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World & Reggae

  • Mr. Easy

    Mr Easy is a man over-flowing with music and melodies that deal with the more harmonious aspects of life and living. He was born in the verdant, undulating hills of the Cockpit Country. The transition at the age of ten, for this country boy, to the cold, gray streets of New York City was not an easy rite of passage.

    Mr. Easy, who was named for his laid back and easy demeanor faced an awkward transition to New York being Jamaican born, yet of African heritage, something which always seems to create a dilemma of the soul. However, it wasn’t long before he settled into this new lifestyle and started helping “Sir Noel” set up his sound system. Easy joined the crew of DJ’s and experimented with some of the lyrics that he had been writing since he first went to high school. He soon began performing at places like the Starlight Ballroom and singing songs made popular by Dennis Brown. After an introduction to a record producer, Barry, he hit the studios to record a cover version of the Isley Brother’s hit “Caravan Of Love”.

    Mr. Easy played and studied hard in the Big Apple, thereby gaining a wealth of experiences in a relatively short space of time. He cites Marvin Gaye, Donny Hathaway, Gladys Knight as well as Erik B and Rakim among his major musical influences. As a youth his dream was to conquer the crowd at New York City’s famous Apollo Theatre while nearly every solo singer that ventured onto that stage was booed off. Mr. Easy was more than successful. Easy recounts how Sidney Mills, the keyboard player from Steel Pulse, helped him to write “Just Be A Lady” and how he sang out for all he was worth. The crowd went wild, they didn’t boo they clapped and cheered. Easy received congratulations and encouragement from people like Patti LaBelle and Quincy Jones. The result of this early success was a record deal with Motown Records and the release of Mr. Easy’s first album.

    Extensive touring of the United States, Japan and the Caribbean followed with fellow Jamaican artists such as; Beres Hammond, Shinehead, Red Fox and Shaggy. It was while he was working on his never to be released second album for Warner Brothers with Mickey Bennett that he met Dave Kelly and a long-term alliance was formed. At that time there seemed to be a need to win over a homeland audience that is like none other in the world. For a Jamaican, you could have conquered the globe, but if you’ve never had a major hit in the homeland - you just haven’t truly made it.

    Easy feels that the experiences of performing and recording in New York combined with maintaining a working base in Jamaica has enabled a crystallization of ideas to take place where he can let his creativity shine. Since dedicating himself to years of recording with top producers like Dave Kelly, the melodic quality of Mr. Easy’s voice has been in much demand. Songs like; “Mi Haffi Stop” on the Showtime riddim, “Man Ah Say A Who” on the Rae Rae riddim, “Funny Man” on the Joyride riddim, “Freaky Lady” on the Juice Riddim, “Herbs Haffi Bun” on the Intercourse riddim, “After All” on the Thunder riddim, “Haters” on the Orgasm riddim, “Oil Up” on the Triology riddim featuring General Degree all helped to solidify Mr. Easy as one of the top 15 artists to voice.

    Mr. Easy’s smooth flow allowed him to take a new musical direction with songs like; “Up And Down” featuring Sean Paul on the Two Hard label and “Freaky Kind Of Lady” produced by Richard Browne on the ‘Call Me Shams’ label. As well as “I’ll Always Be There”, a lovers rock tune on the Rockaway riddim and “Heavenly” produced by Beres Hammond for the Harmony House Label. For a brief period of time Easy focused on Lovers Rock releases that allowed him to expand as an artist and vocally.

    In order to maintain a positive focus from time to time, Mr. Easy gets out of Kingston City by taking a drive out to ‘Peter Tosh’ country in Westmoreland where he cools out by the river. He says that many of his songs are written in settings that are calm and natural, as he likes to get away from the noise and brashness that is often associated with city living. He feels that living in Jamaica has enabled him to tap into a revitalizing energy source that will enable him to make that quantum leap into a positive future. Easy states that, “the songs I write will endure forever, even when I am not here.” Every generation needs its classics as they form a legacy for future generations. In addition, often times he sits down with long time musical brethren Red Fox (a phenomenal Dancehall deejay) to add an edge to much of his material as the two have co-written a number of songs including the exciting tune “Sweet Love” on the upbeat Juicy rhythm produced by Mr. Doo, responsible for Jr. Reid’s huge hit “Riker’s Island”.

