Photos courtesy of Messenjah
Have you ever had enough of the constant barrage of negative news stories in the world? From corrupt governments, police brutality and other horrible events, there doesn’t seem to be much good news. One band, in particular, is tired of all of this and they have something to say about it …
“We’ve had it!
With all the games you’re playing,
while the system is failing now.
We’ve had it!
With all the lies you’re telling
my heart is rebelling.
We’ve had it!
Babylon is falling,
now the people are leaving town.”
These powerful lyrics by Canada’s legendary reggae pioneers, Messenjah, have returned with their brand new music video, “We’ve Had It”. The current band members consists of Rupert “Ojiji” Harvey (Lead vocals and guitar), Carl ” Carlos Bandana” Harvey (Lead guitar and vocals – lead guitar player of Toots and the Maytals for over two decades), Charles ” Tower” Sinclair (Bass), Hailie ” Slyly” Yeates (Percussion and Keyboards), Orville ” Wiz” Malcolm (Keyboards and Vocals) and Robert “Hagar” Stephenson (Drums and Vocals).
*Photos provided by and courtesy of Common Kings
The American reggae movement is the strongest it has ever been in history. With many successful artists and bands like SOJA, J Boog, The Green and Rebelution selling out venues every year, reggae is surely gaining prominence. One band in particular ranks very high with their contemporaries … The Common Kings.
These Kings are no strangers to the reggae scene. Junyer (lead vocals), Ivan (bass), Rome (drums) and Mata (guitar) formed four years ago at a jam session and have since released a plethora of hit singles, including “No Other Love” (featuring J Boog & Fiji), “Fly”, “Alcoholic”, “Wade in Your Water”, “Your Turn”, “Before You Go” and more. The Common Kings blend reggae, R&B, soul, island, pop and rock into an original, eclectic sound like no other. Their unique style even caught the attention of, pop music superstar, Justin Timberlake who asked the band to open for him during his Australian and New Zealand fall 2014 tour. This was quite an achievement for an unsigned and unknown band.
Despite touring with an “A-List” artist, these everyday guys from Orange Country, California (with Polynesian roots) remain humble, down-to-earth and grateful for their success. The band interacts with their fans on social media and keeps them updated about upcoming tours and music. Recently, we chatted with the Common Kings to discuss their story, music, opening for Justin Timberlake, their upcoming album and much more.
*Photos Courtesy of Various Sources
Today, The Honorable Robert Nesta Marley officially celebrates his 70th Anniversary. Despite his passing in 1981, he is more popular than ever. Marley’s compilation album, Legend (1984), is the most successful reggae album of all time and continues to sell tens of millions of copies worldwide. The King of Reggae helped popularize the genre across the globe from the United States to Japan (and everywhere in between).
In honor of his 70th anniversary, we decided to show you how much Bob Marley has influenced musicians around the world with The Playing For Change (PFC) Band. The PFC Foundation is a non-profit organization that helps raise money to build music and art schools for children across the planet. The PFC Band, comprises of the world’s best musicians, to record classic songs that resonate with all audiences. In addition to their albums, they also tour extensively around the world to raise money for their noble cause. The PFC Band loves reggae as much as we do, especially Bob Marley! Take a look at the PFC Band playing his hits like “One Love”, “Three Little Birds” and more. You may see some familiar faces in the videos too! Happy 70th Birthday Bob!
“Redemption Song” featuring Stephen Marley
“Words of Wonder/Get Up, Stand Up” featuring Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones
“War/No More Trouble” featuring Bono of U2
“Three Little Birds”
*Photos: Various Sources
What’s your favorite Bob ‘Nesta’ Marley song? “One Love”, “Three Little Birds”, “No Woman, No Cry” are all reggae classics and synonymous with Jamaican music. Tourists who visit the country look forward to hearing those tunes on the beach to enhance their island experience. Should they arrive next year January to February 2015, tourists can also enjoy their favorite Marley numbers live in theater!
That’s right, a Marley musical! The Bob Marley Group of Companies has partnered with the Jamaica Musical Theatre Company’s (JMTC) to present the JMTC’s upcoming original children’s musical production, Nesta’s Rock. Not only is the musical inspired by his childhood, but Nesta’s Rock also marks and celebrates the 70th Anniversary of the late king of reggae on February 6, 2015. The musical will create new renditions of Marley’s most popular singles, such as “Trench Town Rock”, “Redemption Song”, “Could You Be Loved” and many others.
*Photos Courtesy of VP Records
Powerhouse reggae music label, VP Records, recently celebrated their 35th Anniversary this past July at the Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival at Roy Wilkins Park in Queens, New York City. The company created visually stunning pop-up exhibition to commemorate this special milestone. It featured a photo exhibit by Ajamu Myrie that displayed Jamaican reggae culture, a map emphasizing reggae’s popularity on every continent and a photo timeline showcasing each musical era in Jamaica. The label’s founder Patricia Chin unveiled a short documentary (narrated by Sirius XM’s reggae DJ Pat McKay) that illustrated VP Records’ contribution to the evolution of Jamaican music over the years.
The Reggae Around the World Team congratulates the VP Records family on their impressive anniversary and we wish them the best for the future. Here’s to another 35 years!
*All photos courtesy of and provided by Tennille Amor
International reggae superstar, Shaggy, sure knows excellent artists when he hears them. His most recent find, Tennille Amor, is no exception and she’s been working hard on her debut album “EVOLVE through LOVE”. Her latest single, ‘Lion,’ is a conscious roots reggae song that shares the powerful message of staying strong in difficult times. It sounds very different from Tennille’s first single and music video, “Not the One” (produced by Shaggy), which is an empowering anthem about women standing up for themselves under pressure. Her sweet, smooth vocal style appeals to a broad audience and her album’s lyrics of love resonate with everyone. Similar to Shaggy, Tennille is also a generous philanthropist. She heads up her own charity foundation that drills clean water wells in Tanzania, which also inspires much of her music’s lyrics. We got a chance to chat with Tennille about her upcoming album, working with Shaggy, her own charity and much more!
*All photos courtesy of and provided by Million Stylez
Beyoncé, Gentleman and J Boog are just a few names Swedish reggae star, Million Stylez, has collaborated with. Whether it’s R&B, reggae, dancehall or hip-hop, he injects his signature vocal style that is a combination of singing, rapping and deejaying. Although, he’s worked with many artists, Million Stylez maintains a strong solo career and has multiple albums under his belt. His latest EP, Songs About You (2013), showcases his softer side that’s full of positive lover’s rock, one drop riddims. Recently, we caught up with Million Stylez to chat about his upcoming new music, reggae’s popularity in Sweden and much more!