April 24, 2013

The journey continues for Duane Stephenson

Kingston Jamaica -The name Duane Stephenson conjures up images of a youngster singing with the seven-member group, To-Isis; a young adult embarking on a successful solo journey and more recently, a man on a musical mission traversing  Europe, Central America and South America.
Fully accepting his role as a journeyman, it wasn’t surprising that in 2011 Duane Stephenson teamed up with one of reggae’s most mystical groups, The Wailers, and enthusiastically accepted the call to travel with them as their opening act. With the door to musical elevation flung wide open, Duane stepped across the threshold and entered a new, exciting and totally rewarding phase in his professional career.
“I was aware of the fact that as a comparatively young singer in the reggae business, I needed to establish myself fully into the hearts of my home fans before moving on to a phase that would take me away from home for extended periods,” the August Town singer explained.
However, he also knew that an invitation to travel with a group of the caliber and experience of the Wailers was  an honour that outweighed everything else.  Very soon, the big and the small cities in Europe became his playing ground and his fan base swelled proportionately, even as he learned at the feet of the masters in the reggae music business. Between January 2011 and November 2012, Duane Stephenson spent huge chunks of time on the road as part of the Wailers crew and enjoyed every minute of it.
This journeyman also made the time to do extensive work in the United States in the more non-traditional markets for reggae music, doing music festivals. Duane and the Livewire Band undertook an extensive tour of the US, doing smaller venues in an attempt to break into those markets. Between January and the end of February 2012, travelling ‘old school style’ in a van from town to town, they performed five to six shows a week from Colorado to California and included stops in Oregon and New Mexico. The audiences responded well to the music and that success saw him being invited to the major reggae festivals in California including Reggae on the River, the Sea Breeze Festival and the Sierra Nevada Music Festival.
July 2012 also saw Duane making a return trip to the South American country of Brazil, where he had spent three weeks in December 2011, establishing new but fertile ground to enhance the growth of his music. Building on the foundation which he had built, Duane was able to tour other South American countries including  Uruguay, Ecuador, Chile and Peru. A return visit is being finalized for the summer of 2013.
While Duane is quite happy at what he has been able to achieve internationally, he admits that he has missed performing for his home crowd.  In order to fill the musical void locally and give his home crowd a something new, he released music videos for the songs Sufferer’s Heights and Fire In Me. The Sufferer’s Heights video, which was released in 2012 has made such an impact that radio is now showing the single some love.  Released in 2013, the video for Fire in Me, has also been doing well.
Duane has also recently released two new singles which have the potential to top the charts, To the Lord, produced by Don Corleone on the Scriptures Rhythm and Another Day Another Dollar, a collaboration with Exco Levi on the Penthouse label.
"The journey continues ... and right now, we are focused on home," Duane stated.

April 22, 2013

I-Octane blazes stages on return to North America

Digicel/Busta brand ambassador I-Octane continues to blaze stages on his return to North America with an intense performance at Club Amazura in Queens, NY. 
Sharing the bill at EastaFest with artistes like Spragga Benz, Macka Diamond, Konshens and more, the singjay put on an electrifying 15 minute set after his performance had to be cut short. But that shortened set did not hinder the reggae star from delivering an excellent set for fans, as he declared, "Mi ah man doan like cut my time, but me ago shell it same way" before he ran through a brief sample of his extensive catalogue to a roaring crowd.
He ended his set with an accapella medley of Example for the PoorBurn Dem Bridge,Study Yuh Friend and Bad Mind before introducing show closer Spragga Benz who began his set by performing the classic Hurt Mi combination with Octane.
I-Octane returned to the island on Saturday, but not before stamping his class on a show in Guyana on Friday night where he performed alongside the likes of Bounty Killer, Spice and others. Needless to say, the Digicel/Busta brand ambassador left patrons craving to witness his next stint there.
I-Octane is set to return to New York on April 24 to headline mainstream station Hot 97's ‘Who's Next’ concert at SOBs. There he will share the stage with fellow Jamaican acts, Christopher Martin, Ding Dong among others.
Recognising the singjay's dominance of the dancehall scene for the past few years, the hip hop and R&B juggernaut has invited I-Octane to perform at their stepping stone event.
I-Octane was quoted in an earlier interview saying, "hard work pays off, and it feels good that the Hot 97 team has recognized the work I have put in. I'm definitely looking forward to performing there."
I-Octane joins an elite group of artistes like Drake, ASAP Rocky, and Kendrick Lamar who have all graced the SOBs stage for this marquee event. Octane's headlining appearance on the bill also sets the foundation for his move to take his vibes to the mainstream.
In other news, I-Octane who was recently named brand ambassador of the Busta soft drink brand, and signed on to a one-year contract with the popular drink company to represent Busta across the Caribbean, has been doing just that, as the new Busta ad featuring Octane has been getting massive reception in Jamaica, Trinidad and other Caribbean islands. I-Octane is also a brand ambassador for telecommunications giant Digicel, and re-signed a two year contract with them earlier this year.


April 17, 2013

Shalli on a musical roll

Reggae singer, Shalli, is on a musical roll. She has been spending quite a bit of time between Canada and Jamaica, as she makes it her business to claim her share of the reggae pie.

The talented artiste, who is always seeking ways to diversify her product offerings, recently collaborated with Rory of Stone Love on a remix of her culturally defining single, Down In Jamaica. Accolades have already been heaped on the video, which shows off the immense beauty of Jamaica and the sincerity of Shalli’s mission. On her visit to Jamaica in March, Shalli went into the studio with Rory and the result is a remix that is totally captivating.

“It was really a pleasure working with Rory, as he is someone who I have admired for a long time. He is a top class selector, so it is easy to understand that with his knowledge of the music he is also a great producer and has that ear for hit songs. And we all know just how important that is,” Shalli said.

Armed with a mission to give her fans more and more uplifting music, Shalli has also done a collaboration witOr lando Octave entitled Fire on the Happy Feet riddim. Wasting no time, the video for this was shot on April 1 and both artistes and their management are happy at the outcome. A very uptempo offering, this could have been specifically made to celebrate carnival in Trinidad, and with the natural chemistry between the artistes, the song and video jelled perfectly.

“The riddim is called Happy Feet because it is just that – happy. The single is already getting a lot of love, especially in the Caribbean,” Shalli explained, happily.

The singer, who celebrated her birthday on March 8 , treated her Facebook fans to a special Shalli video week where she showcased  five  videos, with a promise that “there will be more for you this year.” She also told fans, “I would love to get more of your comments good bad or indifferent.”

Shalli has also been busy doing live performances, among them Club Sagittarus in Brampton on March 16, where she opened for reggae artiste, Erup; March 29 at the Ace of Hearts Club in Vaughan, Ontario  and the Mirage Convention Center in Ontario on March 30.

Shalli has been singing for audiences in her church choir since the age of five; by age 12, she was writing poetry and at 14 she was crafting lyrics to original songs. In her later teen years, she would perform some of these original songs with a musical group she helped to create.

She has continued to hone her image and powerful on-stage presence and has performed alongside many of reggae’s leading acts. She has performed at festivals, clubs and lounges in the Middle East, Africa, and Southeast Asia to ever increasing acclaim. Her childhood exposure to multiple musical styles has borne fruit as she realizes that in spite of the language barrier between her and the audience, her music is a language of its own that has allowed her to bridge the gap between herself and many different cultures.

April 16, 2013


  • Digicel/Busta brand ambassador I-Octane is set to headline HOT 97 'Who's Next' show.

Generally the phrase 'Who's Next' is not associated with superstars. The exception in this case, however, is that reggae/dancehall star I-Octane will be headlining premier radio station Hot 97's famed 'Who's Next' showcase at SOBs on April 24.
Recognising the singjay's dominance of the dancehall scene for the past few years, the hip hop and R&B juggernaut has invited the artiste to perform at their stepping stone event.
According to I-Octane, 'hard work pays off, and it feels good that the Hot 97 team has recognised the work I have put in. I'm definitely looking forward to performing there."
I-Octane joins an elite group of artistes like Drake, ASAP Rocky, and Kendrick Lamar who have all graced the SOBs stage for this marquee event. Octane's headlining appearance on the bill sets the foundation for his move to take his vibes to the mainstream.
I-Octane affirms: "A my time now, mi ready fi conquer the globe, it ago siicccckkkk."
In other news, I-Octane recently performed at Mingles Nightclub in Bronx NY. He performed favourites like, My Life, Puff It, L.O.V.E Y.O.U, My Story, Love Di Vibes, More Money (Wah Money) and Badmind Dem A Pree, and new songs, Gal A Gimmi Bun and Buss A Blank, just to name a few, during his more than 45 minutes on stage.
The club was filled to its capacity. This was his first time performing in NY for over a year. The show was titled 'Irie Jam Presents: I-Octane Live in Concert' at Mingles Night- club on Saturday, April 6.

April 04, 2013

Jada Pinkett Smith Addresses Open Relationship Rumor

  • The actress says she's very relaxed with her husband because "Will is his own man."

By Dorkys Ramos

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith have been fielding criticisms and rumors about their relationship for years. During an interview with HuffPost Live, Pinkett Smith spoke about the idea that the actors have been making their marriage of nearly 16 years work because they have an open relationship in place.

"I've always told Will, 'You can do whatever you want as long as you can look at yourself in the mirror and be okay,'" she said. "Because at the end of the day, Will is his own man. I'm here as his partner, but he is his own man. He has to decide who he wants to be and that's not for me to do for him. Or vice versa."

Pinkett Smith does admit that nurturing a marriage takes a lot of work and it starts with the understanding that you're both in it together for the long haul.

"I don't think it's easy to be married to anyone," she added. "I think that you have to go into a relationship knowing — especially when you're dedicating yourself to someone for the rest of your life — this is a life partnership. He's my best friend. He's been by my side through some of the most difficult parts of my life. And so that's something you can never take away."

What do you think of her stance on marriage and being so relaxed with her Hollywood husband? Sound off!

Source: BET.com 


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