Jamaica Observer http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/ JamaicaObserver.com, the most concise and in-depth website for news coverage on Jamaica and the Caribbean. Updated daily 7 days a week, 24 hours a day en-us copyright Jamaica Observer, 2011 Iration goes acoustic http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Iration-goes-acoustic_83222 BY KEVIN JACKSON Observer writer California rock-reggae band Iration has released its latest album, Double Up. The 10-track set came out on their Three Prong Records and is the quintet&rsquo;s first all-acoustic effort.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We&rsquo;ve always written songs on the acoustic and have played shows acoustic, but had never put out an all-acoustic release. People just love the sound of stripped back songs,&rdquo; lead vocalist and guitarist Micah Pueschel said in an interview with the<br /> <br /> Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> Double Up was recorded at 17th Street Recording Studio in Costa Mesa, California. It is produced by Lewis Richards.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We had a short time frame to record the album, so the whole thing was basically recorded in about four days. I think giving some of our lesser- known songs a new life made this special. We took songs from our whole catalogue of music and stripped them back and gave them an alternate life,&rdquo; Pueschel explained. <br /> <br /> Double Up contains some of the band&rsquo;s big hits, including Reelin (from their 2015Billboard-topping album Hotting Up), One Way Track and Back Around from 2013&rsquo;s Automatic, another album that did well.<br /> <br /> The Hawaii-bred Iration was formed in 2004. The current line-up also includes Adam Taylor (bass), Joseph Dickens (drums), Cayson Peterson (keyboards) and Micah Brown (guitar/vocals).<br /> <br /> Pueschel spoke about the group&rsquo;s high points since the release of its debut album, No Time For Rest, 10 years ago.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I think our career has been more of a slow burn. Being able to headline and play some amazing venues, play big festivals and have records that hit number one are all very surreal moments for us, which we are grateful for,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We&rsquo;re definitely not just a reggae band per se. Reggae is obviously a big piece of what we do, but mostly from a stylistic/rhythmic place,&rdquo; he added. &ldquo;I think because we have never felt like we needed to fit into one genre, we&rsquo;ve been able to really venture into a lot of different places with our songs.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Automatic is Iration&rsquo;s best-selling album to date, with figures of more than 23,000 copies. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13495339/246463__w300.jpg Local Entertainment Sunday, December 11, 2016 12:00 AM The Full Monty http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/The-Full-Monty_83208 By Richard Johnson Observer senior reporter It has been years since piano virtuoso Monty Alexander performed in Jamaica. Later this evening he breaks that dry spell with a benefit concert at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in St Andrew in aid of The University of the West Indies&rsquo; Global Giving Programme.<br /> <br /> The affable Alexander sat down with the Jamaica Observer ahead of the performance, dubbed Home For Christmas. He shared thoughts on the performance, Jamaican music and culture, and inspiring and being inspired by the current crop of Jamaican musicians and artistes.<br /> <br /> He said accepting the invitation to perform in Jamaica was a no-brainer.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I was really pleased when I got the call. I have gotten invitations over the years since the last time, which was a good while ago, and the timing was not right and the stars were not aligned. Also, I feel very happy as the main organiser of this event is someone who I look up to with respect and I thought this would be good as I had trust and confidence. What I do depends greatly on playing on a piano and you don&rsquo;t find too many good pianos down here. So once I was assured that I was getting a good piano and I was playing a concert which is a benefit. It isn&rsquo;t about fattening my pocket, but going towards some people who need some support,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> As for the show, Alexander is promising a good time.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Based on what I normally do and what usually happens... a good time. A good time will be had unless something very strange happens. It will be a time of upliftment and not jazz, not reggae, just music.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The Grammy-nominated artiste, who will be performing with his Harlem Kingston Express, said his music always has that strong Jamaican root.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I draw on that root. That wah yuh gran&rsquo; mother tell yuh, the folk music, the mento, Miss Lou. All of this is a backbone of the goodness that is the artiste of today. Some choose to take it into an area that is the rough way of expression, I lean towards the positive. I hear all the artistes coming out of Jamaica and over the past few years I have ended up on the stage with Beres Hammond, I had Chronixx as my guest on a show in New York, Tarrus Riley... so I know a lot of these guys of today who are making great sounds,&rdquo; he explained.<br /> <br /> When not performing, Alexander jokes that he tries to stay out of trouble, but uses his downtime preparing himself to publish a book and constantly works on new music.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I am invigorated to do new things. People from many quarters of the world have been convincing me to write a book because of the story, the journey, where I&rsquo;ve been, all the great people I&rsquo;ve had interactions with. I am also doing a recording that I&rsquo;m excited about where I&rsquo;m bringing the music of a certain jazz icon to the Caribbean experience. That could be more than an album, but a life project, so I am really excited about that,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> As for the future, Alexander is looking to pass on a message of hope and inspiration to young people.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;My responsibility is to keep sound and positive and share that with young people to give them hope. I am an imperfect story of a person in whom hope dwells. Just want to share with them how to dream that perfect dream and turn away from mischief, which by the way is what music can do. Anytime I see music bringing people to trouble, then I know it&rsquo;s not music.&rdquo; http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13495293/183671_73084_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13495290/183708_73085_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Sunday, December 11, 2016 12:00 AM For the record http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/For-the-record_83220 Vinyl continues its comeback in the United Kingdom where it recently topped digital releases in sales.<br /> <br /> According to the Daily Mail newspaper, vinyl records sold &Acirc;&pound;2.5 million the week starting November 28 compared to &Acirc;&pound;2.1 million for digital.<br /> <br /> According to the Daily Mail, &ldquo;The interest in buying a physical format of music on vinyl has experienced a resurgence in the past 12 months. This time last year, the sale of vinyl albums reached &Acirc;&pound;1.2 million while digital sales were &Acirc;&pound;4.4 million. Vinyl has also experienced eight consecutive years of growth, despite almost dying out around 2006.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> It quoted Kim Bayley, chief executive of the Entertainment Retailers Association, as crediting this revival to the number of places now selling records across the UK. An increasing number of vinyl-only record shops have opened, while supermarkets such as Sainsbury&rsquo;s and Tesco, and even high-street interiors shop Tiger, now stock records, making them easily accessible.<br /> <br /> Bayley noted that vinyl had experienced a boost as &ldquo;an increasingly popular choice for Christmas presents&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The vast majority of releases are coming out in vinyl now,&rdquo; said Bayley. &ldquo;It used to be that only heritage acts or niche albums would come out as a record, but now everything does &ndash; pop albums, compilations, film soundtracks, all genres.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Kate Bush, Amy Winehouse and Busted all have vinyl albums in the UK national chart. Many persons purchasing their records are 25 or younger.<br /> <br /> While there are no official sales figures for Jamaican music, ska, rocksteady, roots reggae from the 1970s, and dub have always had a thriving underground vinyl market in the UK.<br /> <br /> The Marley family has observed these favourable trends. Their Tuff Gong company, along with Universal Music, co-owns the Bob Marley catalogue, has released his Legend and Live! albums on vinyl. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13197353/220737_73075_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13495336/246464_73076_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Sunday, December 11, 2016 12:00 AM Dawson tackles domestic abuse http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Dawson-tackles-domestic-abuse_83224 By Simone Morgan-Lindo Observer reporter Tek Yuh Hand Offa Mi, Michael Dawson&rsquo;s play about domestic abuse, continues its run today at Jamaica Shopping Club Theatre, 6 Cargill Avenue in St Andrew. The play stars Don Paul Munroe, Rosie Murray, Shana Wilson and Brittaney Daley.<br /> <br /> Directed by Michael Nicholson, the drama focuses on Karen and Vincent. She is an administrative assistant with dreams of becoming an account executive; he is a successful businessman.<br /> <br /> Vincent, who is much older than Karen, promises to leave his family to start a new life with her abroad.<br /> <br /> He uses money, promises of prosperity and physical force to cajole and intimidate Karen. The dependence is further cemented by her overbearing mother who constantly reminds her daughter of the benefits of the illicit arrangement.<br /> <br /> In a recent interview with the Jamaica Observer, Dawson said he got the inspiration to pen the script after observing the global trend of domestic abuse.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I spent a lot of time overseas and always read about domestic abuse in Jamaica &mdash; murder-suicide. The reaction that I saw overseas was different from that of Jamaica. In that, in Jamaica persons sometimes try to assume that the victim did something to deserve the abuse.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Domestic abuse and crimes of passion are rampant in Jamaica. A recent case was that of 45-year-old Hermalyn Bell who was chopped several times following a domestic dispute with a man she was said to be intimately involved with.<br /> <br /> Her children watched helplessly as Bell was slaughtered.<br /> <br /> Part proceeds from Tek Yuh Hand Offa Me will go to a charity for abused women.<br /> <br />   http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13495341/246321_73064_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Sunday, December 11, 2016 12:00 AM Davis adds flavour to Xmas track http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Davis-adds-flavour-to-Xmas-track_83213 Gospel singer Carlene Davis has covered John Lennon and Yoko Ono&rsquo;s Happy Xmas (War Is Over) as This Is Christmas. The song is produced by Glory Music and released by VP Records.<br /> <br /> Davis has recorded a number of Christmas songs including Santa Claus Do You Ever Come To The Ghetto, a Yuletide favourite.<br /> <br /> Lennon and Yoko Ono cut Happy Xmas (War Is Over) in 1971. They co-produced it with Phil Spector.<br /> <br /> The song was re-released in 1982, two years after Lennon was murdered in New York City.<br /> <br /> Davis will perform on Christmas Joy In The Bass at Ambassador Theatre in Trench Town, December 20. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13321979/231609_73086_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Sunday, December 11, 2016 12:00 AM Hamptons delivers magic http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Hamptons-delivers-magic_83128 REMY Martin Hamptons Midnight Magic began the Yuletide season with a bang last Saturday.<br /> <br /> Held at the downtown Kingston Waterfront, dubbed East End Harbour, the location was ideal for the hundreds of people who came dressed in designer threads to have a good time. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;The Hamptons party, as the name suggests, offers partying in a luxurious environment which boasts some of the hottest disc jocks in Jamaica who can fuse a variety of musical genres into an entertaining package,&rdquo; event coordinator Carlton Davy of Golden Events told the Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> Davy said The Hamptons has evolved since its first staging two years ago.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The party has evolved tremendously. We are now a household name and also a brand name event that patrons expect a luxurious experience, the best music and beautiful people,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> A number of celebrities usually attend the event. Olympian Usain Bolt was seen partying at last week&rsquo;s staging.<br /> <br /> Musical connoisseurs DJ Nicco, Infuzion Sound, Chromatic and Bloodline were given the task of keeping patrons entertained. Current reggae, dancehall, soca, hip hop, pop and alternative hits comprised the playlist as patrons danced amid a kaleidoscope of beats and rhymes.<br /> <br /> The next staging of the Hamptons party is scheduled for 2017.<br /> <br /> &mdash; Kevin Jackson<br /> <br />   http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13493436/246254_72804_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13493434/246255_72805_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13493439/246256_72806_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13493435/246257_72807_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13493433/246258_72808_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13493440/246277_72809_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13493437/246279_72810_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13493432/246282_72811_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Saturday, December 10, 2016 1:00 AM Jamboree for Braeton http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Jamboree-for-Braeton_83138 SEVERAL high-profile acts are slated to perform at this evening&rsquo;s Jamboree at Ferdie Neita Sports Complex in Braeton, St Catherine. <br /> <br /> The event &ndash; comprising a funday, celebrity football match and stage show &ndash; is hosted by the three-year-old Brixton Music Group (BMG) studio which operates in that community. Gates are expected to open at 10:00 am.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Brixton Music Group recognises that the season is about bringing people together and giving back to those in need, both of which are achieved through music,&rdquo; said Jamar &lsquo;Ratigan&rsquo; Kelly, executive producer at BMG, who hails from the Braeton community.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We leveraged our relationship with Blue Steel International and Dancehall Zone as well as some of Jamaica&rsquo;s best talents. We&rsquo;re happy they are helping us to celebrate with our community in a special way.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> In addition to emerging acts, Spice, I-Octane, Munga Honorebel, Cobra, I-Wayne, and Iba Mahr are confirmed to perform.<br /> <br /> Kelly said he is expecting a great turnout.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We have three of the best tools to connect and entertain people &ndash; rides and treats, football and live music &ndash; therefore, we are confident the community will be incredibly happy,&rdquo; said Kelly.<br /> <br /> The rides include bounce-a-bout, merry-go-round, and trampoline. The celebrity football match is scheduled for a 5:00 pm start.<br /> <br /> Once a hot-bed area in St Catherine, Braeton is experiencing a turnabout in fortunes.