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.
British sensation, Nate James is not your typical vocalist. His extraordinary voice is music to
the world’s ears. James’ new project In My Skin is not just a typical collection of infectious
songs. No, In My Skin is a movement.
Since bursting onto the music scene in 2005, British soul singer-songwriter Nate James has
sold over 1,000,000 albums internationally, becoming one of the most successful
independent soul recording artists globally.
His debut album Set The Tone, with its live band funk sound, was heavily influenced by the classic soul artists Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder, earning Nate three MOBO nominations for Best Newcomer and Best R&B Artist and Best UK Male.
His sophomore album Kingdom Falls was described by critics, in turn, as ‘fantastic’,
‘glorious’, ‘a masterpiece’ as well as ‘lush and masterful’. In-between the two studio albums, Nate released the four-track EP, Funkdefining, collaborating with some of the best producers in the UK including Mark Hill, Johnny Douglas, Danny S and Don-E. The title track went on to feature in Hollywood film, Run Fatboy Run, firmly cementing Nate as a star with international appeal.
Nate’s upcoming release, In My Skin will be celebrated with a single release launch show on February 19th 2017 at the O2 Academy Islington.
The songs of In My Skin tackle love, loss and the trials of success in fourteen beautifully
crafted songs, which range from anthems to lullabies to danceable jams. His songs touch the places in us that are often the hardest to reach, despite the brilliance of the beats and the catchiness of the tunes. Collaborators on the project include producers Jaime Lidell, Corey Rooney, with the title track being produced by Grammy-award winning producer, Shannon Saunders, who has created hits for the likes of India.Arie, John Legend, CeeCee Winans and Heather Headley.
Nate has toured extensively throughout his career and is in demand for live performances including headlining festivals outside the UK in Italy, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Poland, France and Japan. He has toured with and supported some of the biggest names in the music industry including the late Amy Winehouse, Corrine Bailey Rae and John Legend as well as performing alongside the likes of Simply Red, Katie Melua, Beverley Knight and Natasha Beddingfield.
Tickets for the upcoming O2 Academy Islington show may be purchased at http://www.closeupisking.com
Teedra Moses was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana to a gospel singing mother, Shirley Moses. She later moved to Los Angeles, California with her mother and three siblings after her parents’ separation, it wasn’t until after the death of her mother that Moses decided to follow her heart and begin making music.
Moses teamed up with producer, Paul Poli and signed with the then Number 1 Indie Record Label, TVT Records, in 2002 and went on to release her debut album ‘Complex Simplicity’ in August 2004.
‘Complex Simplicity’ included fourteen solid tracks all self-penned by Moses with dominant production by Poli. Although most notably known for the “critically acclaimed” album ‘Complex Simplicity’ which spawned records such as ‘Be Your Girl’, ‘Backstroke’ and ‘Take Me’ featuring Raphael Saadiq, Teedra Moses has released three independent, all-original “Mixtapes”.
In addition to executive producing and penning lyrics for her own project, Moses has written songs for other artists including Christina Milian, Mary J. Blige, Macy Gray. As a Grammy-Nominated Songwriter and BMI Songwriter of the year, for 2 consecutive years, Teedra Moses is featured on numerous Rick Ross and Maybach Music projects, featured on tracks with Diddy and French Montana from the Mastermind album, Big Boi of Outkast’s ‘Turn Me On’ and featured and co-wrote two songs from Raphael Saadiq’s 2004 album ‘Ray Ray’.
Her songs have been showcased in the Logo series ‘Noah’s Arc’ as well as in the HBO hit show ‘Entourage’, movies such as ‘Never Die Alone’, ‘Beauty Shop’, ‘Be Cool’ and ‘The Skinny’.
Moses dropped her second commercial release in a decade, ‘Cognac & Conversation’ in August 2015, it debuted at number 5 on iTunes R&B charts and number 7 on Billboard R&B charts.
With over 10 years of live performance experience, selling out intimate venues around the world, and a stream of mixtapes Teedra Moses, the Lioness, returns to the UK in March 2017.
The musical history of British soul pioneer Omar is renowned – the Lyefook family has musical talent embedded deep in their DNA, Omars’ father Byron worked as a studio musician and drummer with Bob Marley, Horace Andy and even The Rolling Stones. Omars’ younger brother, the Grammy winning producer, remixer and DJ professionally known as Scratch Professer has been making jaws drop since the age of 13, stunning the crowd at the 1988 DMC UK Finals with his turntable skills. Samia Lye-Fook (Omar’s sister) is a renowned vocalist in her own right, and a BRIT School alumna, then there’s their big brother….Omar.
Born October 14, 1968, in London but raised in Canterbury, gifted, prolific and considered a musical prodigy; Omar learned his craft classically, playing the trumpet, piano, bass guitar and percussion. A former principal percussionist of the Kent Youth Orchestra and later a graduate of the Guildhall School Of Music, Omar has been making music for more than 32 years.
Back in 1985 he released his first single ‘Mr Postman’ on his father Bryons’ Kongo label, which was also the original home for his first album, which contained the track that changed everything… ‘There’s Nothing Like This’. That album was re-issued by Gilles Peterson on his Talkin’ Loud imprint in 1991. This album established Omar as a stand out and unique artist, with ‘There’s Nothing Like This’ hitting the charts, so began a musical chain of events that has continued unabated up to the present day.
The follow up ‘Music’, a vastly more orchestral and organic affair that highlighted Omar’s maturing as a composer, arranger and vocalist. Aside from the memorable title song, standout tracks included the still requested Get To Know You Better and the brilliant duet with his new Freestyle Records label mate Carleen Anderson, ‘Who Chooses The Seasons’.
Soon after Omar signed to RCA, for whom he cut two further albums that notched up acres of critical acclaim, as well as introduced him to several of his musical heroes and heroines. On the1994’s ‘For Pleasure’ album, this includes some of Omar’s most prolific songs such as ‘Saturday’, ‘Outside’ and the Erykah Badu favourite ‘Little Boy’. He worked alongside the legendary former Motown producers Leon Ware and Lamont Dozier creating this masterpiece of an album.
On ‘97’s ‘This Is Not A Love Song’, this was largely a collaboration with LA-based producer David Frank, he did a great cover of The Stranglers’ ‘Golden Brown’ and got to sing with one of his all-time favourite vocalists, Syreeta Wright on two songs, including the sumptuous slowie ‘Lullaby’. By 2000, Omar had moved on again, this time signing up with hip French imprint Naïve Records.
The following year, now well established as the leading icon of the UK’s resurgent soul movement, Omar released his fifth album, ‘Best By Far’, a self-produced album, which he allowed his interest in cinematic soundtracks and jazz to shine through. Once again, the star names turned out on the album version of ‘Be Thankful’; a re-cut of the William DeVaughn seventies soul hit, featured Erykah Badu. A long time fan of Omar’s she came good on her word and jumped at the chance to feature on this track. Meanwhile MOBO winner Kele Le Roc supplied the strident lead on the anthemic groove ‘Come On’.
2006 saw the release of ‘Sing (If You Want It)’ which featured contributions from US rapper Common, Angie Stone and U.K. artists Rodney P and Estelle – but his crowning achievement was obtaining the Stevie Wonder duet ‘Feeling You’.
It is, of course, a major coup for any UK recording artist to be able to call on the services of a musical legend like Stevie Wonder. The simple truth is that Stevie has been a fan of Omar’s music since he first heard T’here’s Nothing Like This’ back in 1992 – the same year he promised to write Omar “his first number one”. The 14-year wait turned out to be well worth it when, one day, Stevie called Omar out of the blue and told him he was in London and had just what he’d promised. A jam session later and the irrepressibly funky and melodic ‘Feeling You’, with Stevie on vocals and keyboards, was born.
Several years passed whilst Omar wrote more original music for the follow up album, but he also moved into acting, developed and performed his one-man stage play, did voiceovers, collaborated with all manner of likeminded artists – and then in 2012 received notification that he was to be awarded an MBE for services to the British Music Industry – a rare accolade for an artist who was never overly focused on commercial chart success.
In July 2012 – legendary soul boy, DJ and sports presenter Mark Webster contacted Freestyle A&R man Greg Boraman to tip him off that Omar had the new album completed and was looking for a new label. Boramans ‘speed of light’ email response could have won a Guinness Book Of Records title for the world’s fastest and most excitedly positive email in all history and so the discussions began….
Omar-MBE-733×10242013’s ‘The Man’ was heralded by all as an amazing return to form, and rated as Omars’ strongest album of his career – the title track, released as a single signposted all the archetypal components people have come to expect from an artist as original and unique as Omar. Rave reviews and a renewed interest and energy greeted this new music – and of course, suitably timed was Omars’ trip to Buckingham Palace to finally collect his MBE from Prince Charles, “Prince Charles, said “Do drop off a copy of your new album” … ‘Will do’ I said!. I am absolutely chuffed to bits. I want to dedicate it to all my die-hard fans who have always told me to keep on doing what I’m doing”
And true to his word – Omar has kept doing just that. Aside from making weekly appearances on BBC Television in Javon Prince‘s comedy show, touring the world, recording and performing as one 5th of The British Collective and of course, supporting Stevie Wonder at 2016’s epic and unforgettable Hyde Park concert.
2017’s new release ‘Love In Beats’ is Omars’ 8th studio album and may just be the most diverse and varied to date; incorporating Caribbean rhythms, an undercurrent of funk, with touches of zouk, a jazzy waltz and spoken word. It also features collaborations with US soul legend Leon Ware, highly regarded Blue Note pianist Robert Glasper, rapper Ty, Guadeloupe born singer Jean-Michele Rotin, UK soultress Natasha Watts, The Floacist and Mayra Andrade, the Cape Verdean born singer who lives and records in Paris.
Mainly recorded at his own Backyard Studio in South London, his unique voice, multi -instrumental and production skills, really come through on ‘Love In Beats’. With the help of his brother Scratch’s productions skills they have brought forth a new collection that may just be the most beautifully formed and career defining album of all.
‘This is an album of a labour of love between myself and my Grammy award winning brother The Scratch Professor. It is filled with powerful songs and mesmerising beats – that is Omar music and my brothers sound, it is truly ‘Love in Beats’
Spiritual interview on Colourful Radio 22-January-2017
Clifton ‘Specialist’ Dillon’s production and management company, Oufah Music continues to make paradigm shifts in the music industry. The label is known for producing high quality hits; most recently for breaking worldwide chartbusters including OMI’s billboard topping singles ‘Cheerleader’ and ‘Hula Hoop’. To the music industry this is no surprise as Clifton ‘Specialist’ Dillon has a gift for building, directing and managing the musical careers of many
big name artists including Shabba Ranks, Ky-Mani Marley and Alborosie. Over the last three decades Specialist’s honours include Grammy Awards, Billboards Awards, Platinum and Gold sales, along with untold success in digital streaming and downloads making him the Caribbean’s most consistent and successful producer.
Oufah Music is now working with the artist, Spiritual, producing his highly anticipated first full length studio album ‘Awakening’ due for an early 2017 release on VP Records. The album’s leading singles ‘Time Has Come’ and ‘Stand Up For Rasta’ are already in rotation worldwide, gaining positive feedback for the team.
In reviewing the outcome of this collaboration, veteran Journalist, John Masouri summarises that, “Spiritual’s music transports us to another time, when reggae legends like Bob Marley first took the rebel sound of Jamaica to a worldwide audience. Authenticity can be heard in every note…”.
He went on to give credence to the quality album produced “Under Specialist’s direction, Spiritual has been able to realise his musical vision at last, and deliver an album that can stand alongside the seventies’ classics that inspired him as a youth. There are traces of Burning Spear and Culture in his voice, whilst the songs hark back to an era when artists were judged on their integrity, both musical and otherwise.”
Spiritual was raised in Allman Town and sang in his local choir before embracing Rastafari as his true calling. “I’m here to preach and to practice love to all people. Love is the cure for everything. Love makes you healthy and I’m convinced that one day, scientists will discover that it’s the basis of living, y‘know? Because we should all be loving people, and that’s the key message in my music. It’s all about love and progress” the artist reasons.
“It’s really been a
pleasure to work with talent such as Spiritual” said Specialist “He brings us
back to an era of consciousness, of journeys foretold and I see it as our responsibility to not only chart our own futures but to preserve and give respect to the ones who’ve laid the foundation for artists like Spiritual to be heard.”
“I am a servant of Jah for the children of the world with one Aim and one Destiny”
Ms Paige (née Ashley Johnson) fuses the soul of R&B with the passion of Caribbean musical genres. Embarking on the Caribbean music scene in 2004, daughter of Canadian recording artist and 6-time Juno nominee, Debbie Johnson, Ms Paige has been a staple in representing Canada on a global scale.
Having released over 35 singles to date in both the Reggae and Soca genres, she continues to receive international support on the airwaves in several countries.
As a singer/songwriter, she received both the 2013 and 2016 award for Caribbean Music & Entertainment’s Top Soca Artist, as well as a number of nominations, including the Black Canadian Award for Best Caribbean Style Artiste, St. Vincent & The Grenadines SVG AMP’s Reggae Single of the Year and International Music & Entertainment Association’s Reggae Song of the Year.
Ms Paige is whole-heartedly dedicated to evolving in her craft and will inevitably leave her own unique musical footprint on the world.
Bright Star Awards 2016 – Nominations
This year there is general voting on 7 out of the 16 awards. The others will be decided via a calculation of general Social Media trends e.g. Likes, Retweets, Mixcloud listens etc.
One person one vote.
Voting will close at some point in January 2017. This will be shortly before all the winners are announced LIVE on air on a special #SoulandReggaeSundays show on Colourful Radio.
Links for voting…
Bright Star Awards 2016
Each year we are trying to improve engagement so that artists and the music that we love can get more recognition.
This year there is general voting on 7 out of the 16 awards. The others will be decided via a calculation of general Social Media trends e.g. Likes, Retweets, Mixcloud listens etc.
Voting via #Facebook Poll starts at 12:00hrs GMT on Thursday 22nd December 2016. The poll is scheduled to automatically open at 12noon.
The voting links will be shared soon.
You can share the poll as many times as it is unique to each category that has nominations.
One person one vote.
Voting will close at some point in January 2017. This will be shortly before all the winners are announced LIVE on air on a special #SoulandReggaeSundays show on Colourful Radio.
Congratulations to all and best for the Bright Star Awards 2016, Christmas and New Year 2017.
Kindred The Family Soul
Kindred The Family Soul interview on Colourful Radio 27-November-2016
Kindred The Family Soul is simply Aja Graydon and Fatin Dantzler; artists, songwriters, lovers, family. Both got their start as teenagers. Fatin producing his first released material with Bell Biv Devoe at 17 and Aja recieving her first recording contract from Delicious Vinyl at 14, these two “grew up” in the record business. In 1997 they were introduced via hip hop band, The Roots, production camp. Fatin was a hired gun to write songs for Aja’s solo project at the time. By the fall of 1998 they became husband and wife and while assuming the roles of a new couple and new parents, Fatin took a job selling appliances and Aja became a homemaker caring for their first born, Aquil. After being unexpectedly let go from his job the couple contemplated the future. They’d developed a strong creative chemistry for Aja’s solo project so they decided to try performing as a team and Kindred The Family Soul was born.
Performing weekly at the famed “Black Lily” showcase at a small club called The Five Spot, Kindred developed a reputation for electric live performances featuring a 10 piece band. Hustling parents of a toddler by day and ripping stages by night. This amazing event would, along with Kindred, foster careers from the likes of Jazmine Sullivan, Floetry, Jaguar Wright, Music Soulchild and a host of others. A regular patron/performer at the Lily was Jill Scott. She was close to releasing her classic first album and decided to introduce the president of her then label, Hidden Beach, to her friends Aja and Fatin. This introduction would change everything.
In 2003 Kindred The Family Soul released their debut album Surrender to Love. “ Far Away” and “Stars” both became top ten urban adult contemporary hits and anthems for lovers everywhere. The album recieved a Soul Train Award and a BET Award nomination. The group began producing events and showcasing new talent as well. One such event was “The Upper Room” featuring a then unknown, John Legend and Jazmine Sullivan. All after welcoming their 2nd child Diya into the world.
Their second album, “In this Life Together” was released in 2005. The project’s lead Single “Where Would I Be (The Question)” was a wonderful follow up hitting top 10 on urban AC radio and boasted crowd favorite, “Woman First”, an anthem addressing the sacrifices of women for their family and relationships. The second album solidifies Kindred The Family Soul as a voice for families and couples. Presenting a needed image of “Black Love” in an industry that rarely highlights it. Just prior to its release they would welcome their 3rd child, Nina.
The 3rd album,The Arrival, was released in 2008. Singles like “House of Love” and “Just the Way You Are” continued the tradition of celebrating love and fortitude. Kindred began producing their own music videos and both songs were known for their touching visual stories. Both were mainstays on VH1 Soul and Centric. The title,“The Arrival” was a nod to the birth of the couples set of twin girls, Lanaa and Ain.
2009 was a year of great change. The first black president was in the midst of his first term. The country was in a financial slump and the group found itself without a label deal. Kindred The Family Soul began documenting their journey through this climate of change in a web series called “Six Is It!”, named jokingly about expecting their sixth and final child, a boy. Deen.
In 2011 they released their first album with Purpose/Shinachie records, “Love Has No Recession”. An album about triumph over adversity and the enduring power of love. Critically acclaimed and compared in intent to the classic, “What’s Going On?”. The album featured single “Magic” and “You Got Love” a surprising collaboration with Snoop Dogg offering a sixteen bar verse about his love for his wife. The group also founded a media company, The Media Shack and produced and directed 5 music videos for the album. They also continued to produce the web series for 3 more seasons.
2013 Kindred digitally released a live album to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the release of their debut album Surrender To Love. It was a rare recording of the group live in London performing every song on the the then, just released album.
The 5th album, simply called “A Couple Friends” was released in 2014. Kindred along with Shinachie records produced a short film directed by hometown friend Jamal Hill, to accompany this album. The film follows the story of couples connected to Kindred The Family Soul and how they move through their challenges with love and friendship as the anchor. The group also wrote their first children’s book, “Mama said, “Clean Up!”” based on a freestyle song performed by all their children and featured on the album. 2014 also ushered in a commitment to community. Kindred The Family Soul began producing two annual events in their hometown of Philadelphia. Kindred The Family Games and Kindred The Family Reunion, both free to the public.
In Spring of 2015 they recieved an opportunity to be a part of a national commercial for Walmart. Highlighting the culture of the family reunion, Kindred The Family Soul and all six of their children were featuring during a summer long campaign. The commercial recieved over a million hits on You Tube and is still of the most watched ads ever produced by the retail giant.
This Fall Kindred will be releasing their 6th studio album titled Legacy of Love. The lead single has already hit number 1 on soul charts in the UK and top 40 on AC charts here in the States. Considered timely and needed the single titled ,”All my People” paints a vision of equality, peace and unity.
Trina Broussard is the real and down to earth girl next door who just so happens to have a voice as powerful as an R&B diva.
Influenced by her mother, who sang jazz, her father who played guitar for several big bands, Anita Baker, Stevie Wonder and Donny Hathaway, Trina, a Houston , TX native began pursuing a music career in 1990 after relocating to Atlanta , GA. It wasn’t long before the new girl in town wooed some of the biggest names in R& B with her talent and skills. “I sang background vocals for Bobby Brown, Pebbles, Babyface, Mariah Carey, Toni Braxton and Be Be & CeCe Winans when I moved to Atlanta “, says Broussard.
Through her association with Trey Lorenz, she began writing and then later signed with Jermaine Dupri’s set up at Columbia Records, So So Def. Her single “Inside My Love” received heavy radio airplay and was featured on the 1997 platinum-selling Love Jones movie soundtrack. In 1998, Broussard co-wrote the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin’s hit record “Here We Go Again”, and also released her own single “Love You So Much” the following year. Almost unbelievably, the album has not been released until now. “I was disappointed that we had got to the threshold and somehow things just didn’t work out” recalls Trina.
Over the last ten years promos of the album have been exchanging hands for over £100. Songs such as “Sailing” and “Not Around” have been championed by soul DJs who could never understand why such a brilliant record hadn’t come out officially.
“Inside My Love” finally acquired a released through Expansion Records in the UK and was described as a masterpiece in contemporary soul. Collaborations include songs co-written with Jamey Jaz, Rahsaan Patterson, Alicia Keys, Puff Johnson and Trey Lorenz.
“I try to bring the reality of who I am to what I do as a woman… I just want to put good songs out there” she says. Her follow up album “Same Girl” was released by Motown and included “Dreaming Of One Good Love” picked up by Expansion for the “Soul Desirables Collection”. Meanwhile “Sailing” and “Why Do I Feel So Sad” became available for 2008’s “Dedicated To Soul” collection on Expansion opening the door for the full CD release of “Inside My Love”.
Broussard released Life of a Libra was released in 2010, her latest single ‘Adieu’ was released in 2016.
Catch Trina Broussard supporting Kindred the Family Soul on the following UK dates:
Thu, 17 Nov O2 Institute3 Birmingham
Sun, 20 Nov Jazz Cafe, London
Mon, 21st Nov Hideaway London
Tue, 22 Nov Band On The Wall Manchester
Steel Pan Fusion
A contemporary take on steel pan, jazz and world music with an exciting, dynamic cultural ensemble.
Steel Pan Fusion is driven by the powerful engine of drummer Sam Blue Agard and bassist Liam Joseph while percussionist Phillip Harper increases the rhythmic momentum with his array of congas and cowbells. Keyboardists Andre Louis and Joe McGrail add expressive harmonies and countermelodies to the arrangements, and saxophonist Adriano Rossetti-Bonell enriches the themes alongside two carefully deployed Steel Pan players, David Vine and bandleader Wade Austin. All of the aforementioned prove to be very agile soloists, and they are well served by strong material such as Louis’ Find Your Inner Self, Vine’s Beach Bum and Austin’s title track.
The flavour is in the fusion and the fusion is in the family.
Colourful Radio has been nominated for Urban Music Awards 2016
Colourful Radio was ‘voted Best Radio Station’ in the same awards in 2015. So the second nomination in a year is testament to the station’s achievements thus far in 2016.
The station issued a statement saying: “thanks to the Colourful team and loyal listeners without whom the station won’t exist let alone be nominated for anything. Thank you for supporting Colourful Radio.”
The Colourful Family
Angie B, Born 29th September and named ‘Angela Dunkley‘, The youngest child to Jamaican Parents, Mavis and Wilfred.
Angela adapted her name to Angie B. Since growing up as a child she was used to people calling her by her nickname ‘Angie‘ (Otherwise Ange). Although, the ‘B‘ came about through her marriage around 20 years ago; it’s the start of her marital surname and she became accustomed to being called, ‘Angie B‘ for nigh on 20 years. So of course it grew on her, became the norm and most suitable for her artist name.
