Romain Virgo ‘Lovesick’ Album Competition
Tune into my Soul & Reggae Sundays show on Colourful Radio Sunday 18th February 2018 between 4pm and 7pm for your chance to win one of two download copies of Romain Virgo’s brand new album ‘Lovesick’ on VP Records.
Ivy Chanel singer-songwriter, producer, vocal coach, The Songwriters Academy Mentor and sister of legendary Hall of Fame inductee, Hip Hop legend DJ Cash Money, Ivy Chanel is an artist with a rich musical legacy.
The UK based Philly native was raised in the USA listening to a soundtrack of soulful gospel blends. Her music draws inspiration from her African American, French, and Native American heritage. Ivy Chanel is respected by some of the biggest talents in the industry and has worked with artists like Mo Pleasure, Omar, JLS, and Q-Tip. Ivy Chanel has also been invited to provided guest lead vocals for Miss Hoodoo’s and the Delta Boys, C+C Music Factory with Freedom Williams and The Motor City Motown Band to name a few.
Gizelle Smith on Colourful Radio DAB 04-February-2018
Born to a Seychellois mother and an American father who was a band member of legendary Motown group ‘The Four Tops’ Gizelle was raised in Manchester, UK with a multicultural upbringing steeped in soulful music from the very beginning…
Pursuing a career in music was the natural path for her and in her formative years she became a composer in theatrical productions, a trumpet player in several big bands and a singing tutor all while earning an MA in film composition.
Before long, her singing became the main focus as her obvious talents began to attract serious attention in the funk & soul circles. After a first 7” release she was picked up and remixed by Grammy nominee producer Kenny Dope for a release on his Kay Dee imprint.
Soon after she came in to mainstream consciousness as the leader of the Hamburg based outfit ‘The Mighty Mocambos’ on their breakthrough collaborative album ‘This Is Gizelle Smith & The Mighty Mocambos’.
Gizelle excelled in the role of frontwoman which saw her dubbed the ‘Golden Girl Of Funk’ perfectly offset by The Mocambo brand of classic funk and soul centred around catchy dancefloor tunes. It proved to be an underground hit – charting and receiving specialist radio airplay across Europe while moving over 10,000 units of the album and the single ‘Working Woman’ being streamed in excess of 2million times on Spotify, all despite only being backed by a small indie label.
A serious touring schedule then followed which saw her entertaining audiences across the world including a main stage performance at Montreal Jazz Festival to over fifty thousand people.
2016 saw the recording process for her new album “Ruthless day” begin.
Before long there was well over an album’s worth of material and the cathartic nature of the writing process provided a collection of songs soaked in emotion.
Not simply recreating the classic style of the debut, the new record saw her develop a more expansive and progressive sound that exposes her vocal talents and arranging skills far more than before. This time around recruiting a talented crew of jazz-schooled musicians and incorporating a more adventurous approach to instrumentation that sees a wide array of strings, brass and synths added into the mix of the ‘traditional soul band’ set up.
The result is an energetic and harmonically rich, funk record with exciting arrangements that at times remind of Rotary Connection and Cymande in their prime. Yet it’s also undeniably modern and relevant at a time when new the new breed of progressive funk pioneers like Childish Gambino, Thundercat and Mr Jukes are all commanding significant media attention.
Proving she is now back to her best, Gizelle Smith is once again a force to be reckoned with…
Ruthless Day will be released on CD/Vinyl/Digital formats via Jalapeno Records early 2018 and Gizelle Smith will be embarking on a European tour shortly after.
Bright Star Awards – Sunday 28th January 2018
The Bright Star Awards for 2017 in association with Colourful Radio is coming.
Recognising and celebrating the best of UK and international Soul & Reggae for 2017.
Look out for the Grand finale awards show on Sunday 28th January 2018 that will be broadcast LIVE and streamed worldwide.
So that’s the Bright Star Awards for 2017 in association with Colourful Radio and our sponsors Port Royal Patties, the Africa Centre and djsly.co.uk.
More information on www.brightstarawards.co.uk
Sa-Ha-Ra on Colourful Radio DAB 03-December-2017
Sa-Ha-Ra on Colourful Radio DAB 03-December-2017
Love So Fine by SA-HA-RA, is the enduring club classic, known to DJ’s and UK club goers alike.
SA-HA-RA (formerly Sahara), reformed in 2016 and immediately set to work on the long desired ‘Love So Fine’ LP.
The plan was to expand the SA-HA-RA sound and work with other top UK singers and musicians.
Featuring new and re-worked songs, led by Peter Hinds (ex Light of the World, Beggar & Co., Incognito), with partners Steve Sinclair and Kevin Ellis, they have written, arranged and produced, – Love So Fine: Past, Present, Future – LP, to be released on their own SHE Records label.
Side 1, the album opens with a timely message ‘Why The Hate’ with strong vocals by Jenny Ingram- Brown, over a trademark SA-HA-RA groove. The radio friendly and uplifting ‘You Are My Everything’, the philly inspired, mid tempo, sensual vocal, on ‘Let’s Be One Tonight’ and closing with the all time classic , mid 80’s boogie tune ‘Love So Fine’, now available on vinyl, for the first time since the original release.
Side 2, opens with the Pop dance, synth bass pumped, ‘ Let’s Get It On’, to the Chic styled bass driven, ‘How Long’.
Next , the minimal jazz set, sweet vocal ballad ‘Easy Come, Easy Go’ by Helen Louise Jones, featuring Kenny Wellington (LOTW) on Trumpet and Neil Charles on Double Bass. ‘Summer reprise’ hip hop driven drum led, breezy jazzy vocal by the late Jenni Evans and great Keyboard solo from Peter Hinds. And Lastly, ‘God’s Gonna Cut You Down.
This traditional folk song, has been re -arranged by the producers, Sinclair, Hinds & Ellis and set to a mid tempo 70’s soul groove, with stirring Gospel vocals from Yvonne Sinclair.
Colourful Radio up for Best Radio Station 2017 at the UMA
Just so you know Colourful Radio DAB has been nominated for Best Radio Station 2017 at the prestigious Urban Music Awards
Please vote for us here –> http://www.urbanmusicawards.co/voting/
Heather Haywood current member of The Cool Notes a mid-1980s group who had a string of chart hits in the UK between 1983 and 1991. The band, who formed in South London, consisted of seven members of both vocal and instrumental talent.
They are best known for their UK number 11 hit, ‘Spend The Night’. Heather started her musical journey in lovers Rock reggae band with hits namely, The Cool Notes with reggae hits ‘My Tune’, ‘I Will Always Love You’ , ‘ I’ve Got To Let Him Know’ , ‘It’s Not Unusual’ (a cover of the Tom Jones hit) ‘Meant To Be’ and many more. The Cool Notes own creative style of fusing Reggae with Soul music, something the reggae audience at that time did not appreciate but ironically would today recognise as The Cool Notes lovers rock reggae Classics. They first worked together as a Lovers Rock Reggae Band during the mid -’70s the band consisted of 3 female vocalist Audrey, Valerie and Lauraine.
