music (12)

Sean Paul is one of the biggest Jamaican Dancehall international sensations. Having scored hit records and collaborations with icons across musical genres, he has cemented himself as one of the greatest exports from Jamaica. Having a career spanning decades, Sean Paul continues to reinvent himself and give the world music that becomes household bangers.

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When former Miss Jamaica Davina Bennett landed the part as the love interest in a Maluma music video, she thought she’d be taping a regular four-minute music video. Instead, she was cast as the Colombian star’s muse in #7DJ (Siete Días en Jamaica – Seven Days in Jamaica), companion film to the seven-song EP of the same name that tracks Maluma’s trip to Jamaica, in search of a spiritual rebirth.

 

And Bennett’s role became something far more significant than mere screen time or high-profile exposure.

“There are other music videos, but few consider, ‘Let us merge cultures, let us merge Black and white,'" says the 2017 Miss Universe runner-up. "To see Latin, reggae, dancehall, Black and white come together and create something epic like this is a whole other level." 


For Bennett, proudly representing Caribbean and Black culture is not new. In 2017, she made headlines when she took the stage at the Miss Universe pageant with an afro, her natural hair, becoming the first Black woman to be crowned among the top three to do so. In “7 Días,” she wears dreadlocks, emblematic of Jamaica, and is a constant player in a visual work that went to great lengths to stay true to the island’s roots and traditions.

“She’s not just beautiful, but a big ambassador of her own culture,” says Maluma.
8536729092?profile=RESIZE_584xDavina Bennett and Maluma
Phraa
Bennett spoke to Billboard about the significance of Black presence in a Latin music video, especially coinciding with Black History Month. “I hope we become a domino for others to follow,” she says.


I’m making an effort to think of videos where you have a white Latin superstar with a beautiful Black woman as the model, and I can’t think of many…

I’ve never seen it. I think that’s why social media is eating it up. It’s an immense sense of pride. It’s also very overwhelming, because sometimes I think, "Is this real?" I’ve been in this position once before, representing Jamaica in Miss Universe, and being the first woman to rock my Afro -- and that was a big thing for my country, and for Afro and brown girls. To be in the same position, rocking another hair style and showing unity between two countries and two cultures… I don’t have words to express it.

You’re opening a big door. It’s amazing there haven’t been more instances, right?
It feels the same as when I did Miss Universe. This pageant is over 60 years [of history] and you’re telling me there has never been a Black woman with an Afro in the top three? And there are other music videos, and they have never considered: Let us merge cultures, let us merge Black and white. It’s mind blowing. But, someone has to do it first. Someone has to be the first domino on that table.


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Every Song on Maluma's '#7DJ (7 Días En Jamaica)' Ranked: Critic's Picks
The album is called 7 Días In Jamaica, and it truly is an homage to Jamaica, showing so much of the island. Did it surprise you to see how prominently Jamaica is featured?

What makes it even better for me is there’s the combination of two cultures: Latin from Colombia and reggaetón and dancehall from Jamaica, and that makes it even greater. Maluma incorporates people like Ziggy Marley, Charly Black. For you to not just come to our country, but also use Jamaican creatives, a Jamaican girl, Jamaican artists -- it’s not cultural appropriation, but literally paying homage. It’s not, “I’m coming to your island, taking credit and leaving.” It’s about us. It goes in-depth in terms of our culture, how we portray ourselves. Even down to the drink we have in our hand, Red Stripe, is unique to the Caribbean. 

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Eve Harlowe

Your hairdos are incredible. Tell me about them?

We decided to do locks [dreadlocks], which is a great representation. We are Rastafarian. Mellisa Dawkins, my hair stylist, would come up with these ideas on the spot. This woman just transformed each look into something amazing. It was such a great representation in my country. Locks are discriminated [against] in many places. And to show locks can be styled, they can be elegant, flirty -- it’s something I’m extremely proud of.

There was a highly publicized case of locks and discrimination in Jamaica recently, right?


Last year there was a discrimination case in Jamaica, because a little girl went to school with her locks and she was sent home. This is a big slap in the face. We are known for our locks. If you’re going to send a girl home for wearing locks, you might as well spit on us. So to be able to be on a [major] platform and use locks is a big deal, not just as a Jamaican woman but as a Caribbean woman. I hope this will tell people: “It’s not OK to discriminate against natural hair.” Because it is natural hair. And it’s a disgrace that today you would tell someone you can’t wear your hair like that.

Normally, how do you prefer to wear your hair?

Afro. It’s more relaxed. I’m someone who doesn’t comb her hair every day. So my Afro is my every day hairstyle.

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Ky-Mani Marley, Davina Bennett, Julian Marley & Rohan Marley
Courtesy of Davina Bennett

You also shot in Colombia, in Medellín, but also in Barú, a beautiful beach close to Cartagena. How was that experience?

I’ve never experienced anything quite like that, where they appreciate Black beauty [to that degree]. It had nothing to do with being Miss Jamaica. In Barú, people would walk up to me and say, “We have the same skin. We’re family. We don’t even speak the same language, and just because of our skin there’s a connection.” I was in awe of the fact that these people were appreciative of who I am, my beauty and my color.

Did you talk to Maluma about these things?


I asked Maluma why he decided to do Jamaica. And he said, "Our cultures are so similar. There is a lot of diversity in Colombia. Our cultures intertwine." He just wanted to connect the two. And it’s amazing someone as big as Maluma can come to small Jamaica and find the uniqueness and the things that make us one. To be able to create an entire album paying homage to that is an iconic and very brave move. And it was executed in a way that both sides should be very proud of. I am, anyway. It’s a white guy from Colombia falling in love with a Jamaican woman with dreadlocks.

How did you meet Maluma?

I first met him in Jamaica. I was a little bit nervous. But I think it’s because I had to kiss him. It was in the script. I thought, "Oh Lord." I don’t want to make a fool of myself. But, yes he’s a very good kisser. And the kissing scene was quite a delight.

 
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Talking Heads drummer Chris Frantz’s new book, Remain in Love, is a billet-doux to his bandmate and wife of more than 40 years, bassist Tina Weymouth, as well as documenting the couple’s musical journey together — first, as part of the most critically acclaimed New Wave band of the late 70s and early 80s, and later as co-founders of The Tom Tom Club, which topped the charts in 1981 with “Genius of Love.”

But there’s another ongoing love affair that Franz and Weymouth have been carrying on all these years, too, and that’s with the Caribbean — the Bahamas, in particular.

Talking Heads are sometimes described as a “world music” band, and Frantz’s introduction to Caribbean beats and rhythms began early: his parents had lived in Puerto Rico and traveled to the Virgin Islands and Trinidad, bringing home 78-rpm records of calypso and mambo songs that Frantz rediscovered as a young musician.

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When Jimmy Cliff helped introduce reggae to the United States with the 1972 film, The Harder They Come, it caught the attention of Frantz and Weymouth, who had recently met and fallen in love as students at the Rhode Island School of Design (where they also would meet Talking Heads singer David Byrne)

“Tina had this Plymouth Valiant that we drove up to Boston to see the movie, and we loved it so much that we immediately went and bought the album, and then went the next weekend to see the movie again,” said Frantz.

As a drummer, Frantz — who counts The Mighty Sparrow, Toots and the Maytalls, and “Funky Nassau” performer Ray Munnings among his favorite Caribbean musicians  — incorporated the syncopated beats of Caribbean music into his playing for Talking Heads, particularly after the band traveled to Nassau in 1978 to record their second album, More Songs About Buildings and Food, which included the hit song, “Take Me to the River.” The Brian Eno produced album was the first to be cut at Compass Point Studios, established by Island Records founder Chris Blackwell.

Everyone from AC/DC to David Bowie and the Rolling Stones would end up making albums at the studio, which operated from 1977 to 2010, but, “I think we recorded more albums there than any other artists,” said Frantz. In addition to Talking Heads’ More Songs About Buildings and Food and 1980’s Remain in Light and 1983’s Speaking in Tongues, Frantz and Weymouth utilized the studio on the west end of New Providence Island to make the first three Tom Tom Club albums.

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The Tom Tom Club was loosely inspired by Peanuts Taylor’s Drumbeat Club, a nightclub in downtown Nassau. The band included members of the Compass Point All Stars, the de facto house band at the Nassau studio.