Not only is Angie a wife, but also a mother of ten children with eighteen grandchildren.
Angie is the only British child and the youngest of four; Louis, Rose, Trevor and then herself. Yet, they always said she was ‘More Jamaican than the others as she absolutely adored Jamaica, The Jamaican Patois Accent, The Roots and Culture’ and always felt more at home in Jamaica. Upon visiting Jamaica, she fell in love with the suburban areas but especially the ghetto as it’s there she had the most fun and best memories.
She first went to Jamaica as a child, whilst there she also experienced the schooling from a young age- getting a hint of the sort of lifestyle her parents had whom were from Tivoli Gardens, Kingston.
Angie grew up in ‘The Pentecostal Church of God’, where she learned to sing and was also in the choir group until she got selected to be a gospel soloist.
Often times she sung duet with her mother, A Sunday School Teacher, whom had a strong singing voice herself and was also great at harmonising. Shortly afterwards, her older sister joined the church too, and they became like a singing trio. Angie recalls all three of them singing together, she describes it as ‘a very special moment’.
She took Piano lessons, which she did for about a year. She also had Violin lessons and some experience in playing the Bass Guitar.
Furthermore, Angie’s the distant cousin of legendary Errol Dunkley. Although, Errol were closer to her older brother, and next cousin the late guitarist Lascelle Dunkley AKA Tonic Man. Tonic being the ex-guitarist for the late Sugar Minott, Also was session player for the late legendary Alton Ellis band; He featured on Ellis’s ‘Golden Jubilee‘ album, after rehearsing with them.
When Tonic came to the UK in the early 80’s as a guitarist with Sugar, he lived with Angie and her family, where they became very close due to being similar characters. Angie laughs ‘I[she] was a rebel back then, he liked that in me[her], as he wasn’t one to be reckoned with either’.
It was ‘Tonic‘ whom paved the way for her and they would rehearse night after night, -so long as he did not have a gig!
They did two reggae songs together that Angie B composed, titled ‘Mash Up’ and the other one of which she couldn’t’recall the title of.
Tonic and her brother Trevor, introduced her to a lot of the reggae artists that she didn’t know; her brother grew up with singers such as Bob Marley, whom stayed at his home in the 70’s when he visited the UK.
Angie was also introduced to artists such as legendary Ken Boothe, John Holt, and Roy Cousins famous for’Pick up the Pieces’ who was a close family friend; to mention a few.
She was first taken to a recording studio aged just 15 years old by the late ‘Jah Woosh’, her brothers’ best friend, to DJ on a track for him. As, back in those days, she could ‘toast’ which is now more familiarly called ‘singjay’
She recalls those days as days when lyrics could roll of her tongue, she states,’ I can no longer freestyle the same way’.
Angie rehearsed many times in the past with Alton Ellis, they were even on the same bill recognised under her former marital singing name ‘Angela Campbell‘.
She finally recorded her first solo-single aged 22-23 years on a ‘V.I.P Label‘. Her song titled ‘Love Me‘ was a soul track which was on what was called a Disco 45, and was produced by Patrick Boothe. The single was followed up by her next,’I’ll be there‘, also produced by Patrick Boothe, and co-produced by herself. Pop singer Louise Tucker aided and accompanied Angie with this single. Alton Ellis played a great role in Angie’s life as he influenced Vinton Brown to invest in her, whilst Alton was her mentor.
Angie performed in Brixton Town Hall on the same bill as Alton, Bristol, Bow and a few more. But, at the ‘African Famine Relief’ event, she recalls Maxi Priest encouraging her to go on stage, and being ‘nervous’, as the crowd was in the hundreds; the largest she’d ever performed un front of. She remembers going on in the middle of the programme, before the bigger names were to appear, and after she sung the first 8 or 9 words she says,’they were screaming which gave great motivation’ to the point she ‘took to that stage like she owned it’. She wasn’t really a drinker, but discovered after having a stiff brandy, she overcame the issues of nerves and shyness.
She appeared and was interviewed in and by ‘ The Voice’ newspaper for her musical talent.
Soon after, Angie went to Holland on holiday and accidentally left a cassette there and, as if by chance, a singer ‘Oty Limond’ was looking for a female singer to form a duet with his band ‘Euram‘. Fortunately, Angie’s friends out there invited Oty & his band to listen to her songs and her cassette, where they immediately decided they liked what they heard and got in contact with Angie.
Angie did a couple radio interviews in Holland and before she knew it, Oty Limond of Euram, paid for her and her late, acting manager, Vinton Brown, to join them in Switzerland. Where the band resided, and that was not their only trip together.
She rehearsed constantly for a couple weeks and on other visits performed in the evenings at pre-planned venues in Davos and Zurich etc. She came back to UK for a while then was off again as she was to appear live on Zee TV with Oty performing his song, ‘You Will Be Near‘.
She appeared in venues, on their big screens and television, she recalls ‘it was really nice, V.I.P treatment and experience all-round’, she loved it.
She managed to purchase her 1st car from that, although it wasn’t brand new, she was happy with it.
A short time later, they, the band. were offered a record deal by a major record label ‘Arista records’ it was sadly turned down by Oty as ‘Arista records‘ did not want the band, only the 2 main singers, Angie and Oty but, as they were with him from the beginning, due to loyalty Oty could not accept the offer.
Angie admits she did become a bit dishearted and worse her mother was becoming fearful of the music world, as a few negative stories were being broadcasted by the media, she was worried sick, as she did not trust them and especially because Angie was now going abroad regularly, this too, was breaking her spirit.
She went on to have more children and had some of her own personal issues and troubles in her life.
In early 90s she recorded a ‘Soul’ track with UK singer Wayne Marshall, ‘Got No Love’, Produced by Wayne.
Although Angie never released it, and still has it on a 24 track, she has since done a reggae version. Though, with the addition of singjay lyrics and an extra verse, but she kept the main body & titles; in other words, she has resurrected the track in a new form.
‘Who knows’, she says, ‘I may still release the original soul version too, one day, so we’ll wait and see…’
In the latter part of the 1990’s, she put her knowledge and energy into managing her sons’ MC/Garage crew, named ‘And Wot Cru’. And later began managing two other crews.
Angie’s ‘And Wot Cru‘ performed at open mics and many venues, paid and unpaid even. To name a few- Hackney Empire, The Lyric Theatre, etc. They also performed on the same venue as Julian Marley, where they had the crowds going ecstatically. To add, they participated in a ‘Mothers Against Guns‘ Event including Dance competitions. Angie was interviewed on BBC Radio in Milton Keynes, which she felt honoured to do.
The crew won many awards, and publicised in the local press; they were achieving their goals and dreams.
The late great legendary Queen of Reggae, Louisa Mark’, visited Milton Keynes and called Angie on-stage to sing with her. She was one of Angie’s childhood best friends.
Angie recalls everything was fine for a while as she knew all Louisa’s songs, but this night her voice changed uncontrollably on a note,’it went so high’, she said, she ‘didn’t think a note so high existed’. Louisa and Angie gave each other a fleeting glance, something was wrong even if no one else knew it , they knew it. They discussed it later that evening, Louisa was as surprised as Angie was, and advised her to get it investigated. Angie started having bouts of coughing, even whilst talking; she was worried, so that prompted her to get a check-up two days later, if that didn’t happen that night, God knows what may have happened.
In the days to follow, Angie was diagnosed with polyps and a massive cyst on her vocal chords, she was practically suffocating. She had to be operated on immediately at the findings, after which she was then told she ‘may never be able to sing again’.
However, when everything eventually healed and she tried to sing, she could not hit any notes, neither did she sound the same; her voice dropped a couple tones down, so she attended a vocal training class in the hospital.
Angie believed what doctors told her and feared losing her voice completely, she gave up singing entirely it was ‘not an option’, she felt at that time. She decided to start her own business and she set up a successful retail business.