Heather Haywood became a part of the outfit in the latter stages as two of the female singer left. It was in 1983 that the band took up a natural change and became a Soul music group. They first made an impression on the UK Soul music scene with a number 1 summer smash hit ‘You’re Never Too Young’ which also went Top 50 to No. 42 in August 1984. Then followed ‘I forgot’ Top 75 at No. 63 (1984) ‘Spend The Night’ just missing the Top10 at No.11 (1985). ‘In Your Car’ also Top 20 at No.13 (1985) – Both ‘Spend The Night’ and ‘In Your Car’ enjoyed huge European success. ‘Have A Good Forever’ which was also the title track of The Cool Notes first Soul music Album entered Top 75 (1985). ‘Into The Motion’ Top 75 (1986) followed by ‘Girls Night Out’ and ‘Momentary Vision’ (1986). Heather and the band Worked and supported bands such as The Gap Band, The SOS Band, Rose Royce and Atlantic Starr. They also worked alongside the late Whitney Houston and many other legendary musicians and singers.
Heather Left the band in 1988 and signed a deal with Polydor Records in 1989. This was on their Urban sister label. The first song to be released was ‘Bad Attitude’, which was a big club hit. ‘Just What You Deserve’ was a DJ’s favourite and ‘I Want To Satisfy You’ another club hit. Heather left the label after 3 years.
Recorded with independent label 1990 Heather worked with MBeat on a version of Anita Bakers “Sweet Love” as a drum and bass (junglist) track. Heather toured eastern euro with General Levy and more. She is also featured on various compilations. Heather, has had Success in the USA with her 2 singles ‘He’z My Baby’ and ‘Everyday’ on KHP Records North Carolina. The tracks were big Beach music hits. Heather still works with the recording company in the US.
Heather has worked on various musical projects that have had varied success, nonetheless she is a true entertainer/singer/writer, she has stayed true to her profession from the age of 14yrs to now in her legendary status. She re-joined The Cool Notes and toured from 1996 to 2006. And still touring and working with the band; who are due to put out a new album in 2018.
Heather has been working with a French Recording company Candence Records and has just had a solo release on 14th October 2017. The songs are titled ‘Party Tonight’ and ‘Give It Up’. A double A sided record. Heather has been working with Producer NickeeB from Lyon, France on this release. A further single is due to be released in January 2018. Heather has various projects in the bag at this present time and is looking forward to a great 2018.
COCOA TEA is one of Reggae’s most talented and versatile artistes. His smooth, easy-going vocal presentation (pre-recorded or live) have become his trademark, earning him wide international acclaim; with songs like “Lost MY Sonia,” “Tune In” and “Rocking Dolly,” becoming world anthems in Reggae land. Admired and respected for his fine conscious recordings, COCOA TEA is also known for his unwavering generosity and kindness for the less fortunate.
Born Calvin George Scott on September, 3, 1959, in Rocky Point, Clarendon, he was later schooled at the Savannah Primary school in Rocky Point and the Bustamante Junior Secondary School in Lionel Town Clarendon.
From the exposure gained by singing on church and school choirs, COCOA TEA recorded his first song, “Searching In The Hills,” in 1974. Only Fourteen years old and having other interests, Calvin had no plans of making music his career. “Searching In The Hills,” was far from a financial success. The disappointment was keenly felt by Calvin, and so he took the music business off his mind for a while.
The next five years found COCOA TEA first as a Jockey, and then as a Fisherman. It was during this time of fishing that he began structuring his music career. His training grounds were the dancehalls, where he would test his lyrics on the various Sound systems that came to play in his area.
His success in the dancehalls strengthened his purpose and encouraged him to go further, so he began writing songs and training his voice. The final push came when Rashane, his first child, was born. His need for a steady livelihood plunged him into music full time.
Two months after an impressive performance at a dancehall in December ‘ 83,’ COCOA TEA journeyed to Kingston where he met Henry “Junjo” Lawes. “Who’s The Champion” and his first big hit, “Rocking Dolly,” were the first products from what was to be a successful union. These songs along with “Christmas Is Coming,” and “On Top Of The World,” were all compiled with COCOA TEA’S next big hit, “I Lost My Sonia” to produce his first album, by that name (“I Lost My Sonia”).
In 1985 COCOA accepted the Rastafarian faith. The conversion was reflected in his music, with songs like “Settle Down,” “Don’t Be Shy,” Too Much Fussing And Fighting” and “I’ve Gotta Love You,” “86 Flood,” “Highest Mountain,” “Tune In,” “Crying Time,” “Must Unite” and “Come Again,” which he recorded for King Jammy’s, on his fourth album titled “Settle Down” (the others being “Mr. COCO TEA and “Come Again”). The single “Rikers Island,” made it to No.1 in the United States and the U.K. and an album of the same name, his fifth, was to follow. This album also included the hit single “One Woman Show.”
“Oil Ting”- his most controversial recording, done off the War in the Middle East, was banned in England, (because of contents they claimed had Prong sentiments) while it went to No.1 in America. “Oil Ting” was followed by “No Blood For Oil,” ”What’s Gonna Happen After The War,” and ”Ruling Cowboy.”
COCOA TEA’S sixth album, one called “Authorized,” includes the hits ”May Day,” ”One Away Woman,” ‘Hunted- Wanted.” and Evaluation.” Several other singles have also been released, including ”Bust Outta Hell” and ”Kingston Hot” on the legendary Junjo Lawes Volcano Label.
COCOA TEA has been performing all over the world since 1984, with extensive tours to the U.S., Canada, the Caribbean and Japan. Locally he remains a regular on all major concerts and has appeared on reggae’s premiere event, Reggae Sunsplash every year since 1987, except in 1989. He singled out his three most memorable performances to date; his first performance on Sunsplash in 1987, the other, a show in Canada, where he performed for two hors non-stop, and his land mark achievement, a performance in St. Croix, where he performed for 10,000 people in the pouring rain.
COCOA TEA earned his stage name, because of his love for …?… you guessed right, hot cocoa (cocoa tea, as it is called in rural Jamaica). Sweet Sweet COCOA TEA attributes his inspiration to Jah. His aim was to become a role model, a source of learning and inspiration- like the great Bob Marley, whom he so admires. As he puts it, “There is a lack of consciousness from what it used to be, it’s (the music) is becoming what it is not be.”
“If one of my songs can be remembered and or quoted, and be of inspiration or guidance to anyone, then I shall be forever happy with my contribution musically.”
