The Summer’s Hottest Compilation: Our Album Review of VP Records’ Reggae Gold 2014

*Photos: Various Sources including VP Records

In addition to their 35th Anniversary, VP Records has released their highly-anticipated, annual compilation, Reggae Gold 2014.  As their most successful compilation to date, Reggae Gold consistently tops the Billboard and iTunes Reggae Charts.  The album comprises of the hottest radio anthems of the summer. 

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VP Records Celebrates Their 35th Anniversary

*Photos Courtesy of VP Records

Powerhouse reggae music label, VP Records, recently celebrated their 35th Anniversary this past July at the Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival at Roy Wilkins Park in Queens, New York City.  The company created visually stunning pop-up exhibition to commemorate this special milestone.  It featured a photo exhibit by Ajamu Myrie that displayed Jamaican reggae culture, a map emphasizing reggae’s popularity on every continent and a photo timeline showcasing each musical era in Jamaica.  The label’s founder Patricia Chin unveiled a short documentary (narrated by Sirius XM’s reggae DJ Pat McKay) that illustrated VP Records’ contribution to the evolution of Jamaican music over the years.      

The Reggae Around the World Team congratulates the VP Records family on their impressive anniversary and we wish them the best for the future.  Here’s to another 35 years! 

VP 35th Anniversary Exhibit at the Grace Jerk Fest 2014

The VP Records Story Documentary 

Romain Virgo’s Reggae Cover of Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me”

*All Photos Courtesy of Niko Browne (Lifeline Music) & Romain Virgo

Check out Romain Virgo’s smooth reggae cover of Sam Smith’s, one-night-stand anthem, “Stay With Me”.  Niko Browne, of Lifeline Music (Jamaica), both produced the track and directed the music video.  Virgo’s superb vocal abilities mixed with Browne’s incredible production skills create an excellent cover.  Browne also produced many of the songs from Romain’s sophomore album The System (2012) (VP Records).

How do you like Romain Virgo‘s version of “Stay With Me”?  Do you like his rendition or Sam Smith’s original better?  Comment below!

New Zealand’s Reggae Family: House of Shem “She’s Mine”

House of Shem "Harmony" (2014)

House of Shem “Harmony” (2014)

*All photos courtesy of House of Shem

House of Shem is proof that musical genes run in the family.  As one of New Zealand’s most successful and well-known reggae bands since 2008, House of Shem consists of Carl Perkins and his two sons Te Omeka and Isaiah.  Carl is a reggae veteran in his own right with thirty-plus years in the industry singing, writing and playing guitar for bands such as Herbs, Mana and The Twelve Tribes of Israel.  Carl’s sons, Te Omeka and Isaiah, follow in their father’s footsteps; they sing, play keyboards and compose as well.  This strong musical trio allows the band to have three lead vocalists that harmonize each other perfectly.  House of Shem’s family bond is an essential element to their incredible song writing ability.

The band’s most recent release Harmony (2014) has gathered international acclaim and attention due to their distribution deal with VP Records Associated Label Group (VPAL Music).  The album’s first single and music video, “Take You There”, has gained over 160,000+ YouTube hits and continues to dominate the online reggae radio community.

One of our favorite tunes from Harmony is their lover’s rock anthem “She’s Mine.  We know how much you all enjoy lover’s rock, so we made a video for our YouTube Channel!  How do you like our video for House of Shem’s “She’s Mine”?  Comment below!

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

Gyptian ft. Angela Hunte “Vixen”

*All photos courtesy of VP Records, Gyptian & Angela Hunte

Check out Gyptian‘s brand new music video for his latest single, “Vixen”, from his upcoming album Sex, Love & Reggae (VP Records).  The song features songstress, Angela Hunte, who has worked with many reggae artists including Major Lazer and Slightly Stoopid.

What do you think of Gyptian & Angela Hunte’s “Vixen”?  Comment below!

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!

“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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