It was irie indeed when the US podcast series Irie Chat invited me to be their guest on the show. Host Joél Barsky digged deep in my journalistic history, from my beginnings as a hardcore Michael Jackson-fan to highlights like the several Lee Perry interviews I did. We reasoned about favorite musicians and personal projects like our label Real People Music and the works HELP Jamaica! does, the NGO I volunteered for while living in Jamaica. The podcast is online on most audio platoforms, Spotify and YouTube but there are also several video clips to be found on the Irie Chat channel.
February is Reggae and Black History Month throughout the world and also we at Real People Music created a piece to celebrate the latter. For the single The Search Is Over by Jerone and No-Maddz member Evie Pukupoo I conceptualized, filmed and edited the official music video that is out now on the Reggaeville YouTube channel. Both song and video want to create awareness of black identity, history and the origins of people of color by highlighting some of the greatest heroes such as Marcus Garvey, Rosa Parks and Walter Rodney. At the same time the music and visuals encourage the audience to search for the next hero inside themselves. Jerone and Evie seized the opportunity to combine the video shoot with a lecture for the young kids in the clip to teach them about their roots and Jamaican National heroes like Nanny of the Maroons or Paul Bogle.
Even though 2020 has been a challenging and turbulent year, it is still a time worth taking a look back on. Reggaeville once more created its free, digital Yearbook for 2020 to highlight videos, photos and news of the past twelve months. The focus of this year’s edition is on the In.Digg.Nation Collective, the creative joint venture surrounding Protoje, including intriguing and impressive artists such as Lila Iké, Sevana and Jaz Elise. Further the magazine reveals the Album Of The Year voted by the fans themselves. Our Real People Music production Rising by singer Jerone reached number 23 in the poll, which we are extremely grateful for. Thank you for considering our record one of the best and voting for it!
For a festive final of 2020 I connected with Shaggy online to speak to him about his latest album Christmas In The Islands that features a long list of great artists from Beenie Man to Joss Stone, from Ne-Yo to Shenseea. In episode 56 of the show Mr Boombastic talks not only his music but gives an insight on how he spends the holidays, his culinary highlights of the season, and his New Year’s resolution for 2021 after this tumultuous Covid year. More news and recent releases come from Dub Inc, Tessellated, and Jerone. You can vote for your favorite album in the annual Album Of The Year poll, and for more Christmassy Reggae vibes – and the best weed and ganja tunes – you can check new playlists on Spotify curated by Reggaeville.
25 years ago, on July 18, 1995 Buju Banton released his groundbreaking album `Til Shiloh that marked his international breakthrough and is seen as a turn towards a more serious path. Up until today the record sold more than half a million copies and remains a classic of the genre. In celebration of the anniversary a special collector’s edition of the album was released on Friday, December 18, and I took the opportunity to connect with the artist who created the masterpiece. I spoke to Buju Banton about the iconic production and its anniversary edition, the musicians and producers involved, and about making music in the course of time.
After three well-received singles we are happy to announce the release of Jerone’s first EP entitled Rising on December 4, 2020. Five tracks all produced by Alex Drummie for Real People Music range from rocksteady to classic one drop and modern roots reggae, and show the diversity and skills of young talent Jerone Riley. His lyrics about love, self-confidence and own identity, as well as friendship and trust are deep and touching stories everyone can relate to and were written by the gifted singer from the Waterhouse community in Kingston, Jamaica. Besides guest artist Evie from the No-Maddz, who is featured on the opening track The Search Is Over, the EP unites prolific and prestigious instrumentalists from Jamaica and Germany, and veteran musicians such as Errol “Flabba” Holt of Roots Radics and Franklyn “Bubbler” Waul of Black Uhuru. Until the final release, fans can already enjoy the previously released singles Brother’s Keeper, Give Me A Minute and Keep You Safe.