Nateesha Stream on Colourful Radio DAB 05-November-2017
STREAM – 1) Steady flow of water or other liquid. 2) Moving continuously in a line or particular direction. A stream is a natural resource that flows from the Earth. It derives from a spring and journeys to the rivers whose ultimate destination is the wide oceans of the world. STREAM incorporates this philosophy into the creation of her music. She nurtures a thought, morphs it into a melodious blend of words, and delivers it to the hearts and minds of people. Since birth STREAM knew she was destined for greatness.
“It’s a new beginning. New music, new style, new vibes, says Stream. I had to take myself outside the music industry to finally understand what was happening with my career. I can see clearly now and fully understand that good management and vision is the key to success. I was born for this and my goal is to be a trendsetter in music!!!”
With her new connections, Nyah Bless Music, at the helm, 2017 is moving in a positive direction for the talented songstress. Now recording in earnest, she has completed a reggae remake of the Angela Bofill R&B classic “Tonight I Give In”, a gospel bombshell “My God” on Nyah Bless Frivolous Nation rhythm and a patriotic single “Come to Jamaica”.
Born Nateesha Irving, she started singing at the tender age of thirteen. She began performing on community stage shows as part of the girl group trio DA-NA-TE. As a young teen the multi-talented STREAM, also delved into the world of acting and modelling. However it wasn’t until she recorded her first song at the age of 18, titled “My Friend” did she realize her true calling as a songstress. This later led her to form alliances with the female group ‘RASTARINES’ which ultimately lasted a few years.
After leaving ‘RASTARINES’ she made several major solo performance debuts on the local and international stage. Some of her most memorable showcases include East Fest, Reggae Sumfest, Rebel Salute, Western Consciousness, Sting and Sister to Sister media-thon, a charity event which was broadcasted live throughout Jamaica and the World Wide Web. Her most recent overseas performance however was at the Royal Watler Port in Grand Cayman and Dangriga, Belize where she received rave reviews.
Over the years STREAM has done background vocal work for many artistes and worked with a variety of producers. She is featured on Gyptian’s album “My Name is Gyptian” on the track “Holiday”. STREAM’s musical future continues to shine bright. With a plethora of new singles and a busy schedule for summer, STREAM has her sights set on making her presence felt within the music industry. Blessed with a powerful voice, captivating beauty and a charismatic personality, STREAM has managed to flood the reggae industry with tunes that resonates beauty combined with reality.
STREAM’s style is similar to that of Toni Braxton who she considers to be an influence on her musical career. Others include Anita Baker, Teddy Pendergrass and Alton Ellis. Her unique and diverse sound is as quiet as the stream that will one day meet the ocean. She adds, “I can relate to her music, her melody. It connects to me. I can feel her through her music. It’s like when she sings the melody speaks to me. It’s captivating”.
In 2008 she released several singles for the House of Hits record label such as ‘Fuss Nor Fight’, ‘In The Ghetto’, ‘Holding On’ and ‘Sisters’ which is fated to become a symbol of strength for young women across not only Jamaica and the Caribbean but the globe. Because of her ability to inject soulful realness into her music, the Jamaican Music Industry embraced STREAM to the fullest, by rewarding her songs with constant rotation on every major radio and music video cable stations including HYPE TV, MD TV.
Even though she is a female in a male dominated business STREAM has successfully maintained her level of royalness by embracing Rastafari as part of her cultural being. “I’m a Nu-Root Rasta, one that still sticks to and will never forget the fundamentals of my culture.” The future has arrived ladies and gentlemen as STREAM has firmly rooted herself as the next great thing to flow from the rocky springs of Jamaica. Her sound will seek to illustrate a new vibe, a new beginning and spark the growth of a Nu-Root.
Currently working on completing his debut album, STREAM and management company Nyah Bless Music have begun an amazing promotional campaign that will continue throughout the summer with the release of several singles. The album is already causing a stir within the industry with moguls and fans collectively excited at the prospect of 12 vastly different tracks produced by an assortment of well-respected Jamaican producers.
Bright Star Awards 2017 – Press Release
The Bright Star Awards for 2017 is approaching. The team are working hard to make this the best ever Bright Star Awards.
Background / Synopsis
Previously known as Sly’s Awards; the Bright Star Awards is an urban music award. It is the brainchild and concept of Sly of Colourful Radio. Each year we are trying to improve engagement so that UK and international artists and the music that we love can get more recognition.
This year the Bright Star Awards presentation will be taking place as a live presentation / show from a location in Central London. Winners will receive an engraved Bright Star Award. In addition the plan is for a worldwide live video stream of the event and simultaneous Outside Broadcast (OB) on Colourful Radio across DAB, web, mobile and all digital platforms of the event and artists receiving their awards.
We are currently finalising the categories, prior to nominations and voting. It is expected that there will be Ten (10) categories.
Best Male Artist (in association with…)
Best Female Artist (in association with…)
Best Band/Group (in association with…)
Best Soul/R&B Single (in association with…)
Best Soul/R&B Album (in association with…)
Best Reggae Single (in association with…)
Best Reggae Album (in association with…)
Best Home-Grown Artist (UK) (in association with…)
Best Live Experience (in association with…)
Lifetime Achievement (in association with…)
As you can see from the above list we are current looking for sponsors, partners and affiliates for the above categories.
We are looking to confirm sponsors, partners and affiliates by 5pm on Monday 23rd October 2017. If you would like to be part of this exciting Bright Star Awards 2017, please contact Sly directly.
In the meantime please be sure to like / follow on Facebook (BrightStarAwards), Twitter (@BrightStartAward) and Instagram (brightstaraward). The website will also be up soon.
This will be a major priority for me and the entire Bright Star Awards team, so we would appreciate as much support as possible.
The Simpkin Project
Orange county’s Simpkin Project are proud to announce the release date for their upcoming album Beam of Light. The six-piece band will release their fourth studio album on September 29, 2017 on VP Records’ Dub Rockers imprint. Pre-orders launch on August 11th.
The Simpkin Project plays a multi-faceted blend of reggae, blues, rock, and Americana, steeped in soulful harmonies that varies greatly on its exterior layers, but only atop the organic rhythms of reggae music. Their sound has been described as “uncompromising…blending authentic roots reggae rhythms with a wall-of-sound production style.” The lyrical compositions of frontman Phil Simpkin range “from the simply truthful to the stirringly anthemic.” The SoCal based band has devoted themselves to reggae since they came together in the early ought’s. Phil Simpkin and Shawn Taylor, co-lead vocalists, have been with the band since its inception when they opened for Steel Pulse, which somewhat unbelievably served as the band’s first live performance. As they said when they signed with VP Records/Dub Rockers, “We love reggae music period. What other genre of music exists solely as the vehicle that carries with it messages of peace, positive vibes, respect, love, empowerment and spiritualism?”
