February Officially Proclaimed REGGAE MONTH in Jamaica
Prime Minister Bruce Golding announced recently, during a press briefing at Office of the Prime Minister, that February will officially be Reggae Month in the country of Jamaica. Furthermore, he instructed Governor-General Professor Kenneth Hall to issue the proclamation declaring the long-awaited honor.
In an article in the Jamaica Gleaner, the prime minister is quoted saying that he lauded the briefing as one of the most pleasant tasks he has had to perform since taking office. He says Reggae has been a medium of economic advancement and Reggae Month can be used to draw world attention to our music. Golding added that Jamaica Trade and Invest will be promoting Brand Jamaica, and that Reggae music is central to this campaign.
The Gleaner article went on to quote Prime Minister Golding as saying “Reggae is so powerful; people across the world embrace it. It is the medium we have used to declare our position against oppression and suffering. It is a consistent declaration of love,” he continued to the delight of industry players in attendance, including Rita Marley, Dean Fraser, Lloyd Stanbury, Isaiah Laing, Clifton Dillon and Barbara Blake-Hanna. Continue reading →
LEE “SCRATCH” PERRY – THE END OF AN AMERICAN DREAM
Grammy-nominated CD on MEGAWAVE RECORDS
The recent Grammy-nominated CD, The End of an American Dream, is the first of three albums that represent the musical collaboration of legendary Jamaican maestro Lee Perry with English musician and songwriter Steve Marshall. Recorded between 2004 and 2006 at Lee’s studio in Einsiedeln (near Zurich) Switzerland; at the Marriott Hotel, Regent’s Park, London; and at Steve’s ‘State of Mind’ Studio in Somerset, England, the album contains 16 all new tracks featuring the vocals and lyrical genius of Lee Perry, set against a background of stylish contemporary beats, blues, soul, Reggae, drum and bass. This Grammy-nominated album is produced by John Saxon for State of Emergency Limited and released by Megawave Records, Michigan, USA. The songs are published by Newtown Sound Ltd. and Copyright Control.
The duo first met in London during the winter of 1985 when Lee took on Steve’s band ‘World Service’ as his backing band for what was to be his first UK tour since leaving Jamaica. Around this time Lee recorded the albums History, Mystery and Prophecy Time Boom: De Devil Dead and From the Secret Laboratory (produced by Adrian Sherwood), but behind the scenes Lee was also recording with and training his musical apprentice, Steve Marshall. After the ’85 tour, ‘World Service’ split, but Lee and Steve remained friends, with Steve chauffeuring Lee to sessions and meetings in and around London. They recorded a 7” single, “Lightning Strikes Twice/Feel No Way,” which went out on State of Emergency Limited in 1986, and a 12” “AD Vendetta/Masters Of The Universe” that was released on Lee’s own Arkwell label. There were a number of other recordings made, such as “Nursery Rhyme,” “Black Captain In Castle Greyskull,” “I Am God,” “Elephant Rock,” and “Gimme Back My Teddy Bear,” all featuring Lee Perry and Steve Marshall, and recorded at Elephant, Mark Angelo’s and Utopia Studios, but these remain firmly in the archive. At the end of the ‘80s, Lee moved to Switzerland and they were to lose contact with one another for nearly 15 years. Continue reading →
January 7, 2008 – Kingston, Jamaica – In the early days of Jamaican popular music, our female singers and songwriters played a major role in propelling our music onto the world stage. In fact, the first major international Jamaican hit recording was by one of Jamaica’s female pioneers, Millie Small, with her 1964 million-selling single “My Boy Lollipop.” Its success opened the doors for such artists as Phyllis Dillon, Marcia Griffiths, Judy Mowatt, Hortense Ellis, Pam Hall, Rita Marley, Carlene Davis, J.C. Lodge, Cynthia Schloss, Lorna Bennett, Dawn Penn, Sheila Hylton, and Nadine Sutherland, all of whom established themselves as mainstream recording and performing artists.
For some strange reason, however, the early achievements of our female artists did not result in the kind of follow-through seen by their male counterparts. For many years, we have failed to produce top-class female Reggae recording artists and performers. With the exception of the local and international successes of Diana King, Patra, Sasha, Foxy Brown, and Lady Saw, female Reggae and Dancehall artists have become a very scarce commodity over the last 25 years.
A number of different reasons have been presented for what many view as a problem in the development of our music. Sexual harassment by music producers and the rough, tough and aggressive face of male-dominated Dancehall music are two such explanations. The tendency of many young Jamaican female artists to idolize and follow popular foreign Pop and R&B female stars is another argument given for the seeming disappearance of the Jamaican female Reggae performer. Continue reading →
January 7, 2008 – Los Angeles, CA – Ziggy Marley is a four-time Grammy winner who has been playing and recording music for more than 20 years. David “Ziggy” Marley, the eldest son of Reggae legend Bob Marley and wife Rita, first experienced recording and performing at the tender age of ten. His main message was, is, and always will be Love.
He began recording independently in 2003 when he released his first solo album entitled Dragonfly. His most recent endeavor, Love Is My Religion, has received worldwide acclaim and earned him his fourth Grammy Award. He took some time to talk with Reggae Report recently after sound check at the Greek Theatre in Hollywood, California. We spoke about his philosophy, music, dreams, and a few secret projects he’s been working on. Here’s our conversation with Ziggy Marley!
Stephen “The Genius” McGregor
Teen-age Son of Reggae Pioneer Freddie McGregor Hailed as The Riddim Prince!
by M. Peggy Quattro
January 7, 2008 – Los Angeles, CA – The latest in a series of McGregor-produced creations to have artists lining up is McGregor’s hot new Bee Hive rhythm. Already adding their voices to his latest production are Busy Signal, his brother Chino McGregor, Elephant Man, Anthony B, Beenie Man, Singing Sweet, and Lady Saw.
At 18 years old, Stephen McGregor has taken a firm grip on handling the state of Reggae today. From the age of five, when he released his first song, the self-penned “School Done Rule,” which stressed the importance of staying in school, the young McGregor was on his way to stardom. By age 10, he was playing guitar, bass, piano, drums, and violin. At age 12, he moved from in front of the mic to behind the board, and began churning out rhythms (aka riddims) professionally. Continue reading →
January 8, 2008 – Los Angeles, CA – Shaggy is Jamaica’s only living Diamond-plus selling recording artist. He received the coveted Grammy Award for the 1996 hit albumBoombastic, and his CD Hot Shot went multiple-platinum when released in 2000. Hot Shot includes the massive hit singles “It Wasn’t Me” and “Angel.”haggy is Jamaica’s only living Diamond-plus selling recording artist. He received the coveted Grammy Award for the 1996 hit albumBoombastic, and his CD Hot Shot went multiple-platinum when released in 2000. Hot Shot includes the massive hit singles “It Wasn’t Me” and “Angel.”
Shaggy is very devoted to his music, always striving to out do his previous efforts, as you will hear when you give a listen to his new CD Intoxication on VP Records. You definitely should go and get this CD if you like to dance!
ReggaeReport.com had the opportunity to attend his CD release party in November 2007 at the Hard Rock Café inside Universal City Walk, Universal City, CA. He also delivered a one-hour performance on the Walk, located outside of the Café. We caught up with Shaggy by phone the next day. He is a very warm, friendly person and a fantastic entertainer. Here is our conversation: Continue reading →