September 29, 2014

Atlantic Records severs ties with Sean Paul


AFTER a decade-long relationship that produced a string of hit singles and two platinum albums, Atlantic Records has parted ways with deejay Sean Paul.
Rumours that the label had dropped the Grammy-winning artiste have made the rounds in recent weeks. Craig Kallman, chairman and CEO of Atlantic Records, confirmed the split via email on the weekend.
Asked by the Jamaica Observer if Sean Paul was still with the label, Kallman responded: "No longer." He did not elaborate about what caused the split.
Sean Paul signed with Atlantic Records in a joint deal with the independent VP Records in late 2002 following the success of his song Gimme the Light.
Atlantic released the deejay's major label debut album, Dutty Rock, in November that year. It scored five Top 10 United Kingdom singles and five Top 15 Billboard Hot 100 hits, including Gimme the Light, Baby Boy (with Beyonce), Like Glue, Get Busy, and I'm Still in Love With You (featuring Sasha).
Dutty Rock opened with first-week sales of 65,000 copies and peaked at number nine on the Billboard 200. In the UK, it debuted at number two and has sold over six million copies worldwide.
The follow-up album, The Trinity, was released in September, 2005 and set a record for first-week sales by a Jamaican reggae act in the US with 107,000 copies. It debuted at number six on the UK Album chart and number six on the Billboard 200 Album chart.
The Trinity has US sales of 1.3 million copies and worldwide sales of over 4.3 million.
Imperial Blaze, Sean Paul's third album did not do as well in the US although it was certified gold in France. In the US, it hit number one on Billboard's Rap Album and Reggae Album charts and peaked at number 12 on the Billboard 200 and number three on the R&B/Hip Hop album chart.
His next album, Tomahawk Technique, was released in January 2012, reaching number two on the Billboard Reggae Album chart and number 30 on the UK Album chart. It went gold in Switzerland where it sold over 20,000 copies.
Full Frequency, Sean Paul's latest album, was released in February.

Source: Jamaica Observer 

September 25, 2014

Amber Rose Accuses Wiz Khalifa Of Cheating On Twitter

When news of Amber Rose and Wiz Khalifa splitting up was revealed, the world was in disbelief. With all the allegations of Amber cheating with her new manager Nick Cannon, Ms. Rose took to twitter to clear the air and clarify Wiz Khalifa was the cheater. The reason Amber Rose filed for divorce has got to do with Wiz Khalifa's infidelity. We really want the two to make it work but Amber makes it apparent, her only focus is her son Bash

‘My Journey is definitely taking me on a journey,’ says I-Octane

Vanessa Bling
Kingston, JAMAICA: - With the release of his sophomore album, My Journey, singjay, I-Octane effectively silenced the naysayers who felt that his repertoire was “too dancehall”. Infusing more reggae beats into this album has paid off handsomely, ensuring that the artiste’s demand has skyrocketed as his global fan base keeps growing.

The versatile I-Octane jokes that his weekends now start on Thursdays and end on Tuesdays, but he’s certainly not complaining. This reggae ambassador says his main aim is to “keep things balanced and never ignore my home fans”.  And perhaps that’s why he is never far away from the local scene. This weekend he will be off to Rochester USA, for a show on Friday, but his itinerary sees him returning to Jamaica on Saturday to do Margaritaville in St Ann and then perform in Kingston at the Bike Fest at the National Stadium on Sunday.
My Journey is definitely taking me on a journey,” declared the singer who was the featured act at the Behind The Screens series at Usain Bolt Tracks and Records (UBTR) on Tuesday September 23rd
Interestingly, I-Octane aka The Closer had returned to the island from the US that same Tuesday, having performed at a show in Boston on Saturday, followed by a concert in South Carolina on Monday night. But his energy level was so high, that no-one at UBTR could tell that he had stepped off a plane hours before, after a long performance the previous night. Delivering the best of his dancehall and reggae selections, Octane kept the near-capacity audience on their toes and he even had a special treat for them when he called on stage – via his Digicel phone – his special guest, Vanessa Bling.

The “Hot Ras”, as she styled him, was in a mood to be entertained, and after they performed Can’t Do It, their hit collaboration which the fans inside UBTR couldn’t seem to get enough of, he allowed Vanessa Bling to do her thing, which she did very well. Or, it would perhaps be more accurate to say, “which they did very well”, because the chemistry between them, even while she was doing her solo pieces, was palpable.

