March 23, 2015

Warrior King re-charting his journey

Kingston, JAMAICA: - For some of Warrior King’s fans, especially in Jamaica, their relationship with the artiste could very well be summed up as “out of sight, out of mind” and no-one is more aware of this than Warrior King himself.

However, the “Virtuous Woman” singer is committed to taking definitive steps to change all of that and re-connect in a huge way, starting with his most recent single Aint Giving Up. He ruefully admits to keeping a low profile in Jamaica for the last two and a half years, but hastens to add that he has not been idle; instead he has been travelling extensively overseas, building his brand on a global level and maintaining his expected high standards. Quite satisfied with that rhythm and flow, Warrior King is eyeing Jamaica and the Caribbean as his happy hunting ground for 2015.

“Jamaica is where it all started; it was the launch pad for the international circuit. From day one of my career, I have always thought global, but at the same time I can never forget where I am coming from. I have been doing a bit of touring and studio work and have been here in Jamaica a lot as well, but the truth is that if promoters in Jamaica don’t see your face or hear your voice via some kind of PR machinery, for example, then you don’t get called for a show. Like it or not that's just the way it is,” explained the entertainer who is managed by France-based Mark Miller, a former stage manager for Reggae King, Bob Marley and author of the book A White Knight in Babylon, On the Road with Bob Marley.

Admitting that he has gained a tremendous amount of knowledge from Miller in the last three years, a level-headed Warrior King had high praises for Miller’s professionalism, transparency and the respect from his peers on the world stage.  This partnership has seen Warrior King evolve and claim his space musically and otherwise, establishing his own Rootz Warrior Productions and securing fan bases in Europe, Asia, Australia and even the place considered the Holy Land, Jerusalem.

In fact, the singer, who is also working on an album, recently returned from a two-week tour which saw him performing in Belgium, Amsterdam, France and Jerusalem. Regarding the Jerusalem show, Warrior King said the reception was “overwhelming”. Warrior King not only gave a great performance alongside the city’s top sound system, Amar, he also took time to visit some of the world famous sites in the Holy Land.  

“It was a different kind of journey because you know there is the spiritual connection between Rastas and King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, who we hold as someone special. It was amazing to walk the same places as people who you only read about and visit the Ethiopian Orthodox Church there,” said the singer whose debut single, “Virtuous Woman,” was an instant hit, which built the foundation for the artiste’s reputation and established him on an international platform.

Since his auspicious beginning, Warrior King’s compositions have consistently charted not only in Jamaica, but throughout the entire Caribbean, New York, California, London, Tokyo, and beyond. The inclusion of “Never Go Where Pagans Go” on VP Records’ compilation set Reggae Gold further raised the artist’s public persona. Warrior King has so far released four internationally acclaimed albums, Virtuous Woman, Hold the Faith, Love is in the Air and Tell Me How Me Sound and is now working on a fifth.

March 16, 2015

Gambia gets a double dose of I-Octane; artiste stages free concert for fans

Kingston, JAMAICA: - Reggae music ambassador, I-Octane, has described his recent visit to Africa as a significant part of his personal, spiritual and musical journey which has elevated  his consciousness to an entirely new level.

In fact, the in-demand reggae singer was so deeply impacted by this sojourn  that he not only gave a unique performance, he stayed an extra four days in the Gambia and put on a free concert for those persons who couldn’t afford to attend the advertised event staged on March 6. While many critics and fans alike are heaping accolades on him for this totally selfless and heart-warming gesture, the Digicel and Busta ambassador has shrugged off the praises, insisting that it was a “no-brainer” and that he “only did what had to be done”.

 “It’s like finally finding all the right pieces of the puzzle and fitting them together to make a collage that simply takes your breath away,” a deeply reflective I-Octane said of his much anticipated first trip to the Motherland.

According to him, words couldn’t begin to describe the warmth of the embrace he received from the moment he touched on African soil and throughout his entire stay on the Smiling Coast. There were motorcades in his honour; he was feted by the media and the ordinary man in the street made the reggae star feel at home as he visited the ghettos and made that special, personal connection. It was then that I-Octane learnt that many of these persons hadn’t actually seen his performance and he decided there and then to put on a free concert in the ghetto.