However, things took a very bad turn a few years later which affected her entire family, .Angie still feels very bitter about and it still has a lot of impact on her views of life.
After the loss of her mother in June 2010, which had a major effect on Angie, it left her feeling shattered. Though, this was soon followed three years later by Angie’s elder, and sole, sister in 2013. She was devastated as she lost them both to the same condition. To make matters worse, a few months later her cousin Tonic Man… all of whom died as a result of cancer. She was exceptionally close to her mother, when her mother passed, both Angie and her sister leaned on each other; After losing her sister she felt more lonely.
Angie needed something to fill the voids. Everyone, family, friends and even some people whom had heard her sing, started encouraging her to go back to her singing as they believed she could still sing, and a great, therapeutic way to release. The final straw was when she sung for her sister’s funeral, she was again encouraged to go back to her music so, she contacted veteran and friend ‘General Saint’, she came to realise she was serious about singing. Even though, he personally had never heard her sing before, but he had great belief in her. He hooked her up with Producer, Robbie Tyndale, who supplied her with three instrumentals he’d made and basically said, ‘get on with it’, so she did.
Amazed and astonished with what she had done, Saint said ‘Angie, I’m shocked, it’s better than what I had ever imagined!’, he loved her voice and her style. For her age, she sounded so young, and at that point she had only done her 1st track, ‘Had It All’. Saint liked the little singjay part she had done, and thought she should incorporate more in her songs as it suited her. He too is a talented singjay artist, so Angie had faith that he knew what he was talking about about, so she did. At this point, she came up with’ In Da Club’ influenced by her children; her son wrote the SingJay part. Moreover, Saint was truly amazed at it and just loving what she was producing. Then came ‘Fall In Love’ all recorded at Blu Jeanz, in which Saint and Robbie had started.
Later, she did a few Dancehall tracks that had been written for her. Angie states she ‘does not usually have anyone writing for her, but as it was her son, she did not mind’. It gave her a little more space to concentrate on some Reggae and Lovers Rock songs. As she appeared to be covering all areas, she has even recorded a few soul tracks too, as that is what she had experience with in the past and had released.
Of her music she insists, ‘ I am versatile.’
She continues to support her children in their music and give light where she can though they are more mainstream.
Her album is complete and now released, entitled, ‘Personally Yours’, which is slowly being introduced now, containing a mixture of styles and moods. Her album was mainly produced and mastered by her long time ex-producer , Patrick Boothe. Angie mentions, ‘It’s so good to have some of my old links back’ and ‘It’s good to live well with people… after so long, as childhood friends… who would have thought thirty plus years later?!’
She has also been quite successful with another track off a Compilation Album ‘Everytime We Touch’, released and produced by Starrvybz Ent, URV ‘Mumma’s Cry’, which was a hit for her in a few European Countries, which meant a lot to her personally.
Of music, Angie says music stops her ‘from focusing so much on the loved ones’ she has lost and helps ease her pain’, as she has been through a lot over the past 10 years.
Angie has other talents too, she does Art when she has the time and loves taking part in dsicussing Political Views, including Black History.
She retorts,”Music is also a part of me, it is my first love, I can always express my feelings, emotions, experiences, fantasies, fallacies, pain, whatever, through my music”.
Angie feels ‘BLESSED’ as recently she has signed a VPAL Distribution Contract with CEO Donovan Williams. To some people it may seem non-unique, but she feels honored at this time in her life. AND she has recently released via VPAL the first, duet ‘Feelings of Love’, with singer/producer Patrick Boothe. Available on iTunes, Amazon, HMV DIGITAL and many more.
Angies’ s aim is to keep on making good music, stay focused, positive and to keep trying out new musical ventures. There is so much talent out there, but, she hopes one day to leave her mark, inspire and touch people with the music/songs she creates and hopes people will recognise her as a serious artist and as one of the veterans, one day.
As told by Angie B .
Junior first began singing in a local band at the age of 14, encouraged by the
Sounds of doo-wop, early Motown, soul and reggae.
As the years passed however, the hobby became a full time musical career and Junior realised that his talents lay in writing and performing his own music. His first recordings date back to a cover of the ever green song “Nice and Slow “by Jessie Green, then the song which got him noticed “Hot up and Heated”.
Initially signed to Phonogram Records, 1982 saw Junior hit the chart heights with the infectious anthem ‘Mama Used To Say’ which became a transatlantic hit, prompting Junior’s appearance as the first black British artist on Soul Train and earning him Billboard’s ‘Best Newcomer Award’ presented by the legendary James Brown. The U.S. hit, ‘Too late’ which reached no 8 and his auspicious debut album ‘Ji’ followed.
Junior’s second album ‘Inside Looking Out’ was released in 1983 featuring the U.S. hit ‘Communication Breakdown’. Travelling throughout the U.S. for promotion, Junior teamed up with the renowned producer Arif Mardin, who was later to contribute tracks to Junior’s third album ‘Acquired Taste’ released in 1984. That same year Junior wrote ‘Do You Really Want My Love?’ for the multi platinum selling Beverly Hills Cop sound track album. At this time he was subsequently enjoying success as a songwriter with his compositions recorded by artists such as Phyllis Hyman and Sheena Easton.
What followed in 1987 was Junior’s biggest European hit, ‘Another Step’, a duet with Kim Wilde, which reached number 6 in the U.K charts. A string of performances including a tour with Wilde as opening act for Michael Jackson took place.
Towards the end of 1987 Junior completed ‘Sophisticated Street’, his fourth and last album for Polygram. Recorded in Minneapolis with producer Monte Moir and in L.A. with Stewart Levine, the track ‘Yes If You Want Me’ emerged as the album’s biggest hit single, providing Junior with yet another top 20 U.S. R&B entry in the Spring of 1988.
Taking time off to re-evaluate his direction, Junior felt he needed to enhance his creative control and went on to work with his choice of producers namely; Alan Glass, Blacksmith, Simon Law (ex Soul II Soul), Robbie Taylor and Greg Smith. From this collaboration of writers/producers came the album ‘Stand Strong’, released on MCA. This heralded as Junior’s most focused work since his debut album. Mixing an exciting variety of music, the album included such outstanding tracks as the sublime’ Morning Will Come’ and the nasty groove of ‘Step Off’.
Although critically acclaimed by all who heard it, Junior felt the album should have achieved more. “Both I and the record company (MCA) felt that the songs on ‘Stand Strong’ were just too good to be ignored and so I wanted to do something to reintroduce them to a new audience. Finally we rested on the idea of re-working the tracks and producing a new album, which would include 6 new tracks so as to give something more to those people who bought ‘Stand Strong’.
The album aptly entitled ‘Renewal’ was released in November 1992 on MCA and it saw Junior continue the relaxed theme of ‘Morning Will Come’ but taking it into the next phase. As Junior said, “on this album I became a lot more spiritual and lyrically I felt I became much stronger.
On the ‘Renewal’ album are innovative tracks such as ‘Never Gonna Let You Walk Away’, You Don’t Have To Look Far’ and ‘Why’. Junior Once again demonstrates his ability to reach out and appeal to a wide cross-section of people.
Junior went on to release a recreation of the Detroit Spinners and Dionne Warwick classic, ‘Then Came You’ in 1992. This achieved national top 30 chart success.
In 1995 Junior contributed to that infamous first album by The ‘Lighthouse Family’ simply entitled ‘Ocean Drive’. “The titles, the titles I hear you ask. Well they are ‘Keep Remembering’ and ‘What Could Be Better’. This album sold over 5,000,000 (five million) copies worldwide.
That same year Junior decided to set up his own Label Step Off Music, “I was meeting so many talented people that it just made sense plus there were things that I wanted to say and new I couldn’t say while being signed to a Major. The following year saw the release of ‘The Best of Junior’ album on Polygram. Here they were to capitalise on Junior’s notoriety as a brilliant songwriter/producer’ singer once again. Junior released ‘Honesty’ his first album on his own label in Japan and commanded sales to the tune of 30,000 (thirty thousand) copies, this album was released in the U.K in January 1997.
Being that all giving natured person, Junior decided it was time to continue spreading his style around so during the same year he leaned more towards production. This saw him doing more work with new artistes on Sony and Warner record labels.
Phillip Bailey of Earth Wind and Fire used one of Junior’s songs entitled ‘Anything Is Possible’. The first single from his solo CD in Japan this reached sales in the region of 30,000 (thirty thousand) the album was released in the U.S in June 1998.
Junior’s song writing skills have in no way been left untapped and while he has been out of the limelight, he has continued to be prolific, penning songs for a number of artistes, including Maxi Priest, Penny Ford (ex Snap), Amy Stewart, and RubyTurner. To-day we have such artistes as Heavy D, Warren.G, Cam’rom and Brand Nubians taking a lick of the classics’ Mama Used To Say and Too Late’.
A pioneer in his field, Junior was the first artist to create and present British
based black music to audiences outside the U.K 25 years ago. Since
Then he has consistently produced a number of important albums which have
Charted his artistic growth and development. Junior demonstrates his unique
Talent for well-crafted and beautifully sung songs, which transcend categories
Simply drawing in and delighting any audience.
In 1999 he teamed up with T.V Presenter Richard Blackwood, who is his Nephew, to re-record Mama Used to Say as Mama Who Da Man. This was released in the spring of 2000 giving Junior his biggest hit to date as a Producer reaching No 3 in the UK National Chart. There then followed the Top 10 hit 1234 Get With The Wicked and Top 20 hit Someone There for Me and the album You’d Love To Hate This.
What of the future for our jovial genius you ask;
“I just want to touch a lot of people with my music,” he says. Junior is full of
Surprises for those of you who dare to treat your ears to a wide ranging
Sphere of great music, you have already followed him into the millennium and he won’t let you down. “I believe I am here for a reason and my next project which is a New Album my first in 10 years will show that.
“The Prophet Rides Again”.
New Album “OCEANS “
Shalamar – Jeffrey Daniel
Shalamar Jeffrey Daniel interview on Colourful Radio 02-October-2016
In the late 1970s and early 1980s the name Shalamar became synonymous with the contemporary sound of catchy feel-good dance music. Shalamar are best known for a string of worldwide hits such as The Second Time Around, Make That Move, I Owe You One, I Can Make You Feel Good, There It Is, Friends and of course their often copied anthem A Night To Remember.
Shalamar started life as a “manufactured” group. Dick Griffey was the talent co-ordinator for US hit show Soul Train when he decided to set up his own record label – SOLAR. He took session musicians and created a hit record – Uptown Festival – which was credited to a faceless artist “Shalamar” in 1977. When the record became a hit he realised that there was a demand for an actual group so he set about creating one with soul train dancers Jeffrey Daniel and Jody Watley together with singer Gary Mumford, the latter of whom quickly left the group to pursue other interests.
In late 1979 the group was riding high on the US R& B chart with their hit Take That To The Bank when Gerald Brown became the second lead singer to walk out on Shalamar in as many years leaving his fellow band members without a frontman again.
Jeffrey Daniel had met Howard Hewett at the LA nightclub “Maverick Flat” a few years earlier and had already asked him to take up lead vocals after Mumford’s departure. At that time, Hewett was committed to another contract to tour Europe with a covers band. When Brown left, Daniel asked Hewett to come on board again and this time he agreed. The rest is history.
Hewett’s first record The Second Time Around was a million seller. As well as being number one on the US R&B chart it went on to reach number eight in the main Billboard pop chart indicating Shalamar’s intention to cross over with an edgy sound incorporating funk, disco, R&B and pop.
The trio consisting of Howard Hewett as lead vocalist together with Jeffrey Daniel and Jody Watley became known as the “classic” line up of the group. From late 1979 to mid 1983 they racked up more than a dozen hits all over the world including North America, Europe, Africa and Japan. In the UK, Shalamar are also remembered for Jeffrey Daniel’s famous appearances on Top of the Pops where he introduced body popping and moonwalking to UK audiences. Daniel is also an award-winning choreographer well known for teaching the moonwalk to Michael Jackson as well as co-choreographing some of Jackson’s videos and for being his dance mentor.
At the height of their fame in 1983, Watley and Daniel left Shalamar leaving Hewett to continue the group with new members and further hits resulting in a personal grammy for Hewett.
In 1999, Howard Hewett and Jeffrey Daniel reformed the group and began touring again. For a number of years they left the third slot empty as they continued to invite Jody Watley back into the group. When they were happy that they had tried their best to encourage Watley to re-join, they felt that they should look for another female vocalist.
The natural choice of replacement was Carolyn Griffey, daughter of founder Dick Griffey. She grew up a pre-teenager spending much time in the offices and studios of Solar Records in the presence of the original Shalamar and their label bandmates including The Whispers, Midnight Star and her mother Carrie Lucas, herself an accomplished R&B artist. At the age of 18 Carolyn had a record deal with another group Absolute who had two songs featured on the soundtrack of the film Lambada.
Since Carolyn came on board in 2001, the group have been able to extend their performance repertoire to those songs such as Full Of Fire which require a female presence.
Alton McClain Scarborough has been singing professionally for over 40 years. After moving to Los Angeles in 1977, she met her first producer, signed a recording contract as Alton McClain & Destiny, and released the top 40 hit “It Must Be Love”. She has toured nationally and internationally with Teddy Pendergrass, Frankie Beverly & Maze, Chic, Peobo Bryson, The Gap Band as well as many others. While touring in Japan, she heard the call to sing Gospel. She then recorded the CDs God’s Woman and Renaissance. She is currently working on a third Gospel album as well as a cover album of Skip Scarborough’s music.
Donna Allen is the “Power House” Recording Artist from Florida. She’s travel all over the world preforming her Hits records, which includes smash hits such as: “Joy and Pain”, “He Is the Joy”, “Talk About Serious”, “Satisfied”, “Sugar”, “I’m Your Bride”, “Real”, “Your The Best Thing”, “Change”, and many more…. Her latest release “THANK YOU DJ’S” is predicted by many National Dj’s, sure to be a mega HIT all over the world. Donna Allen was the First Black NFL Cheerleaders(Swashbucklers) for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. And, First Runners Up in the Miss Black Tampa Beauty Pageant in the 70’s. She’s had many hits in major motion pictures. Such as: “He Is the Joy” in the Hit Motion Picture, Produced, Written and Directed by: “Tyler Perry”, “Make It My Night”(Fatal Beauty) in Motion Picture starring: Whoopi Goldberg, “Real” in the Hit Motion Picture (The Specialist) Starring: Sylvester Stallone & Sharon Stone. “Real” Written by, World renown Song Writer: “Diane Warren”. Donna Allen has embarked on an acting career. She landed a leading role in the short film “Mama I Saw Jesus” soon to be release, Directed by: Jermaine Aglin. Donna Allen has tour with many major recording artist(s), having many credits to her name as a Lead and Background vocalist for many different sounds represented in a large variety of “A-List” Recording artist(s). You can hear her amazing vocals talents on the likes of: Lil Wayne, Jennifer Lopez, Gloria Estefan, Phyllis Hyman, Jon Secada, Etc. (Just to name a few). She’s compared to the likes of: Tina Turner, Gladys Knight, Chaka Khan, Anne Lenox, Joyce Kennedy (Mother’s Finest), & men; Such as: James Brown, Al Green, etc. Donna Allen undeniable Vocals Talents puts her in a “Class of Her Own”. Her New Dance House Single “THANK YOU DJ’S” will surly have you dancing and wanting more, and more, and more and more of “The ONE & ONLY “Donna Allen.
Deeply mystical, Jah9 has emerged from a chrysalis of poetry, dub and spirit to become a powerful femiNINE energy within a universal grassroots movement of consciousness. Inspired by the open spaces in the instrumental dub of 1970’s Jamaican roots music, Jah9 sings with a voice that belies the dimensions of her physical body, from a soul much older than its current vessel; “reminiscent of that darkly operatic wailer for truth & justice, Nina Simone.” Her philosophy–profoundly spiritual, and her style–Jazz on Dub. Born Janine Cunningham, Jah9 spent her first 9 years in Falmouth, Trelawny, on the rural western edge of Jamaica before moving into the city of Kingston, in 1991. Transplanted in the city, this country girl, used to the idyllic Falmouth where everyone knew everyone else, was suddenly struck by chaos disguised as order in Jamaica’s capital. Highly sensitive to her surroundings, she ventured inward and found an outlet for her feelings in the words that she wrote.
Growing up in a conscious family with a preacher for a father and a social worker for a mother, Janine had always been aware of the injustices in the world. However, it was not until she was on campus at the University of the West Indies that she would embark on a pivotal journey to find her true voice. At UWI, she would gather with a group of fellow socially conscious and Rastafari brethren by a fire to steam herbs and reason for long hours. There her heart was opened to the teachings of Haile Selassie I and her ears to the hypnotic bass of the heavy dub rhythms of roots reggae. Janine eventually embraced her childhood nickname, Jah9, as she learnt the significance of the word “Jah” and the number “9”. A staple on Jamaica’s underground poetry scene by 2009, in instrumental dub she found a place where her words could live, and the songs she started to write found eager encouragement. Jah9 began recording with renowned keyboardist and flautist Sheldon Bernard and her demos caught the attention of the legendary Beres Hammond, who then began helping to develop her recording technique. She later teamed up with popular producer Donovan Bennett of Don Corleon Records and released her first 2 singles in late 2010.
Her focus and determination eventually culminated in the release of her debut album entitled “New Name”, an homage to her personal spiritual journey produced by pioneer dancehall selector and roots producer Rory ‘Stone Love’ Gilligan. Voted album of the year by AchisReggae.com, “New Name” has been described as “quite simply, the superb sum of its parts: a straight cultural roots album” by United Reggae’s Angus Taylor.
Since 2013, Jah9 has performed on the main stage with her band ‘The Dub Treatment’ at most major European and US reggae festivals. Described as “black magic” and “possessing a chilling yet bewitching vibrato evoking a young Ella Fitzgerald and a rootsy coolness à la Erykah Badu” her dub-filled live performances elevate consciousness and invoke a spiritual reawakening.
Jah9, a certified yoga instructor trained in Kemetic, Ashtanga and Iyengar methods, has been known to compel her audiences during her live set to pause, breathe deeply and feel empowered. She opens minds and soaks them in knowledge and positivity. As a way to intimately engage with her fan base, Jah9 also curates an organic rhythm-based yoga experience she calls ‘Yoga on Dub’. Jah9 is rooted in her African heritage and driven to serve. In 2015, while on tour in Italy and Malta she was intent on engaging with African refugees, sharing with them insight on the new environment they would face, natural wellness as well as yoga/breathing as healing therapy.
Jah9’s words are a reflection of the life she has constructed. Considered a nation
builder and community activist, she has been heavily involved in youth development work. She has helped develop programs for at-risk youth in Kingston, worked on the creation of “Healing of the Nation” public awareness campaign and been at the core of the creation of the non-profit youth and arts advocacy group known as Manifesto JA in 2005.
In 2016, the Universal year of 9 [2+0+1+6], Jah9 has established for herself a
foundation as a formidable lyricist and revolutionary force; and now shifts her energies to unveiling a deeper more personal deployment of her ‘Jazz on Dub’ sound. Empowered by her femiNINE – that which is found in the symbolism of 9, the symbol of creation and womb of the universe – Jah9 is set to release her sophomore album divinely-entitled ‘9’.
The Australian born singer/songwriter is equally comfortable with R&B, Soul, Jazz fusion & dance.
Her voice blends elements of these genres naturally to create a unique sound where every note
Jeniqua, nominated for a Shorty Award, in 2014 for ‘best singer’, does all her own backing vocals, vocal arrangements, and co-production on her songs. She writes songs straight from the heart.
Always inspired by much on her journey, a deep love for God and a desire to connect with listeners across the globe, her rawness and personal revelations of much learnt in life so far, has captured the hearts of many and helped them on their journey too. Her mission through music, is to uplift, encourage & empower people in their own lives and meet them where they are at, whether expressed in a silky smooth ballad, or soaring to great heights in a powerful and funky dance track.
“Jeniqua is a phenomenal singer & songwriter that is not afraid to be herself. The out-pouring of her lyrics are truly positive & captivating. I recommend her music, not just to music lovers, but also for those who are seeking comfort & trying to find some release”, says Norma Carby, Lifestyle Mentor & Coach (NY).
Jeniqua was born into a BIG family. Unique, in that, referred to, as the ‘1,2, 3 Family’, (an Australian Mother’s record). Her parents, had, first child, then twins & then triplets. Jeniqua is one of the triplets. Born in Australia, though parents heritage is European (Swiss, Danish, Polish, French, Irish, Scottish).
Always known she had a God given gift and talent for singing, as a young girl, Jeniqua chose to take her natural gift further. Her voice was once assessed by a local vocal coach where she picked up the skills to be able to pass on her natural talent, along with knowledge of vocal posture, to others and began vocal coaching. She had also written poetry from a young age, went on to teach herself piano, adding melodies and chords to poetry verses and eventually writing lyrics to her own songs, as her creativity continued to blossom.
With a continual flow of songs in her heart, Jeniqua is constantly writing and has many more songs to share with you and grateful to all the radio stations, that feature her on playlists and in rotation and to her fans across the Globe, who support her music.
Jeniqua has track record of writing catchy tunes. From 2010 to present, she has released many songs filled with heart and inspiration, such as ‘MAKING LOVE’, her ‘JENIQUA EP’ both charting on playlists in UK and the USA. In August 2014, single: ‘U GOT IT GOIN ON’, was released also receiving great reviews and fast becoming a favourite on the airways.
Fast forward to May 2016, ‘HOW DO I LOVE YOU’ single was released, gracing both
Gospel/Christian contemporary and mainstream playlists. Then ‘Awaken my soul’ 7 song CCM/Gospel LP/ALBUM was released on 21st July 2016.
Forthcoming releases include, Jeniqua’s song ‘YOU R MY SMILE’ featured on Social Climax Part 2 mixtape from the UK, with DJ Niceness and her highly anticipated debut album and further singles.
These are just a few, among the many projects she has been working on. Continuous writing and inspiration, fills her day.
Jeniqua’s huge voice and talent has been compared to many established recording artist that influenced her development, though make no mistake as a vocalist, her voice is an unmistakably unique and divine gift. Her combined talents and style make her the complete package entertainer.
“Jeniqua’s voice, stage presence, raw talent and work ethic will have a huge impact on the industry.”
Nana Genesis interview on Colourful Radio 14-August-2016
Nana Genesis is a singer-songwriter, vocal coach and performing arts teacher from London, Great Britain.
Having started singing and performing at the tender age of 6 to family and friends, writing her first song at the age of thirteen and leading harmonies in school productions, Nana was clearly born to perform.
