November 30, 2012

After Guyana concert and Sting, Popcaan heads to Zimbabwe

Dancehall artiste, Popcaan, has a very busy season ahead as he prepares to debut recently shot music videos, fulfills engagements both overseas and at home, while putting in some quality time in studio on his first album project.

The artiste, who has made the Caribbean his home this year, will quite appropriately spend Christmas in Guyana where he is scheduled to perform on December 25. With many of his songs doing exceptionally well on that mainland territory, Popcaan is definitely the ‘Ravin’ King’ in Guyana, a country which holds a special place in his heart.

 “The people are so friendly ….it feels just like home. The fans there have a special place in their heart for me,” he said as he pulled out his brightest smile.

Of course, fans at home will not be left out and Papi, as he is affectionately called, is set to make a supreme performance on what is dubbed the greatest one-night reggae/dancehall show on earth – Sting. The annual December 26 treat is shaping up to be quite an occasion this year and Popcaan is good and ready. He has an arsenal of hit songs, old and current, which cater to both the girls who love to gyrate and his 'rude bwoy' fans who see Popcaan as their role model and mentor.

Known in some quarters as the Gaza Prefect, Papi has matured significantly during this year, and with his ever-expanding stature as an artiste, he defies being pigeon-holed, but reiterates that his loyalty remains unchanged. For him, Sting will not be a showdown in any shape or form, it will simply present a chance for the artiste to show his mettle and thrill his fans on a show that has the reputation of catering to patrons who are “hard to please”.

“We have the songs and we have the package and I am looking forward to performing on Sting 2012,” Popcaan declared.

Right after Sting, Papi will pack his bags and head out to Zimbabwe, where reggae legend Bob Marley and the Wailers performed  in April 1980 at the official Independence Ceremony, at the invitation of the newly elected president Robert Mugabe. Many reggae acts have since performed in Zimbabwe and Popcaan has every intention of being a great musical ambassador as rings in the New Year with his first performance on African soil.


Kingston Jamaica - International recording artiste Bad Gyal CeCile is eagerly anticipating her trip to Dubai in December 1st.

“I am excited about going, it’s always a great experience to visit different cultures to see how the music is penetrating those markets, and I am definitely looking forward to the trip,” she said in a release.

She will perform at the Majestic Hotel's Music Room and judging by the fan response on Twitter, her fans are all "waiting" impatiently for the arrival of Jamaica’s ‘bad gyal’.

A tireless recording artiste known for her distinct swagger and up-to-the-minute street vocabulary, Cecile has barely missed a beat since becoming pregnant and having her baby girl on August 27th. And now that she has returned to music full time, the dividends are already paying off.

Reggae music critics and insiders have been raving about her new reggae tracks, "If You" and "Girl on the Side" which have been enjoying a lot of airplay. Another single, the dancehall-flavoured "Put It Deh" CeCile is bombing FM radio into submission, leaving many to wonder how she has been able to seamlessly re-enter the competitive industry at such a high level.

The Bad Gyal mom worked throughout her pregnancy (up to 7 months) so few people realized she was actually pregnant.

“I didn't do a lot of club shows because my fan base expects me to be sexy, I focused instead on doing festivals where the emphasis is more on the music,” she said.

Now, she is back at her sexy best.

Only two months after giving birth, the energetic diva wowed thousands of people during her first gig at the National Arena in Jamaica on October 15th. Her virtuoso performance during the homecoming for the Jamaican Olympic athletes dubbed "Jamaica's Music History Honoring Our Olympic" emphatically announced her return to music.

“I loved the reception of the audience, it was great,” she said.

CeCile, a homegrown star from Manchester who attended Bishop Gibson High school, landed two major international collaborations this year, both of which were released during her pregnancy. One was the sexed-up party song "Boys Boys" with Brazilian Group Bonde Do Role which was produced by Mad Decent and Diplo.

“Diplo sent me the track, and it was just a blank track and he asked to lay down some vocals about boys, the band vocals were not even there yet, and the song just took off,” she said.

The other was the offbeat and funky ‘Galaxies and Stars’ with Doctor P wowed Europe as another massive dub step banger in the vein of her radio hit Gold Dust which, coincidentally,  is now back on  BBC's 1xtra A playlist.

“Dubstep is big in the UK, and the ‘Galaxies and Stars’ did well, but it is the Gold Dust song which has really taken off, it was even played at the NBA All Star game earlier this year,” she said.

Cecile was unable to appear in the videos for the international collaborations as she was pregnant at the time of the shoots. 

She performed in St. Maarten on November 17 for the annual Boardwalk Festival along with Steel Pulse and returned to fan favourite Guadeloupe on November 24.

Expect a huge tour announcement for the badgyal for the 2013 season and a slew of new reggae releases including hits from super producer Chrome on his Cardiac Series, ZJ Liquid, Johnny Wonda on Corna Shop, G Money's Prime (Kenya) to name a few!

November 28, 2012

Mellow moods from Richie Spice on Soothing Sounds: Acoustic

Roots reggae singer Richie Spice takes his music to another level with the release of his highly anticipated sixth album, Soothing Sounds: Acoustic.

Touted as a collector’s item, this acoustic set is a one-off departure from Spice’s norm, and, on a broader scale, a departure from the norm in reggae music itself. An acoustic set is no easy feat in reggae, and only a few artistes of this genre have attempted to offer a full length unplugged set such as this. However, with the excitement that Soothing Sounds: Acoustics has aroused, it is likely that we will be getting more albums like this from other reggae acts in the future.

Interestingly, Richie Spice and his accomplished team – which includes talented producer Mitchum ‘Khan’ Chin, who doubles as guitarist; bass player Robbie Shakespeare (of Sly and Robbie fame) Bongo Herman and  percussionists Denver Smith – make the production of an acoustic set look all too easy. The very first single, Free, embodied with strong lyrical content, haunting melodies and soothing sounds layered over harsh realities, intrigued the ears of hardened critics and fans alike and set the tone for Soothing Sounds: Acoustic.

On this album, Spice meanders through the hills and valley of reggae’s spirituality, boldly embracing the hard times, denouncing the ‘dirty system’, highlighting the good times and also  speaking eloquently about love and loving.  Steering his rich vocals through previously uncharted waters balanced with a guitar-driven instrumentation, Spice’s falsetto comes across clean and crisp, and the sounds are so soothing that even when Spice asks a tough, rhetoric question, the listener has no choice but  to rewind track after track.

A complementary mix of tested and proven favourites interspersed with new offerings, the 15-track album transports songs from previous albums and inject them with new and different life. Among the remakes are A No Me Dat (Trulove); Boom (My Heart); Youth Dem Cold (Searching); Grooving My Girl (My Girl); All Day All Night (All Night); Spinning Around (Downside Up) and Rise (Get Up).

Among the stand-out tracks are, the lead singles Free and Crying, Heng On In Deh, All Night, Downside Up and Get Up. The final track, Agony, somehow introduces a different mood in what is otherwise a soothing, soulful, unplugged set.

Soothing Sounds: Acoustic was released on October 23 on the Tad’s Record imprint.

I-Octane continues to dominate the scene

Kingston Jamaica - Conscious singjay I-Octane continues his dominance on the dancehall scene with several hard-hitting singles.
His latest single a combination with Bounty Killer entitled Bad Mind Dem A Pree has been sitting in the number one position for the past three weeks on the ER Top 10 Singles chart. 
But then number ones are nothing new to the artiste who throughout the year has enjoyed chart dominance with singles such as L.O.V.E Y.O.U, Love Di Vibes, Jiggle Fi Mi and My Story. 
The singjay shows no sign of slowing down or fading into obscurity, his three new video released over the past two months More Money, Bun It and Laugh and Badmind Dem A Pree - directed by Scorpio 21 shows the calculated effort on their part to drive home that message.
The Digicel Brand Ambassador is also looking forward to a busy yuletide season as his calendar of show dates is pretty impressive.
December 7 will see him appearing at COURTS grand opening in Half-Way-Tree that same night he will make the trek to Negril where he will perform at the Jungle Night Club. December 14 sees him juggling three dates - in Montego Bay and then later on in the night at Maldon High School, before rounding out the night at the Iberostar Montego Bay Staff party.
December 16, it’s Fort Clarence Beach in Portmore, a few days later he heads to Prospect St Thomas. Boxing Day will see him at the Montego Bay Seafood Festival and the dates keep coming!
“Come 2013 it will be even more positive songs, great videos and me just trying to step up my game,” the singjay said about his expectations for the new year. 
His message to fans is that they should just continue their support and “meck sure a see you at my shows!”

