From Jamming at Home to Touring with Justin Timberlake: Our Interview with American Reggae Band The Common Kings

*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.         

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Australia’s Rising Reggae Artist:  Our Interview With Eddie “Joe Coffee” Williams

*All photos courtesy of and provided by Eddie “Joe Coffee” Williams

Most people do not associate reggae music with Australia.  With New Zealand being in such close proximity to the country, it did not surprise us that reggae’s popularity has gained strength in Australia as well (as you have learned in our previous articles reggae is extremely popular in New Zealand).  The newest artist to make waves in the Polynesian scene is Eddie “Joe Coffee” Williams.  This Australian lover’s rock crooner serenades his listeners with his smooth R&B vocals and romantic lyrics.  His bright melodies and uplifting rhythms evoke emotions of elation and relaxation that can alleviate anyone’s anxieties.  His latest hits “Why Would You Do That”, “No One” and “For You” have all gathered thousands of YouTube views.  Recently, we had the pleasure to interview Joe Coffee to discuss the Polynesian reggae movement, his songwriting process, musical influences and much more!

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Happy Valentine’s Day! Here’s Your Viewers’ Choice: Top 20 Reggae & Dancehall Love Songs from Around the World

*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)

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New Zealand Raggamuffin Music Fest 2014 (Jan 31 – Feb 1)

*Photos: Various Sources including Raggamuffin Festival

The Reggae Around the World: Music Blog team is proud to announce the Raggamuffin Music Festival 2014 live in Rotorua, New Zealand:

Friday 31st Jan, 2014
SHAGGY // REBEL SOULJAHZ 
TIKI TAANE (Ft. OPTIMUS GRYME) // SOLJAH

Saturday 1st Feb, 2014
DAMIAN MARLEY (Ft. GHETTO YOUTHS INTERNATIONAL)
MORGAN HERITAGE // GROUNDATION
HOUSE OF SHEM // THREE HOUSES DOWN // SONS OF ZION

With more acts/special guests still to be announced!
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For more information, check them out on:
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/raggamuffinNZ
Twitter – https://twitter.com/RaggamuffinFest
Instagram – http://instagram.com/raggamusicfestnz

Hawaii’s Newest Pop-Reggae Artist: Our Interview with Hirie

Hirie is one of Hawaii’s brightest breakout stars of 2013. Her debut album is available now on iTunes!

In the last year or so, Hawaiian artists have emerged onto the reggae scene in full force.  Musicians such as The Green, J Boog and Anuhea have attracted attention from the reggae community across the world and have even lead to collaborations with prominent Jamaican artists like Tarrus Riley and Peetah Morgan.

Hawaii’s newest artist, Hirie, is certainly no different.  Although she was born in the Phillipines and raised in Italy, Hirie spent most of her of life in Oahu, Hawaii.  On her brand new debut album (VP Records Associated Label Group – VPAL), she mixes her silky, smooth voice with roots, reggae and pop to create her own unique style.  Unlike many solo reggae artists, Hirie records with a live band as opposed to using pre-recorded mixtape “riddims”.  This organic feel and sound truly sets Hirie apart from most singers in her genre.  Recently, we got a chance to speak with Hirie about her album, reggae’s popularity in Hawaii and much more!

On set for her new music video “Sensi Boy”

Congrats on your debut album!  What is your favorite song on your album and why?

Thank you!  It’s hard to say!  At the moment, my favorite song is “Lost and Found”.  I really enjoy the vibes and the way it makes me feel when I listen to it.

How did your musical career begin?  When did you discover you could sing?

I sang at a very young age, maybe three or four.  My parents always said they knew I could sing because I would passionately belt out a Whitney Houston song; I began singing at home, in my basement, along with my Barbie karaoke machine (laughs)!

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Katchafire “Best So Far”: New Zealand Reggae Veterans Release Greatest Hits Album on VP Records

Katchafire - The Best So Far

“Best So Far” available now on VP Records

*Photo courtesy of VP Records

With over a decade of hits in the South Pacific, legendary New Zealand reggae band, Katchafire, has released their greatest hits album, “Best So Far” (VP Records).  The record features their most popular songs from the early 2000s to the present.  Katchafire’s signature roots, culture and lover’s rock sound has influenced many of today’s popular Hawaiian and Californian reggae bands, including Common Kings, The Green and The Hot Rain Band.

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Common Kings (feat. J Boog & Fiji) “No Other Love” (American Reggae)

*Photos courtesy of Common Kings, J Boog and Fiji

Country & Region: U.S. Pacific Coast/Hawaii/Oceania

The Common Kings‘ (feat. J Boog & Fiji) “No Other Love” is a wicked one drop reggae tune.  Don’t be fooled by the romantic lover’s rock rhythm; J Boog and Fiji have a few tricks up their sleeve later on in the bridge that are worth waiting for.  I won’t give it away … you just have to listen!

What do you think of “No Other Love”?  Comment below!

J Boog’s Rise to the Top

J Boog Solo Stage

J Boog has gained popularity across the world

When you collaborate with famous artists like Tarrus Riley and Peetah Morgan (of Morgan Heritage), you know you’ve reached reggae super-stardom.  If you haven’t heard of J Boog yet, then you’ve been missing out.  He blends both Hawaiian and Jamaican reggae to create his own tropical style. Not only has Boog gained respect amongst the reggae elite, but he has also gained popularity all over North America, the Caribbean and Oceania.

J Boog was born in Long Beach, California, but grew up in the rough neighborhood of Compton, CA.  His loving family kept him in line and off the streets by instilling a strong awareness of Samoan culture and tradition.   He was soon to discover music at an early age and it would change his life forever.

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