The recording of Beam of Light took place at Hughes Drive Productions, Shawn Taylor’s studio. The band used vintage amplifiers, mics, compressors and equalizers so they could achieve the classic sound they were going for, while still utilizing the best of what digital help has to offer. “Throughout this record we wanted each song to feature some unique sound or instrument that would distinguish it from all the other songs. We recorded old school Hammond organs and Leslie speakers, pianos and guitar amps, an assortment of timeless microphones, preamplifiers, custom compressors and one of a kind equalizers mixed by using some of the best analogue equipment available.”
The song writing process was equally as eclectic said Phil, “This album is our most collaborative effort yet. Every member of the band gave input and ideas on every track. It was also our first time working with an outside producer, Rellee Hayden (New Kingston, Gyptian, Etana), who collaborated on a number of tunes and added his ideas and expertise to the album.”
As for the album title, that was a no-brainer states the band, “We chose this title for a few reasons. First off, we have a song on the album called “Beam of Light,” which has proven to be a fan favourite when we perform it. The words are simple, but the message has many levels, so why not honour our fans by calling our album that? Just hearing the words “beam of light” creates an abundance of beautiful mental images that each person uniquely experiences. It reminds us that we are all connected by something bigger than ourselves.”
The first single from Beam of Light is “Hustling,” which Rootfire debuted in February, saying, “with each listen you’ll discover new layers of goodness and eclectic vibes.” The song features Courtney Panton, Jr. and Courtney Panton, Sr. of New Kingston on rums and bass. The band describes the track as “an ode to the daily grind,” which is certainly relatable! Another song gaining momentum is “Some Things Don’t Change,” a lively dance track that calls on people to be appreciative of what they have and embrace the moment. The harmonious “I’ll Be There,” a sweet and powerful love song, shows a little R&B flavour, and the band’s beautiful cover of Jimmy Cliff’s “Many Rivers to Cross,” completes with a choir at the end, achieved by overdubbing the combined voices of the three band members’ different takes.
As excited as The Simpkin Project is for people to hear Beam of Light – “(Listeners) will have countless new tones to explore and discover in which each successive listen reveals something previously unnoticed” – they’re really stoked to take the songs on the road. “Like every Simpkin release, the lyrical content is focused primarily on positivity, social consciousness, self-awareness and respect of others. Our shows are distinctive and different from what people hear on the album because we do a lot of improvisational jamming. Our fans really respond to what we bring to a live show, and it allows us to give the audience a very special musical experience.” Just like listening to Beam of Light.
Natalie ‘FLO’ Stewart
The creative writer, actress, performance poet and recording artist, Natalie ‘FLO’ Stewart, formerly known as ‘The Floacist’, the originator of the Floetic ethos of “Poetic Delivery with Musical Intent” and founding member of the legendary 8 time Grammy nominated UK Neo Soul duo, Floetry is back and living the Good Life.
With 3 critically acclaimed Floetry albums, followed by 3 successful solo Floacist projects under her belt, FLO released her summer feel good track ‘Good Life’ in August 2017, soon to be followed by her highly anticipated solo album, ‘True’, which is being prepped for release later this year.
FLO continues to be an ambassador of the spoken word and performance poetry community. In 2014 she launched FLO; a monthly spoken word vortex held every first Tuesday of the month at Rye Wax in Peckham, to give back to her fellow poet community.
Inspired by many lessons learnt and her own personal growth and journeying, FLO has truly come into her own, finding her voice and manifesting into an all-round artistic force. FLO brings the impacting, conceptual, poetic delivery with high, infectious energy to the stage. FLO continues to capture the hearts, minds and souls of audiences internationally.
Richell Bonner, better known as roots reggae singer, Richie Spice, was born in Rock Hall, St.
Andrew in Jamaica on September 8, 1971. Guided by the principles of his Rastafarian faith, Spice’s lyrics rail against injustices and the plight of the oppressed, implore assistance for the youth and extend maximum respect to women.
His ninth album entitled “The Album” will be released soon and will be made available on
most digital platforms.
The album boasts producers like Clive Hunt, Stephen Stanley and Snow Cone and features new tracks like the single “Where There is a Will”(that is already the subject of positive feedback), “Nuh leave mi” and “Dabbins”.
There are also plans to release another single and video for another cut called “California”. The 14-track album also features a number of quality cuts that include “Together We Stand”, “Sunny Day”, and “Teach It in the School”, a song that the singer says carries a special message.
A tour called “The Healing Tour” to help promote The Album is being planned for Europe beginning in August during which the singer and his band are expected to perform in Holland, Slovenia, Genava, Sweden, Germany, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, and Czech Republic over a six-to-eight-week period.
D a t e s f o r t h e t o u r c a n b e f o u n d o n R i c h i e S p i c e ’ s F a c e b o o k p a g e https://www.facebook.com/pg/RichieSpiceMusic/events
A tour of Africa, where Richie Spice enjoys a strong fan base, is being planned for November.
Richie Spice is from a family of singers and is brother to entertainers Pliers of Chaka Demus and Pliers fame; Spanner Banner and Snatcha Lion, all of whom carved respective niches in the reggae landscape internationally during the mid-1990s. During that period he gained extensive experience and popularity performing at major local music festivals like Reggae Sunsplash, White River Reggae Bash and Rebel Salute.
From 1996 to 1997, Richie Spice opened for the successful duo Chaka Demus and Pliers and Rita Marley. He also toured North-East United States from June to September 2001 and performed at Sting in 2002 as well as Sting Miami in 2003. Billboard Magazine ranked him among the top six performers at Reggae Sunsplash 2006.
Between 2012 and 2017, he embarked on tours to Europe, Africa and the Caribbean growing his fan base and increasing demand for his latest studio project.
Richie Spice released his first studio album Living Ain’t Easy in 1999. The album contained his first hit single Grooving My Girl. He followed up with Universal released on the Heartbeat label in 2000. The album featured what is perhaps his biggest hit Earth a Run Red.
However, the song didn’t break through until 2004 when he signed with 5th Element, a Kingston based management company/record label.
They launched a vigorous promotional campaign for “Earth a Run Red” in Jamaica
which resulted in the song’s steady rotation on the airwaves and in the dancehalls. A subsequent video directed by Ras Kassa brought even greater visibility to Spice’s career and it wasn’t long before he became one of the most sought after artists for stage shows across the island.
A third album, Spice in Your Life, was released by VP Records in 2006. In the Streets to Africa, also released by VP Records, dropped in 2007 and was followed by Gideon Boot in 2008. Book of Job was next in 2011. His last studio album – Richie Spice Acoustic – Soothing Sounds (2012), was released by Tad’s International.
From the collection of albums that spanned a decade, came a number of hit singles that helped enhance Richie Spice’s stock as a respected and celebrated roots-reggae act. They include his debut single Killing a Sound that was produced by Dennis Haynes. Living Aint Easy, Land of Jamaica, Time So Rough and The Plane Land, also emerged as successful singles during the period.
