UK Guardian lists top eight reggae acts

Richard Johnson

Sunday, July 01, 2012

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BRITAIN'S The Guardian newspaper on Thursday published a list of top eight reggae acts "you need to know about now".

The article — written by Marvin Sparks and headlined sounds of Jamaica — comes during Jamaica's 50th anniversary of Independence from Britain and the series of concerts to be staged inside the O2 Arena in London during the
Olympic Games.

The list comprises only two females — Etana and Natalie Storm.

According to The Guardian, Etana — whose given name is Shauna McKenzie — has been carving out a name for herself with socially conscious anthems and creating a sound she calls reggae-soul.

The lesser-known Natalie Storm is perhaps the lists only surprise, as locally, she is not yet a household name. The British newspaper likens her to other deejays Patra, Ce'Cile and Lady Saw.

The other six spots on The Guardian's list are completed by the 'usual suspects' of popular local male artistes.

The mounting the list is the 'Raving King' — Popcaan.

The newpaper noted that following the incarceration of Portmore Empire's head, Vybz Kartel, on successive murder charges, "his young accomplice Andre 'Popcaan' Sutherland is undoubtedly dancehall's main attraction now."

It was pointed out that Popcaan's track Party Shot is close to three million views on YouTube while Only Man She Want made it on to the Billboard R&B charts. There's also a remix with Busta Rhymes and even Canadian hip-hop superstar Drake is a fan.

The list continues with Romain Virgo whom it is noted to have found his niche with songs.

High-riding singjay Konshens also made the cut.

The UK newspaper noted that since appearing on Dancehall's radar in 2008 with his track Winner, Konshens has making a statement for himself with hits such as Do Sum'n and Gal a Bubble.

Referring to himself as the righteous Rastafarian, Tarrus 'Mr Singy Singy' Riley is also on the list. The Guardian names Riley as an antidote to the less politically correct likes of Vybz Kartel and Mavado.

Protoje, another newcomer to the biz, also secured a spot. It was noted that the 21-year-old from St Elizabeth represents new-age reggae with a dub foundation.

Deejay Mavado is the sole 'hardcore' deejay on the list.

The paper noted that Mavado has been a controversial figure ever since appearing on the scene. The article also alluded to a change in his musical style which it attributes to his move from 'the Gullyside' to a mansion in the hills.




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