    When Mr. Easy recorded the song “Drive Me Crazy” with one of Jamaica’s super producers; Tony “CD” Kelly on the timeless Buy Out rhythm; the stage was set for another hit! The song has since been a favorite from this fast pace pulsating rhythm and still receives airplay in clubs, on Caribbean based radio shows and in many mixshows segments on US radio. It was featured on VP Records’ Strictly The Best Volume 30 and it was the number #32 most requested song on WESU in 2003. That’s not it; this song garnished over 4,000 spins at US mixshow radio without any sort of radio support by a record label. Always recording with Tony Kelly keeps Easy on the curve of top-notch releases such as “It’s Alright” from the Grindin and “It’s Crazy” off the new Katana rhythm.

    Easy has also recorded a variety of material with top notch producers like; Troyton Rami of Black Shadow Records delivering solid tunes like “Silent Killers” (Surprise rhythm), “Grudge You” (Ching Chong rhythm) and Party Time (Blink rhythm). Richie D, another talented Dancehall producer has provided songs like Easy’s “Party” (Tiajuana rhythm). He’s also done some recordings with the South Rakkas Crew with “Pull Up” (Red Alert rhythm) and “It’s Your Body” (Bionic Ras rhythm) and “Break Of Day” (Chinquiz rhythm).

    Mr. Easy was sought to re-record a new version of DRIVE ME CRAZY with Atlantic Record’s Soca recording artist; Kevin Lyttle. This new version secured a place within the movie After The Sunset and is also featured in the soundtrack. The resurgence of this song and three other recordings receiving mainstream radio airplay in the US, resulted in Easy’s dual nominations at the 24th Annual Reggae & World Music Awards in the categories of: Most Promising Entertainer and Most Improved Entertainer

    Mr. Easy’s still recording consistently to deliver catchy songs, often relationship or reality oriented that allow people to quickly grasp hold of and sing along. With a wide assortment of new material just dropping the street such as “BREAK HIS HEART” from producer Christopher Birch (Military rhythm), “Bounce That” from accomplished producer Vada Nobles (responsible for contributions to Lauryn Hill’s last album), “Falling” by Don Corleon (Seasons rhythm), BINGO from talented duo Steely & Clevie (Capital P rhythm), “Tek Wey Yourself” from the fresh production team/musicians/artists Leftside & Esco, “Dark Clouds” by Bay-C (of the group TOK) and “Spending G’s” (Whipe Out rhythm) from Danger Zone productions.

    2006 is about striving beyond and Easy is reaching for the highest heights with new videos coming for the songs “Strangest Thing”, “Bingo” and “Tek Wey Yourself”. Further, Mr. Easy has teamed up with producer Eloy Darrin to create their own imprint in Jamaica: E-2 Muzik with their first release being Easy’s “Strangest Thing” from the Butterfly rhythm.
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  • Beenie Man

    Anthony Moses Davis (born August 22, 1973 in Kingston, Jamaica), better known by the stage name Beenie Man, is a well established reggae artist and DJ.

    He was involved in the music industry from a young age when he won the Tastee Talent contest in 1981. Only one year later, when he was eight years old, he recorded a single, “Too Fancy”, with record producer “Junjo” Lawes. By 1983, Beenie Man was recording with heavyweight DJs, such as Dillinger and Fathead and released his debut album, The Invincible Beenie Man: The Ten Year Old DJ Wonder and the single “Over the Sea”.

    He was booed off stage at a show celebrating the visit of Nelson Mandela. In 1993 at the very popular show Sting he accused fellow deejay Bounty Killer that the elder artist had stolen his catchphrase, “people dead”. This triggered a lyrical battle which continued on the air with each artist counteracting the other’s songs. Finally, in 1995, Beenie Man and Bounty Killer settled their differences on the air by actually signing a peace treaty and the two recorded an album together, Guns Out. This was followed by a single, “No Mama No Cry”, a rehash of the Bob Marley classic “No Woman No Cry”, speaking out against violence and inspired by the murder of Pan Head, another popular Deejay.

    Partially as a result of prodding from his producers, Sly and Robbie, Beenie Man soon converted to the Rastafari movement.

    In 1994, he was signed by Island Records and released the critically acclaimed album Blessed.

    In 1995, Beenie Man released a remix of Barrington Levy’s “Under Mi Sensi” in the United Kingdom, and collaborated with Dennis Brown and Triston Palma to release Three Against War and Lt. Stitchie on Mad Cobra Meets Lt. Stitchie & Beenie Man. He took another step up the ladder in 1996, releasing the seminal Maestro, produced by Patrick Roberts and shot him to UK fame. During the period from the mid to late ’90s, Beenie Man dominated the Jamaican charts to the extent that he perhaps had a good claim to the crown of “Dancehall King”, a title only bestowed previously on Yellowman in the early 1980s.

