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 →
January 17, 2008 – Los Angeles, CA – Ky-Mani Marley was born February 26, 1976, to Jamaican table tennis champion Anita Belnavis and Reggae legend Bob Marley, in Falmouth, Jamaica. Ky-mani is an East African term meaning adventurous traveler. Ky-mani was only five years old when his father died and shortly thereafter, he moved to Miami with his mother. He grew up in the Magic City’s inner city, hence the amalgamation of musical styles represented on Radio, his newest CD release with the Vox Music Group. Radio shot up the charts and held the #1 slot on Billboard’s Top Reggae Albums chart for two weeks running.
With a starring role in two movies, One Love (2002) and Shottas (2006), it is clear that Ky-mani loves not only music. He is a multi-faceted individual who is making his own mark on the media of today. His reality show, Living the Life of Marley, featured on BETJ-TV, is another avenue of his expression. He also garnered a Grammy nomination in 2002 for his Reggae album Many More Roads.
Ky-mani has been on tour with rock group Van Halen since September 2007, and has been headlining his own shows when not performing with the rock legends. We had a chance to catch up with Ky-mani after a show and record signing at Amoeba Records in Hollywood, CA on Nov. 26, 2007. Here is our wonderful conversation with the genuine and kind Ky-mani Marley: Continue reading →
by M. Peggy Quattro
This debut album from Stephen “Ragga” Marley was well worth the wait. Nominated for the Reggae Grammy, to be presented February 10, 2008, in Los Angeles, CA, Mind Control set the new standard in modern Reggae production.
Three-plus years in the making, we waited as Stephen produced Grammy-winning albums for his brother Damian. Now it is Stephen’s time to shine. I cannot stop talking about this CD. It is a fresh collection of new Reggae together with old-school, Hip-Hop, Latin and R&B, with a little Blues, Country and Roots thrown in. Each song takes you on a musical journey into the life and mind of Stephen Marley.
From the haunting intro of “Mind Control,” Stephen leads you down the road of mental slavery. With a call to free ourselves of this suppression, Stephen follows the path set up by his mentor and father. He says he did not sit down to write a political song; but what he depicts is what he sees, and if itís political — so be it. Continue reading →