Being in the orbit of Blackwell led to some interesting experiences —  “We used to live in the same building as Sean Connery, but Joe Cocker kept coming into the driveway and yelling, ‘Sean, give us a drink,’ so he moved,” Frantz recalled — but also some remarkable collaborations, including with pianist Tyrone Downie of the Wailers, percussionist “Sticky” Thompson, keyboardist Wally Badarou, and King Crimson singer Adrian Belew, among others.

Frantz and Weymouth loved the Bahamas so much that they became part-time residents of Nassau. “We bought an apartment (near Compass Point) that we still have, and the roof still leaks,” said Frantz. “That’s part of life down there. We still go down there, and hope to do so again in the not too distant future” — post COVID, that is.

For years, the couple and their family also took extended trips through the Out Islands on their 48-foot sloop, Katrinka, helmed by Tina’s father, a former U.S. Navy vice admiral.

“The Bahamas are 700 islanders in the sun, and we loved to sail from Nassau to Staniel Cay in the Exumas, and to snorkel in the Thunderbolt grotto,” said Frantz, who also recounted day trips from Nassau to deserted Allen Cay to visit the iguanas and to Big Major Cay, home of the Bahamas’ famous swimming pigs.

Other favorite stops include Lyford Cay, Cat Island, and out to the Exumas for the annual Family Island Regatta. “We had 22 years of bliss surrounded by a few hours of sheer terror,” laughed Frantz — a sentiment that will be familiar to anyone who sails.

Frantz and Weymouth’s Caribbean travels aren’t limited to the Bahamas: the couple traveled to Barbados in 1991 to produce an album with the British band Happy Mondays, explored the mountains of Jamaica during a stay at Blackwell’s Goldeneye hotel, and decamped to the legendary Oloffson Hotel in Port au Prince, Haiti on an art-buying trip.

Visitors to Nassau will find little trace of Compass Point Studios or the world-famous musicians who once inhabited its halls, but the vibrant Compass Point Beach Resort (originally founded by Blackwell and sometimes used by visiting stars) still welcomes guests to Love Beach and its popular beach bar. Frantz also is a fan of the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas, located in downtown Nassau.

“A lot of people go to Paradise Island and stay at a big hotel,” said Frantz. “We never go to those places. We prefer the Out Island experience, and the west end of New Providence is like that.”

“We love the easygoing, you-can’t-rush-life attitude of most people in the Caribbean,” Frantz added. “The people of the Bahamas are so happy to see you. It’s all about hospitality and equality’’

 
 

 

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Niki Minaj - Proud Trinidadian

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Celebrity musician Nicki Minaj has decisively claimed her Trinidadian heritage, saying via an Instagram post that she is a 'proud Trini'.

The rap diva shared photos to her Instagram account on Carnival Tuesday after wearing a costume from Tribe Carnival and enjoying the festivities with her husband while on a truck.

Minaj was seen partying with soca stars Machel Montano, Iwer and Kes, who all sang their hits including the popular 'Stage Gone Bad'.

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Minaj, who just released her latest hit 'Yikes', was seen decked out in a blue and purple costume resplendent with feathers. 

She was joined by husband Kenneth Petty who she married in October 2019.

Minaj said she and Petty were once childhood sweethearts when she lived in Queens, New York as a child. 

Minaj produced a Carnival video for 'Pound the Alarm' in Trinidad in 2012. 

'Fast and Furious' actor and musician Ludacris was also in the island for Trinidad and Tobago's 2020 Carnival celebrations. 

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Using Dancehall to Teach Maths and Science

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MINISTER OF SCIENCE, ENERGY AND TECHNOLOGY DR. ANDREW WHEATLEY (RIGHT) SPEAKS WITH SENIOR MANAGER, LEARNING, DEVELOPMENT AND CULTURE AT THE JN GROUP DR. RENÉE RATTRAY AND MATHEMATICS AND SCIENCE PROFESSOR AT COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY, CHRISTOPHER EMDIN.

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Friday February 24, 2017 – The Jamaica National (JN) Foundation has collaborated with Mathematics and Science Professor at Columbia University, Christopher Emdin, to launch it’s a project that fuses dancehall music with science.

