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.         

           Continue reading

Take Flight on a Reggae Jazz Journey: Our Interview with Jaime Hinckson

*All photos courtesy of and provided by Jaime Hinckson

Reggae music has no limits.  Whether he’s blending the genre with jazz, R&B or pop, Jaime Hinckson’s eloquent and passionate piano melodies soothe listeners everywhere.  At the age of 17, this talented young jazz pianist, from Miami, Florida, had the honor of sharing the stage with musical icons John Legend, Shaggy, Patti LaBelle, Al Green and Air Supply at the 2006 Jamaica Jazz Festival.  Now in his 20s, Jaime’s music has evolved into a unique style that appeals to a broad audience.  It can be heard on his debut album (Take Flight) that features both original songs and various cover tunes of Bruno Mars, John Legend, Bob Marley and Tarrus Riley.  Recently, we got a chance to talk to Jaime about his new album, career highlights, the story behind “Miss Mac” and much more.

Continue reading

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)

Continue reading

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!

Continue reading

Healing Boston with Reggae’s Remedy: Our Interview with Mighty Mystic

Mighty Mystic Live ColorBoston based singer/songwriter, Mighty Mystic, has become a leading trail blazer in the East Coast Reggae Movement.  He and his live band combine elements of rock and hip-hop into their distinct “Hard Roots” style.  His hits “Need Your Love”, “Lamb or Lion”, “Original Love” and most recently – “Concrete World” are all  featured on the prestigious VP Records’ You Tube Channel.  Additionally, Mighty has shared the stage with reggae heavy-hitters such as Damian Marley, Sean Paul, Shaggy and Beenie Man (just to name a few).  We got a chance to sit down with Mighty to talk about music, life and reggae’s healing powers.

Continue reading

Nyanda “Trouble” (Taylor Swift Dancehall Reggae Cover)

Photos courtesy of Eric Christian King, Nyanda and Black Lion Music Group

Check out this wicked dancehall cover of Taylor Swift’s “Trouble” by Nyanda.  Her unique dancehall reggae rendition of the pop country hit has spent 6 Weeks on UK’s Urban Club Chart and continues to gain popularity across the world!  “The mere fact that a dancehall version of Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble” exists makes the heart swell with happiness; the way Nyanda flips the pronouns to make herself the femme fatale is an inspiring touch.”      [Metro UK: Alex Macpherson].

What do you think of Nyanda’s version of “Trouble”?  Which version do you like better?  Comment below! 


 

Get a taste of The Green on their Liars and Lovers Tour 2013!

The Green Liars and Lovers Tour 2013

Photo courtesy of The Green

Come see Hawaii’s leading reggae band, The Green on their Liars and Lovers Tour!  Joining them, as their opening act, will be New Kingston.  You definitely don’t want to miss this.

With countless hits and successful albums, the The Green has caught the attention of reggae fans in the U.S. Pacific Coast and Caribbean.  Their unique rock and reggae fusion creates an organic sound like no other.  Get your tickets today before they sell out.  

Feb 22: Breckenridge CO – Three20South
Feb 23: Fort Collins CO – Aggie Theatre
Feb 25: Aspen CO – Belly Up Aspen
Feb 27: Boise ID – The Reef
Mar 01: Spokane WA – The Center Of Spokane
Mar 02: Tacoma WA – Jazzbones
Mar 03: Bellingham WA – Wild Buffalo

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading