In a major development, the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honorable Olivia Grange, has announced plans to take the top ten entries in the 2020 Jamaica Festival Song Competition to the world. The songs will be available for download and streaming on all music platforms as of Friday, July 3rd, 2020, courtesy of VPal Music.
The finalists in the 2020 Jamaica Festival Song Competition include Reggae icons Freddie McGregor, Toots & The Maytals and Buju Banton; popular artistes Papa Michigan, Nazzle Man, L.U.S.T. (Lukie D, Thriller U, Singing Melody & Tony Curtis); Rising Stars winner Shuga; upcoming dancehall artistes Xtra Bigg and Radix OD, as well as the actress and television presenter, Sakina.
The move to make the Jamaica Festival Song entries available on music downloading and streaming services is a part of Minister Grange’s initiative to revitalize Jamaica Festival. In keeping with restrictions on public gatherings because of the covid-19 pandemic, the usual island-wide road shows and public performances by the Festival Song finalists will not be held this year. Instead, the Ministry has engaged national radio and television stations and has been using social media to bring the finalists and their entries to the public.
The winning Jamaica Festival Song for 2020 will be decided on July 26 by popular vote.
Germany has been ahead of the game as it relates to partying while maintaining physical distance. A couple months ago there were reports of drive-in raves in Germany, where patrons pulled up in a huge parking lot and remained in their cars (singing and dancing) as the DJ played the music.
Now they’re taking it up a notch! On July 10th, the Junkyard – located in Dortmund, Germany – will host a live outdoors event, with a special performance by Jamaican artist Anthony B.
As you can imagine they’re being very careful about the number of people they allow in. As such, all tickets are pre-sold online and there is a limited amount. In order to honor the social distancing guidelines Anthony B will perform on tracks as opposed to with a band.
On July 1st, the day globally recognized as ‘Reggae Day,’ Roots Percussionist will be hosting a live chat with several reggae celebrities to discuss the genre.
Confirmed speakers include: Lila Iké, Jesse Royal, Kabaka Pyramid, Julian Marley, Chronixx and others. The conversation will begin at 10:00 AM Jamaica time and it will stream on IG (@Roots_Percussionist).
In the midst of the pandemic the Philadelphia based Nyah Bless Music remain vigilant in the production of positive music. Teaming with longtime business partner, Jam Roc Productions, the focus shifted to the Motherland resulting in another gem “Mama Afrika Riddim.” Produced by Hopeton Brown and Franz Richards, the album is scheduled for release on June 30th, 2020.
The album, with 16 tracks, is a great mixture of cultural reggae and solid lyrical content promoting positive awareness. The album features artists from several African countries. Black Dillinger from the rough ghettos of Cape Town, South Africa sings “Afrikan People,”Prince Osito from Nigeria follows with “Afrikan Child” and Rebellion the Recaller, the internationally known artiste from Gambia, continues to break down barrier of Race and Religion with the track “Woman.” Other Afrikan artists includes Obibini Blackdin – Ghana, Blessed San – Uganda, Charli Fletcher – South Africa and Marga Mbande of Equatorial Guinean descent.
Jamaica, the birthplace of reggae music, is well represented on the album. Leading the charge is Karamanti with a powerful and riveting track “Stand” pushing back against principalities, powers, and spiritual wickedness in high places. Natty King, the Man from the East is all about “Powers” and the original teacher Teacha Dee has places to go and things to do with his rendition of “Train Delay.” Others include JR Blessington, Greg Roy, Milton Blake, Iam Malakhi, Avalanche and City Lock.
Mama Afrika Riddim was produced at BMR Recording Studios in Philadelphia. The album will be available on all digital platforms such as Apple Music, iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Deezer and Google Play.
CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO ‘MAMA AFRIKA RIDDIM’
Legendary Jamaican artist Frederick “Toots” Hibbert just released the lead single, “Got To Be Tough,” off his upcoming album of the same title. The highly-anticipated 10-song collection will stand as Toots‘ first studio album (of new material) in more than a decade.
“Got To Be Tough” is an energizing record that renews the near six-decade career of the man who launched a new sound and genre with his 1968 release “Do The Reggay.” The single comes with the welcome announcement of a full-length Toots and The Maytals album, set for global release via Trojan Jamaica / BMG on August 28.
Click here to listen and download “Got To Be Tough.“
Last week Richie Spice released the official video for the title track on his new album “Together We Stand.” With so much happening on social media some people may have missed it, so we are sharing it HERE.
A few days ago Tarrus Riley released the title track from his upcoming album “Healing.” The 12-track project, which is produced by Shane Brown and Dean Fraser, will be available on all music platforms on July 10th, 2020. As we wait for the LP, we can enjoy the single and video.