The ‘Science Genius Jamaica’ education project was officially launched this week. While Science Genius uses hip-hop music in the United States to reach students, Science Genius Jamaica will use dancehall music to bring the subject to life for students and teachers in an exciting dancehall clash competition that is geared at helping them explore and discover the wonders of science.

Senior Manager, Learning, Development and Culture at JN Group, Dr. Renée Rattray, said the initiative aims to inspire the confidence of students by using music and culture to get them more enthused about learning.

“As part of the broader science movement initiated by Chris (Professor Emdin) in New York schools a few years ago, our project aims to connect youth culture with education, so that learning the rigourous content of mathematics and science becomes more effortless for young people,” Dr. Rattray said.

She noted that statistics showed that students were not performing as well as they should in Mathematics and the core science subjects. She said the pass rate for Mathematics is 48 per cent; Chemistry, 57 per cent; and Physics, 63 per cent.

“The influence of dancehall on our young people is a no-brainer. It is our popular culture and its influences, today, extend beyond class boundaries and country borders. It is like the air our children breathe,” she said.

Minister of Science, Energy and Technology Dr. Andrew Wheatley welcomed the project, noting that it is intended to convert students into science lovers through the use of popular culture.

“I thank the JN Group and its Foundation for setting an excellent precedence in public-private sector partnership in assisting in the rescue mission of science and mathematics in Jamaica. So let me say thank you for your efforts in birthing the new generation of scientists, mathematicians, statisticians, engineers, botanists – both girls and boys,” Dr. Wheatley said.

He also thanked Professor Emdin for taking the time to come to Jamaica to introduce his model of fusing popular music with science and mathematics education.

“Importantly, and as the educators have stated, this new fusion approach brings the sciences and the arts together and, in the land of reggae and dancehall I believe it will reap positive results in the near future and improve the national Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) Science performance,” he noted.

State Minister for Education, Youth and Information Floyd Green also commended the JN Group for its initiative.

“We all recognize now that no one cap fits all and no one size fits all and you have to take different approaches if you are going to truly connect with your students,” he said.

Meanwhile, Professor Emdin noted that by merging dancehall to science “you are retraining the brain of youth who are embedded in dancehall, to reimagine themselves as scientists”.

“We are engaging in not just a cute programme; we are engaging in rewiring our generation,” he said.

Read more: http://www.caribbean360.com/news/using-dancehall-teach-maths-science#ixzz4Zo95lV9o

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The highly anticipated staging of Jamaica’s 49th Independence & Cultural Celebration (JICC) promises exhilarating entertainment, interactive activities, a variety of delicious Jamaican food, and enjoyment for the entire family.

The exciting event, is scheduled for Sunday, August 7 from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Miramar Regional Park, 16801 Miramar Parkway and will showcase and celebrate Jamaica’s history and rich cultural heritage. The event is being sponsored by telecommunications giant LIME who has pledged its full support for the festivities as presenting sponsor. The celebrations will feature the music, food, lifestyle, and history of Jamaica during a fun-filled family day in the park.

The event aims to connect the rich history and traditions of Jamaican culture to the greater South Florida community, all in recognition of Jamaica’s Independence Day. In addition to cultural games including ‘dandy shandy’ and traditional sounds of the ‘mento’ band, a premiere line-up of international performers are scheduled to take the stage.

Included in the entertainment package is the venerable Fab 5, Jamaica’s most popular live band who have been topping charts and receiving international recognition for the more than 40 years. Sharing the stage with Fab 5 will be international artistes Kashief Lindo, Ed Robinson, Amblique, Nikesha Lindo, and many more.

“For the last 140 years LIME has been part of Jamaica’s history and we have been one of the biggest supporters of Jamaican culture,” said chief marketing officer, Chris Dehring.

“We are proud to be part of an event which allows Jamaicans abroad to keep connected with their history and culture and enjoy a taste of home although they are overseas,” he added.

Jamaica’s 49th Independence & Cultural Celebration will be hosted by veteran radio personality Jamusa of WAVS 1170 Radio, and is produced by NRS, Inc. and Riddims Marketing in association with United Friends of Highgate. Sponsors include Western Union, VP Records, WAVS Radio, Vita Malt, Jamaica National Money Transfer, The Law Office of Kirk A. Barrow and Grace Foods. The event will be streamed live on the internet by Irie Times.

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The Tivoli Dance Troupe formed part of the kaleidoscope of performances at the Culturama 2010 Mello-Go-roun’
FT. LAUDERDALE - Culturama 2010 Mello-Go-Roun’ returned to South Florida as the audience was treated to a kaleidescope of cultural performances from Jamaica at the Coral Springs Center for the Performing Arts in Coral Springs, South Florida, last Sunday (Aug. 1). Part of the celebrations for Jamaica’s 48th anniversary of Independence, here in South Florida, Culturama 2010 returned after a three-year hiatus and was well received by a packed house at the 1200 seat theatre.

Patrons to the four-hour event were entertained by outstanding Jamaican talent, from Jamaica and here in South Florida, as they performed from a potpourri of traditional folk and contemporary dance, drama, oratory and musical recitals.

The large audience swayed and hand-clapped as they participated in what reminiscent of an old time festival fair singing to the rhythms of the mento bands and dancing to the music of quadrille, dinki minni, gerreh, kumina and brukins as entertainers graced the stage in a panorama of exotic and brightly coloured costumes.

This year, a new feature was added to the full and entertaining programme highlighting performances of Jamaicans of Indian and Chinese descent, living in the Diaspora. ‘JamIndians Lyme Lite Dancers’ performed song and dance showcasing the strong influence of the Indian culture as part of the Jamaican heritage.
Likewise, well-known Jamaican author and folklorist, Easton Lee, shared aspects of the strong Chinese influence in the Jamaican culture, as he read a series of poetry and dialect reflecting periods of Emancipation to present, similarly during which time also chronicled the history of Chinese migration to Jamaica more than 150 years ago.

Known as the oldest mento band in Jamaica, the Blue Glades Mento Band, performing for some 40 years, was most resilient in their performance combining the rhythmic blend of song and dance and stringing sounds from the banjo, the rhumba box, accordion player, flute and violin, as the audience sang a range of old Jamaican favorites like ‘Solas Market’ ‘Long Time Gal’ and ‘Sweet Jamaica.’

Other performances included the versatility of Jamaica Festival winning groups – the Clonmel Cultural Club from St. Mary as they electrified the audience with several pieces from their repertoire of traditional folk recitals, the Tivoli Dance Troupe demonstrating the agility of their bodies with creative dances, and several local artistes such as the Jamaica Folk Revue, Tallawah Mento Band, dub poet Malachi Smith, Kimiela Candy Issacs, and the reigning Miss Jamaica Florida, Shanice Cox.



Members of the Clonmel Cultural Group performing from their repertoire of traditional folk dances at the Culturama 2010 Mello-Go-roun’

Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Olivia Grange, who participated in the festivities, said that the occasion had “taken us back in time, taking us from the deep roots to the contemporary of our Jamaican culture.”

Likening the festivities to that of Jamaica’s Independence festivities currently taking place, Minister Grange praised the versatility of the several performers, and the participation of the patrons as they celebrated a significant period in the nation’s history.
She also commended the organizers of Jamaica Awareness, Incorporated directed by Sydney Roberts and the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission “for keeping Jamaica’s rich cultural heritage alive and strong in the Diaspora.”

Among the many guests in attendance were Jamaica’s Consul General, Sandra Grant Griffiths Trinidad’s Consul General, Ms. Laura West, and civic leaders from the Florida State and City Commissions.

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Government coughs up money for bacchanal

