August 26, 2014

Kalado dazzles at his debut overseas reggae festival

Kingston, Jamaica:- For the second time since the start of this year, dancehall artiste, Kalado, treated his Cana

dian fans to a dazzling, unforgettable performance and still managed to leave them wanting more.
From Toronto, Ontario to Montreal, Quebec, the artiste, who is undoubtedly the fastest rising dancehall act for 2014, has demonstrated his ever-increasing star power. Not even the rain in Montreal could dampen the mood, as the “Personally” singer upped the ante and delivered a great performance at the annual Montreal International Reggae Festival. For an artiste making his debut at an overseas festival of this calibre, the critics agree that Kalado was impressive.
Actually, Kalado was a last-minute addition to the event, having had his August tour of Europe cancelled, thus freeing him up for other lucrative engagements.  His fans inside the venue must have given thanks for the cancellation of the Europe tour, as they stood in the pelting rain and gleefully sang word-for-word songs such as “Good Good”, “Personally”, “Body Nuh Dead”, “Make Me Feel”, “Sad Streets”, “Pree Money”, “Pay Dem No Mind” and “Take A Ride”.
As Kalado explained, “The festival organisers had approached my manager a few months ago to book me, but we were already holding the dates for Europe, but as soon as they found out that our tour was cancelled they reached out and booked me and my team made it happen.
He continued, “I was very surprised to see how many thousands of people were standing in the rain singing and cheering me on after every song. It was a great opportunity and I really had a great time.”
Kalado’s management disclosed that overseas requests for the artiste are coming in fast, a testament to the his mounting popularity, which was given an even greater boost after his Dancehall Night performance at Jamaica’s premier reggae festival, Reggae Sumfest.  Kalado is now confirmed for a few shows in Costa Rica from August 29-31, then Zimbabwe on September 13, followed by Antigua on October 11. Other US and Caribbean dates in between are pending.
In closing, the “Pree Money” artiste said, “Look out for a lot more from Kalado before the end of the 2014… we have a lot of surprises in store.”

August 25, 2014

REVIEW: The Gladiators Featuring Droop Lion – Back On Tracks

The Gladiators Droop Lion in center
Reggae singer, Andrew Brown, aka Droop Lion, could very well be the poster child for that much fabled old soul who is trapped in a youthful body.  Listening to him as lead vocalist on the latest Gladiators CD, The Gladiators Featuring Droop Lion – Back On Tracks,  it is all too easy to picture him actively partaking in a recording session with the group 50 years ago. It is truly a spine-tingling, goose-bump-raising kind of experience.

Droop Lion’s searing, soulful vocals blend in smoothly and perfectly with the mood and the message of the original tracks, some of which were recorded nearly half a century ago. “Perfection” was in fact the password used by The Gladiators and Droop Lion while working on this project with genius producer and musician, Clive Hunt, along with co and executive producers Cabel Stephenson and Michelle Jovanovich.Gladiators drummer, Anthony Griffiths, stated during the recording sessions that “every beat and note has to be perfect” and this CD has certainly achieved that goal.

Recorded at Mixing Lab and Cave Studios in Kingston, Jamaica, and released on The Gladiators Featuring Droop Lion – Back On Tracks, represents a skillful blending of the past with the present and this bodes well for the future of reggae music.
It is as uncanny as it is mesmerizing to listen to Droop Lion belting out original Gladiators time-honoured roots reggae classics such as Bongo Red, Belly Full, Burning And Looting, Looks Is Deceiving, Hello Carol, and Battle of the Beast, injecting his unique brand of spiritual energy while firmly holding on to tenets of the glorious past.  Droop Lion possesses a deep, provocative, timeless quality to his rich vocals which fuses harmoniously with foundation reggae music and makes for total listening pleasure.

His spirituality and sense of occasion cut through to his very soul, enabling him to sing a song likeBongo Red as if he actually participated in that dynamic “walk on Sixth Street” and lived in an era in which he was not even born. He effortlessly convinces the listener of his authenticity and it would be a misnomer to call any of the songs on this 14-track keepsake collection a “cover version”. Additionally, Droop Lion also shows his own mettle as he takes the Gladiators on a journey by contributing his own original tracks. Among them is the starkly hypnotic Ghetto Life, with its haunting refrain that “living aint easy”, even as he extols the virtues of clean, caring ghetto girl named Karen, who “a hold it down slum style”, but “her board floor shine like Rome tile…you want fi see how she take care of her child…It’s ghetto life….”

With an all-star cast of players of instruments, including the legendary Sly Dunbar on drums, along with second-generation Gladiator Anthony Griffiths and Wayne “C Sharp” Clarke; Clive Hunt on percussion, keyboards and melodica;  Robbie Lyn, Vernon  Sutherland and Paul “Wrongmove” Crossdale also on keyboards; Cabel “Jeffrey” Stephenson, Noel “Scully” Simms, Alvin Haughton and Christopher “Sky Juice” Burch on percussion and Jackie Jackson an d Daniel “Axeman” Thompson on bass,  it is hardly surprising that The Gladiators Featuring Droop Lion – Back On Tracks , is a keepsake CD that will, like The Gladiators themselves, stand the crucial test of time.

August 16, 2014

An energized I-Octane thrills Europe, dislocates his shoulder and gains even more fans

Kingston, Jamaica: - Not even an excruciatingly painful, dislocated shoulder could diminish the potency of international reggae and dancehall artiste, I-Octane, as he powered his way across the major festivals in Europe, in a continuation of his awesome “My Journey” tour.


 It was right after closing Reggae Sumfest Dancehall Night in inimitable style, that the man who is an entertainer in the truest sense of the word, packed his bags and headed out to conquer the globe, along with his band of the same name. He quickly wrapped up excellent shows in Texas on July 18 and 19, and then flew to Delaware for the signature event, the highly-anticipated People’s Festival on the 26th, after which Europe came a-calling.

For I-Octane, being in Europe in 2014 was a special thrill, mainly because his last outing on the continent was in 2012, when he purposefully laid the foundation and showed sparks of brilliance. Two years later, I-Octane is in great demand and he set off on his European expedition with fervor. In fact, so energized was he, that at his first show, Reggae Geel in Belgium on August 2, the “Missing You” singer exuberantly jumped from the stage, missed his target and fell, completely dislocating his right shoulder.  

Without missing a beat – literally – he clambered back on stage and bravely performed for another 45 minutes, without the fans even being aware of his agony.   So good was he that the emcee called him on for, not one, but two, encores!  I-Octane recalls that in his head he screamed “No!”, but despite the intense pain and suffering, he put a smile on his face, went back on the stage and did another song. After the second encore, and following the same script, he quickly put down the mic and told his team, “Take me to the hospital now, my shoulder is on fire.”

Being the person he is, I-Octane was in total opposition to his doctor’s order to rest his shoulder for two weeks. After all, he had to perform at Reggae Jam in Germany the following night and then Reggae Sundance in Netherlands on the 9th, and there was no way that he was going to disappoint his fans. The show must go on, he informed his medical team calmly. They finally arrived at a workable solution; the doctors would give him some injections to deaden the arm, enabling to do the show, but when the injection wore off, the pain, they warned him gruffly, would be intolerable. I-Octane’s response was, “Perfect. As long as I can perform on stage and entertain the fans. I will think about the pain later.”

And perform he did; for nearly an hour to thousands of appreciative fans at Reggae Jam, where he even did a second high-energy stint on stage with Ky-mani Marley, who called him up for them to do A Yah We Deh, their collaboration from the critically acclaimed My Journey album. As dancehall fans would say: “It did siiiick!” I-Octane continued his dominance when he showed up for Reggae Sundance,  which featured some of the biggest names in reggae/dancehall including Big Youth, Earl Sixteen,  Luciano, Beenie Man, Tarrus Riley, Shaggy, Tanya Stephens, Busy Signal and Romaine Virgo.

Having completed a highly successful summer festival tour of Europe, I-Octane is making his way to the Caribbean, where he will be pulling out all the stop for his St.Maarten fans on August 15 and then it’s straight on to Canada two days later for the long-running Montreal Reggae Festival. Belize beckons on August 21, and then he rounds out his overseas engagements with shows in the USA – Georgia on August 29 and North Carolina on August 30.  

Summer is hot like lava with DJ Sunshine’s Wul Dem Riddim

Kingston, Jamaica: - Irie FM radio disc jock and music producer, DJ Sunshine is blazing the summer with the riddim that is pure liquid lava, the unquenchable Wul Dem.

The bouncy and gritty Wul Dem is as unstoppable as it’s irresistible and with a summer that is hot like lava, the Wul Dem is the only elixir specially designed to quench the heat in an unique way. With mega heat pitching from the man himself, I-Octane, and delectable goodies from  other big names in the dancehall, mainly Mavado, Vybz Kartel and Alkaline, things are bubbling and on the verge of boiling over.  

I-Octane creates the perfect storm to ride out this scorching riddim with the in-your-face, totally unapologetic single, We Run The Flipping Place and Mavado’s Duh Weh Yuh Want is a statement that is just as potent. Enter incarcerated dancehall superstar, Vbyz Kartel, bearing a sign that says, Nuh Play Round Wid Fyah, and symbolism meets reality in a spectacular fashion. And, not to be outdone is Alkaline, in his typical fearless and hypnotic manner with a single featuring Ikel Marvlus, in which he calls out  “ole centipede and all di Claffie dem”, and simply says it like it is.

It’s really difficult to say which single has the edge, because all the songs on the riddim are enjoying super high rotation on radio, in the dance and at clubs and music lovers are proving to have an insatiable hunger for the Wul Dem.

“Everybody a Wul Dem fi di summer,” is how once popular disc jock enthusiastically described the gravitational pull of the riddim which is produced by DJ Sunshine for Yellow moon Records. “It’s insatiable … and it in perfect harmony with the scorching heat of the summer,” he concluded.

DJ Sunshine, while being pleased with the furnace that has been created, admits that she is a bit in awe of the speed at which the Wul Dem has penetrated the marketplace. “From conception, I could feel the irresistible pull and energy of this riddim and I knew that the Wul Dem would be big, but this is just ridiculously massive,” she declared.

