Our Interview with Conkarah: Jamaica’s Positive Reggae Sensation

Performing live at Jamaica's Reggae Sumfest 2012

Performing live at Jamaica’s Reggae Sumfest 2012

If you’re seeking “feel good” music, look no further than Jamaica’s talented reggae singer, Conkarah.  With hits like “Forever”, “Draw You Close”, “Addicted”, “Island Girl” and “No Barbershop”, Conkarah is no stranger to the music industry.  In fact, he performed at last year’s Reggae Sumfest 2012 alongside Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, Bunny Wailer (of Bob Marley & the Wailers) and many more.  We got a chance to sit down with Conkarah and discuss his music, inspiration, goals and the global success of reggae music.

For those not familiar with you, can you briefly tell us how your musical career began?

“I was walking through one of the halls at my university and walked past a choir rehearsal.  It was fantastic!  From the harmonies to the tonality, I said to myself ‘I have to audition’.  The very next day, I did just that and earned a spot with the bass/baritones.  After my first choir practice, it was a wrap.  I knew I’d never be truly happy doing anything else but music, and it’s been an exciting journey ever since.”

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Sugar Black “Fly Like an Eagle” (Reggae Cover)

*Photos: Various Sources

Check out Sugar Black’s funky reggae cover of “Fly Like an Eagle” that’s featured on the album, Ultimate Reggae Rocks: A Tribute to Rock n’Roll.  This rock song was originally written and performed by the Steve Miller Band in 1976.  Twenty years later, the R&B singer, Seal, covered the song for the Space Jam movie soundtrack in 1996.  The movie starred basketball superstar Michael Jordan and the famous Looney Tunes.

Sugar Black revives this classic once again in a rocking reggae style.  The band does not stray too far from the original and does the number justice.  Sugar Black’s powerful rhythm section drives the pulse as the animated guitars roar with ferocity.  The strong vocals harmonize nicely as they keep your ears glued until the very end.  Take a listen and see for yourself!

How did you like Sugar Black’s version of “Fly Like an Eagle”?  Which version do you like best?  Comment below!

Sean Paul & Wayne Marshall “Here We Go” (Jamaican Reggae)

*Photos: Various Sources including Washroom Entertainment and Warner Music Group

Country & Region: Jamaica (Caribbean)

Sean Paul and Wayne Marshall’s “Here We Go” fuses dancehall, reggae, hip-hop and R&B to create the new genre its producers (Washroom Entertainment) calls “island pop”.  This pulsating party jam features the duo showcasing their energetic vocal skills as they trade verses and harmonize each other.  As Wayne sings, Sean adds his signature and rhythmic ad-libs.  Washroom’s unique tune combines retro sounding synths with contemporary Caribbean rhythms.  “Here We Go” is an iconic earworm that continues to crawl in our ears (even when we aren’t listening to music)!

What do you think of “Here We Go”?  Comment below!

Kana “Pas de Problemes” (French Reggae)

*Photos: Various sources

Country & Region: France (Europe)

What comes to your mind when you think of France?  The Eiffel Tower, gondolas and crepes are some images that appear in our minds when we think of this romantic destination.  Believe it or not, reggae music is a popular style in France.  Artists like Yannick Noah have helped spread the genre’s influence across the country.

Kana’s “Pas de Problemes (No Problems)” is a catchy and uplifting tune about confidence, courage and integrity.  “Don’t listen to anyone but yourself/When making a decision/Let them talk/Don’t let them manipulate you/Nothing should stop you from moving forward/Show the others that you are not afraid/No problems/Everyone loves each other no matter what the problem is/Just be yourself.”

Kana channels the positive spirit of reggae music.  The band’s up-tempo rhythms and bright melodies are enough to splash a cloudy day with sunshine.  Kana’s cheerful horn section and soulful vocals complement each other nicely and are the finishing touches to this French masterpiece.

What do you think of Kana’s “Pas de Problemes”?  Comment below!