This year there has been more meetings than actual events when it comes to “Looshan Carnival” 2010, leaving more than just a bitter tastes in the mouths of many over the event which supposedly has a tag line “nothing sweeter than that.” Money and the financing of the event have been at the centre of most of those meetings. Carnival over the years has been heavily subsidized by Government and whilst the various shows at Carnival have been major draws in terms of crowd, the event has suffered perennial financial losses, with little public accountability. This year it would appear that the Ministry of finance which is headed by Prime Minister Stephenson King is going all out to tighten the screws on the financial operations of the Cultural Development Foundation, the CDF, the institution which has the mandate for overseeing carnival events. After several meetings with between the Carnival stakeholders and CDF as well as between CDF and the Minister of Culture, there appeared to have been a stalemate last week about the financing for carnival, which over the past three years had received a boost of EC$1 million per year. Last Friday morning the Saint Lucia Calypso Association told the media that after last weekend they would have been pulling out of any competition events, with Calypso quarter finals due this week and Groovy and Power Soca qualifiers due last Saturday. But in a last ditch effort to save Carnival, hours later the Government’s press secretary announced that yet another EC$1 million would be made available to Carnival 2010. Ah but there is a catch the STAR has since learnt, or maybe more than just one. The money we have learnt will not be placed in the coffers for them to do as they please. Apparently the condition is such that all invoices and bills related to carnival must be submitted to the Ministry of Education and Culture for perusal and for subsequent payment. So what now of the Saint Lucia Calypso Association? Well after Friday’s announcement they were still holding on to their position pending receipt of an official communiqué from either CDF or the Government. On Sunday head of the CDF board Milton Branford met with the Calypso Association to discuss the way forward. The STAR has learnt that the meeting was quite cordial with just one issue unresolved. The Calypso Association had been negotiating EC$150,000 to split among the five tents. But whilst this money was guaranteed over the weekend, there is a little matter of a ten percent tax which would be placed on that figure and all other fees and prize money paid out to Calypsonians and Soca artistes for Carnival 2010. But whilst on Friday the SLCA 2009 had this to say; “we are completely dissatisfied with the disregard and apparent lack of respect from the Ministry of Culture after the assurance that we would receive firm word on our subvention by Wednesday June 16, 2010,” on Monday they were singing a different tune. Having since been written to be the Ministry of Education and Culture the Calypso tents will as of this evening be hosting their quarter finals with Spectrum setting things off tonight, followed by TOT on Thursday night, South tent on Friday and Ambassadors on Saturday. The issue of the ten percent tax the SLCA has been advised to approach Inland Revenue for a waiver. The STAR has also been informed that of the EC$1 million just half of that will go directly to CDF to cover their expenses and prize money whilst the balance will go towards community carnival, Calypso and Steel-pan. The government is also demanding that CDF presents a detailed document about its operations and expenses for Carnival this year as well as its proposals for making the event more financially viable in the future. This was one of the intentions in the first place when carnival was shifted from its traditional pre-lentern period to July.

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Richie Loop

At 23 years old, one of the newest rising artist Richard ‘Richie Loop’ Webb, has begun to make his audience sit up and take notice as he makes strides toward solidifying his name in the music history. With a budding catalogue, the singer, songwriter and producer, who already has three singles in rotation on radio within the Caribbean and abroad. Born and raise in the parish of Clarendon, Richie Loop attended Clarendon College but has always had a love affair with music and all that it embodies. An entertainer at heart, he dabbled in dancing and acting as a child. Later he pursued studies in Information Technology at Excelsior Community College and upon completion, worked at Gumption Recording studios as a composer. It was while working at the studio that he received the name Richie Loop. Wanting to further his growth, he ventured to Gal A Rush Recording Studios, where he spent five months fine tuning his craft. During that time he was afforded the opportunity to work with veteran reggae artist Derrek Morgan. It was while working with Derrek Morgan that Richie Loop got his big break when he was approached by Robert Livingston CEO of Scikron Entertainment, also known as Big Yard Music Label, and was instantly offered a contract. Richie Loop describes his experiences with Robert Livingston as a critical learning process in his career as a singer, songwriter, composer and producer. He goes on to say, "In my daily musical walk, I am able to learn from one of the greatest manager/producer of all time and continue the legacy of Scikron Entertainment." My main focus is to work on improving my skills by incorporating new styles of beats (a fusion of dancehall, disco, rock and hip hop) and songs that people will enjoy." One of the biggest riddim that consumed the airwaves in late 2009 to date the ‘Brainstorm’ rhythm produced by Richie Loop and D-Lynx, and has followed-up with ‘Maad a Road’ and ‘Sweat Shop’ rhythms. Additionally, he has produced songs on two of the rhythms he brought to life namely - ‘She Wants It Good’ on the ‘BrainStorm’ rhythm and ‘Gal Whine’ on the ‘Sweat Shop’ rhythm. The production of such captivating rhythms have not only gained Loop media attention but it has also allowed him the opportunity to work with notable artists such as Shaggy, Christopher Martin, D-Lynx, Iceman, D-Major, Ce'cile, Voicemail, Red Fox, Lukie D, Tony Matterhorn and upcoming female dancehall artist Rae Tay. In February 2010, Richie Loop stepped behind the mic and voiced what is setting it self up to be a party anthem, ‘My Cupp.’ The single has been an instant catch that garnered attention from radio, disc jocks and various media outlets. This multi-talented phenomenon shows no sign of slowing down as he hopes to work with other Jamaican artists as well as international acts.

