an R&B artist, this West London girl, the daughter of a reggae session drummer, has always been as musically diverse as the city she grew up in, freely exploring genres from grime to dancehall. “Come Over,” her collab with Sean Paul showed another side of her versatility. After fielding requests for years, she’s finallyembarked on a full-on reggae album, with production by the likes of Supa Dups. Our first taste of the project, a collab with Tarrus Riley called “Love Like Ours” is nothing less than remarkable. After her surprise appearance alongside Tarrus  at Groovin’ in the Park 2017, Estelle invited Reshma B to hop inside her black SUV for  100% real interview. No subject was off-limits. Video After The Jump…

Read more »

WATCH THIS: Randy Valentine “Black Cinderella” Official Music Video

WATCH THIS: Randy Valentine "Black Cinderella" Official Music Video

Something Dark & Moody For Your VDay Viewing Pleasure

When your name is Randy Valentine, every day is Valentine’s Day. Just in case you’re not up on the young UK-based reggae singer, dude is mad versatile. Around this time last year he dropped the Radio Music mixtape displaying his skills as an MC. Today we find him in lovers rock mode on “Black Cinderella,” which sports some brand-new visuals courtesy of Dubee from Upsetta sound system, which just premiered today on Mass Appeal. Produced by Mad Professor apprentice Joe Ariwa, the tasty one-drop track off Randy Valentine’s Still Pushing EP is tailor-made for a day like today. Depending on your relationship status—single, boo’d up, or complicated—Valentine’s Day can be either a lot of pressure or just plain depressing. No matter where you stand on the holiday at this moment, this video should do you right. Video After The Jump… Read more »

WATCH THIS: A-Game “Everyday” Official Music video

WATCH THIS: A-Game "Everyday" Official Music video

In Comes Swing Ting With A Next Mad Sinting

You may recall the UK-based label Swing Ting aka “the big bad sound outta Manchester” from that Devin Di Dakta “Bubble” joint we premiered a while back. They’re back at it with another bass-heavy digital excursion pon the version. This tune features an artist known as Alexx A-Game, who got his start in the business as a member of Konshens’ touring band. A-Game dropped a mixtape in 2014 and has been steadily building a core fanbase with his uplifting soulful lyrics. He also featured on “Gangsters,” a next Swing Ting release with UK producer Famous Eno and MCs Serocee & Fox, which showcased “a rawer side to his delivery,” as Swingting’s own Balraj Samrai puts it. The new tune is livicated to “every breadwinner who ah work for the cheese and butter.” The video includes scenes from the Rooftop Dayrave party, a joint venture between Equiknoxx & Swing Ting that took place in Downtown Kingston earlier this year. In this brave new world of Brexit and Trump, the hustling can’t stop, cause from you have life you have needs. Video After The Jump…
Read more »

Popcaan Performs Live At MOBO Awards

Popcaan Performs Live At MOBO Awards

Unruly Gang Inna Glasgow

The last time Popcaan set foot in the United Kingdom, he used an OVO duplate to seal up Mixpak’s decisive victory in the Red Bull Culture Clash. Now comes news that the Unruly Boss will be performing live at the 21st Annual MOBO Awards in Glasgow, Scotland. The awards, which honor Music of Black Origin around the world, will kick off in just a few hours. This year’s Best Reggae Act nominees include Popcaan, Alkaline, Spice, Kranium, and Protoje. (Nuff respect!) Those of us who are not in the UK can pree the red carpet pon Facebook, and keep it locked to Boomshots for more updates. More Details After The Jump… Read more »

HEAR THIS: Maximum Sound “Royal Step Riddim” Megamix

HEAR THIS: Maximum Sound "Royal Step Riddim" Megamix

In Comes Frenchie With A Thing Called Roots Plus Culture

Over the past couple of decades Maximum Sound has distinguished itself as one of the more dependable modern reggae imprints when it comes to consistent high-quality music. Frenchie, the elusive producer behind the label, was born in France before relocating to the UK. His sound ranges from vintage dancehall throwbacks like the “Tin Mackerel Riddim” to heavy roots rock selections like their latest, the Royal Step—a co-production with Italo-Jamaican dubmaster Alborosie. Anchored by a Morgan Heritage joint entitled “Conscious Revolution” that’s strong enough to become a fixture of the Grammy-winning band’s live set moving forward. Alborosie steps up next with an armagideon selection called “Tearful Days,” followed by a Randy Valentine x Exco Levi combination, wicked tracks from Anthony B and Gappy Ranks, even a melodica version courtesy of next-gen dub rocker Addis Pablo. Check out the brand new megamix and get used to this steppers riddim—it sounds like it could play for the next 1000 years or so.  Audio After The Jump… Read more »

