The Sound System’s Founder Talks Welcome to Jamrock Reggae Cruise and the Sound Clash on the Sea
In the mid 1970s Keith Walford expanded his father’s mechanic business in Alexandria, St. Ann into distributing and stocking jukeboxes all over Jamaica. His used to spin music at private fetes before officially launching Bass Odyssey in 1989 along with then-partner Bunny Hayles and selector Tinna-One, who was later joined by Glamma G and the legendary Kevin “Squingy” Bennett. Squingy referred to himself as “the Michael Jordan of clash” and he helped to make Bass Odyssey a musical killing machine. Sadly he fell ill and passed away in 2009 but the sound has kept his legacy alive thanks to young selectors like Dwayne, Worm, Skinny, and Charly Black who’s gone on to become a successful recording artist. Although Keith entered the political life in 2011, becoming a Member of Parliament representing St. Ann, his “World Sound From Way Out in the Country” is still going strong. Last year the sound celebrated its 25th anniversary by launching Jamaica’s first ever sound system festival, with plans to make it an annual event. This coming November Bass Odyssey will challenge longtime sparring partner Metro Media and Far East Rulers Mighty Crown during the Welcome to Jamrock Reggae Cruise’s first-ever Sound Clash on the Sea. Boomshots spoke with Keith as his sound prepares to make waves. Interview After The Jump… Read more »
Live Sets From Wayne Wonder, Red Rat, Tarrus Riley & More
DJ Norie has come a long way since his days on Brooklyn’s Wah Gwan Radio. His weekly show on New York’s top urban radio station, Power 105.1 FM, is one of the city’s leading platforms for reggae and dancehall music. So when he celebrated his anniversary late last week the stars came out. Check out Wayne Wonder breezing through his vast catalog of certified Boomshots—including the song that gave this annual showcase its name. And how long since we saw Red Rat blazing up his hits? He’s still got the girls screaming “Oh Noooo!” for tunes like “Dwayne” and “Tight Up Skirt”—and watch what happens when the Rat bucks up a fluffy gal from the front row. Video After The Jump… Read more »
Soulful reggae crooner slows it down in latest clip
Since bursting onto the scene in 2007 as the youngest winner of Jamaica’s leading reggae talent search Digicel Rising Stars, Romain Virgo has gone on to dazzle stadiums and dominate charts worldwide. This boy wonder has evolved into a fully fledged ambassador for lovers rock music with a consistently strong, ever-growing catalog of tunes. Virgo recently teamed up with legendary production duo Sly & Robbie for the celestial single “Star Across The Sky” which was featured on their 2014 Grammy nominated album The Reggae Power. Fresh from a successful European winter tour, he took time out to unveil a mellow yet stirring rendition of the same hit song this week, with just a keyboard for company. This guy’s vocal range is insane! Video After the Jump… Read more »
Jamaican-Canadian Pop Star Reconnects With Her Dancehall Roots
Kreesha Turner’s debut album Passion was an instant smash in her native Canada. Back in 2008 her single “Don’t Call Me Baby” became the most played song on Canadian radio and hit number one on Billboard‘s U.S. Hot Dance Club Play. Nominated for “Best New Artist” and “Best Pop Album of The Year” at that year’s Juno Awards, her future seemed all mapped out for her. But there is another side to this perfect pop princess, a girl who grew up between Edmonton, Canada and Spanish Town, Jamaica. “Before I got signed I was in the underground hip-hop scene, and everything I did was a mixture of dancehall, hip-hop, and R&B,” she explained to the Reggae Girl About Town over lunch at Strawberry Hill. “When I got signed, the label took me all the way opposite to what I was. They got me to start straightening my hair. I went to media training and they told me not to speak in Jamaican dialect.” Now managed by Nick Cannon and signed to Universal Republic, Kreesha’s third album brings her full circle, diving into the dancehall, hip-hop and R&B sounds she loves. Her first single, “Sexy Gal,” features the Jamaican dancehall supergroup T.O.K. Watch for the official music video premiere March 31 on Mass Appeal. In the meantime, check out Reshma B’s exclusive interview, and enjoy the view! Video After The Jump… Read more »
Who’s That Girl?
This tune is the first we’ve heard of Mink Jo. All we can say for sure is that the Jamaican chanteuse is easy on the eyes—and she and Konshens definitely have some, um, creative chemistry bubbling on this track, courtesy of Dre Day Productions. Something about her voice sure sounds familiar. Critics have branded her a Rihanna wannabe, but with the BNM team in her corner she’s aiming to blaze her own trail. Keep an eye out for Mink’s Boy Girl Love mixtape and meanwhile keep this tune Pon di Replay. Audio After The Jump… Read more »
FME Capo On Some Next Flex—Again. Try & Keep Up!
