Tag: reggae

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CHRONIXX – DREAD & TERRIBLE PROJECT 5 YEARS ANNIVERSARY EDITION
06/26/2019 by Press Release

Through the celebration of this five year anniversary of The Dread & Terrible Project, Chronixx will be headlining both Uganda’s Pulse Jam Fest on June 29th, and the annual Reggae Sumfest concert in Montego Bay, Jamaica on July 19th.

This Friday (June 28), Jamaican reggae star Chronixx releases the deluxe edition of his seminal project, Dread & Terrible (via Soul Circle/Seed Distribution) on its five-year anniversary. This re-release contains 11 tracks such as his now-certified classics Here Comes Trouble, Capture Land, and Spirulina. Another standout is the previously unreleased Jah Is There, produced by Chronixx. The song was intended for Dread & Terrible, but did not make it in time for production. The introspective track is accompanied by an animated lyric video by artist Tom Kariv.

Since Dread & Terrible broke into the Billboard Top 200 (#179) in August 2014 and topped the Reggae chart, Chronixx has become one of the most critically-acclaimed artists of the past five years while setting the tone for today’s generation of conscious reggae artists. Chronixx, born Jamar McNaughton, made his breakthrough television debut on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in the summer of 2014. It was a pivotal moment that introduced American audiences to his wise lyrical stylings, and unprecedented both for reggae and the unsigned 22-year-old (at the time). The Dread & Terrible Project reminds him of a simpler time when he was starting his journey. The pinnacle release was a prelude to his GRAMMY-nominated album Chronology (2017).

“[Musically] I was at a crossroads where I could’ve said ‘I want to be this artist or that type of artist.’ I think choosing to go this path and represent something that could benefit a lot of people positively was the main experience I [had],” says Chronixx.

The spotlight is back on Chronixx this week anchoring the remix to Ed Sheeran’s I Don’t Care featuring Justin Bieber and Koffee. Together Chronixx and Koffee, the buzzing newcomer he has taken under his wing, put their Jamaican birthplace of Spanish Town on the world’s radar on Ed Sheeran’s new summer anthem.

Dread & Terrible Project – 5 Years Deluxe Edition
01. Alpha & Omega
02. Here Comes Trouble
03. Capture Land
04. Rastaman Wheel Out
05. Eternal Fire
06. Spirulina
07. Like a Whistle
08. Jah Is There
09. Alpha & Omega (Dub)
10. Here Comes Trouble (Dub)
11. Capture Land (Dub)

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Published:Sunday | June 23, 2019 | 12:16 AMSade Gardner – Gleaner Writer
Ian Allen

Elephant Man is a music junkie, period.

A saunter through his mansion in Havendale, St Andrew, revealed stereos blasting local radio station ZIP 103FM near the poolside while music from a flatscreen TV filled the halls of the main floor.

Ele himself is a walking music library. For almost every life experience he recalled, he trailed off in a beat, thumping his chest, snapping his fingers, and deejaying his best impersonation of Bounty Killer, Shabba Ranks, Beenie Man, Mad Cobra, Simpleton et al, with joy in his eyes and gratification on his face.

He attained no formal training for a talent that would earn him scores of chart-topping singles. Instead, the Seaview Gardens-bred artiste honed his craft by toasting among friends and isolating himself in a room with Celine Dion on repeat, as he taught himself to reach challenging notes.

“Musically, mi did always know a waa gwaan. My house did deh two gate from Shabba Ranks’ house. Bounty Killer live bout five minutes up the road. Ninjaman never come from Seaview, but anytime him come, we run up the road and look pon him from head to toe cause a our god that. We learn from them man deh, even Supercat. Dem tek music serious and nuh play round wid performance,” Ele told The Sunday Gleaner.

‘We’ included childhood friends Nitty Kutchie and Boom Dandimite, with whom he would later form Scare Dem Crew, with Harry Toddler from Waltham Park Road, Kingston.