More recently, a remix of one of his more popular tracks, “Marijuana”, by Digital Mystikz’s Coki, renamed “Burnin'” has focused more attention to him in the blossoming dubstep scene in the United Kingdom. The original version of “Marijuana” also appears on the These Are Serious Times modern reggae compilation on XL Recordings.
His song “Youth Dem Cold” was featured on Grand Theft Auto IV’s Massive B Soundsytem 96.9 and the ending sound track of Attack the Block.
Richie Spice supports Food For the Poor (FFP) Jamaica, and gives a portion of the proceeds from his performances to the charity.
Hil St. Soul
Hilary Mwelwa moved from Lusaka, Zambia, to England when she was five years old — just in time for kindergarten. She studied biochemistry at the University of London, but a strong love for music pushed her to leave school and follow her heart.
An acappella demo of Stevie Wonder/Clarence Paul/Morris Broadnax’s “Until You Come Back to Me,” cut in 1995, started everything for the enthusiastic singer; she loved the song so much she waxed two versions for her debut CD, jointly written and produced with Victor Redwood Sawyerr (aka VRS, a founding member of Blak Twang), the other half of Hil St. Soul.
A singer of many styles, Mwelwa is comfortable performing classic soul, smooth jazz, uptempo funk, and gospel. Her versatility earned her the honor of Best Newcomer by the U.K.’s Blues & Soul magazine. She has performed at festivals in Holland, Norway, and England, sharing stages with urban kings and queens such as D’Angelo, Kelis, Macy Gray, and Angie Stone, to name a few. An accomplished and prolific songwriter, Incognito, Maysa Leak, and others have used her material.
Her style doesn’t lack drama, but she’s more subtle than demonstrative. Not as reclining as Sade, and not as overwhelming as Mica Paris, she’s found a comfortable niche that appeases classic soul fanatics canvassing for fresh R&B/pop janissaries without disenfranchising hip-hop lovers. She issued four albums during the 2000s: Soul Organic (2000), Copasetik & Cool (2004), Soulidified (2006), and Black Rose (2008).
CJ a.k.a. (CJ Joe)
CJ has performed in Japan, Jamaica, United States, Canada and the UK throughout his career. He is one of just a few Japanese Reggae international artists. His career is over 20 years known as the “Young Veteran”. He sings of course in Japanese, English & Jamaican Patois. CJ has been strictly influenced by Bob Marley, Garnet Silk, and Dennis Brown.
CJ has opened up in for various superstars in Japan, Jamaica, US and the UK. Also has worked with many Producers around the world.
CJ also represents building the bridges for Japan and to the world. Highlight performances were in Jamaica for the “Garnet Silk Tribute” 2003.
In 2008, CJ opened up for “Buju Banton” “Drive By US Tour” w/ Iwayne, Guidance etc in New York City. In Japan he has performed with music icons like
Johnny Osbourne, Yami Bolo, Brigadier Jerry, Admiral Tibet, Everton Blender and Rankin Joe.
He has various albums released in Japan.
CJ recorded as part of the “Voices Riddim” compilation album with his single “Mystic” alongside with artists such as Jah Mason and Turbulence. He was booked with Inner Circle, Turbulence Japan tour 2015 / Rankin Joe Japan tour 2015.
VP Records announces the completion of a new album deal with Grammy(R) winning R&B artist Estelle. The full length reggae album is scheduled for a fall 2017 release. The first single, ‘Love Like Ours’ featuring reggae star Tarrus Riley is available June 16th with a music video to follow.
The melodic and captivating ‘Love Like Ours’ gives fans a first taste of the upcoming album that will showcase the pivotal influence reggae music has had on the London, England born singer. Raised in a religious, Senegalese/ Grenadian household, Estelle’s musical upbringing included a variety of Afro-Caribbean, Gospel, Hip-Hop and dance styles with a healthy dose of reggae music.
Since 2008 and the release of the crossover radio hit “Come Over” featuring reggae star Sean Paul, produced by Supa Dups (Sean Paul, Drake, Party Next Door), fans have been encouraging Estelle to record a reggae album. This project will bring their desires to life with a unique fusion of lover’s rock, afro beats and dancehall flavors anchoring her soulful, R&B vocals. “When I told some friends about doing this album” said Estelle, “they were like – ‘finally!'” She continued, “everyone who knows me, understands the deep connection I have to reggae music.” Estelle has joined forces with Supa Dups again on this project and her fans excitement for the full album is brewing.
“Love Like Ours” draws you in with smooth guitar and keyboard hooks and keeps the listener engaged with upbeat, feel good lyrics. “The song is shaping up to be the lover’s anthem of the summer” said VP records President Randy Chin.
Estelle’s performing credits include multiple nominations and a Grammy(R) win for “American Boy,” her collaboration with Kanye West, The number one radio record anthem ‘Thank You’, a number one hit on the Billboard Top 200 with ‘Conqueror’, the epic duet with Jussie Smollet and a recurring cameo role on the Fox Network series Empire. She is also a featured character role on the Cartoon Network series Steven Universe.
Estelle has shown a wide and expanding range of talent and with this album, will complete the musical circle, showcasing one of her earliest musical influences. The singer concluded, “I’m happy to give the people what they have been asking for and I’m proud to share another piece of my life and art with the world.”
Tom Glide & Chidi
Tom Glide & Chidi interview on Colourful Radio 11-June-2017
Songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Tom Glide has assembled an ideal host of defined female vocalists for his sophomore collection, Divas Got Soul. Backed by solid, danceable grooves which fuse hearty rhythm sections fused with appealing programming work, each of the 10 divas display a knack for keeping it in the pocket while not shying away from letting loose with colorful flair.
Opening with the fly and jazzy, funky and hyped-up “Strong Feelings,” Divas Got Soul immediately sets into driving mode with a charging beat, saucy synth work from Ivan Russo and coolly situated trombone fills by Annie Whitehead complementing Tracy Hamlin’s vibrantly assertive vocal delivery. Confronting the realities of a soured relationship while accepting the hold brought on by its corresponding memories, the straight-shooting lyrics have a fire that meshes well with the dynamic instrumentation. Just as the track is of a considerably different nature than much of the material that the Pieces of a Dream vocalist has fronted over the past decade and a half, the subsequent mellow house groove “Soul Train” lets much-loved British neo-soul duo Hil St. Soul shine in a contrasting light.
Keeping the pace steady, prominent garage house chanteuse Stephanie Cooke stays true to form on “Light up the Sky,” while Kenya provides sultry vibes on the laid back and atmospheric “True Fantasy.” Meanwhile, Nia Simmons offers a contemplative and endearing performance on the set’s midpoint slow-jam, “My Time (Shine).” “All that I want, all that I need can be mine/But I’ve gotta stop wastin’ time, I’m determined to shine,” she relays with authentic understatement. It should be noted here that all of the featured artists co-wrote their respective cuts with Glide—resulting in a well-rounded palette of full-bodied musical flavors throughout.
The quest for and achievement of simple joys is a premise that runs through Divas Got Soul from start to finish. While many moments are celebratory, there are several reality checks interspersed on the journey to happiness. Aside from the aforementioned “Strong Feelings,” the nostalgia-laced “Old Skool Dayz” references both the musical and cultural qualities missing from this ultra-digital age we live in and the painstaking economic challenges so many of us face after hitting roadblocks during adulthood: “Now it’s all just an uphill climb/I’m payin’ bills and I’ve got no spare time…Hate to admit I need more joy in my life/To loose myself from the ties that bind.” Chidi, who previously worked her magic on Cool Million’s “Take Me Home,” conveys the yearning for a more personal connection to the world through her narrative of these hardships and even the simple pleasures like “Bazooka Joe’s wrapped round a bubble gum/My 45’s and LP vinyl’s on…and the ice cream van was always playin’ my song.”
Closing out the album, Candace Woodson serves up a fine helping of sophistication on the romantic “Where You Are,” followed by a fittingly soft-toned, yet groovy stepper, “Tribute to the Music (Extended Jam),” led by Gina Carey’s refined pipes.
Borrowing from the rich traditions of classic Soul music and blending a fusion of Rock & Pop, CHIDI delivers her own brand of UK Soul.
Her musical journey began as part of a national Gospel choir supporting major Gospel artists such as Fred Hammond, Kirk Franklin, and Mary Mary. She has shared the stage with some big names; Stevie Wonder and Pixie Lott to name a few and also been a backing singer for the ‘Queen of Disco’ Ms. Gloria Gaynor.
She emerged on the UK Soul scene in ‘09 with the underground smash hit ‘Wrong Again’ from her debut album ‘UnRehearsed’. Closely followed by a second studio album entitled ‘EXHALE’ which included the incredible break out hit ‘Someone’ a sassy funk track which still features heavily on urban radio stations.
Now she’s back on the scene in collaboration with the infamous Tom Glide on the ‘Divas Got Soul’ compilation with an upbeat Summer jam that shows her versatility as a songwriter whilst keeping with the Old Skool Soul vocals she has become known for.
With her natural bubbly nature she has a delightful ability to put her audience at ease and convey the message of a song with great intensity and sincerity, definitely one to watch out for.
On 9th June, 2017, Imagination Feat. Leee John will release ‘Retropia’ on Cristal Records, the group’s first album release since 2013’s ‘Flashback – The Very Best of Imagination’.
Billed as the group’s penultimate album, ‘Retropia’ features the unmistakable vocals of Leee John set against Imagination’s equally distinctive combination of retro soul, funk and jazz.
Since first lighting up the charts during the 1980s and selling over 30 million records thanks to an impressive run of hits such as ‘Body Talk’, ‘Just An Illusion’, ‘Flashback’, ‘Music & Lights’ and ‘Changes’, the multi-award-winning British soul group’s lead vocalist/songwriter Leee John has enjoyed throughout the years a prolific career as a solo artist, collaborator, songwriter, producer and, more recently, a filmmaker.
And after such a long wait for ‘Retropia’ Leee says fans can expect one more Imagination album: “I always knew ‘Retropia’ was going to eventually happen one day, I just didn’t realise there would be such a long period of time over the years in between. As soon as we finished recording this album it became obvious to me we have one more to go, so I’m now in the unusual position of knowing this is Imagination’s penultimate album.”
The recording process for ‘Retropia’ would become a vital catharsis for Leee, who was coming to terms with the death of his sister Linda and three close friends in the space of a year. Leee said, “I felt like I was in emotional whirlpool; trying to deal with all these deaths and supporting my family, especially my mother who’d lost a daughter, and my best friend’s daughters who’d now lost both parents.”
Understandably, recording the vocals in such circumstances was emotionally demanding. Leee said, “There are several songs on the album that remind me of my sister, including the song ‘Brighter Day’ which I wrote in Munich on the day she had her accident and subsequently passed away 24 hours later. I couldn’t listen to the song – much less sing it – without thinking of her, but I somehow found the inner-strength to realise what I had written was uplifting and had a spiritual sense of dealing with life’s trials. It took so much of my strength to perform it.”
Produced in London in LJ Studios with long-time associate producer/engineer Dee Vaz, and mixed by François Gaucher at Alhambra Studios in Rochford, France, Leee produced, arranged, wrote and co-wrote all the songs on ‘Retropia’, except for the album’s four covers versions: Eddie Kendrick’s ‘Tell Her Love Has Felt The Need’, Junior Murvin’s ‘Police and Thieves’ (a secret bonus track which was co-produced with Dennis Bovell), a collaboration with the Gibson Brothers and acclaimed British blues guitarist Mark Vandergucht on AC/DC’s ‘Highway To Hell’, and another collaboration on Stevie Wonder’s ‘Visions’ with Level 42’s Mike Lindup, which was recorded for the charity SOS Children, of which Leee has been a Patron for the past 18 years.
The album’s co-writes arrive in the form of British R&B group Loose Ends’ keyboard player Steve Nichols on ‘Do It Right Now’ and ‘Secrets’ (which also features Incognito’s Jean Paul ‘Bluey’ Manuck on guitar) and Toby Baker on ‘Make Your Mind Up’.
With Retropia dedicated to Imagination’s fans around the world, the set also includes songs which Leee has performed on stage live but, surprisingly, has never placed on any album until now. These songs include ‘Utopia’, ‘Make Your Mind Up’ and ‘Fantasia’, which became an underground classic when Leee put it out in the early ‘90s as a white-label obscurity under the name Johnny X.
Looking ahead to the album’s release, Leee said, “The recording of Retropia got me through a very dark time and gave me the strength to keep in our hearts the spirit of those who are no longer with us. Each song creates a tapestry of time, and the music and the melodies will live on long after we are gone.”
London soul singer Melisa Whiskey dropped her first track ‘Played’ in January this year. The natural soul and depth of Melisas vocal was too strong to deny.
Now Melisa comes through with her follow up track ‘Sweetest Cake’ and once again sets a notable bar for emerging UK soul and R&B. The first track to be taken from her forthcoming debut E.P. ‘Moon & The Sky’, the natural jump to the track mixed with the menacing bassline reminds of both Amerie and most excitingly, the playful invention of Anderson. Paak.
Melisa’s influences range from the likes of Lauryn Hill to Sade to Amy Winehouse, but maintains an innate natural charisma and charm all her own. Produced by Osinachi Nwaneri (Wale, J. Cole, Tinashe), Melisa brings an unmistakably exciting and vibrant 2nd offering to cement her status as a bonafide emerging star.
Speaking on the track, Melisa states: ‘Sweetest Cake is all about feeling good about yourself, reminding yourself of how fly you are regardless of what anything or anyone may want you to feel.’