Nana’s musical flair did not stop there, as she successfully joined the London Allstars Steel Band and played at the famous Notting Hill Carnival. At the same
time, she decided to learn to play the guitar and hasn’t looked back since. Whilst still at school, Nana sneakily auditioned to be part of the band, Ezeke and Aqua Vita . She got the job, but was not able to tour with them until she finished school. Having completed her education, Nana was finally able to go on a world tour with Aqua Vita. Meeting and sharing the stage with Natalie Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Cher and Ben Vereen . Whist playing at the Monte Carlo Sporting Club, Nana was able to secure a solo slot, performing for Princess Grace of Monaco Grace Kelly! where Ms Kelly took to the floor on her own, dancing as Nana sang.
Looking for a new challenge, Nana decided to tap into her love of Reggae, having grown up listening to it as her father was Jamaican. Nana travelled to Jamaica where she worked with the legendary Gregory Isaacs.
She also went onto back the formidable Freddie McGregor . It was a dream come true and Nana finally secured her reputation as a strong vocal artist and excellent backing singer.
With Reggae finding its way back into her life fulltime, Nana went on to work with Earl Sixteen, Culture, Junior Delgado, Johnny Osbourne and the Mad
Professor at Ariwa Sounds Having been writing her own songs for years, Nana was finally able to record some tracks with PWA Records and went on to perform them across the UK, with her most successful single, Holding On .
Nana has continued to work as a backing vocalist. Recording in the studio, on stage, covering Pop, Soul, Jazz and Reggae . She also writes for other artists and performs her own material.
Whilst continuing to work on her own music and perform with high profile artists, Nana wanted to pass on her knowledge to other budding musicians so completed a Performing Arts Access course gaining a Distinction . She currently works with various performing arts companies and schools as a vocal coach, training singers and performing for nationwide events and charity functions.
Whilst doing all this, Nana also uses her exceptional talent to work with people who have Dementia, as a singing coach. Her work with clients has proven to boosts their brain activity, manages stress and stimulates positive interaction with others.
Whilst teaching and writing, Nana continues to tour as a busy artist, performing at many festivals and venues with the likes of Max Romeo, John Holt, Michael
Prophet, Wayne Wonder, Ken Booth, Chucka Demus & Pliers, Queen Ifrica, Levi Roots, Little Roy and Gappy Ranks ( on the Jools Holland Show BB2 ),
Derrick Harriott, Savanna, Nature, One Love Orchestra and Mary Wilson from the Supremes.
Nana’s musical influences spread far and wide, but the key artists include: Judy Mowatt, Barbra Streisand, Nina Simone, Whitney Houston, Bob Marley and Marcia Griffiths.
Nana is now ready for the next phase in her career and has written and produced her own album, The Story So Far , and will be promoting it and performing very soon. Watch this space!
A great song takes you on an emotional journey. It’s an exploration into and embracing of longing, passion, remorse, romance, friendship, love, pain, happiness and everything that falls in between.
Multi-Grammy® nominated musician Marsha Ambrosius knows a little something about writing great songs. Whether it’s as one half of Floetry, on her chart-topping solo debut Late Nights & Early Mornings or her career as an acclaimed songwriter /producer, her observations on love and life paired with her soulful and honest vocals flip the personal into a universal truth.
Marsha Ambrosius will unleash her next tale of love and life through the release of her sophomore solo album, Friends & Lovers. Produced and written by Marsha, Friends & Lovers features collaborations with Charlie Wilson, Skye and Lindsey Sterling. The sixteen-track album plays host to a variety of standout records including the hip-hop flavored “Stronger” featuring Dr. Dre, which is a remake of Sade’s “Stronger Than Pride.” The track, produced by Marsha, is the perfect combination of soul and hip-hop. When discussing the collaboration, Marsha joyfully offers, “I’ve been privileged to be under great wings that have allowed me to shine.”
The first single is the moody, yet inspirational “Run.” According to Marsha, “Run” was not intended to be a single, but instead was “just a magical moment in the studio. I remember sitting behind the piano and it’s like (the song) wrote itself. I kept hearing – ‘What am I running from, what am I running towards? It was run away from the pain I feel now.’ Everything that I thought I was reaching for brought me down. It was that wake up call, that this could not be my life. I had to run towards something bigger and better. I feel like people get so caught up in who they think they’re supposed to be. You’re supposed to have plans but rules are made to be broken and plans change, all the time. There are curve balls that change your perception, and that’s what ‘Run’ is to me. There’s a melancholy tone but the lyrics have a rejoiceful, hopeful narration.”
Equally emotional is “Love” and like the sensation itself, the song is alternately hopeful and tinged with sadness. Quoting the lyrics, Marsha says, “‘When love knocks at your door, don’t turn it away, let it inside and invite it to stay… Just let it be.’ Don’t be afraid and if this is how you feel this must be love. There’s so many ways to spin what love is for you. It can be the most joyful and terrifying time to love at the level that you feel you deserve. With this song it was literally that morning, standing on the balcony, cup of coffee overlooking wherever in the world …I read the morning paper but there’s nothing in there about the love I have for someone. Yet this is the biggest news I have in my life…no one is reading about little old me. But for me, it was an affirmation and reminder of what to do when that is exactly what it is.”
“Spend All of My Time”, a special duet with the legendary Charlie Wilson addresses another facet of what it means to love and what it feels like to say goodbye. “This is about me missing my grandmother and my aunt to the point where it hindered how I carried on my day. I lost my grandmother in 2003. I lost my Aunt way too suddenly to cancer and to watch her deteriorate before my eyes made me look at what is important. Music became my importance. I felt guilty for that and I know that’s what they would have wanted for me. I had no choice, but to keep living. I’m out here trying to get this money so we can get to Disney World. Everyone is rooting for me and wishing me well and there’s me not being able to be by their side. All the happiness this money can’t buy, I wanna spend all my time with you.”
A native of Liverpool, England, Marsha burst on the music scene as the singing half of Floetry. Their 2002 debut Floetic produced “Say Yes” and “Getting Late” as well as four Grammy® nods. Following their 2005 sophomore album, Flo’Ology, the duo opted to take different paths and despite the difficulties of ending a long-time partnership, Marsha continued to build a name for herself as a songwriter and producer. Creating “Butterflies” for the late Michael Jackson in 2001, Marsha has also worked with the likes of Alicia Keys, Kanye West, Jamie Foxx, Busta Rhymes and Nas. She’s been nominated for a total of six Grammys®, honored by BMI as their “Songwriter of the Year” and has a devoted fan base that includes her musical idols Prince and Stevie Wonder.
Released in 2011, Late Nights & Early Mornings entered the Billboard Hot 200 at #2 and debuted at #1 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. The single “Far Away”, was a staple on BET and Marsha was the recipient of a Centric Award at the 2011 BET Awards. “With my first project, I just knew that I just wanted to do an album. This time the concept came immediately, the stepping stone was already laid. So I was like, ‘Where do I go from here? What do I speak about?’ So I met a whole bunch of new friends I care about dearly and some potential lovers… it was like the sequel. I’m always connected to music but from a movie standpoint. Every song I create I see the movie, I visualize the video, I’ve connected to this character that you have to become to deliver the music. Even going back to the Floetry days, when I wrote “Getting Late” I knew that the lady had been divorced, that she had two baby daddies and the first one kept coming back,” Marsha laughs.
Asked what she hopes people will take away from Friends & Lovers and Marsha’s answer is as passionate as her music. “I wanted this album to be a thing that felt timeless. There are so many trends that come and go that if you find the space that makes you nostalgic, then that’s exactly the angle I was going for. To make you feel like you’ve heard this before or that it’s so relatable and you’re so able to connect with the story behind it, like ooh. I’ve had that wild night or I’ve had that early morning or I’ve met that friend who then became a lover. There are all these pieces of a puzzle that just come together in one project. I want them to know that she’s talking to me. On this album, my perspective is I want to hear you say what I want you to tell me.”