Lady Saw teams with Michael Franti on Shake It

Catch Di Riddim

BY KEVIN JACKSON Observer writer

Friday, May 28, 2010

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LADY Saw is hoping to capture mainstream attention once more with her guest shot on Michael Franti and Spearhead's latest single, Shake It. The bubbly tune which was produced by Sly and Robbie, is the first single off the California based reggae rocker's upcoming album, Sound of Sunshine. A video for Shake It was recently shot here in Jamaica.

Saw had previously enjoyed mainstream attention stateside with two gold selling singles, Smile with Vitamin C (1999); and Underneath it All with No Doubt (2002). Additionally, she scored a Billboard R&B Hip Hop chart hit when I Got Your Man produced by Richard 'Richie D' Martin peaked at number 85 in 2004.

Franti's album, Sound of Sunshine, is to be released this summer through a deal recently hammered out with EMI Capitol Records.

Michael Franti is the creator and lead singer of Michael Franti & Spearhead. For sometime now, the outfit has built up a strong fan base on the live music circuit performing powerful, deeply felt music. Franti first formed the punk band The Beatnigs while studying at the University of San Francisco, and later, the far more hip hop-inflected The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy. In the mid-nineties, Franti created Spearhead.

Last year Franti teamed with another Jamaican artiste, Cherine Anderson on the track Say Hey (I Love You) which peaked at number 18 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Distant Relatives hit the Billboard Top 10

Distant Relatives the collaborative album from rapper Nas and Damian 'Jr Gong' Marley, has debuted in the number five position on the Billboard 200 album chart.

The album was released on May 18 via Universal Records/Def Jam and is the tenth top ten album for Nas. It is the second top ten album for Marley whose Welcome to Jamrock opus debuted and stalled at number 7 in 2005 with 85,000 copies moved in its first week of release.

Distant Relatives moved some 57,000 copies in its first full week at retail. The album is number one on Billboard's Reggae, Rap and R&B Hip Hop Album charts.

Gyptian falls on R&B chart but makes moves on pop chart

Gyptian's stateside hit Hold Yuh has slipped to number 41 on the Billboard R&B hip hop singles and tracks chart. However, due to increased airplay on mainstream pop radio stations, the track debuted at number 96 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Over on Billboard's Heatseekers chart, the track moved into the number six spot. For a ninth week, Hold Yuh holds firm in the number one spot on Billboard's Digital Reggae songs chart. The track saw a 15% increase (10,000) in digital downloads.

Kelly Rowland inks deal with Universal Motown

Former Destiny's Child member, Kelly Rowland, who demitted the Columbia Records roster last year, has signed a multi-album deal with Universal Motown Records.

While with Columbia, Rowland released two albums, namely Simply Deep (gold) and Ms Kelly (platinum).

Following her departure from the label last year, Rowland teamed up with French house music DJ and producer David Guetta for the collaborative single When Love Takes Over. The track topped the dance charts globally, and went to number one in more than 12 countries around the world.

Stony ride to the top

For the first time in 16 years, veteran rock group the Rolling Stones have scored a number one album in the UK.

A reissue of the group's 1972 album Exile on Main Street, surged its way to the top of the UK album chart. At the same time, US hip hop artiste BOB featuring Bruno Mars, debut at the number one spot with their former #1 Billboard hit Nothing on You.

Stateside, Exile on Main Street sold some 76,000 copies to debut at number two on the Billboard 200.


Singer Etana is set to release her new album, Free Expression, on VP Records in August. The album was produced by her Free Mind label. And in related news, Etana has parted ways with manager Garfield Bourne of Irish and Chin.

* Fifteen tracks and collaborations with Etana and Cameal Davis are what you will find when you pick up a copy of Romain Virgo's self-titled debut album which is due for release on June 8 on VP Records. The album also features the songs Cyaan Sleep, Wanna Go Home, Love Doctor and Touch Me.

* R&B and pop singer Ne-Yo is back with a new single. The track, entitled Beautiful Monster, was written by Ne-Yo and Stargate. This is the lead single off the multi-platinum selling three-time Grammy award winning singer, whose list of hit singles reads So Sick, Because of You, Closer, Miss Independent and Mad. Ne-Yo's fourth solo album is due for release on September 21.

* Twelve songs comprise the official FIFA World Cup compilation album, which is to be released on June 1 by Epic Records. The album features songs from Shakira, R Kelly, John Legend, Wyclef Jean, Jazmine Sullivan, and Pitbull among others. Only one reggae track is featured. It is entitled One Day and it was recorded by Jewish reggae artiste Matisyahu.

* And dancehall artiste Bugle is currently on a three-week tour of Europe. According to Bugle, this is his first time touring that part of the world. The trek will see him performing in countries including Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, France and the UK. The tour will wrap on June 8.

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