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Photo by: GBurkeImages

Una Morgan is the sole female sibling of the Reggae band of this decade, Morgan Heritage. Despite having ten studio albums under her belt with her family band, having performed for stadium-sized audiences across the world, and having garnered much of the success and longevity that many artistes can only hope for, Una took a step back from the limelight in 2006. “I wanted to take time to recreate and develop myself physically, mentally, and spiritually.”

 

 

During this time she also focused on building her production company, SIA Entertainment, strengthening family ties, improving her physical health and connecting with her spirituality. As a true performer, however, Una could not sit back idly. Now as a solo artist she has developed with her own distinctive sound. Una Morgan’s signature sound is a blend of Reggae, Dancehall, Pop, Hip Hop and Soul fused to be appropriately called Raggasoul.

 

With this distinctive sound, an excellent voice, and great studio production, Una’s single ‘Giving’, produced by Lenky ‘Diwali’ Marsden (producer of Sean Paul, Nina Sky etc.) perfectly captures her sound. She is also excited about her contribution made on the ‘Tribute to Haiti’ track produced by the great Handel Tucker (producer of ‘Close to You’ and ‘Just a Little Bit Longer’ by Maxi Priest, ‘House Call’ by Shabba Ranks and various hits with Sly and Robbie and Beenie Man).

 

Una is also working with acclaimed local and international producers on her debut solo album. She is very excited about working with multi Grammy Award winning producers Commission Gordon (credited with work for Lauryn Hill, Amy Winehouse and Joss Stone), a collaboration that was set up by Rubikon ENT, who list Gordon among their clients. Her solo album presents collaborations
with established and new names in the industry. On her album, she worked with other established producers and writers, such as Stephen McGregor, Jimmy Cozier, and Taj from the 90’s group The Boys. Una has also returned to her hometown of Springfield, Atlanta to work with rising stars such as Kiana India, ME, and producer “X”.

 

To address the rumors, Una ensures her fans that her solo venture is not signaling the breakup of Morgan Heritage. “We always knew that we would build as a group, use that foundation to take things to the next level, and then come back to the family.” You can even find some more Morgans on the credits, with brothers Mr. Mojo and Gramps assisting in mixing and production, a true testament to the strong bond that keeps their
family together.

Una performing in Charlotte, NC. Photo by: GBurkeImages

 

Looking to fully capitalize on her groups’ international success, Una has recently signed to Gary George Inc. (GGI) and Rubikon Entertainment management companies to use their pooled wealth of resources for management and legal services to propel her development. Rubikon is a UK-based management and legal firm that provide management and legal & business affairs to a slew of prominent artistes and producers amongst other entities.

 

Miss Morgan, even though blessed, has not let her accomplishments go to her head. She remains humble and has made it her personal mission to use her celebrity status and music to champion issues such as health, weight management, self-esteem, and other issues plaguing women around the world. “I’m very concerned that many young women today are doing things to please everyone else. We need to work on being one with the Creator first, and I hope my music can inspire young women to do that.”

The Raggasoul songstress, Una Morgan, hopes that with her new album, entitled ‘Just Me’, she can show her evolution in music, life, and spirituality, while continuing to uphold her family’s legacy.

 

Source: Gary George Inc/SIA Entertainment

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GBurkeImages Photo
On CIAA weekend in Charlotte, NC. Elephant Man provided his many fans with an entertaining concert at the Neighborhood Theater. The event put on by Brightworks Promotions was well attended and Elephant Man had his fans especially the women rocking to his favorite beats.


To see many more photos of the concert and fans visit: gburkeimages.com

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