Sparking his spliff at the top of his latest track, Rick Bleezy re-introduces himself: “My name is Ricky Blaze—baddest bumbaclaat producer.” Not that he requires any intro. You already know this is the man responsible for dancehall bangers like Ding Dong’s “Badman Forward” and Gyptian’s “Hold Yuh,” the first reggae/dancehall cut to be certified gold since Jr. Gong’s “Welcome to Jamrock.” This is the guy who sang “Just You & I” on the same riddim, the youth who gave us “I Feel Free.” Restlessly innovating as he pushes the music forward, his new tune “Mighty” finds Blaze dropping gems: “Don’t confuse it, caw me fuse it… If you have a privilege don’t abuse it / Timing is everything, use it.” The sound is dark, dreamy, brooding—oh, and the whole thing ends with an ill guitar solo. R U ready? Let’s go. Audio After The Jump… Read more »
Ting A Ling A Ling, School Bell Ah Ring
”There is a lack of consciousness from what the music used to be,” says the legendary Cocoa Tea. “it’s becoming what it is not to be.” But rather than criticizing or complaining, the singer is fighting back with word sound and power. “If one of my songs can be remembered and or quoted, and be of inspiration or guidance to anyone, then I shall be forever happy with my contribution musically.” After pursuing work as a jockey and a fisherman, it was the birth of his first child back in the early ’80s that strengthened Cocoa Tea’s decision to launch into music full time. And with this tune, he continues his legacy of teaching the youths consciousness through music. All proceeds from “Stay in School”—to be released by VP Records—will be donated to charity. Audio After the Jump… Read more »
Turf Prez Giving Back To The Hospital Where He Was Born
St. Ann’s Hospital in St. Ann’s Bay, Jamaica is giving thanks for a new initiative, spearheaded by none other than popular dancehall artist Busy Signal. The dancehall phenomenon will be launching the Busy 20/20 Helping Hands Foundation April 2. The charitable organization’s first order of busi is to help the hospital to fulfill its needs, which are plentiful, including implementation of vital X-ray/CAT scan equipment, which Busy describes as a device used “for detecting cancer.” The pricetag? J$12 million—or just over US$100,000. Details After The Jump… Read more »
The Kid Is Back. Deal With It.
Cham has never been lacking in the confidence department. But in his new video the swag is just disgusting. Pushing a Rolls-Royce through South Beach? Stop it! But don’t get it twisted: “Even though me have the Ghost and the Phantom,” the DJ chats. “Still haffi keep me likkle crib pon the Waltham.” The boasy new visuals pave the way for the release of Cham’s third studio album Lawless, which will be produced by dancehall mastermind Dave Kelly and features appearances from Mykal Rose, Bounty Killer, Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley and Miss O. All eyes on this. Video After The Jump… Read more »
It’s a Dancehall Dilemma: Experience vs. Youth? The G or the Bop?
“Right now me feel good, how me come a England and them just embrace me,” states JA sensation Gully Bop as the DJ continues his rise from sufferation and obscurity to the top of the game. “Big big BBC radio a play Gully Bop non-stop and invite me in them studio. Me a get support at every show, every one of them pack! People swarm me like bees fe take picture everywhere me go. Is a thousand things and more a go on right now, so me have to give God thanks.” He even found time to link with ranking UK Yardie Stylo G. Just like Michael Jackson & Paul McCartney, and Home T, Cocoa Tea, and Shabba, Stylo and Bop seem to have a
small serious disagreement on their hands. The affections of a young lady are at stake. Experience vs. Youth. The G or the Bop? Which one ah dem she want? StarTraxx & Adde on the riddim. Audio After The Jump…
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Thirty Five Years Ago Today Reggae Music Lost A Great Soldier
On this day in 1980 legendary #reggae singer Jacob “Killer” Miller died in a tragic car accident on Hope Road in Kingston Jamaica. “I was sitting with my father in Hope Road when he heard the news on Sunday,” recalls Rohan Marley. “Jacob and my Father always spend time together on Sundays.” Miller was one of reggae’s greatest performers. His merry, manic brilliance shines through clearly in the crucial 1980 concert doc Heartland Reggae, particularly the performance of “Tired Fe Lick Weed In A Bush” during which he puffs a huge spliff on stage while using his microphone to taunt the cops at the venue before somebody hands him a police cap and he starts chanting “Babylon, Babylon falling down.” Jakes spent just 27 years on earth but the #Rockers music he made with Inner Circle and Augustus Pablo shall live forever. In fact, one of his classic cuts with the Bad Boys of Reggae, “Tenement Yard,” is enjoying a major resurgence 40 years after its release. Audio After The Jump… Read more »