Though he had an endorsement from Bounty (he even got a gig cutting grass for his mother, Miss Ivy), Ele’s mother did not approve of his musical ambitions.

Given name Oneil Bryan, the Norman Manley High School student earned his moniker through his ‘Dumbo’ nickname derived from his sizable ears. First deejaying on ‘Vietnam corner’ in Phase One, the 16-year-old took his skills to the neighbouring Waterhouse community at King Jammys studio, where things took a new turn.

“Jammys and everybody start record Killer, and Killer seh him buss, but him friend dem still deh deh. We seh come mek we start Scare Dem Crew cause we nah go buss solo,” he said. “Killer used to call we out pon shows, and a so we start get recognised.”

Ele fashioned the idea of members dyeing their hair to distinguish themselves from other crews, and Toddler was game. Kutchie kept his hair black, but Dandimite later got on board. With tracks like Many Many, Nuh Dress Like Girl, and Girls Every Day, the group bore success before disbanding in 1999.

BIGGEST RECORD
Dancehall was on a new wave by the new millennium, and the following year produced Elephant Man’s solo album debut, Comin’ 4 U, on Greensleeves Records. His biggest record is the 2003 dance number Pon De River, Pon De Bank, which spearheads a slew of dance hits like Signal the Plane, Blase, Scooby Doo, and Fan Dem Off complementing earlier tracks Online and Log On.

His catalogue supports his affinity for music, with a range of sampled works like Bad Man a Bad Man, remixed from R. Kelly’s The World’s Greatest; Willie Bounce, sampled from Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive, and Bun Bad Mind, a take on the gospel single Hear My Cry Oh Lord by Marvia Providence.

His star factor was supported by his signature lisp, spirited performances, and variegated outfits, and it did not take long for international acts to notice. His collaborative projects boast names like Janet Jackson, Busta Rhymes, Mariah Carey, Lil’ Jon, and Kat Deluna. He also did a stint at P Diddy’s Bad Boy Records, which released his Grammy-nominated album, Let’s Get Physica l, in 2008.

Growing fame accompanied some bumps in the road. Father to 20 children, Elephant Man’s personal life has been blasted in the media, with claims that he is not an active father. Then there were the court cases, a repossessed car, and other rumours swirled. “We’ve been through it. When you’re a likkle youth coming from nothing to something, people a go talk things, but at the end of the day, never mek a rumour be true,” he said. “Me take care of my kids, but sometimes you and the mother have a dispute, and you know how that go. Memba mi deh ya good one time and dem seh Ele have AIDS. Me seh, weh dat come from? Mi nuh dead, mi deh ya. That’s how people is. Me stay strong cause the fittest of the fittest shall live, and God nuh waan no weakness inna Him camp.”

Now 42 years old, he recently completed a European tour and is getting ready for festivals like Reggae Sumfest and Reggae Rotterdam in July. He still assesses the dance circuit and gives kudos to artistes like Ding Dong and Chi Ching Ching for continuing to spread Jamaica’s dance culture.

And for that little kid or music fanatic who happens to stumble across the history books of the entertainer’s life, he hopes to be immortalised as “that hard-working dancehall artiste who took dancehall to that level like the Reggae Boyz. Just like yuh can pick out the footballers who did certain things, when it comes to dancehall, you should be able to pick out Ele in the top five and say he did this or that. I’ve gotten a fair run. Me sell gold, me get Grammy-nominated, me fanbase large, and there is proof to show it.”

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Reggae Sumfest throws launch party in MoBay

May 17, 2019

With a raging bonfire giving a silvery look to the beautiful white sand, and the full moon overhead adding a golden glow, it was all fun as locals mixed and mingled alongside the curious guests at the western city’s official launch of Downsound Entertainment’s Reggae Sumfest 2019 at the Iberostar Grande hotel in Montego Bay, St James, on Wednesday night.

“It is going to be a fantastic festival and I am really looking forward to giving the patron a fantastic experience,” said Downsound Entertainment’s CEO, Joe Bogdanovich, who acquired the Reggae Sumfest franchise in 2016.

The five-day festival blasts off on Sunday, July 14, and will see the likes of Beres Hammond, Chronixx, Buju Banton, Beenie Man and Bounty Killer among the heavyweights performing.

Five of the artistes booked for the 2019 edition of Reggae Sumfest delivered sneak previews of what to expect when they grace the main stage of the reggae festival in July.

Shauna showed a lot of ‘skin,’ and created a nice buzz as she delivered Independent and Control Button. Shane E was velvet-smooth, dishing out, Bad Mindand Get a Fight; while Keniel Merital was vocally powerful in unleashing, Money Nuffand My Money.

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High Expectations For Sumfest 2019

Published: Thursday | May 16, 2019 | Janet Sivera – Gleaner Writer
Royalton’s Stayce Ingram (left), Island Strains’ Christopher Gordon and his wife Maria, were spotted out and about with the effervescent Richard Ferdinand of the Tryall Club (right).
Royalton’s Stayce Ingram (left), Island Strains’ Christopher Gordon and his wife Maria, were spotted out and about with the effervescent Richard Ferdinand of the Tryall Club (right).

Unlike previous years where the launch of Reggae Sumfest took place inside a conference room or an amphitheatre in Montego Bay, the promoters took to the beach for the 2019 launch of the Reggae music festival.

The stretch of sparkling white sand of the Iberostar resort in Rose Hall, formed the perfect setting, delighting the scores of Montegonians and their counterparts from Kingston and other places who streamed into the venue for an evening characterised by delicious Jamaican faire, dancehall music and a cocktail bar, where bartenders served up juices and concoctions made from some of the most sought-after top shelf liquors.

Head honcho, Joseph Bagdanovich of Downsound Entertainment, was his usual upbeat self, heaping praises during his address on Sumfest founders Johnny Gourzong, Godfrey Dyer, Robert Russell, Mickey Morris, whom he said, along with their other collaborators made a “great team”.

“The joy it brings to fans across the world is more than enough to make you want to do it all over again as long as you can, and for this I give thanks,” Bagdanovich said.

Bogdanovich also disclosed that a new section dubbed the Golden Triangle, will now become a feature of the festival, which according to Scatta Burell, would host the festival’s most honoured guests.

“It’s gonna be at the top of the top; it’s gonna hold maybe 50, 60, 70 people and it’s gonna be the bomb,” Bogdanovich said.

Reggae Sumfest will be staged in Montego Bay from July 14 to 20. The event gets underway with Mawnin Medz Beach Party, marshalled by Stylo G and Skinny Fabulous at Tropical Beach, followed by the Street Dance at the Old Hospital Park on the Jimmy Cliff Boulevard on Monday, closing out with the likes of Buju Banton and Beres Hammond on Saturday, July 20.

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Sumfest Takes Flight

Published:Saturday | March 30, 2019 |

Caribbean Airlines on Wednesday showcased its partnership as the presenting sponsor of Reggae Sumfest by unveiling the festival’s logo on one of its 737 aircraft. The aircraft will fly across the airline’s network of 20 destinations.

“As one of the world’s best reggae events, Reggae Sumfest is a perfect match for our new brand story, ‘The Caribbean Identity’, which is an affirmation of our shared heritage and culture. Music is a big part of the Caribbean, and our partnership with Sumfest is a perfect way for us to demonstrate how deeply we understand the passion points of the Caribbean,” said Garvin Medera, CEO of Caribbean Airlines.

“As Reggae Sumfest continues to chart a new course for Jamaican music, culture and festivals, we couldn’t be happier to have a partner like Caribbean Airlines, who will help take this brand to a new level,” said Josef Bogdanovich, CEO, Downsound Entertainment, the festival’s producer.

Over seven days, July 14 to 20, more than 40 of reggae and dancehall’s most celebrated performers will take the Reggae Sumfest stage at Catherine Hall and other venues in Montego Bay, St James. Caribbean Airlines is offering a discount of 10 per cent off flights to Montego Bay and Kingston from select destinations for customers who book by April 15, for travel between the 12th and 22nd of July.

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Buju will be ‘amazing’ at Sumfest – Bogdanovich

March 20, 2019
 Buju Banton

For those who missed Buju Banton’s performance at the National Stadium last Saturday, the chance to see the Gargamel in his element will roll around again this summer at Reggae Sumfest 2019.

The Sumfest team made the revelation on Sunday morning after the Long Walk to Freedom concert wrapped up inside the National Stadium.

‘Sumfest to B.B.C.’ (referring to Buju, Beres Hammond and Chronixx), made the rounds on social media and in print, as the show’s organisers revealed the artistes set to headline the big nights of this year’s festival.

In an interview with THE STAR, CEO of Downsound Entertainment and chief organiser of Reggae Sumfest, Joe Bogdanovich, revealed that talks between Buju and his team began last December when he was released from prison.

“He respects the festival and the reach we have and he wanted to do the show. He just didn’t want us to advertise before his show and so we held off,” he said, stating that he expects Banton’s Sumfest appearance to be just as good as Saturday. “Buju is doing great things as he exhibited the other night, and I think he’s going to be amazing. He’s going to do four shows before us in July, and by then he will only get better. He’s going to get re-familiarised with everything and he’s going to be even more excited. I expect more energy, more interaction, just more of everything.”

Bogdanovich would not reveal how deep he had to dig in his pockets to ensure the Gargamel would grace the Sumfest stage, but says he is certain it will be money well spent.

“I can’t tell you that (the fee),” he said. “All I can say is that we listen to our patrons and we try our best to give them what they want and right now, they want Buju.”

He also spoke about Hammond and Chronixx, the other two headliners.

“The people love Beres, they love Buju and they love Chronixx, so we came up with the B.B.C. idea. This line-up and festival is very special, and I think it’s going to be very hard to beat,” he said. “There’s been a very strong response, the tickets are selling so fast already. I think the VIP and ultra-VIP are the ones that are really hot right now. People are understanding that it’s a seven-day festival, and so they’re also booking the pre-events as well. We’re feeling very positive about the show and we expect things will only get better as we get closer to summer.”

ENTICING LINE-UP

Bogdanovich added that although the headline acts announced are crowd pullers, the entire Sumfest line-up will be enticing.

He explained that as the show date draws closer, he will have several surprise announcements.

“Both Friday night and Saturday night will be filled with great music from some great artistes,” he said. ‘I can’t reveal all the things I have in store just yet but just know that we have some surprises to come. Sumfest is keen on supporting young females so expect more women on the line-up this year. We’re also very supportive of young artistes. The growth of the music is what we will be supporting this year. It’s important to support the future in the present and that’s what we will do.”

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Damian Marley had the Sumfest crowd hooked with lively performance

Damian Marley performs at Reggae Sumfest 2018 on Sunday morning. (PHOTOS: Marlon Reid)Damian Marley performs at Reggae Sumfest 2018 on Sunday morning. (PHOTOS: Marlon Reid)

Damian ‘Junior Gong’ Marley had the Catherine Hall crowd hooked for just over one hour with a energetic performance at Reggae Sumfest on Sunday morning,

It was Marley at his best as he engaged the crowd constantly and had audience members lapping up every minute of his set which also saw him showing off his fitness with knee lifts as he celebrated his 40th birthday,

Numbering in the tens of thousands, the Catherine Hall crowd sang loudly to almost all of Junior Gong’s presentations that included samples from hits by his father, late reggae legend Bob Marley.

Marley’s son Elijah perfoms ‘I Just Called To Say I Love You’ in tribute to his father who turned 40 on Saturday.

Marley’s performance also included songs from his last album ‘Stony Hill’ which earlier this year beat an illustrious field to cop the Reggae Grammy. It was not limited though, with music from his previous works.

The audience was also treated to a touching moment when Marley’s son Elijah joined him on stage and sang Stevie Wonder’s ‘I Just Called To Say I Love You’, dedicating the song to his father, whose birthday was on Saturday.

Marley had opened his set with ‘Here We Go’ from the Stony Hill album before going into his combination with Skrillex, ‘Make It Bun Dem’, ‘Set Up Shop’, ‘Ghetto Youth’ and another combination, ‘Beautiful’ with Bobby Brown.

Marley would then talk about the healing benefits of ganja before doing ‘Medication’, ‘The Mission’, ‘Police And Thief Inna Shoot’ and ‘Love And Unity’.

Kabaka Pyramid joined Junior Gong on stage.

His father’s ‘War’ and ‘Exodus’ would follow before ‘Everybody Wants To Be Somebody’ and ‘A Man Is Just A Man’ .

Kabaka Pyramid joined Marley on stage for their combination, ‘Kontraband’, after which ‘Junior Gong’ performed ‘Living It Up’, a song celebrating his father’s victory over poverty and inspiring others in similar circumstances to do the same.

He once again had the audience singing along to ‘Road To Zion’ and the ever-popular ‘Welcome To Jamrock’ with which he closed his well-received set.

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Twenty three years romance with Reggae Sumfest

July 20, 2018
Italian Steve Giant (left) poses with dancehall ace Shabba Ranks at a previous staging of Reggae Sumfest.

When Reggae Sunsplash folded in Montego Bay after its 1992 staging, Italian newspaper publisher Steve Giant, a loyal fan of that festival, was left a disappointed man, as making the annual trek to Jamaica had become an integral part of his life.

However, Giant’s disappointment was short-lived as in 1995, he learnt that Reggae Sumfest had replaced Reggae Sunsplash on the Montego Bay entertainment calendar and since then, he has been travelling to Jamaica for the past 23 years to satisfy his passion for reggae music and his growing love for Jamaica.

“My first Reggae Sumfest experience was in 1995. Basically, it’s been 23 years without interruption,” said Giant.

Over the years, it has not only been Reggae Sumfest that has been pulling the big Italian, who also manages a radio station, the Radio Base Popolare Network, which broadcasts reggae from morning to evening.

“I love the music, the parties, the beach… the Jamaican way of life style. That’s why I come back every year,” said Giant.

“Unfortunately, there’s no reggae festival like Reggae Sumfest in Italy … we had a big one, but they moved it to Spain.”

Despite not having a major reggae festival in Italy, Giant says reggae is nonetheless quite big in his homeland. He sees his popular magazine, RASTA SNOB, which he has been producing for more than 30 years, as one of the vehicles driving the growth of the music.

While each new year at Reggae Sumfest gives giant fresh “emotions, sensations, vibrations,” there are some special memories that have not dimmed over time.

“Definitely Shabba Ranks arriving by helicopter,” said Giant, in reflecting on Shabba’s spectacular arrival by helicopter at the venue back in the 1990s. “I also enjoy the clash in music between Beenie Man and Bounty Killer, and the many international artistes who have duet with the Jamaican top artistes.”

Like many fans of Reggae Sumfest, Giant is mightily impressive by this year’s star-studded line-up and has identified several acts he can’t wait to see.

“I am looking forward to seeing Damian Marley, Cham, Capleton, Sizzla, Assassin, Beres Hammond, Raging Fyah,” said Giant.

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MoBay designated special entertainment district for Sumfest

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has asked the security forces to consider special operational plans to facilitate this year’s staging of Reggae Sumfest without undermining the State of Public Emergency in St. James.
Speaking in the House of Representatives Tuesday, Mr. Holness said the government has designated a special entertainment district in Montego Bay.
The Prime Minister said there will be some leeway until the festival ends on July 22.
This is aimed at facilitating the extended operations of some establishments for Sumfest in this district. These include clubs and fast food restaurants, gas stations, supermarkets and other places offering goods for sale.
He noted that consideration will also be given to persons in the St. Catherine North Police Division which is under a State of Public Emergency.