All stakeholders unanimously agree that the Wul Dem riddim is running the flipping place for the summer of 2014.

August 05, 2014

Kalado and Spice’s summer tour of Europe cancelled

Kingston, Jamaica:- Dynamic dancehall artistes, Kalado and Spice are as disappointed

as their fans that, owing to a lack of professionalism on the part of the organisers, their highly anticipated, joint summer tour of Europe has been cancelled.  The two entertainers should have left Jamaica this week to kick off what was scheduled to be a month-long European tour starting on August 7th and ending on August 30th.  Both artistes were looking forward to touring together for the first time, in addition to which, this would have been Kalado’s first European tour.

The respective management teams for the artistes have disclosed that a lack of dutiful preparation from Kayamoves, the highly recommended, Europe-based agency which was handling all the details of the proposed tour, led to an unfortunate breakdown in communications. After experiencing many challenges during the four-month preparation time for the tour and receiving vital information from Kayamoves in an ad hoc manner, things finally fell apart.

“We were informed less than two weeks prior to the beginning of the tour that the itinerary was not complete, after several attempts weeks prior to that requesting the touring schedule and information. The proposed tour was in the works for almost four months and up to this day we have not received a final itinerary to approve from the Agency,” the management teams said in a joint statement.

Kalado and his management team have stated that they have no option but to distance themselves from Kayamoves and is informing the public that they have no agreement with Kayamoves and the agency is not authorized to book any shows for Kalado. All promoters who are interested in booking Kalado for Europe are advised to contact Montrevail Agencies on 514-375-0388 or at montrevail@live.com  and for Spice, Khool International Booking Agency at 876-877-5956.

Kalado and Spice have expressed their apologies to their fans and note that they regret being denied the opportunity to showcase their summer catalogue and perform their several hit songs live and direct in front of a welcoming European crowd.

However, they will be working on some future dates together as they bring their talent and their catalogue to centrestage. Both artistes are hot on the scene, with Kalado presently #1 on the Richie B Jamaica Countdown Charts with Personally and Spice continues her dominance with hot remixes and new songs Like a Man which she performed to an enthusiastic crowd at Reggae Sumfest. 

Ky-Mani Marley and I-Octane live at Reggae Jam festival 2014 in Germany

August 04, 2014




August 01, 2014

Droop Lion ‘Back On Tracks’ with The Gladiators; kicks off another European tour

Kingston, Jamaica: - To those who have been tracking the career path of  reggae singer, Droop Lion, it comes as no surprise to learn that he has formed a lasting bond with veteran reggae group, The Gladiators. In fact, it would be perfectly true to say that a merger of this nature was inevitable.

Having savoured success in 2012 with the hit single, Freeway,  Droop Lion, in a passionate interview stated: "I want to do the real thing and bring back the music to the real foundation feel. I want to immerse myself with the elders ... they are the roots, they have trod this path before and they know it better than we. So who better to learn from?"

Although Droop Lion didn’t know it at the time, he was charting his own destiny with those daring words.  The answer to that almost rhetorical question was, The Gladiators, hailed as one of the most exciting groups from the golden age of roots with extraordinary albums to their name from Coxsone Dodd's Studio One and also on the English recording label Virgin. Come 2014, and Droop Lion, the singer who possesses a  voice that is twice his own size and weight, is touring Europe as lead singer for this enduring roots reggae band which had its genesis in the year 1966. Over the decades, The Gladiators have blazed trails, toured consistently and have proven to be a favourite on the big reggae festivals across the length and breath of Europe.

Interestingly, Droop Lion is the nephew of original Gladiators member David Webber, and, naturally he grew up on songs from their catalogue. However, he never, ever dreamed that one day he would be so favoured to not only go on tour, but to also record an album with this legendary group, doing classics  such as Bongo Red, Hello Carol,  Jah Works and Burning and Looting.  In February of this year, Droop Lion completed 25 sold-out dates across Europe as lead singer of The Gladiators and he recently returned to Jamaica from his second tour with the group. With this being festival season in Europe, the brief break lasted one and half weeks, after which they left for Europe last Wednesday, for another relentless round of shows. The 15-city tour officially kicked off on July 25 and saw the group doing shows in three different countries - France, Spain and Belgium - one after the other, with other dates including countries such as Germany, Italy and Poland.

“It’s just Jah works,” Droop Lion said of the fruitful merger between him and The Gladiators and the Clive Hunt/Cabel Stephenson-produced album entitled The Gladiators Featuring Droop Lion – Back On Tracks. “Gladiators is a brand that has been around for 50 years and I have to give them the thumbs up for embracing me without hesitation and allowing me to experience first-hand the real meaning of partaking in the feast of the elders,” he continued.

He confessed that being on stage in Europe and feeling the intense vibrations of singing a Gladiators song, followed by a Droop Lion song is an experience that has brought him to tears. “I am just overcome with emotions and the tears just spill forth. Tears of gratitude for the many layers of goodness that this union has uncovered, tears of pure joy and tears of love,” said the musical ambassador who is signed to Free People Entertainment.