Keeping it Honest in 'DC'

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Print this page Email A Friend!


 

KINGSTON, Jamaica – While it doesn't have the activity of major reggae centres like New York City or Los Angeles, Washington DC has been a hub for Jamaican music for over 35 years.
Honest Music, an independent label in the American capital, was formed in 2008. It has quietly assembled an impressive catalogue of recordings by American and Jamaican artistes.
Darryl Burke, a 'DC'-born musician, is a senior member at the label.
"Christos Vrenios founded Honest Music mainly to produce and release his own music under the moniker Christos DC. I became a partner 2013, at which point the label began working with more artistes whom I had recruited to put the label on the map in reggae. We both produce and write also," he told OBSERVER ONLINE.
The label's initial releases were albums by Christos – Time To Rise, Under The Sun, and Long Road. The latter featured singer Kenyatta Hill on the song, Just Talk To Me, and launched a relationship that has since yielded songs like Policeman, Hill's current song.
Hill, Don Carlos, Ras Attitude, Carl Malcolm, Perfect Giddimani, Puma Ptah, Akae Beka, and Vaughn Benjamin of Midnite are some of the acts Burke and Vrenios currently work with.
Malcolm, best known for the 1970s easy-listening hit Hey Fatty Boom Boom, is a long-time DC resident.
Burke has worked as a keyboardist with several reggae acts including Hill's father, Joseph, charismatic leader of roots group Culture.
Hill Snr died in 2006 while touring Germany.
"I've known Kenyatta since my days touring with his Dad. I was later contracted to tour with Culture featuring Kenyatta Hill on a tour in the Northeast region of the US in 2013. The guitar player had to back out last-minute, and I brought Christos in to fill the position. From there, driving from town to town, Christos started to play some of his music and Kenyatta was very impressed with the level of production," Burke recalled. "He and Christos decided to collaborate on a song, which ended up being Just Talk To Me."
Vrenios, also a DC native, has worked with Sly and Robbie, Augustus Pablo and Flabba Holt of the Roots Radics Band. His introduction to reggae on the road was touring with Peter Broggs, who was associated with RAS Records, another Washington DC 'indie'.
Honest Music has some way to go to have the impact RAS did in reggae, but Burke and Vrenios are in the business of promoting Jamaican music for the long run.
Along with Policeman, they are projecting compilation albums featuring songs by their resident artistes.

Howard Campbell


Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive


ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT