Posts tagged "Reggae"

How Gentleman Buss As A Reggae Artist

How Gentleman Buss As A Reggae Artist

The Tunes That Turned This Teenager From Köln, Germany Into A Certified Jamaican Star

In late 2014 MTV invited Gentleman to record an “Unplugged” album, marking the first time any reggae artist had joined that respected series which has included the likes of Jay Z, Nirvana, and Lauryn Hill. With guest appearances by Shaggy, Ky-Mani Marley, Tanya Stephens, and Christopher Martin as well as the German duo Milky Chance, Gentleman and his acoustic band repped reggae music to the fullest. If it seems strange that a white man born in Germany should be chosen to represent a musical art form created in the Caribbean amongst the surviving descendants of African slaves, then you don’t know Tilmann Otto.  Boomshots recently caught up with the conscious German reggae singer—known to his fans as Gentleman—and spoke with him about his unlikely rise to the top of the reggae business, why it’s such an honor to record the MTV Ungplugged project, and what stories are dominating his attention these days and for the foreseeable future (Think: Songs About The Syrian Refugee Crisis.) Videos After The Jump… Read more »

HEAR THIS: Derrick Morgan “Black Superman (Muhammad Ali)”

HEAR THIS: Derrick Morgan "Black Superman (Muhammad Ali)"

Big Big Request To The Greatest

Forget what you heard. Muhammad Ali will never die. Ali may be one of the few larger-than-life icons to challenge even Bob Marley for nearly universal respect. We’ve all seen photos of The Greatest with Elvis, The Beatles, and Bob Dylan—he was even Prince’s hero—but what’s his connection to reggae? Derrick Morgan, one of Jamaican music’s greatest, pays tribute to boxing’s “Black Superman” in this Bunny Lee production which made a splash in the UK with Trojan Records in 1975, the year of the Thrilla in Manila. (The song predates the famous DC Comics book, published in 1978.)  Audio After The Jump…
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WATCH THIS: Adahzeh “Island Girl” Official Music Video

WATCH THIS: Adahzeh "Island Girl" Official Music Video

Rocking With Jamaica’s First All-Female Reggae Ensemble

From the Maroon heroine Nanny to Louise Bennett and Grace Jones, Jamaican history is filled with powerful women. Still, the reggae music industry has remained a largely male-dominated field—which may explain why keyboardist and vocalist Karissa Palmer always wanted to be part of a reggae band made up solely of women. As far back as 2013 she had the vision for the group that would become Adahzeh—a name that means ‘The King’s daughters” in one of Africa’s hundreds of languages. Enlisting bassist Chevanese Palmer, lead vocalist Kadian Hamilton, drummer Tashana Barnett and guitarist Tara-Dean Williamson, the group, under the guidance of D’Empire management, made a splash last year with “Girls Like We” featuring Tifa. Now they’re back with a new video called “Island Girl,” a proud statement of  self-respect that doubles as a long-distance love story. He lives in NYC; she lives in Jamaica and “the embassy no wan’ fi leggo the visa.” Tune in for some sweet rub-a-dub music plus a happy resolution to the lovers’ dilemma.  Video After The Jump… Read more »

HEAR THIS: Prince “Blue Light”

HEAR THIS: Prince "Blue Light"

Yep, Prince Did Reggae Too

A master of diverse musical styles from rock to funk, soul to jazz to dance, rap, and rhythm & blues, Prince’s genius was so profound that his work has left an indelible mark on the next generation of musicians. We’re still getting used to the idea that “The Kid” is dead now, but whether you believe he died of the flu, a drug overdose, or an Illuminati plot, the fact is that his music will live on forever. Our peoples at Caribbean Fever highlighted his little-known foray into reggae music, a musical thing called “Blue Light” off his 1992 Love Symbol album. And you know what? This world-weary tune about making love under an azure glow ain’t bad at all. Shout out to Ultimate Selector for this freshly mastered Youtube stream. Audio After The Jump… Read more »

WATCH THIS: Kelissa “Best Kept Secret” Official Music Video

WATCH THIS: Kelissa "Best Kept Secret" Official Music Video

Kelissa McDonald “Best Kept Secret” Video Celebrates Her Earthstrong and Women’s History Month

Big up to Kelissa, one of the Caribbean’s favorite rising talents of the reggae revival. You may remember this lovely young empress from her Vogue feature on Jamaica’s resurgence of conscious music. Lately, this African queen has taken a break from touring to record more classic music and create engaging visuals for fans. In the latest video for her single “Best Kept Secret” Kelissa demonstrates her outstanding vocal ability, youthful appearance, and queenly character for the ladies seeking love in the Spring. Video After The Jump… Read more »

Real Talk With Tanya Stephens: “I’m Telling The Truth—That’s The Only Thing I Know”

Real Talk With Tanya Stephens: "I'm Telling The Truth—That's The Only Thing I Know"

Maybe You Can Handle The Ride—But Can You Handle The Truth?

It may be true that women are far and few between in the reggae industry. But there’s no disputing the fact that Tanya Stephen is one of the best in the business. And not the good for a female—she’s one of the greatest songwriters Jamaican music history, full stop. Tanya has written some of the baddest tunes ever and has never let herself be pigeonholed into other peoples perception of what an artist should be. Whether singing about taking another woman’s man or exploring other sensitive real-life situations, Tanya continues to keep it all the way real, bringing her listeners along wherever her imagination takes her. After two decades in the game she’s still growing as an artist, and we still haven’t found anybody to rival her talent. During the latest Welcome to Jamrock Reggae Cruise, she blessed Boomshots with an in-depth interview with no subject off limits, from sex to religion to general stupidness and why she doesn’t like to clash. She even shared her true thoughts on marriage—”whoever decided that marriage should be an institution should be instituionalized!”—despite the fact that she is currently married. Tanya  will  be performing at SXSW during this year’s Irie Jam x Boomshots SXSW Reggae Showcase. Whether you’re in the house or not, take a moment to get to know one of the most fascinating minds around. Just make sure you fasten your seatbelt, cause this is going to be a wild ride. Videos After The Jump…

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HEAR THIS: Chronixx x Federation Sound “Roots & Chalice”

HEAR THIS: Chronixx x Federation Sound "Roots & Chalice"

Steam Ministah Links Federation Fam To Give Us The Fullness

Chronixx and the Federation family had a musical meeting of the minds to create this amalgamation of wicked instrumentals past & present. The 60-minute mix includes well known tracks “Like A Whistle,” “Alpha & Omega,” and “Tenement Yard” to warm up your ears to a familiar beat.  The heavy drum and bass breakdown stampedes in on “Spanish Town Rocking” (inspired by Mr. Levy’s crucial Channel One selection) as Chronixx executes a sound inna dancehall stylee. “Queen Majesty” is a top selection with a smooth melody that the ladies will be sure to love. Chronixx dominates the microphone as an emcee and singjay with special features from Eesah on “Perfect Tree”, Dre Island on “Puppy Nose”, Kelissa on “Best Love”, and Kabaka Pyramid on the title track Chalice & Roots. “Dem haffi wait likkle while for mi first album…” Chronixx ends the mix with a proclamation that leaves us wanting more. Behind the steam, the music disappears from whence it came, deep into the tallest peaks of Jamaica’s lush green dreams. Audio After The Jump… Read more »

WATCH THIS: Nesbeth “My Dream” Official Music Video

WATCH THIS: Nesbeth “My Dream” Official Music Video

From Trenchtown, A Next Star Arise

Released last month, “My Dream” features the veteran reggae singer reflecting on the struggles he’s faced in Jamaica and focusing on not giving up. A superb track from start to finish, it’s a progressive take on roots reggae with a dash of picked pop guitar and a catchy bounce. The video release, directed by RD Studios, is a fitting complement to the unique sound of “My Dream” and captivates immediately. Opening with wide-angle montages of Jamaica’s breathtaking coast, Nesbeth appears draped in the flag singing “Mek wi start dah one yah, like how Martin Luther King would ah start it.” The song goes on to tell the story of a young boy who’s driven to success against all odds. The Jamaica-based artist finished 2015 on a high, thanks to “My Dream,” and the video certainly reflects the success of his aptly titled new album, Victory. From Trenchtown a next star arise. Video After the Jump…

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HEAR THIS: Jacob Miller & Ray I “Natty Christmas” LP

HEAR THIS: Jacob Miller & Ray I "Natty Christmas" LP

Sounds Called Bruk Pocket Day We Never Feel No Way

There’s nothing quite like Christmas in Jamaica, but no matter where you are celebrating this day, you can do it inna rub-a-dub style. And there’s no better way to do that than with the rockers master Jacob Miller alongside the Inner Circle Rhythm Section plus rootical DJ chanting courtesy of the man called Ray I. Reggae musicians have blessed the world with plenty of great holiday selections, but nothing quite tops this 1978 vinyl LP. Click forward for nuff more Yuletide selections and bless up yourself. Audio After The Jump… Read more »

Album Review: Iba Mahr’s “Diamond Sox” LP Inspires Hope For Reggae’s Future

Album Review: Iba Mahr's "Diamond Sox" LP Inspires Hope For Reggae's Future

Sighting the Greatness of Iba Mahr From Afar

I consider myself spoiled by the reggae age in which I was raised. Bob Marley & The Wailers LPs, Peter Tosh LPs, 45s on the Volcano and Joe Gibbs labels set a pretty high bar with the way their music perfected the reggae sound. The excellence of Junjo’s and Joe Gibbs’ productions—and the way they served as a bridge between the reggae and  dancehall age that was to come—cannot be overstated. Their musical foresight was nothing short of miraculous. But in this season of reggae music’s evolution, the standard that I’m accustomed to is an increasingly hard thing to find. Full Review and Video After The Jump… Read more »

Nah Pop No Style—I’m Strictly Lit

Nah Pop No Style—I'm Strictly Lit

ReshmaB Chains’ Brand New Collection Isn’t Just For The Herbalists

As the new collection rolls out for ReshmaB Chains you already know the Reggae Girl About Town has something in store for all the ganja girls. But her unisex street style accessories are more than just chronic. The exciting new designs include four-finger rings and layered colors. Since the launch of the brand in 2014 the pieces have expanded from chains to ear rings and body chains. This summer, following a successful show at Caribbean Fashion Week, British Designer Reshma B announced that she was working on something completely different.  Photos After The Jump…
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UB40 & Nature Rock the Royal Botanic Gardens

UB40 & Nature Rock the Royal Botanic Gardens

Veteran British Band  & A Rising Jamaican Star Shine At England’s Kew The Music Fest

It’s been more than 30 years since the British reggae supergroup UB40 dropped their breakthrough album, Labour of Love. These cover versions of classic Jamaican rock steady and reggae tracks—songs like “Red Red Wine” and “Cherry O Baby” and “Johnny Too Bad”—transformed this Birmingham, England reggae ensemble into a worldwide phenomenon. Original UBs lead vocalist Ali Campbell and DJ Astro got back with the old rhythm section and put on a big show this weekend at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, England. Their set was predictably brilliant, but the opening act Nature was the real surprise. Before he came to England, Nature was a rising star in Jamaica’s dancehall scene. His conscious lyrics and energetic performance style has made him a rising star at home—currently promoting his new album, Life’s Journey—but to the rest of the world he is virtually unknown. The chance to open up for UB40 at a massive outdoor show in England might just be one of the biggest opportunities of Nature’s career so far—and he was not about to let it pass him by. Watch the artist go hard on the big stage.  Video After The Jump… Read more »