“It was just the vibes. Some of it was rehearsed, some wasn’t. But it all went over well, and, most importantly, the audience loved it,” said the Study You Friend
 singer, who had also given talented young act,Bryka, a moment to shine.

In closing, I-Octane stated, “I think that Vanessa Bling is a great artiste and I have maximum respect for her management.  It’s a good look when the female artistes get the props that they so deserve.”

September 22, 2014

I-Octane and Ruff Kut continue the live music journey at Tracks and Records September 23

Kingston, JAMAICA: - The mission to keep live music alive continues on September 23 at Usain Bolt’s Tracks and Records (UBTR) in Martketplace, with the renewal of the popular Behind The Screen series. Featured act for week three will be none other than the man himself, I-Octane aka The Closer.

After a scorching from a super-charged Sizzla and the Firehouse Crew on September 16, I-Octane will skillfully re-ignite the flames and as he and the Ruff Kut Band keep the musical blaze firmly under control inside UBTR. The “Run The Flipping Place” singer will show fans that he does exactly that, and more, as he easily reels off mega hits from his extensive catalogue in an up-close-and-personal setting before an appreciative home crowd.

Tuesday night’s outing marks the second time that the singer will be performing at Tracks and Records and to say he is looking forward to it is an understatement.

“I really love the Tracks and Records vibes. There is just something special about it and we are really anticipating this show. Ruff Kut and I already visualized the entire show from start to finish and it a go siiickkk!” the entertainer with the million dollar smile declared.

The singer, who has been touring on his critically acclaimed sophomore album, "My Journey", pointed out that in recent months he has been doing a lot of open-air events, both locally and overseas, and he welcomed the opportunity to be performing in an intimate setting, especially on Jamaican soil.

“The Tracks and Records show is an event where other artistes who are not performing come out and show them face, just to give you a strength, and extend the love by their presence. I am one artiste who really appreciate that; it shows that we live good. And, of course, nothing compares to your home crowd, without them you wouldn’t be where you are now, so it’s always a joy and a privilege to interact with them,” I-Octane added.  

The first installment of the music series at the popular Kingston eatery kicked off on September 9 and played host to entertainers Kabaka Pyramid, Chronixx, Keznamdi and Jesse Royal who put on a superb show.

I-Octane and Ruff Kut pledge to continue the live music journey and take it on a higher high.

September 17, 2014

Another bad review for a Jamaican artiste, as Zimbabwe media hypes up their own talents

Kingston, JAMAICA: - Rising dancehall artiste, Kalado, has become the latest victim of a
negative review following a concert last weekend in the Zimbabwean capital of Harare. Reports in the media are that Kalado was bottled because his performance was not as great as that of homegrown Zimbabwean reggae/dancehall acts.

One journalist writing for the Zimbabwe Mail even asked the question: “Are these so called international artistes worth bringing in the country, in the face of such flops?”

The report continued: “In previous years, local artistes have outperformed their Jamaican counter-parts at several gigs. At one time, another Jamaican artiste Popcaan was literally reduced to a curtain-raiser by Winky D. Locals feel they are short-changed. The media have been awash with complaints of these probably overrated stars letting down their legions of fans in the country.
“Last year, there was a big outcry after Nigerian singer D’banj failed dismally on the stage. Born, Dapo Daniel Oyebanjo ‘D’banj’, proved more of a studio than stage musician as he failed to perform to expectations for hundreds of Zimbabweans who thronged the Glamis Arena for the Lion Lager Summer Beer Festival. Some equated the Fall in Love hitmaker’s performance to local dancer Beverly Sibanda’s style as he spent much of his time speaking about how Zimbabwean ladies were good at waist-twisting. D’Banj went on to invite 10 ladies, one at a time, including Amara Brown to join him on stage…”

