Playlist: Our Favorite Reggae Riddims

Playlist: Our Favorite Reggae Riddims

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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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Bob Marley Around The World: Celebrate His 70th Anniversary With The Playing For Change Band

*Photos Courtesy of Various Sources

Today, The Honorable Robert Nesta Marley officially celebrates his 70th Anniversary.  Despite his passing in 1981, he is more popular than ever.  Marley’s compilation album, Legend (1984), is the  most successful reggae album of all time and continues to sell tens of millions of copies worldwide.  The King of Reggae helped popularize the genre across the globe from the United States to Japan (and everywhere in between).

In honor of his 70th anniversary, we decided to show you how much Bob Marley has influenced musicians around the world with The Playing For Change (PFC) Band.  The PFC Foundation is a non-profit organization that helps raise money to build music and art schools for children across the planet.  The PFC Band, comprises of the world’s best musicians, to record classic songs that resonate with all audiences.  In addition to their albums, they also tour extensively around the world to raise money for their noble cause.  The PFC Band loves reggae as much as we do, especially Bob Marley!  Take a look at the PFC Band playing his hits like “One Love”, “Three Little Birds” and more.  You may see some familiar faces in the videos too!  Happy 70th Birthday Bob! 

“Redemption Song” featuring Stephen Marley

“Words of Wonder/Get Up, Stand Up” featuring Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones

“War/No More Trouble” featuring Bono of U2

“One Love”

“Three Little Birds”

Grammy Nominated Songwriter Emerges As Solo Artist: Our Interview with Andre “GC” Fennell

*All photos courtesy of and provided by Andre Fennell

Shaggy, Damian Marley, Diddy, Chris Brown and Beyonce are just some of the few international superstars that Andre “GC” Fennell has penned hit songs for. Now in 2014, this six-time Grammy nominated songwriter has emerged as a solo artist with his powerful and poignant debut single, “Fight For You”, that’s producing major buzz in the music scene. Fennell’s ability to fuse reggae, hip-hop and R&B creates a smooth, sensual sound all his own. Not only is he launching his solo career, but he is also fronting a new band called “17”; their first single and music video, “Child of the City”, will be directed by Hollywood director, Robert Rodriguez (Sin City, Planet Terror, Machete). We got a chance to chat with Andre about his new music, life as a songwriter and much more.

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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!

Shaggy Discovers Trinidad’s Rising Reggae Artist: Our Interview with Tennille Amor

*All photos courtesy of and provided by Tennille Amor

International reggae superstar, Shaggy, sure knows excellent artists when he hears them.  His most recent find, Tennille Amor, is no exception and she’s been working hard on her debut album “EVOLVE through LOVE”.  Her latest single, ‘Lion,’ is a conscious roots reggae song that shares the powerful message of staying strong in difficult times.  It sounds very different from Tennille’s first single and music video, “Not the One” (produced by Shaggy), which is an empowering anthem about women standing up for themselves under pressure.  Her sweet, smooth vocal style appeals to a broad audience and her album’s lyrics of love resonate with everyone.  Similar to Shaggy, Tennille is also a generous philanthropist.  She heads up her own charity foundation that drills clean water wells in Tanzania, which also inspires much of her music’s lyrics.  We got a chance to chat with Tennille about her upcoming album, working with Shaggy, her own charity and much more!

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Get Ready to “Rise Up” with Golden Chyld

 

Golden Chyld "Rise Up" now available on iTunes.

Golden Chyld “Rise Up” now available on iTunes.

*All photos courtesy of and provided by Golden Chyld

After the success with his previous single, “Joanna Wine”, Canadian-born reggae artist, Golden Chyld, returns with his follow up single “Rise Up”.

This up-tempo, drum-driven reggae anthem flows with conscious lyrics that urges social action.  “The single ‘Rise Up’ was one of the core messages I wanted to convey to people for 2014.  Irrespective of what you’re going through, rising against all odds and doing your part to make society a better place is always one of the most lasting impacts you can make.  That’s what I want to do with my music: leave a lasting impact on fans and society,” Golden Chyld tells us.

“Rise Up” is now available on iTunes.  You can follow Golden Chyld on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

What do you think of “Rise Up”?  Comment below!

 

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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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.

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