November 16, 2012


Sold-out tours, hot new singles and intense adoration from his fans are the elements that have combined to keep acclaimed entertainer, Popcaan a main contender in the fiery furnace of dancehall juggling. Not only has he come to terms with a lot of the drama that surrounded his meteoric rise in the dancehall, Popcaan is intent on making it work for him.

Positioned as an artiste whose versatility sees him locking the town with ultra bad bwoy lyrics, while at the same time playing the role of the ultimate ladies man, as he belts out “Mi a the only man she want”, Popcaan is certainly enjoying the best of both worlds. It is little wonder that 2012 has seen him hitch his wagon to a star as he traverses the globe -- Europe, the Caribbean and Canada -- representing for dancehall as one of Jamaica’s proudest ambassadors.

“The response from countries outside of Jamaica has been awesome,” Popcaan says, still sounding a bit dazed by it all. “When I go to the Caribbean, the fans there know every song word-for-word. They expect to hear all the songs in my catalogue and they don’t want one verse either, they demand the entire song… and I am only too happy to sing it all for them,” declares the MOBO nominated artiste.

Papi, as he is affectionately called, has already visited the twin island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago twice for this year, and he is headed for Tobago again this weekend. He also recently returned from Europe where, according to reports, the response to Popcaan is nothing short of “ridiculous”. He toured Europe in June and, based on the resounding success of that trip, he returned early in November, which saw him doing cities such as Paris, Bordeaux, Orleans, Amsterdam, Helsinki and Rome. Songs like “Ravin,” “Party Shot", “Only Man She Want” and especially "Get Gal Easy" and "The System" were definite crowd-pleasers and, with his developing skills, Popcaan has been mixing in the newer songs with the blockbusters and leaving  his fans satisfied with hour-long performances.

And, although the demand for him overseas has spiked, Popcaan remains true to his local fan base, giving a dazzling performance at the Arthur Guinness show held in October. “Home is really where the heart is. I love to perform for fans outside of Jamaica and I enjoy the fact that music has the power to unite people of different cultures, but there is nowhere like home,” the man who earned the title, Gaza Prefect stated.

Among his more recent offerings are "Food Haffi Run", which peaked at number one in the UK and which is getting quite a bit of love locally, and So We Do It, for which he is in the process of shooting the video. 

Booked solid for the upcoming festive season, which includes Sting and a concert in Colombia (South America) where he will be opening for Shaggy, Popcaan will also be busy in studio working on his debut album.

“We have assembled a team of producers and I am really excited about this album project. It’s my first, so it will definitely be something to talk about,” stated the man who the UK-based BB Radio 1Xtra chose as one of their 'Hot 20 for 2012’. 

November 09, 2012

I-Octane Teamed Up With Chipmunk For Star Life

Kingston, Jamaica - Singjay and Digicel Brand Ambassador I-Octane is definitely moving on up where his careers is concerned. 
He recently teamed up with one of Britain’s most talented artiste Chipmunk for the single Star Life.
Chipmunk has worked with some of hip hop and R&B’s best artistes such as TI and not to be excluded are his combinations with Chris Brown entitled Champion, Trey Songz’ Take It Off and Keri Hilson’s In The Air. 
 Ever since releasing his 2009 album entitled I Am Chipmunk which charted at number-two on the UK Albums Chart. He has not looked back. He copped the Best UK Newcomer and Best Hip-Hop act at the prestigious MOBO Awards in 2009.
I-Octane is not the first Jamaican act he has recorded with as he previously recorded a single with Mavado entitled Every Gal. 
Speaking on the DJ Frass produced single Star Life, I-Octane says he is definitely looking forward to crossing new borders with this one. 
“Chipmunk is one of the best and I am looking forward to breaking new grounds in Europe and other parts of the world.”
According to the singjay music is about growth and changes “You can’t keep doing the same things over and over and expect to win over new fans,” he said adding that he hopes to do combination with other hip hop artistes.