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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Conkarah Takes Reggae ‘To The World’ On New Album

Conkarah to The World Album Art

Conkarah’s Brand New EP Album for Summer 2014

*All photos courtesy of Conkarah and used with permission.

Who says artists should only hire one producer for their album?  If there were a strict rule for that, Conkarah would be a true rebel.  On his new EP album, Conkarah To The World, Conkarah embodies the theme of “reggae around the world” to the fullest by collaborating with producers from the United Kingdom, Mexico, USA, Austria, Germany, Australia, India, Poland, France, Indonesia and Jamaica.

Conkarah tells us, “for my new EP album, I wanted to showcase how reggae music has spread worldwide and I’m very proud of the outcome.  Each of the producers got to showcase their work and add their own unique flavor to their own riddim for each song.  Even though this was all done online, I just love how it has all come together.”

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Conscious Reasoning: Our Interview with Sweden’s Million Stylez

*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!

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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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“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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A New Day Dawns for Gentleman: German Reggae Star Promotes Positivity on New Album

Gentleman's new album is now available digitally on iTunes and Amazon.

Gentleman’s new album is now available digitally on iTunes and Amazon.

*Photos courtesy of Gentleman

Everyone’s favorite German reggae superstar, Gentleman, returns this summer with his latest release New Day Dawn (Republic Records).  On his new album, Gentleman incorporates his signature “singjay” (singing and DJing) vocal style with roots reggae, progressive electronic dancehall, pop and hip-hop.  His fiery, rhythmic reggae resonates within your soul as his powerful lyrics promote positivity and conscious vibes.

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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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Bruno Mars, Damian Marley and Apache Indian Create Superb South Asian Reggae

*Photos: Various sources

Country/Region: Hawaii (USA), Jamaica (Caribbean), England (Europe), India (South Asia)

What do you get when you combine traditional Indian music, a Hindu prayer, roots reggae and three of the most successful international multi-platinum artists?  You get two wicked versions of an Indian reggae song that have both become immensely popular!  Everyone knows Bruno Mars and Damian Marley’s hit “Liquor Store Blues” from Bruno’s debut album Doo – Wops & Hooligans (2010); but, did you know it is derived from Apache Indian’s song “Om Numah Shivaya” that appears on his album Time for Change (2005)?

British born, Apache Indian proudly displays his East Indian heritage on “Om Numah Shivaya”, which is a Hindu prayer that translates into “adoration to [the God] Shiva”.  He incorporates Hindu chants, a classical Indian flute, tabla drums and various Indian percussion instruments into this roots reggae “riddim”.  Apache’s English lyrics describe his personal journey of discovering his true identity in a multicultural world.

On “Liquor Store Blues”, Hawaiian native, Bruno Mars brings strong vocal chops to his version of the tune as he trades verses with Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley.  Bruno’s slightly faster rendition infuses more rock elements with an Indian sitar-styled guitar solo towards the middle of the track.  Damian’s rapped verses mimic the rhythmic melody perfectly as he brings his signature blend of roots, reggae and DJ toasting.  This dynamic duo definitely has chemistry and should consider doing a collaboration album together.

Whose version of the song do you prefer?  Comment below!

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!