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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Tessanne Chin Mesmerizes All Four Judges On NBC’s The Voice!

*All photos courtesy of NBC’s The Voice

Last night on NBC’s The Voice, Jamaica’s pride and joy, Tessanne Chin impressed all four judges (Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green and Blake Shelton) with her amazing cover of Pink’s pop hit “Try”.  All four judges instantly hit their button in excitement to signify they wanted her on their teams.  The crowd went wild and as she sang her final note!

After her performance, Adam complimented her by saying, “You can easily win The Voice this year, I don’t have a doubt in mind!”  He added that reggae music is his favorite musical genre in the world.  After much battling between the judges, Tessanne finally picked Team Adam!

We wish Tessanne Chin all the best of luck this season of The Voice!  She could be the first Jamaican in history to win the contest! Go  #TeamTessanne!

Check out her performance from last night below and also our video of her lover’s rock hit “Family”!  What do you think of Tessanne Chin?  Comment below!

Juno Award-Winning Canadian Artist, Elaine “Lil Bit” Shepherd, Gives Us the Scoop on “Sweet Love”

*All photos courtesy of Elaine Shepherd

Elaine “Lil Bit” Shepherd is one of Canada’s best reggae singers in the music industry today.  Born in Bahrain and raised in Vancouver BC, this soulful songstress won the 2011 Juno Award for Best Reggae Recording for “Likkle But Mi Tallawah” and was nominated again in 2013 for the same award for “Move Ya”.  Her smooth, silky vocal style combined with sweet reggae rhythms continues to capture the hearts of many across the world.  In fact, Elaine has shared the stage with reggae veteran Junior Reid, Biggz General (Bob Marley’s grandson), Dax Lion and Skibu Foster (just to name a few).

Her lover’s rock song, “Sweet Love”, from her debut album “Move Ya” is one of our all-time favorites.  We got a chance to chat with Elaine before she left for her Toronto/Jamaica tour about the story behind the “Sweet Love”:

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“Big Tings a Gwaan”: Our Interview with Legendary Reggae Band Inner Circle

Inner Circle HD Group

The Legendary Inner Circle

*All photos courtesy of and provided by Inner Circle

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Inner Circle’s 20 year plus music legacy, let us fill you in.  Although they are best known for their hit song “Bad Boys” (which became the iconic theme song for Fox’s TV show Cops), Inner Circle are much more than a television band.

Since the mid-70s, Inner Circle’s blend of reggae, rock and pop have solidified them as one of the first Jamaican reggae bands to crossover to the mainstream American music scene and have shared the stage with pop/rock music icons such as Elton John, Carlos Santana, Peter Gabriel, Van Morrison, Sinead O’Conner, The Black Crowes, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and more.  Additionally, this Grammy award-winning band has toured internationally, garnered a global fan base and has sold millions of records worldwide (some of their most notable albums include Bad Boys, Reggae Dancer and Big Tings).

Today, as one of the most esteemed bands in the industry, Inner Circle continues to create music on a daily basis at their own Circle Village recording studio and have collaborated with Damian & Stephen Marley, members of Morgan Heritage , Slightly Stoopid and many others.  We caught up with Inner Circle to chat about reggae’s popularity, their new Reggae Wave project, Circle Village Studios and much more.

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VP Records Releases Reggae Gold 2013

VP Records' Reggae Gold 2013 is now available both in stores and online!

VP Records’ Reggae Gold 2013 is now available both in stores and online!

*Photos: Various sources including VP Records

It’s that time of year again!  That’s right, summer’s here and you know what that means … the release of VP Records’ annual compilation album Reggae Gold!  This year’s long-anticipated edition features top hits from today’s most popular reggae and dancehall artists including Gyptian, Busy Signal, Sean Paul, Major Lazer, Konshens, Shaggy & Beres Hammond, Morgan Heritage, Queen Ifrica, Tarrus Riley, KES The Band, Etana and many more!  The double-disc set also features classic songs from Desmond Dekker, Yellowman and Beenie Man (just to name a few).   Reggae Gold 2013 is now available both in stores and online.

Watch some of the music videos from the album!  What do you think of Reggae Gold 2013?  Comment below!

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Maxi Priest Returns and Proves He’s Still ‘Easy To Love’!

Maxi Priest returns this summer with "Easy to Love"!

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!

NBC’s The Voice Star Brings Soulful Pop-Reggae to the World: Our Interview with Naia Kete

Naia Green

NBC The Voice’s star, Naia Kete

After appearing on NBC’s hit show, The Voice, Naia Kete’s musical career has continued to blossom.  This bright, young singer/songwriter from Massachusetts, best known for her signature style of soulful pop-reggae with a hint of jazz, has been working with great artists such as Colbie Caillat and Linda Perry on her brand new EP, Fire Breather (digital version now available).  In addition to writing her original music, she also arranges impressive reggae covers of pop songs on her You Tube Channel.

Naia live 4

Catch Naia performing live this summer at various festivals!

When she’s not in the studio, you can catch Naia Kete doing what she does best – performing live!  Recently, Naia performed the Monterey Bay Reggaefest that featured artists and bands like Rebelution, Slightly Stupid, Collie Buddz and Matisyahu.  She’ll be back on tour this summer and will appear at various music festivals.

We caught up with Naia to talk about her experience on The Voice, her new EP and much more!

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Morgan Heritage Returns with “Perfect Love Song”

*Photos courtesy of Morgan Heritage and VP Records

The “Royal Family of Reggae” Morgan Heritage has returned!  That’s right … Peetah, Gramps, Una, Lukes and Mr. Mojo Morgan are all back  and sound tighter than ever.  The band signature reggae style mixes roots, R&B, dancehall and of course lover’s rock.  “Perfect Love Song”is filled with mollifying melodies and heavenly harmonies that are sexy enough to serenade your significant other.  Peetah and Gramps lead the group with passionate vocals as Lukes, Una and Mr. Mojo supply the warm musical tones, textures and rhythms.  Morgan Heritage definitely knows how to start the summer right!

“Perfect Love Song” is their first single off their upcoming summer album, Here Come The Kings (available June 11th on VP Records).

How do you like Morgan Heritage’s new song?  Comment below!

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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