From as far back as 2012, singjay, Mr Vegas, who had a less-than-welcoming experience on stage in Zimbabwe, has been questioning this trend: "Of late Jamaican reggae & dancehall artists are getting some bad feed back after performances in Africa, even stones were allegedly thrown at Luciano. Then there were the media reports "Mavado flopped, Vegas failed to deliver, Assasin misses target". In these same article, the media reports sing high praises for the local acts, while ripping the main act. Leaves me to wonder if this is the love we get from Africa, after taking the 2 days or more flt to spread the music to our brothers & sisters... Is this the same Africa that we want to go back home to? Is this the same africa that we dedicated most of our music to?. Africa where is the love?!”(Mr. Vegas Facebook post, August 1 2, 2012)

Notably, in the review about Kalado’s Zimbabwe performance, the reviewer also quotes a prominent disc jock who maintains that nothing was wrong with Kalado’s performance. The article states: “Prominent wheel spinner Godfather Templeman defended Kalado’s performance and said local fans should be patient with foreign artistes.

‘Zimbabwean fans are not patient. Kalado is just an upcoming artiste in Jamaica and he came here to perform for Zimbabweans, not Jamaicans, unlike in the case with local artistes who went to perform outside the country for Zimbabweans who migrated to those countries,’ said Templeman. ‘There was nothing wrong with his performance...’”

With that experience behind him, Kalado is settling back into the musical flow, as he continues to assure fans that “good good” does, in fact, “bring life” and that he takes none of this "personally".


Droop Lion is no monk; singer keeps it real on tour with The Gladiators

Kingston, JAMAICA:- Following on their super successful 25-date European tour in
February, and the subsequent dizzying round of festivals in the summer, Droop Lion and The Gladiators are back on Jamaican soil, recuperating, reflecting and ready for intense studio work. Whereas, The Gladiators are seasoned hands at the touring game and know exactly how to circumvent the many potential pitfalls, Droop Lion is learning, and learning quickly too.

Droop Lion, who has been relatively newly-baptised as lead singer  of the legendary reggae group, makes no claims to being a monk, or any such holy figure, however, when on tour, his circumspect behaviour has led to such questionings. But, being the soul that he is, Droop takes this all in his stride and maintains his Rastafari livity. An ardent musical ambassador, whose choice of on-stage rainment – a gown – makes him somewhat of an ethereal figure, Droop makes no apologies for his conscious decision to let his music do all the talking.

“I learnt a long time ago that you can’t mix business with pleasure,” the humble, yet outspoken, reggae singer  said. “Especially  when the business that you are in involves excess amount of hype. I enjoy being on stage and I also enjoy  interacting with fans, taking pictures and signing autographs, because that is another important aspect of the business. But we all know how the world set up, as long as there are so called ‘celebrities’, there will always be those persons who want to get intimate,” he noted.

But Droop Lion has been so resistant of crossing that invisible line, that one female fan in Europe was forced to ask him quite seriously, “Tell me something, are you a monk?” Laughing as he recalled the situation, Droop Lion admitted that the question took him by surprise, mainly because it was asked with such deep concern. He did his best to reassure her, with words only, that he was no monk, but whether or not she believed is quite another matter.

Droop Lion, who is managed by Free People Entertainment, has maximum respect for manager  Cabel “Jeffrey” Stephenson. “Jeffrey is one of those persons who manages his artistes, the artistes cannot manage him. On the road, his experience is second to none. When I perform on stage for two hours three and four times per week, he knows the regimen for the voice to ensure that it sounds clear for the entire tour – the voice exercise, the special mixtures to keep it pure, and of course, nothing beats good rest. When on tour, we are so focused on getting to the next venue, putting things in place and pleasing fans, that we don’t have time to mess around … or even feel the need to,” the singer explained.

Droop Lion’s recently-concluded European tour saw him and The Gladiators giving fantastic performances  at the Selestat Bal des Petits Hommes, Verts France; Barcelona Trash ‘n’ Ready, Spain; Antwerp Sfinks, Belgium; Lescar Pau Festival, Emmaus France;  Hyères Festival, France; Nice Theatre de Verdure, France; Garda Mandstock Festival, Italy; Les Vans Festival Ard'afrique, the Vieu Boucau Arènes, Chambéry Plein Air, Béziers Féria and the Fraisans No Logo Festival, all in France; Chiemsee Reggae Festival, Germany; Benicassim Rototom, Spain and Bielawa Regalowisko, Poland.