    In 1998, Beenie Man signed to Virgin Records to release albums in the United States. His first American offering was The Doctor (1998). In 2000, Beenie Man teamed up with Arturo Sandoval and Wyclef Jean (The Fugees) to release The Art & Life. During the late 1990s, Beenie Man began his conquest of America with the hits, “Romie”, “Who Am I” and “Girls Dem Sugar”, which featured American R&B singer, Mya.

    In 2002, he had a sizeable hit with a duet with Janet Jackson called “Feel It Boy”, but his biggest break in America came in early 2004 with the release of a remix of “Dude”, featuring guest vocals by fellow Jamaican Ms. Thing, as well as rhymes by Shawnna. Read more »
  • Gyptian

    Windel Beneto Edwards (born 25 October 1983), better known by his stage name Gyptian, is a Jamaican reggae singer. He often appears with roots reggae songs within the reggae subgenre dancehall.

    Gyptian best known hits include Hold Yuh, Nah Let Go, Wine Slow, Serious Times, Mama, Beautiful Lady, I Can Feel Your Pain, Love Against The Wall and She's My Lady.

    Born to a Seventh-day Adventist mother and Rastafarian father, Edwards received his musical calling at the age of seven, when he began singing in the church. Recognizing his talent, his parents introduced him to Mr. Wong, a record producer from Portmore, St. Catherine. "I did not take it seriously," said Edwards "My family members have always been carrying me to Portmore to see him, but I usually disappear. One day, they dropped me off at his studio and left me and it all began there."

    Under the guidance of Mr. Wong and Earl Chinna Smith, Gyptian honed his sound, winning the 2004 Star Search talent competition at Kens Wild Flower Lounge in Portmore, earning him a spot at Sting 2004, dubbed the 'greatest one night reggae show on earth'.

    The singer earned his nickname from his habit of tying a shirt around his head and twisting his chin hair like an Egyptian pharaoh.

    In 2005 he scored two hits, "Is There A Place" on the Seasons Riddim and "Serious Times".

    Nominated for Best New Entertainer at the 2006 International Reggae and World Music Awards, the singer has been dominating the Jamaician charts with hits including "Is There a Place", "Beautiful Lady", and the chart-topping ballad, "Mama, Don't Cry".

    His style of reggae music is considered lovers rock and roots reggae, with songs about political issues and love. His musical and lyrical style has been compared to established Jamaican artists, such as Sizzla, Luciano and Beres Hammond.

    On 12 September 2004, Gyptian released his first album on VP Records. On 12 December 2007, Gyptian, while in New York, shot the music video, directed by Rhona Fox, for his new single, "I Can Feel Your Pain" (Cloud Nine Riddim) Produced by Jon FX. The song was the first to be confirmed to appear on his album "I Can Feel Your Pain" which was released in 2008.

    As of the end of May 2010, his single "Hold Yuh" had peaked at number 91 on the Billboard Hot 100, number 33 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Chart, number 6 on the Billboard Heatseekers Songs Chart and had been at the top of the Reggae Digital Songs chart for nine consecutive weeks.

    In June, the song re-entered the Billboard Hot 100 and eventually reached a new peak of 77 on that chart, number 3 on the Heatseekers Songs chart, 31 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Chart, 63 on the Radio Songs chart and an astonishing peak of 28 on the Billboard Rhythmic Top 40, capitalizing it crossover success. The song also peaked at number 1 on the Dancehall/Reggae fusion Charts of the Jamaica Weekly Music Charts for two consecutive weeks. In Canada it peaked at #69 on the Canadian Hot 100. The official remix for the song features rapper Nicki Minaj. It spent 29 weeks on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Chart and 15 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100.

    Gyptian had further chart success with his album Hold Yuh, which reached number 2 on Billboard's Reggae Albums Chart. The title track, "Hold Yuh", became a multi-chart hit worldwide. According to Billboard magazine "not since Wayne Wonder's "No Letting Go," has an underground reggae artist garnered as much attention in the United States as Jamaica's own Gyptian."

    The song also became popular in the UK, and was released there on November 7 by Ministry of Sound Recordings, in an EP which will include remixes by Shy FX, Major Lazer and Toddla T.