WATCH THIS: Atumpan ft. Big Narstie “We Like It” Official Music Video

WATCH THIS: Atumpan ft. Big Narstie "We Like It" Official Music Video

Afrobeat Meets Grime In The Streets of London, Kingston, Tokyo, Accra & NYC

Last time we heard from Atumpan the UK-based Ghanaian artist (whose name meaning “Talking Drum” in Akan) was up in the club with Paigey Cakey talkin’ about not watching nobody. Now he’s back with another sick collab, this time with London’s own Big Narstie.  Just how irresistible is this track? It seems to have made one girl start dancing while she’s on the toilet! Video After The Jump…
Read more »

MOBO Awards Announce 2016 Best Reggae Artist Nominees

MOBO Awards Announce 2016 Best Reggae Artist Nominees

Will Popcaan Continue His Winning Streak?

This morning in London the nominees for this year’s MoBo (Music of Black Origin) Awards were announced. Now celebrating its 21st year, the MoBos have often done a better job reflecting the sound of the streets than the Grammy’s, particularly in the Reggae award category, honoring not only the Best Reggae Album (like the Grammy’s) but the overall Best Reggae Artist. Last year’s nominees included UK-based Stylo G, Chronixx, Protoje, Omi [who might have been amused to be included in this category since the Jamaican-born pop artist always made clear that he’s not a reggae artist], with the award going to Mr. “World Cup” himself, Popcaan—who got the nod this year as well. His last trip to England resulted in a MixPak victory at the Red Bull Culture Clash. Check out his competition. Nominee List After The Jump… Read more »

HEAR THIS: Dexta Daps “Mi C Mi Bed N Miss U”

HEAR THIS: Dexta Daps "Mi C Mi Bed N Miss U"

Daps Gets All in His Feelings on this new Tune for the Ladies

You might know Dexta Daps from his street anthem “Shabba Madda Pot” or his new collab with M.I.A. “Foreign Friend,” but the latest release from the dancehall heartthrob is entitled “Mi C Mi Bed N Miss U.” According to the artist “It’s about a real-life situation where you miss that person so much you go home from work one day and you just see the bed and you’re like, “Oh my God! Where’s my significant other?” In a recent interview with Pigeons & Planes, the Seaview Gardens star speculated as to why she’s not by his side in the tune. “Maybe she’s out there with another man?” he said with a laugh. “I don’t know. Maybe she’s cheating? That’s why I give her a Chinese Jordan.” This led correspondent Reshma B to probe further on Daps’ views on male-female relationships, as his hit tune “7Eleven” outlines a very open-minded approach to commitment. “Let me tell you what I really believe. Whether or not she is doing it I will never know, so I’m not gonna put it in my mind that she’s not, I’m not gonna put it in my mind that she is. I just don’t care. If she does, I’m right at “I don’t care.” And if she’s not, I’m still at “don’t care.” Me are her are good. We are still good.” Elsewhere in the Pigeons & Planes feature, Daps speaks about working with M.I.A. and the real-life inspiration for “Shabba Madda Pot.” Check the new sounds, plus highlights from this rare interview. Audio After The Jump…
Read more »

Jah 9 Talks Yoga, Herbs and Holistic Healing: “This is no Devil Thing, This is Life!”

Jah 9 Talks Yoga, Herbs and Holistic Healing: "This is no Devil Thing, This is Life!"

Jamaican Warrior Goddess Vibes in the British countryside

On a rainy day in Hainault Forest Country Park in Chigwell, Essex, Jah9 and her band performed at One Love, the UK’s No. 1 reggae and dub camping festival. Running through new songs like “Humble Me” and the warrior anthem “Unafraid” from her new album, which would be released on the mystical date of September 9, 2016 (2+0+1+6=9) a perfect convergence of 9s. “Every time we come to England we get more love,” Jah 9 told Reshma B in an exclusive interview. They spoke about the making of Jah9’s 9mm Vol 2 (“It’s not a mixtape,” she insists. “It’s groundings”) and the whole “Year of the 9” concept. Video After The Jump… Read more »