Keni Stevens interview on Colourful Radio 21-May-2017
‘Out Of The Blue’ marks the long awaited return to the world stage for British soul singer Keni Stevens.
Keni Stevens turned the Brit soul scene upside down by daring to move away from ‘the dance beat’ with his debut album Blue Moods. Blue Moods topped the soul charts in the mid 80’s and became a landmark album of ballads selling over 150,000 copies in the UK alone.
This latest work ‘Out Of The Blue’ comes completely ‘out of the blue’. The production expertly crafted by musician producer Mx-Ze pulls from classic and contemporary soul, setting up a classy mid tempo backdrop for Keni to deliver in his unmistakable dark smokey style.
Songs are about life, love and relationships taking us on a journey through emotions and feelings we have all touched upon as our lives have unfolded, with its inevitable, twists, turns, ups and downs.
Stevens is the son of a US serviceman, and began his career working in a record shop, selling deleted catalogues of soul and lovers rock, rock steady and reggae music. His first move into music came in the mid 1970s, when he joined as lead singer for the group Raw Energy. Raw Energy members included Alan Cooke (now a British actor starring in London Bridge) and Peter Hinds (who went on to play keyboards for 1980s Brit funk band Light of the World). Raw Energy were signed to Conflict Records, but disbanded after 18 months of playing gigs up and down the country.
Stevens was taken on as A&R man for Conflict Records, and being responsible for releasing lovers rock and rock steady music by artists such as Gregory Isaacs in the UK. Stevens also worked as a session singer with Eddy Grant and Marianne Faithfull, before signing to the Elite label as a solo artist in 1985.
Blue Moods Period
Stevens released two singles on Elite Records in 1985, “Night Moves” and “All Day All Night”, which were played by specialist UK radio stations. This led to interest in his work, although he was initially mistaken for being a US artist. Polygram offered Stevens a £2.5 million recording contract, which he declined feeling it would threaten his independence.
Staying with Elite Records, Stevens recorded his debut album, Blue Moods. Two singles, “Too Much Too Soon” (on Elite Records) and “Cannot Live Without Your Love” (on the newly formed Jam Today label) were released as 12-inch singles, before Blue Moods appeared on Jam Today in 1987. “Cannot Live Without Your Love” was featured on several soul compilation albums, such as Upfront 6 (on Serious Records).
Blue Moods sold over 150,000 copies in the UK alone, and over a million worldwide. Stevens appeared on a few television shows to promote the album, including, Solid Soul. He released a further two albums, You and Living on the Edge, on Debut Records.
Hailing from Chicago, IL, Chantae Cann is a phenomenal vocalist that is beautiful on and off the stage. She has performed as a background vocalist for many artists including Leon Timbo, Darlene McCoy, PJ Morton, Gramps Morgan of Morgan Heritage and India.Arie. While working with these artists she has had the amazing chance to travel the world doing what she loves and has been inspired to branch out into her own solo career.
Now residing in Atlanta, GA her debut album “Journey To Golden” created a buzz when released in 2016.
The Atlanta Soul Vocalist performs her debut UK show on Wednesday 12th April 2017 at 229 The Venue | 229 Great Portland Street, London, W1W 5PN.
Born 25th November 1977 Ismael Heron with Jamaican parentage, raised in the North of London a town called Tottenham.
Some of his primary years spent in Ghana (West Africa) also back and forth visiting family homeland Jamaica (West Indies).
Ordinarily known, as Bobo from a young age; a versatile upstanding roots reggae Vocalist and musician.
Gained the name Bobo Blackstar, through his pizazz charisma and shining character, positive attitude, and forever vibrant presence. At the age of five; Bobo and his elder brother, learnt to play the guitar with the support from their father, Mr Heron (aka) Bobo-Ato berhane Tafari, also mentor and manager, who played a number of roles in the music business, being a percussionist in live bands, Sound man, selector, and promoter. Mr Heron pushed his sons in the right direction musically, and sometime later the young cubs formed a rhythm and lead duo known as Nsu-roma-eyhin, which means shining star.
Both began performing to audiences in and around London, also other cities, which was the beginning of a musical journey, and then came studio recording experience, in 1990; a young Bobo prophet sang hymns and chanted wordical praise over Nyahbinghi drum sounds and by 1996 had established himself as a vocalist and harnessed his gifts in music.
Collaborating with like minded people, Bobo became a (Black Mountain) sound system member, involving himself in various different roles and was a collector of vinyl for selection in dancehall sessions.
In 1998 Bobo Blackstar was ready to release his debut single (clean hands) with a roots and culture flavour on a self, tailored label (Tiqur Terara) under (ABT.MUSIC.PROD) a family founded establishment, which to date has seen the release of numerous singles and two albums from Bobo Blackstar; Title (Still Deyah) being the most recent thirteen track album available to purchase now worldwide, featuring two particular tracks (Render your heart & Cold Living) being highlighted in 2017 all over the UK and abroad, be sure to be on the lookout for these extravagant reggae hits.
Ever since, Bobo has continued to push and make a name for himself and his music independently. Sharing stages with many artists and musicians, performing and edutaining charismatically to audiences around the globe. Over the last ten years has performed at reggae festivals all over Europe and has music coverage in various parts of the world, working with a variation of music genre’s and seems to have a good ear an eye for simply good music and productions.
Previously had a digital distribution deal with Vpal Records, (Higher Level Alex) Love in the community and Oneshot Entertainment and is working currently with few producers, promoters and other groups in London, namely; Launch Pad Arts promotion platform 2017 #1720Boboblackstar campaign.
From The Jackson 5, New Edition, to Donny Hathaway, the mellifluous tones of sound have been a major staple of Lovell’s existence. Always having an undying adoration of music since childhood years, Lovell Brooks (aka LOVELL) began in music as a teen singer/trumpeter, with a band known in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area known as Private Affairs.
Lovell formed an R&B trio called Aviance that culminated into a nationally recognized single (You Ain’t All That”) and a compilation Lp (Soul City USA) which was marketed and distributed in Europe on UK based Blue Chip Records.
Realizing how the industry drastically changed, Lovell began a quest to get back to the essence of Real RnB. The incessant propagation of violence, drug abuse, and overt materialism being wilfully displayed in todays music, left a soulless gap in Lovell and gave insight into what he believes is causing great harm to our, culture, music, and communities around the world.
From Lovell’s disdain of the current music arena, brew the formation of what would become the inspired and soon to be released Album Real R&B Returns.
“I’ve always wanted us to just get back to great feel good music, and in the words of a fellow musician – to music that makes your soul burn slow-”
Thusly, the beginning creation of “Real R&B Returns” was born. Interweaving the musicianship of veteran producers Mike Anderson and Ron Ward Jr., Lovell is on the verge of creating a classic. Together, they are fusing a motley of musical styles (R&B, Neo-Soul, Hip-Hop, Jazz, Two Step etc…) that will become, for lack of a better term EARGASMIC!
