Category Archives: New ARTISTS

Tarrus Riley | “Wild Fire [Protect the People]“

One of the most promising of the second generation of Jamaica roots reggae singers, Tarrus Riley is the son of Jimmy Riley who has had a long career as a solo artist as well as being a former member of The Uniques and the Techniques. Like his father, Riley has a sweet, nuanced tenor vocal style, although his first connection with the Jamaican music scene was as a DJ (under the name Taurus). Riley taught himself to play keyboards and several percussion instruments and began writing his own songs, many of which had strong Rastafarian and consciousness-leaning themes.

His first album, Challenges, was produced by the great Jamaican saxophonist Dean Fraser and released on Yaman Records. It yielded a couple of big reggae chart hits, including the song “Larger Than Life.” Fraser also produced 14 of the 15 tracks (the other was produced by Chris Chin) on Riley’s sophomore effort, Parables, which appeared in 2006 from VP Records and featured the legendary rhythm section of Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare. It, too, generated a big single in “She’s Royal.” Riley has done several concert appearances with his father, who is, along with Tarrus’ mother, Lavern Tatham, very active in mentoring and supporting his son’s career.

Riley’s songs retain ties to the Jamaican roots tradition while still managing to sound distinctly contemporary. In addition, his strong stage presence gives him crossover appeal and marks him as a coming force on the international reggae scene. ~ Steve Leggett, Rovi

Matisyahu’s Booming Sound of Faith | Redemption Song

Matisyahu (born Matthew Paul Miller, June 30, 1979) is an American reggae musician.

Known for blending traditional Jewish themes with reggae, rock, beat box and hip hop sounds, Matisyahu is most recognizable for being an orthodox Jew and writing a number of songs based on his faith and beliefs. Since 2004, he has released two studio albums as well as one live album, two remix CDs and one DVD featuring a live concert, and a number of interviews. Through his short career, Matisyahu has teamed up with some of the biggest names in reggae production including Bill Laswell and duo Sly & Robbie. Most recently, he was named Top Reggae Artist of 2006 by Billboard as well as being named a spokesperson for Kenneth Cole.

Drawing from the sounds of Bob Marley, Shlomo Carlebach, Buju Banton and, yet remaining wholly original, Matisyahu’s performance is an uplifting, powerful experience for all in his presence. Even the most pessimistic in his audience is inspired by his ability to so honestly convey such a delicate topic as faith/spirituality. It is his dedication to his belief and openness to others that compels one to respect his artistry and message. It’s in that fleeting moment when our skepticism melts and our souls open up, that Matisyahu enters with his booming sound of faith. Since his debut, Matisyahu has received positive reviews from both rock and reggae outlets.

Jah9, Contemporary & Conscious | “Warning”

Old school blues improvisation meets hard hitting lyrical prowess in a rich imaginative blend of vocal clarity and complexity. Janine brings her refreshing mix of poetry to the stage and delivers a mature, sophisticated style with a unique and captivating energy all of her own. Her musical influences range from Billie Holiday and Nina Simone to Augustus Pablo and Sizzla Kalongi.

As a singer/songwriter/activist, Janine touches on issues ranging from social injustice, violence, politics and gender to intimate matters of the heart, mind and spirit. Janine a.k.a. ‘Jah9’ has emerged from the underground poetry/live music scene relatively unknown and has earned the hearts and respect of her peers and audiences with each encounter since.

Over the past 2 years she has been consistently and impressively making her mark on the Jamaican musical landscape, inspiring audiences and musicians alike through her songs and the live productions she has conceptualized and staged. She is now poised for heavy rotation due to her signature sound and collaborations with ace producers including Donovan Bennett of Corleon Records, Rory Gilligan of Stone Love International, and on her highly anticipated debut album project with Beres Hammond and Sheldon Bernard of Harmony House Music. The album is slated for release in 2011 but Jah9 is already in demand as a songwriter and creative director of repute.

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Rollin’ w/ Protoje | “RasTa Love”

It is said that society has lost its way. We have all but entirely lost hope in the possibility of revolutionary progress instigated by the young people of Jamaica. The pessimists have yet to consider the notorious innovation of Jamaicans, that therein lies a rich history of focusing and refocusing in perilous times, pinpointing the tiny loopholes and then widening them into gaping gaps for not only Jamaicans to see the truth, but the entire world. This is what a certain exciting breakthrough musician has committed himself to doing. His name… Protoje.

Born in the 80’s but wishing he was birthed in the 60’s, Protoje (Oje Ollivierre) is the fresh face with the freshest lyrical delivery, still having a feel of vintage reggae music but being a suitable update for the present time.

Indeed, Marley’s mantra was to “free the people with music.” Protoje’s mantra is to free the people with art. Music – his appointed contribution to the artistic revolution – is only one of the many distinct art forms. He takes up the mantle of spokesperson for the Movement and represents the evident unity among a large group of talented musical, literary and visual artists who have silently and patiently developed under the radar and are about to march together into a new era of prosperity for all.

Despite being the cousin of regular chart-topping producer, Donovan ‘Don Corleon’ Bennett, Protoje continues to resist the urge to lay his vocals on every other riddim in the dancehall mainstream. He is meticulously piecing together his debut album, The Seven Year Itch, while focusing the rest of his efforts on the perfection of his live performances. Already, a pattern has been detected whereby Protoje invariably sees a significant hike in his fan base the day after his last performance. This invokes the truth in the saying, “you have to see to believe.”

No-Maddz Live | “The Trod”

The Trod is the title track of No-Maddz debut album. It is a One-Take live video from the historical Trod Live Album Recording on March 27, 2010 in Kingston, Jamaica.