“Reggae Month was officially proclaimed and first staged in 2008, spearheaded by the Ministry of Culture and powered by the Jamaican Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA). The focus of Reggae Month is “edutainment”, highlighting Jamaica’s musical history and heritage. The annual celebration has been a huge success, attracting on average 40,000 attendees each year. This success is made possible by the overwhelming support of media partners and music industry practitioners, in addition to dedicated government and corporate sponsors who share the Reggae Month vision. The goal of Reggae Month is to attract international acclaim for Jamaica as the reggae mecca of the world, enhance travel and tourism for the month of February, and provide an educational platform of entertainment for all ages.” From Reggae Month Jamaica.com
In the beginning… was Robert Nesta (Bob) Marley and a new music form was brought forth… An international sound destined to educate and liberate the people from thousands of years of mental slavery. There followed a son… David Robert Nesta Marley… Brought forth to carry on the age-old musical crusade… a youth reaching out, touching hearts, of a new courageous and wise generation. “This is a new time and a new system,” declares the younger Marley, “my father was like the Old Testament… I am the New Testament.”
A strong, powerful and confident young man, 19-year-old Ziggy (a name given him by his father at an early age) is also warm, intense and somewhat shy. As good friend Judy Mowatt has said “Ziggy is the complete replica of his father…possessing that command like ‘I am here!’” His quick bright smile and soft, yet earnest eyes, displace any trace of egotism.
It did my heart good to catch up with Ziggy in New York at the conclusion of recording Virgin Records’ Melody Makers debut album.
What follows is an interview and overview:
MPQ: So Ziggy, when and where were you born?
Ziggy: Trenchtown, inna mi yard, 1968, October 17.
Born on 11 November 1961, his mother called him London Andrew Roberts. Growing up, however, he was given the name Half Pint by a neighbor in his childhood community [of] Waterhouse in Kingston 11.
Half Pint’s career as a singer/songwriter began to take shape in 1983 when his smash hit single “Winsome” topped the charts in Jamaica. The next couple of years were to be the foundation years for Half Pint. During this time three albums were released – Moneyman Skank, Half Pint in Fine Style, and One in a Million [that] included hit singles like “Political Fiction,” “Mr. Landlord,” “Moneyman Skank,” and “Sally.” Continue reading →
Since Reggae Report last caught up with Reggae/Rap/R&B diva Diana King, the sultry singer-songwriter married the man who inspired her crossover hit “Shy Guy,” moved to sunny South Florida, delivered a healthy baby boy, and is currently doing promotional activities in support of her new album, Think Like a Girl (Work), a powerful follow-up to her critically acclaimed debut, Tougher Than Love (1995 Work/Columbia).
During an early October interview while en route to a radio visit in Providence RI, the affable, articulate Jamaican-born artist spoke candidly about the long-awaited new album, her innovative vocal style, and the personal and musical developments that have led to this point in her career. Continue reading →
2019 UPDATE: Congratulations to brothers Ian and Roger Lewis, co-founders of the Grammy-winning band Inner Circle, on receiving Jamaica’s Order of Distinction (the government’s sixth-highest civic honor) at a King’s House ceremony on October 21, 2019, in Kingston. Honored for Inner Circle’s more than 50-year musical contributions, their iconic lead singer Jacob Miller was also recognized and awarded, and his son Taki Miller accepted posthumously on his behalf.
Here is a Reggae Report interview and story by writer and editor Sara Gurgen after catching up with bandleader Roger Lewis following Inner Circle’s 1994 Grammy nomination for Best Reggae Album (they won that Grammy in 1993!)
INNER CIRCLE – Miami’s “Bad Boys” Nominated for ’94 Grammy
by Sara Gurgen
They won the Grammy for best 1993 Reggae album, and now Inner Circle–Miami’s world-famous, hard-working “Bad Boys” of Reggae–have been nominated for the 1994 Grammy with their latest Big Beat/Atlantic release, Reggae Dancer.
“It’s doing excellent, man, everywhere in the world; and when I mean excellent, I mean excellent,” said band leader and rhythm guitarist, Roger Lewis, in a recent Miami interview during a brief respite from Inner Circle’s hectic touring schedule.
“It is one of the biggest selling foreign albums in Japan. Over 300,000 albums [have sold] in Japan [as of Dec. 21]. Hundreds of thousands in Mexico. In Brazil, in Europe–very well. In America, it’s not doing too bad. I think we made it up to about 200,000 copies.”
One of the songs on the album that has been released worldwide and doing very well is “Games People Play.” “It was not really a success in America, but ‘Games People Play’ was literally a hit single everywhere else in the world,” explained Roger. “It was a top 10 song in about 10 countries in Europe. It didn’t really go No. 1 and do what “Sweat” did, but it was top 10 in Holland, in Germany, in Scandinavia, in Brazil; and it was No. 1 in Japan.” Continue reading →
Reggae Report Publisher Releases Vol. 1 of Reggae Trilogy: 200+ 80s & 90s Reggae & Dancehall Artist Headshots
The First eBook from the Reggae Report Archives is an Essential Timeline Depicting the Fashion, Culture & Lifestyle of this Dynamic Era
Publisher M. Peggy Quattro releases the first compilation of Reggae history from the Reggae Report Archives. Reggae Trilogy Vol. 1: 200+ 80s & 90 Artist Headshots is an entertaining, engaging time capsule that features 13 chapters of Reggae and Dancehall Headshots. Each collection begins with a personal and enlightening introduction by the Reggae pioneer. More than 200 promo Headshots depict the distinctive fashion, culture, and lifestyle that catapulted Reggae artists onto the 80s and 90s world stage.
Thousands of promotional Headshots poured into Reggae Report for more than 20 years. As a fan and archivist, Ms. Quattro knew one day these photos would tell their own story. This wealth of photos will be delivered in three volumes of the Reggae Trilogy series. Crucial chapters include the Bands, Legends, Women, Singers, Groups, Dub Poets, Dancehall, Musicians, USA Reggae, International, Industry Pros, The Marleys, and Where Are They Now?. Continue reading →