“Ghetto people are the ones who build us as artiste before the world knows about us and putting on a free concert in the ghetto is something we do in Jamaica every day,” I-Octane explained. “It was a joy. I gave it my best shot and the people loved it,” he beamed.

"Gambia people might be poor but they are filled with so much peace, love and positive vibes, it's infectious.  I loved my time there and look forward to returning," concluded Octane.

He recalled that on the day of the advertised concert, legions of fans bearing gifts and a cadre of press personnel turned out at the Independence Stadium, where he performed as special guest of T Smallz Susso, Gambia’s finest reggae, hip-hop cum Afro beat artiste. The energy level was so high that the artiste, dubbed ‘The Closer’, knew that this would be no ordinary concert. And it wasn’t.

The people of Gambia were as hungry for the singer as he was eager to perform for them and I-Octane’s allotted 40 minutes on stage took wings. It was two hours later that the conscious reggae/dancehall light-bearer – who had kicked off  his shoes – pulled down the curtains on an exhaustive set which saw him doing his entire My Journey album, his more established set and even his newest songs, all of which were sung word-for-word by the audience. As for his shoes, Octane gave them to one of his fans in a symbolic gesture of leaving his foot-prints in Gambia.

During his trip, he also shot a video for one of his latest singles, Rich Rich Rich, directed by Kevin "Killavision" Allen and did a collaboration with T Smallz, to whom he extended an open invitation to visit Jamaica.

Satisfied at having made an indelible impression in Gambia, I-Octane, ably supported by his Conquer the Globe band, is in preparation mode for two significant upcoming events on April 26 and May 24. The first is the Digicel-sponsored Reggae On The Hill, one of the premier events of the Barbados Reggae Festival, where the Gyal Ting singer will perform for the very first time. May 24 will see Octane in London for the first time in two years, when he takes to the stage at More Life, scheduled for the O2 Academy, Brixton.

Morgan Heritage lights up Billboard with Perform and Done video premiere

Perform and Done, the smooth, straight talking, reggae/dancehall single from Morgan
Heritage’s upcoming album, Strictly Roots, had its highly anticipated music video premiere online at music bible, Billboard.com, last Wednesday, to much acclaim.

The music video for Perform and Done is a modern day Cinderella story which borrows its sub plot from the quintessential dancehall movie, Dancehall Queen, and features a street vendor who transforms herself into a dancer to enter and subsequently win a dance contest.  Filmed on location at the popular Mojito Mondays event in Kingston, Jamaica, the storyline undoubtedly captures the essence of the lead single, which was produced by renowned BBC One/BBC 1Xtra's Seani B and Don Chandler,

In reference to the song and the music video, Billboard.com noted: “The romantic song blends roots reggae with some more contemporary dancehall influences, taking the traditionally mellow genre onto the dance floor. Appropriately, the video features an underdog triumphant in a Kingston dance contest.”

Quite pleased with the work of director William Richards and the entire Image Development Studios team, Morgan Heritage states, “Perform And Done is the music video that pushes the envelope for Morgan Heritage lyrically and visually. Krystia Rhodes and her team wrote a fantastic treatment to highlight this creativity and they executed their vision perfectly. The goal is to captivate a whole new audience that would not typically watch a Morgan Heritage video. Our hope is that our existing and new fans appreciate our artistic expression.”

Meanwhile, the internationally acclaimed sibling group has announced the release date of their anticipated Strictly Roots album.  Already deemed a classic by music industry insiders, it will be released on all major digital platforms April 20, 2015 and physically April 21. Strictly Roots comprises an array of 13 memorable tracks fusing both reggae and dancehall such as the hit single Perform and Done, Child Of JAH featuring Chronixx, So Amazing featuring J Boog, Jemere Morgan and award winning drummer Gil Sharone and  Put it On Me. 

Morgan Heritage, which has established themselves as the premiere live group on the reggae circuit, will be kicking off the Strictly Roots tour on April 8th in Washington DC and wrapping up in Las Vegas, NV on April 27. The tour also features third generation ambassador from the Morgan family, Jemere Morgan, as a special guest.

