Reggae Stars

Shanead Sims – Show Me (Reggae 2015)

Shanead Sims 1st reggae release for 2015 On the Stand Strong Riddim produced by MillBeatz Ent.
Written By: Shanead Sims
Vocals Recorded at Yard Sound Studios (Texas)

Cutty Ranks is International

VETERAN dancehall artiste Cutty Ranks is making EDM waves, courtesy of English duo, Chase and Status.

The track, International, samples the deejay's 1991 single The Stopper.

"It was great working with Chase and Status. They are signed to Universal, and they shot the video in London, a few months ago. Since the video came out, it has been doing well. Skrillex has also done a remix of International as well that is also doing well on several video platforms," Cutty Ranks told the Jamaica Observer.

Formed in 2003, Chase & Status comprise London duo Saul Milton (Chase) and Will Kennard (Status).

"They approached me last year to do the song. They are fans of dancehall music, but they are into electronic crossover music, and very good at what they do," Cutty Ranks said.

International, released in the latter part of 2014, is making the rounds on social media. A video on the VEVO platform has racked up over 1.3 million views.

This is not Cutty Ranks' first EDM foray as he did a remix with Major Lazer a few years ago.

"I found out about it some time last year. It was a remix of one of the songs I did with John Dub, founder of London Fashion Records, which had produced songs like Limb by Limb and The Stopper in the '90s," he said.

Cutty Ranks (given name Philip Thomas) was born in Clarendon. He came to prominence in the late 1980s with songs like Gunman Lyrics. A decade later, he made it to the mainstream with The Stopper and Fly the Gate.

Cutty Ranks is International


Carnival heads to Negril

JAMAICA'S carnival season may have come to a close in Kongston. However, promoters Magic Wand Syndicate are betting there are enough soca-starved fans to enjoy Negril Carnival scheduled to run from May 19 to 24.

The event's media launch took place at the New Kingston Shopping Centre in St Andrew on Thursday.

"Negril is the entertainment capital of Jamaica, so we'd like to take this to them," said Andrew Henry, part of Magic Wand Syndicate's team.

Negril Carnival follows a similar format that Kingston's soca fans are used to. It starts with two days of socarobics on May 19 and 20 from 6:30 pm -- 8:30 p.m, provided in conjunction with Express Fitness.

"We felt this was perfect synergy," said Alex Morrison, marketing and sales executive, Express Fitness.

The action begins on Thursday, May 21, with Ole Mas. The classic-themed soca party slated for the Waves Complex in Negril. It features vintage soca performances from the likes of Fab Five Band, Admiral Bailey and Lloyd Lovindeer, to name a few.

The following day, Negril Carnival moves to more contemporary soca stylings with Kolours J'Ouvert hosted at Negril's Jungle Night Club. Fans will be drenched with a mixture of soca, electronic dance music, and reggae/dancehall from three top DJs. Adding to the festivities are glow sticks, wave rags, and powder.

Saturday May 23 is a water double-header through the day. Leading things off in the morning will be an all-inclusive Catamaran Champagne Cruise. Taking over for the mid-afternoon into the night will be the H2O party offering even more interactivity with water, via water slides and water trucks spraying down patrons.

Negril Carnival then climaxes on Sunday, May 24, with a road march at 2:00 pm and a closing party called Trailer Load.

-- Rory Daley

Carnival heads to Negril


Long live the King!

AMERICAN R&B soul singer Ben E King was a regular on Jamaica's concert circuit since the 1960s.

Bass guitarist/vocalist Frankie Campbell of Fabulous Five band has backed the singer on at least three of his local gigs and another in Canada. He remembers King as down-to-earth, despite his star status.

"We first met him in the 1980s. He was very professional... easy going, and made you feel at home," Campbell told the Jamaica Observer.

Campbell said his first engagement with King was at Oceana hotel in downtown Kingston.

"He brought his musical director to the rehearsals... and when we started to play he said: 'These guys know my music better than me.' On the show, he couldn't remember all the lines to Gypsy and Grub [Cooper] helped him out. We became good friends after that," he said.

The American singer's last Jamaican tour of duty was at the Courtleigh Auditorium in New Kingston, St Andrew, in May 2013.

King, 76, died in New Jersey on Thursday. No cause has been given for his death.

"Without a doubt, Ben E King and Percy Sledge were the two all-time American '60s artistes in Jamaica," he said.

R&B singer Sledge died on April 14.

Campbell said his band's last gig with King was at Morgan's Harbour in Port Royal in 2005.

"He'll be sadly missed, as he music struck a chord with persons of all generations," Campbell added.

King, whose given name Benjamin Earl Nelson, started his career in 1950s with the Drifters with hits including Save the Last Dance For Me and There Goes My Baby.

After going solo, King made the US top 10 in 1961Stand By Me. Twenty-five years later, the song returned to the chart after being featured in a movie of the same name.

He has been inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artiste and as a Drifter.

-- Brian Bonitto

Morgan Heritage tops Billboard Reggae chart

FOR the first time in seven years, Morgan Heritage has topped Billboard's reggae album chart. This time their latest album Strictly Roots, released on April 20, holds the number one spot.

Strictly Roots's achievement makes it eight times the group has been on that album chart. In 2001, More Teachings reached number six, while 2003's Three in One stalled at number 13. Full Circle topped out at number 7 in 2005, while 2009's The Journey Thus Far got as far as number eight. 2013's EP The Return unpacked its travelling bags at number 15, while 2013's full length Here Come the Kings perched at number 2.

The sibling group last topped the Billboard Reggae album chart in 2008 with Mission in Progress.

Strictly Roots is released on the group's very own CTBC (Cool to be Conscious) label, and the album features collaborations with Shaggy, J Boog, Jemere Morgan, Mo Mersa Marley, Chronixx, Eric Rachmany lead singer of Rebelution, and Bobby Lee, from Santa Barbara reggae band SOJA.

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