September 09, 2014

Kalado ready to rock Zimbabwe September 13

Kingston, Jamaica: - Like it or love it, Kalado has so far proven that he is indeed the fastest rising act for 2014. Sealing a slew of hit singles – including the # 1 one song, “Personally” – with a string of memorable performances both locally and overseas, it is obvious that this is a deejay who is definitely on the rise.

Having performed in the Caribbean and the continents of North and South America, the “Good Good” singer is rising to the challenge of taking on another continent – Africa, the Motherland.  Kalado will make his Africa debut on September 13, when he headlines a concert in the Zimbabwean capital, Harare, in what is anticipated to be a mega affair.

“We all know that Jamaicans have a special relationship with Zimbabwe, musically. Ever since the great Bob Marley wrote the epic tune “Zimbabwe” and was invited to perform at their independence celebrations in 1980, it has become like a rite of passage for all reggae/dancehall artistes to visit Zimbabwe.  Therefore, it is a special honour for me to be touching down on Zimbabwean soil and to be actually headlining a concert there,” Kalado said.

The event, which will also feature a number of African artistes, took its name from one of Kalado’s most popular songs in Zimbabwe, “Make Me Feel” . Fans will be treated to Jamaica’s newest dancehall sensation giving them not only dancehall music but a touch of Afro beat with his latest hit “Personally”

As Kalado noted, “I will be giving my fans one full hour of high energy; good songs, great performance, dancing and lots of surprises. It is going to me my first time in Africa and I want to leave a lasting impression.”

Meanwhile, as he continues to solidify his space in the competitive dancehall arena, Kalado recently showcased his talents in Costa Rica, at not one, but two shows. He performed to capacity audiences in Limon at Club SK and in Puntarenas Club Mystikal, cutting across language barriers and ensuring that the Spanish-speaking Costa Ricans got their money’s worth and then some.

Among the popular songs for Kalado were “Make Me Feel”, ‘Body Nuh Dead”, "Turn it da way ya"​, ​ "Pree Money​"​ ​,"​Gyal"​, ​“Good Good Bring Life” and “Personally”.

“I was quite surprised to see everybody singing my songs, when most of the patrons only spoke Spanish. They made me feel right at home.  I cannot wait to go back to Costa Rica. Yo regresare!” he said in his best Spanish accent.

September 02, 2014

The Closer pulls out all the stops … and delivers

Kingston, Jamaica:- Dynamic dancehall entertainer, I-Octane aka The Closer, has completed an exhaustive and fun-filled series of shows for the summer, ending this leg of his journey with two megawatt performances in Savannah, Georgia and Charlotte, North Carolina, USA on August 29 and 30.

Connecting solidly with his fans and leaving them yearning for more, has become the norm for the in-demand, “Gal A Gimme Bun” singer and his debut performance in Charlotte at the MYNT Lounge was no different. Just like the Savannah fans did the previous night, those in Charlotte turned out in full force and welcomed I-Octane to their culturally rich city. With such a red carpet reception, ‘The Closer’ had no option but to give that extra 10 percent, seamlessly running through his arsenal of hit singles which excited the crowd to fever-pitch.

It was entertainment in the truest sense of the word and the fans loved every second of it, as did the artiste himself.

“People sometimes ask if it doesn’t get boring after a while, but the truth is that it doesn’t. Each experience is different…unique…special. Even though the energy levels are always on a high, no two shows are the same. I love being out there with the people, it’s an awesome feeling to know that these people have bought their tickets to support me on my musical journey and I give thanks for that. Team I-Octane all the way,” the singer christened Byiome Muir stated.

Asked about his memorable experiences in the last month, he noted that the Montreal International Reggae Festival in Quebec, Canada, was a real eye-opener, mainly owing to its diversity and the intensity of the performers. The St. Maarten show also ranked in the Top 5.

However, it was the showdown at Happy Time held at Belmont Beach, Westmoreland that stands out for a most unexpected reason – it involved a clash with a police officer right there on stage. The stakes for this lyrical battle were high – if Octane won, the show would go on, if the officer of the law won, he would enforce the Night Noise Abatement Act and lock off the show. And what was the outcome?

“Well, the show had to be locked off,” a laughing I-Octane said.

With that being said, the artiste is looking forward to dates in September which include performances at Aquasol, Track & Records, Margaritaville, Bikefest and overseas dates in Boston and Rochester.