Tickets are currently on sale and can be purchased here: http://morganheritagemusic.com/tourdates

March 04, 2015

Morgan Heritage proves a gem at Treasure Beach

Morgan Heritage
Jack Sprat, located at the ultra-hip Jake's resort, which Vogue magazine described as being "the chicest shack in the Caribbean", recently played host to some very special guests, the Royal Family of Reggae, Morgan Heritage.

The volume inside the Treasure Beach property, which is run by Sally and Jason Henzell, the wife and son of the late Perry Henzell (director of The Harder they Come) was turned all the way up as the conscious roots reggae ambassadors did what they do and enjoy best – entertain their legions of fans. 
The crowd at Jack Sprat was brought to their feet as Morgan Heritage captivated with a steady stream of well-loved classic and newer hit songs from their ever expanding catalogue. 

"A few years ago I saw Morgan Heritage perform and it was one of the best concert I've ever attended but somehow tonight they were even better" stated one of the patrons.

To the surprise and delight of the crowd, young star Jemere Morgan made a special appearance.

Also quite delighted at the night's exhilarating show, was the event promoter who declared enthusiastically, "On behalf of Mr. Henzell and the Jake’s Family we would like to personally thank Morgan Heritage for an exceptional show.  The group was very professional, timely and easy to work with. The community of Treasure Beach has stated that this was the best show they have ever seen in the area.  The show was more than we could have asked for as Morgan Heritage captivated the audience for over two hours. We are already looking at another date for them to perform again." 

Now putting the finishing touches on their much anticipated upcoming album, Strictly Roots, Morgan Heritage is also gearing up for their world tour, which is scheduled to start on April 8 with a concert at the Howard Theatre in Washington DC

March 02, 2015


Kingston, JAMAICA:- Reggae and dancehall ambassador, I-Octane, is eagerly anticipating
his first trip to the Motherland – Africa – where  he is all set to throw down a spectacular performance at the Independence Stadium in Bakau, Gambia on March 6.

He will be the special guest of T Smallz Suso, the entertainer who is being hailed as Gambia’s finest reggae, hip-hop cum Afro beat artiste. The event, which is   organised by Katato Entertainment, will serve as the official launch of T Smallz’s double EP, The Versatile (Volumes 1 & 2).  Confirming the news to I-Octane’s thousands of excited fans in The Gambia, T Smallz said: “Yes, the deal is finalized, I-Octane is definitely coming.”  He added that it was an honour for him to invite an artiste of international repute such as I-Octane to perform in that West African country and give a big boost to their developing music industry.

The Gambia has been dubbed the ‘Smiling Coast of Africa’ and it is no wonder that the dynamic reggae/dancehall entertainer is all smiles as he prepares musically, mentally and physically for this memorable mission, which has long been in the making. For I-Octane, this will be a mystic journey which will help him reach back and touch the past in a meaningful way and pay homage to the African ancestors, even as he fully embraces the present and the future. He also hinted at the possibility of a collaborative effort between him and an African artiste sometime in the very near future.

“Performing in Africa has been on my bucket list for quite a while,” the L.O.V.E. Y.O.U. singer confessed. “But, as they say, nothing happens before the right time. Team I-Octane is ready and we will be giving a one-of-a-kind performance in The Gambia. They celebrated 50 years of Independence last week – their Golden Jubilee –  so you know the ting turn all the way up Jamaican and Gambian style,” the award winning reggae artiste who reps for telecoms giant Digicel and Busta soft drink declared.

I-Octane and his entourage are expected to arrive in The Gambia on March 5.

Meanwhile, the singjay has been busy in the studio working on a major collaboration with two of dancehall’s biggest and most current stars - Mavado and Alkaline. Produced by Andre "DJ Frass" Gordon, who received much praise for his work on I-Octane’s brilliant sophomore album, My Journey, the explosive single is sure to set the dancehall in a musical spin. Entitled “Above Dem", the song had a whopping premiere on DJ Sunshine's show on Irie FM last Wednesday. And it was definitely loud.