Lovell’s first introduction/return to the industry is the now trailblazing single “Baby Hi”, which was released to a thunderous social media reception. “Going from 0 fans to 40,000 in a few days has left me in shock and awe.” says Lovell.
Lovell’s new single “Baby Hi” can be found just about everywhere (iTunes, Google Play, Tidal, and many, many more).
An in-demand, multiple award-winning sing-jay who has headlined music festivals throughout the world, Jamaica’s Queen Ifrica is also an unrelenting social activist and artist who often counsels victims of abuse and other disadvantaged persons and organized transformative peace marches in some of the island’s most volatile communities.
On her second album for VP Records, Climb, Queen Ifrica’s activism takes on a decidedly global approach: the track “I Can’t Breathe” rails against ongoing police brutality in America; the ska flavoured “Rebellion” name checks uprisings across several continents that have secured rights and improved the lives of many marginalized individuals, a sentiment that’s reinforced on “Battlefield”, which warns “we never yield, its war on the battlefield, if you nah hear you ah go feel.”
“Maybe because of my patriotism I have tended to (lyrically) focus on Jamaica but I am evolving and on this album I am singing about struggles wherever people find themselves,” says the Queen. “These songs come to me as I am watching the world; I see myself as a social worker that uses music as my tool because music is the greatest weapon to impact societal change, to help young people to understand themselves more.”
As one of the few “conscious” female voices in popular Jamaican music, Queen Ifrica is particularly concerned about the future of her young female fans; on Black Woman she implores young ladies to know their worth and not be swayed by objectifying trends in popular culture and music, including dancehall reggae. “Music gets into schoolgirls’ minds before everything else so you have to be careful about what they hear and see. There are so many young girls who look up to me, I have to use the platform that I have to speak out about what is going on.”
The forthrightness within Queen Ifrica’s empowering song lyrics has earned her legions of fans and countless awards including Artist of the Year, Most Educational Artist of the Year, Songwriter of the Year and Best Female DJ/Rapper honours at the 2011 Martin’s International and Reggae Music Awards held in Florida; the Female Artist of the Year Honour Award by the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JARIA) in 2013 and an Award of Excellence at the 12th Annual Caribbean Hall of Fame Awards, 2014, sponsored by the Caribbean Development for the Arts, Sports and Culture Foundation.
Born Ventrice Morgan on March 25, 1975, Queen Ifrica was raised by her mother and stepfather, as well as a supportive Rastafarian community, in Jamaica’s resort capital Montego Bay. “The name Ifrica was given to me by my mom; she and my step dad were of the Rastafarian faith and that is where my real cultural awareness comes from,” she reveals. Ifrica was in her 20s before she really got to know her father, pioneering ska singer Derrick Morgan, but the two enjoy a close relationship today.
As a promising young talent Queen Ifrica outshone other participants in a 1995 talent contest held at Montego Bay’s Club Inferno. But it was an auspicious December 1998 meeting with venerable cultural sing-jay and producer Patrick “Tony Rebel” Barrett, following her performance at a concert honouring the late reggae singer Garnet Silk, that provided Ifrica with a significant career opportunity. Ifrica’s performance of two Silk tunes so impressed Rebel (who had mentored Silk early in his career), he offered to cultivate her talent through his Kingston based Flames Productions, now called Organic H.E.A.R.T.
Rebel presented the Queen at the January 1999 staging of his annual cultural reggae concert extravaganza Rebel Salute. Shortly thereafter, Ifrica relocated from Montego Bay to Kingston to fully concentrate on her music career, with Rebel supplying invaluable suggestions for sharpening her writing skills, refining her stage presence and liberating her vocal delivery. Queen Ifrica now commands audiences by the thousands, performing at various international concerts and music festivals. In late September 2016, alongside the legendary South African trumpeter Hugh Masakela, she headlined the Johannesburg Arts Alive Festival. While in South Africa, Queen also performed at the 80th birthday celebrations for Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s ANC Women’s League; Winnie is respectfully referred to as “the mother of nation” for her decades of unyielding efforts to dismantle South Africa’s racially oppressive Apartheid system. That Queen Ifrica was selected to perform at Ms. Mandela’s milestone event is a testament her musical excellence and the significance of her activism; at stage shows across Jamaica, her lyrical ability to torch societal ills has earned Queen Ifrica the affectionate moniker Fyah Muma, also the title of her debut album. In 2009, Ifrica dropped her first album for VP Records entitled Montego Bay, which included the female empowerment anthem Lioness, her hit song “Daddy” (addressing the too often hidden topic of incest) and the searing title track. Due to the city’s recent surge in crime and murders, Queen Ifrica’s “Montego Bay” is now a conduit for her efforts in creating a movement for peace in the resort capital, which includes a proposed December concert. “I want to do something really impactful, bring in artists that the young people who are killing each other listen to, and have them speak to putting an end to the violence,” Queen Ifrica discloses. “We will also include motivational speakers and influencers who have a voice that people listen to, so it can be felt that change is on its way.”
Queen Ifrica’s status as one of reggae’s foremost listened-to and committed voices furthered by Climb’s 15 hard-hitting tracks. The album opens with the hip-hop tinged, authentic male/female dialogue heard on “Truvosation” featuring Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley (produced by Rickman “Jamplified” Warren). Warren also produced the title track where Queen’s beautifully sung lyrics encourage perseverance, especially during challenging times. On “Ask Me Granny”, Queen reveals two of her greatest motivational sources, her mother and grandmother, each overcoming many hardships to set a positive example for the younger generation. For the men in her life, especially her fans, Queen Ifrica offers a romantic voice on the sensual lovers rock tune “Better Than Amazing”, courtesy of I’Core Productions. She begs forgiveness for infidelity on “All That I’m Asking”, and reminds females to respect their unswerving male partners on “Good Man”, both produced by Tony Rebel. “These songs come from my male fans asking me to do songs for them; as much oppression as women face, men face it too, so sometimes just a little acknowledgement to say honey I know you are there goes a long way,” Queen explains. Rebel lends his production expertise to several tracks including “Medical Marijuana”, a crusade for the legalization of cannabis, which Rastafarians cite as a holy herb, and “That’s How It Is Sometimes”, a summation of Ifrica’s genuine approach to her life and music.
“I like to deal in reality, accepting life for what it is and when bad things happen and you don’t know what to do, music can offer that glimmer of hope,” she says. “I am happy to be a voice that stands in the light and gives something that people can relate to and take from.”
Tom Bailey is a future-soul singer, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer hailing from Paris France, with a very unique voice and talent.
In late 2016 he released his debut EP titled “light vs darkness” with the singles voodoo woman and get to you featuring Sarah Evelyn.
He has played in prestigious venues in London such as Ronnie Scott’s, Shoreditch town hall (opening for Terri walker) and radar music event at under the bridge.
He is currently working on his second EP which is due to be released this year.