    In October 2012 he released the SLR EP, which includes three tracks from his forthcoming Sex, Love & Reggae album, which is due for release in 2013. Read more »
  • Brick And Lace

    Brick and Lace are a Jamaican R&B reggae fusion musical duo consisting of sisters Nyanda and Nailah Thorbourne. Originally Brick & Lace consisted of three sisters Nyanda,Nailah, and Tasha Thorbourne. Tasha left the group, but she continues to work behind the scenes and co-write songs for her sisters.

    Their debut album, Love Is Wicked, had a limited release in various countries on September 4, 2007. The album spawned four singles, "Get That Clear (Hold Up)", "Never, Never", "Love Is Wicked" and "Take Me Back". Love Is Wicked was listed for 48 weeks in six different charts, including the Sweden Singles Top 60 and the France Singles Top 100. It reached number 6 on the Finland Singles Top 20 for a single week. Its highest entry was number 9 in the France Singles Top 100. "Never, Never" was listed for a single week on the Finland Singles Top 20,also was performed at Kenya Kenya at position 14 on week 16/2008. They performed in Gwen Stefani's The Sweet Escape Tour on May 24, 2007, in Camden, New Jersey. They filled in for Lady Sovereign, who failed to attend. In 2008, the after-effects of their first album hit and the sisters went busily on many tours for the year, most notably in Europe and Africa by popular demand, and also produced a few new songs such as "Cry On Me" and "Bad to di Bone".

    In the year 2009, Brick and Lace released their latest single called "Bad to di Bone" which became a well-known track in European and African countries. A French collaboration was even presented hence popularity.This new single was intentionally pinned out to appear on a new upcoming album, but instead was re-based on Love is Wicked, which was re-released for a second shot at fame and success. In July 2009, the duo penned another hit track called "Room Service" for summer and was released on the new Love is Wicked Album. Starting off the year 2010 with releasing four new songs in March, the Brick and Lace Summer 2010 European Tour was soon announced straight after. An upcoming second single and music video to promote their second album was said to be imminently soon when the girls were interviewed in December 2009. They released "Bang Bang", "Ring The Alarm", and "Shackles" as buzz singles for their upcoming album and withdrew "Club It Up" from internet markets for future plans. Finally settled with the release of their debut album, with two international platinum singles: Love Is Wicked and Bad To Di Bone, the sisters started the last of the Love Is Wicked International Tour era by producing a final tour for the African, European and Asian fans globally. Soon after May 2010, they revealed to African press that Nyanda was pregnant and is expecting a baby soon.

    There has been a buzz on the internet stating that the girls will be releasing a second album in 2011-12. Production is said to come from Bob Sinclar, Sean Paul, Akon, and a few Heavyweight Djs. A YouTube video shows DJ Sherry and Maniac Bone producing a rhythm for the sisters on an upcoming song called "So Hot" while a snippet of another song called "What You Want", produced by Konvict, was released as a teaser for their upcoming project. Starting off the year 2011, Brick and Lace toured in January and February internationally across Europe, Asia-Pacific and Africa. Soon after Nyanda, the eldest of the two, who was already 10 months pregnant, has gone on a break for health cares and her soon to be born baby. Brick and Lace's younger sister Candace has currently filled in for her for any tour representation. Latest news is that Brick and Lace will be touring Europe yet again in April, May and June 2011. It has been revealed that Nyanda has already given birth to her baby and is already two months post-pregnancy. She has returned to Brick & Lace representation. Currently, the girls are working with French heavyweight DJs, Golden Crew and Martiniquean artist Lynnsha, in their next hit song called "In Love With The Music". The Video has already been record and as is the song; awaiting release. A snippet of the song was released for one official week and the song transcends more on techno roots, new to Brick & Lace's style. On April 19, 2011, Brick and Lace released their new single alongside Golden Crew, called "In Love With The Music". The song also has a French version featuring Lynnsha. The French version is said to appear on Golden Crews next album, while the International US Version is set to appear off Brick and Lace's second album as a possible Lead Single. There is also a buzz on the internet stating that the girls have broken away from Konlive Records and are working with Atlantic Records, as it shows on their Myspace page. They are currently working with Darkchild and other producers on their second album.

    Brick & Lace represents the dual diversity of the every day woman-"Brick" representing the edgy, hard and roots side while "Lace" represents the soft, understanding and melodious side of the "woman". Nyanda is said to be the "Brick" due to her style of singing and Jamaican rapping and Nailah is said to be the "Lace" due to her style of harmonious, R&B slant. Read more »