*All photos courtesy of and provided by XOVA
It’s no surprise that the United Kingdom (UK) produces some of the best reggae music. After all, Jamaica was a British colony prior to the island’s independence in 1962 and since then, many Caribbean people have migrated back to England as well. With the large Caribbean population, it was inevitable for reggae to be reborn in the UK. If you’ve ever been England, you’ll discover that reggae is extremely popular. Birmingham, England, in particular, has produced some of reggae’s greatest bands including Steel Pulse, UB40 and now … XOVA.
This multicultural, Birmingham sextet mixes a variety of musical genres including funk, rock, pop and jazz with a strong reggae backbone. Their groovy melodies, smooth vocals and heavy rhythms support the bright brass section that colors each song with character. XOVA’s veteran band members are no strangers to the music scene with some playing for Pato Banton, Michael Jackson, Sting and Beres Hammond (just to name a few). Their music videos for “9 Lives”, “Just Wanna Be Famous” and “Knife Crime City” have helped earn them over 44,000 views on their YouTube channel (and they’re just getting started). Recently, we chatted with XOVA about their story, sound, upcoming album and much more.
I-Octane “Love You Like I Do”
Awa feat. House of Shem “Back in My Life”
Samantha J “Tight Skirt”
Elaine Shepherd “Lady in the Street”
Million Stylez “Time Stops”
Mavado & Nicki Minaj “Give It All To Me”
Romain Virgo “Soul Provider”
The Reggae Family of New Zealand
Common Kings “Your Turn”
Alexus Rose “Left Out”
Gentleman “In Your Arms”
Sons of Zion “Superman”
Damian Marley “Affairs of the Heart”
Chris Ellis “Don’t Change Your Number”
Shaggy & Ne-Yo “You Girl”
Wyre “No More”
Fireball “I Need You”
Ziggi Recado “Nothing But Love/Pure & Divine”
Jah Cure “That Girl”
Konshens “To Her With Love (They Say)”
*Photos: Various Sources
In honor of Valentine’s Day, we asked all of you (the viewers) to submit your favorite reggae and dancehall love songs from around the world. Thank you everyone for your excellent song suggestions. Although we couldn’t include every single video, we included the most requested songs. In no specific order, here are your top picks for this lovely month of February (which is also National Reggae Month). Happy Valentine’s Day!
Alexus Rose “Left Out” (USA)
Romain Virgo “Soul Provider” (Jamaica)
*All photos courtesy of UB40
Country/Region: England (Europe)
Everyone knows The Police’s classic hit “Every Breath You Take”; but we bet you have never heard it like this! Legendary British band, UB40, cleverly transforms the tune into a reggae dance anthem. Compared to the slow-tempo original, UB40 drives the ballad with upbeat Caribbean drum rhythms and catchy guitar hooks. The band’s smooth vocals complimented with heavenly saxophone harmonies allow the song to soar to new heights! We won’t spoil it for you any longer, just take a listen.
How do you like UB40’s version of “Every Breath You Take”? Which version do you prefer? Comment below!
Maxi Priest returns this summer with “Easy to Love”!
*Photo courtesy of Maxi Priest
Country/Region: England (Europe)
It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from everyone’s favorite British lover’s rock crooner, who mixes R&B, pop, soul and reggae all into his own style. Maxi Priest returns with his feel-good, summer jam “Easy to Love” (VP Records). This catchy contemporary tune’s relaxing rhythms, mollifying melodies and smooth harmonies blend effortlessly to create the perfect sun-splashed summer anthem!
What do you think of Maxi’s Priest’s “Easy to Love”? Comment below!