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Right now, things have changed. There&rsquo;s no violence in the community. People are partying more and the youths have grown up and are &lsquo;preeing&rsquo; (thinking about) more positive and uplifiting things. There&rsquo;ll also be a strong police presence at the event,&rdquo; Kelly told the Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br />   http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12652263/185563__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13165492/217852__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13003826/205955__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12510975/176426_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12626756/183899__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13493691/220959_72894_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Saturday, December 10, 2016 1:00 AM Semonita is an independent woman http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Semonita-is-an-independent-woman_83120 UP-AND-COMING Trinidadian singjay Semonita has her sights set on becoming a household name in the local music industry with the release of Independent Girl.<br /> <br /> Produced by L Razor from Straight Hits Records, the dancehall-soca-fused Independent Girl was released in September on the Shanti rhythm.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Everyone that listens to Independent Girl loves it. It is also being shared on social media. Outside of Trinidad, the producer is doing so much getting my song as well as the other artistes on the rhythm played on various radio stations,&rdquo; said Semonita.<br /> <br /> Other female acts on the rhythm are Macka Diamond, Tiana, Candiesha, Sekklez, Beme Mystique, Trudiva, and Rhythm Piink. <br /> <br /> The singjay said being part of an all-girl project was a privilege and learning experience.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Not only are these women all beautiful. They all are very talented, and although I don&rsquo;t know them personally, based on their singles on the rhythm, I can tell they are very strong-minded, no-nonsense independent women like myself. I shot a video which is part of the medley video that is set to be premiered soon,&rdquo; said Semonita.<br /> <br /> Her other tracks are Helicopter Mode and Possie.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13493431/246219_72812_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Saturday, December 10, 2016 3:00 AM New vintage show set to Blast off http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/New-vintage-show-set-to-Blast-off_83199 NEXT Saturday, show promoter Marvin &ldquo;Horseman&rdquo; Pitterson will be hosting an inauaguaral vintage concert dubbed &lsquo;Blast from the Past&rsquo; scheduled for the Limelight Club car park in Half-Way-Tree, St Andrew.<br /> <br /> Showtime is at 9:00 pm.<br /> <br /> Pitterson said the show would be no different from his Stars &lsquo;R&rsquo; Us series.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It is somewhat similar to Stars &lsquo;R&rsquo; Us and the audience will be captivated with the music of yesteryears,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Billed to perform are Ken Boothe, Cocoa T, George Nooks, Derrick Morgan, Big Youth, Ernie Smith, Gem Myers, and Boris Gardner. <br /> <br /> &mdash; Simone Morgan-Lindo http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12574091/180649_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/12903256/199523__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13493720/220893_73000_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Saturday, December 10, 2016 3:00 AM Chug It to double the experience http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Chug-It-to-double-the-experience_83215 IT&rsquo;LL be double the pleasure this Christmas as beach party series, Chug It is slated to held in two stagings during December at Sugarman&rsquo;s Beach in Portmore, St Catherine.<br /> <br /> The first Yuletide instalment is scheduled for Sunday, December 18 and will feature performances from Tifa and Tanto Blacks. The other event will be on Saturday, December 31. <br /> <br /> Promoter Andrew &ldquo;French&rdquo; Wright said the move is to satisfy the demand of patrons.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Chug It is easily the most successful beach party series in Jamaica. Having the event twice in a month isn&rsquo;t something new. Chug It is a brand name and incredibly popular, and we are giving patrons what they have been asking for,&rdquo; said Wright.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It has been a very successful year for the brand. It is also the first occasion that a &lsquo;Miss French Connection&rsquo; has claimed the Miss Jamaica World title. It is only fitting to have the celebration at Chug It, as Chug It patrons have contributed to the continued success of French Connection. This is because Chug It is the event for everyone, excluding none. This New Year&rsquo;s Eve everyone will be celebrating comfortably in beach attire, where everyone is a winner,&rdquo; he continued.<br /> <br /> According to the promoter, the event will receive &ldquo;an elevated look and feel for the Christmas season, with extended premium bars, cabanas, and a heightened VIP experience&rdquo;.<br /> <br /> http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13493722/246416_73023_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13493717/246419_73026_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13493719/246417_73024_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13493721/246418_73025_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13493714/246425_73027_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Saturday, December 10, 2016 3:00 AM Out of the box fun http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Out-of-the-box-fun_81942 PuzzleIT, Jamaica&rsquo;s first escape game room, was launched on Elizabeth Avenue in St Andrew recently.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We decided to start PuzzleIT because we felt that many Jamaicans are stuck in that regular type of entertainment rut of movies, parties, etc. This broadens the scope,&rdquo; Christina Garel of PuzzleIT Jamaica told the Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> Billed as a live action team game, up to eight people can tackle one of the three themed rooms in which players are locked in and given a time limit of 30 or 60 minutes to get out. Once in, players must use the clues littered across the environment to escape. The themed rooms are Framed, Rum Hangover and Ward 21. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;The puzzle room has general appeal. We&rsquo;ve had everything from corporate clients to small families to young adult friends, who just want to challenge themselves with our game,&rdquo; said Garel.<br /> <br /> Escape game rooms have their history rooted in modern, smartphone applications and were brought to life by the Japanese. Since then, they have gone worldwide. <br /> <br /> PuzzleIT Jamaica hopes to expand the knowledge of what it calls an out-of-the-box entertainment option.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;So far, we&rsquo;ve had plenty of repeat customers as people find it contagious and adrenalin-filled fun,&rdquo; she added.<br /> <br /> &mdash; Rory Daley http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13493713/243929_72889_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Saturday, December 10, 2016 3:00 AM Samfi-stands-up-for higglers http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Samfi-stands-up-for-higglers_83132 Newcomer Samfi takes a humorous look at a serious issue on her first song, Metro A Come, which was recently released.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This song is for all the hard-working higglers and market vendors who are trying to make an honest living to take care of their families. I know it&rsquo;s a constant struggle, it&rsquo;s not easy for them, and sometimes they face a lot of unnecessary harassment from the security forces,&rdquo; she said.<br /> <br /> Samfi also produced the song&rsquo;s video which was filmed at Porus Market in Manchester, her hometown.<br /> <br /> Born Sophia Mullings, Samfi wants to make a major mark in the music business.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I know it won&rsquo;t be easy, but I am determined to become the next big female star in Jamaica. I have the talent, the looks and the drive to make it and I&rsquo;m putting in the work,&rdquo; she said. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13493475/246265_72832_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Saturday, December 10, 2016 3:00 AM Linstead gets breakfast party http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Linstead-gets-breakfast-party_81748 IMMORTALISED in folk song for its market, Linstead got its first taste of a breakfast party &ndash; dubbed AM City: Paradise For Celebrities &ndash; at Sash Lawn in the heart of the St Catherine town recently.<br /> <br /> By dawn, scores of white-clad patrons filled the venue for the novel event.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;For a long time, patrons have craved something new and different. Night-life parties are the kind we&rsquo;ve all have been taught to love. But there are several challenges to night-life parties... Breakfast party allows us to be able to greater manage issues of safety concerning patrons, their property as well as those of our sponsors,&rdquo; Graig Douglas, a team member of organisers Fast Nation, told Jamaica Observer.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;One other factor that was also considered was the hours of entertainment that we could offer patrons. When we did our analysis, we realised we could get a lot of support because we could promise patrons up to seven hours of party time which would take care of our worry associated with the 2:00 am lock-off policy,&rdquo; he continued.<br /> <br /> Under the Noise Abatement Act, parties are mandated to pull the plug at 2:00 am.<br /> <br /> The inaugural breakfast event saw patrons enjoying a delectable spread of the island&rsquo;s dishes while Linstead&rsquo;s Badx, Illusion Sound, Presley Hype from St Ann, Badx from Linstead, and DJ Ashile from Irie FM served up sets of reggae, pop, hip-hop, and dancehall mixes. <br /> <br /> If patrons responses are anything to go by, the organisers can look forward to <br /> <br /> &mdash; Penda Honeyghan http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13493466/243579_72956_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13493473/243575_72888_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13493463/243580_72957_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13493464/243573_72886_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13493471/243574_72887_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13493465/243572_72885_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Saturday, December 10, 2016 3:00 AM Sledge finishing year on a high http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Sledge-finishing-year-on-a-high_83131 WITH just days before 2016 ends, singer Sledge is still pushing songs he recorded and released early in the year.<br /> <br /> You&rsquo;re Still My Love and Devil World, both produced by Cyber Leaf Entertainment out of New York, hears different sides of the 35-year-old artiste.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;One is lovers&rsquo; rock, the other has a message. I change genres more time according to what I hear and feel,&rdquo; said Sledge.<br /> <br /> Born Jason Roberts in St Catherine, Sledge has been recording for seven years. This year, he intensified his studio output with the support of Cyber Leaf Entertainment.<br /> <br /> Since completing his education at St Mary&rsquo;s College, Sledge has worked in the construction industry. But since 2009, he has found time to focus on music, cutting lovers&rsquo; rock songs like Never Gonna Hurt You and I Love You Girl.<br /> <br /> This year has been his most prolific. He pointed to the importance of having record label backing.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It give me the go-ahead I need to establish myself,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> &mdash; Howard Campbell http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13493462/246264_72900_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Saturday, December 10, 2016 3:00 AM Nominees sing Grammy praises http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Nominees-sing-Grammy-praises_83054 By Kevin Jackson Observer writer Nominees for Best Reggae Album at the 59th Grammy Awards, are upbeat about being recognised.<br /> <br /> Shortly after the nominations were announced Tuesday morning in Los Angeles, Splash spoke to four of the six nominees.<br /> <br /> Ziggy Marley, who is nominated for his sixth solo Grammy, said, &ldquo;Congratulations to all the nominees. We wish everyone the best and thanks to the Recording Academy for the recognition. Much love.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Marley is nominated for his self-titled album which was released in May.<br /> <br /> This is the first nomination for California reggae band Rebelution which currently has two titles on the Billboard Reggae Album Chart. The Grammy-nominated Falling Into Place, released by Easy Star Records, has to date sold 43,000 copies, making it the best-selling reggae studio album this year.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It is an honour to be nominated for this award. We are grateful for the opportunity to represent the reggae genre. There are so many legendary artistes who have paved the way for us, and we hope to pay our respects to them for a very long time! Congrats to the other nominees,&rdquo; said lead singer Eric Rachmany.<br /> <br /> This is the second nomination for Virginia band SOJA, who earned their first nomination in 2014 for Amid The Noise And Haste. Their latest effort, SOJA: Live in Virginia, which topped the Billboard Reggae Album Chart, also earned a Grammy nod.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;What an amazing feeling to learn that SOJA: Live in Virginia was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Reggae Album category! Thanks to all our fans. We are so appreciative that you give us so much love and support. It&rsquo;s truly a blessing to be nominated (twice!), and so happy to see our brothers in music get the nod as well,&rdquo; said lead vocalist Jacob Hemphill.<br /> <br /> The eight-song Sly & Robbie Presents Reggae For Her&hellip;Devin Di Dakta and JL was released in September by Tuff Gong International/Taxi Records. Jason Lindo (JL), who finished in the top five of the 2015 Digicel Rising Stars competition, is elated.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I dreamed, prayed; we worked, we sacrificed. I&rsquo;m very thankful,&rdquo; he said. This is the 10th nomination for Sly and Robbie. They won in 1999 for the album Friends.<br /> <br /> Rose Petals by J Boog is also nominated for Best Reggae Album. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13031090/207400_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13485428/245622_71995_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13480316/245148_71684_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13248820/225258__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13467585/244193_70630_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Friday, December 09, 2016 3:00 AM Raging Fyah humbled by Grammy nomination http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Raging-Fyah-humbled-by-Grammy-nomination_82930 BY RICHARD JOHNSON Observer senior reporter &ldquo;Humbled and honoured.&rdquo; That is the sentiment expressed by Raging Fyah band following Tuesday&rsquo;s announcement of their nomination for Best Reggae Album at next February&rsquo;s Grammy for their project Everlasting.<br /> <br /> Drummer Anthony &ldquo;Tony Drumz&rdquo; Watson could not contain his excitement when he spoke to Splash.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We were all at our individual homes when the news came. First it was the calls, and we all just felt so moved and honoured to receive the nomination. Later in the day I met up with our singer and we just spoke about what a journey this has been from 2006 to the present and how humbled we are by this Grammy nomination,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Watson noted that the making of Everlasting, which was released in May, was a journey in itself. The process was aided by great alliances.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It was an everlasting album like the name suggests, and a lot of time and energy was invested in bringing it to life. When we thought of making this album, we thought of which producer to work with and we decided on Lamar &ldquo;Riff Raff&rdquo; Brown. We all went to Edna Manley College together and we thought he could best guide us into maintaining that sound that has made Raging Fyah who we are &mdash; modern, while maintaining that authentic reggae sound. We also had the opportunity to work with the likes of a Dean Fraser, Nambo Robinson, Busy Signal, Jesse Royal and Hawaiian reggae act JBoog,&rdquo; Watson explained.<br /> <br /> Everlasting is distributed by VP Records and released on the Dub Rockers label. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;It was this label, which is based in California, which really helped us to promote the album, especially in the West Coast US market, and push our music on new platforms such as Spotify and Sirius XM Radio. We knew something was up with this project when<br /> <br /> Everlasting debuted at number two on the Billboard Reggae Chart. This was really a shocker for us, but we welcomed it as we knew how much hard work had been put into the project,&rdquo; he continued.<br /> <br /> For Watson, Raging Fyah remains rooted in its mantra of roots, reality and culture, and that for him, is part of the attraction to the band.<br /> <br /> Some members are currently en route to California where they will perform at the Emerald Cup this weekend. They hit the road again in January with American band Tribal Seed and Australia&rsquo;s Natalli Rize until March. In May and August, Raging Fyah head to the United Kingdom to open for UB40 and The Wailers.<br /> <br /> Other nominees for the Best Reggae Album Grammy are Sly and Robbie, Ziggy Marley, J Boog, SOJA, and Rebelution. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13490492/246097_72509_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Friday, December 09, 2016 3:00 AM Spinning in a Marley world http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Spinning-in-a-Marley-world_83051 BY RICHARD JOHNSON Observer senior reporter johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com IT came to her in a dream.<br /> <br /> For years, Shacia Marley, daughter of Stephen and grand-daughter to Bob and Rita, knew she wanted to be involved in music, after all, it is in her DNA. What she did not know was which area of the music business it would be. Then came the dream and DJ Sasha Payne was born.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;In the dream it was me on stage with my grandfather. I don&rsquo;t know what I was doing but there was a look on his face that told me he was enjoying it and it made him feel really, really good. So one day it was my mother who said to me that I should try mixing. I tried it once and fell in love with it... that&rsquo;s when the dream became clear to me,&rdquo; explained the petite 21-year-old.<br /> <br /> Last Saturday at the Smile Jamaica 40th anniversary concert, a Jamaican audience got its first taste of the musical selections of DJ Sasha Payne as she warmed up the audience ahead of her father&rsquo;s performance. Her playlist was drawn from her family&rsquo;s extensive catalogue, blended with hip-hop tracks, which is a reflection of her American and Jamaican upbringing.<br /> <br /> Splash caught up with her at 56 Hope Road, just feet away from the room in which her grandfather was shot and injured 40 years ago. She said performing at the concert was her best stage experience to date.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I got a text from Debbie (Bissoon) at Tuff Gong asking me if I wanted to perform on the show and I was like, &lsquo;yeah, let&rsquo;s do this&rsquo;. So I came in and kinda checked out the vibe and it was the best experience I&rsquo;ve ever had... on stage it was my best experience ever. It was my second time playing for a crowd like this and my first time playing in Jamaica, so I really didn&rsquo;t know what to expect. I had in mind to play hip hop, but the other selector was playing roots-reggae so I decided to combine. But to be on that stage here, at this house, was magical. I just felt so much energy. I got to be myself on that stage too which felt really good. Just being free,&rdquo; she related, brimming with the same unbridled energy and excitement she exhibited during her on-stage gig days earlier.<br /> <br /> Born in Miami, Florida, the essence of being Marley and what the name and brand means did not hit home until three months ago.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I was here in Jamaica on my own and just being here and around the people it hit me... There is an enormous legacy and responsibility. I quickly realised mi haffi continue di ting and live up to the trend which has been set.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Not content to limit herself to spinning music, DJ Sasha Payne is looking to spread her musical wings. She has her eyes set on producing in the vein of EDM super group Major Lazer. However, she never strays from the influence of her famous family, noting that her father&rsquo;s production on Chant Down Babylon is her gold standard.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;My dad really inspires me to produce. That album Chant Down Babylon is what really makes me want to produce. The way he blends reggae and hip hop perfectly. And that&rsquo;s what I kinda did on Saturday. If I could bring any two acts from reggae and hip hop together to produce, it would be JCole and Bob (Marley). I feel JCole brings that thing that touches you... deep.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> She is a lover of 1990s dancehall with Beenie Man, Spragga Benz and Lady Saw among her favourites. DJ Sasha Payne is also drawn to the work of current acts such as Konshens, Keznamdi, Spice and Runkus. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13490635/246099_72552_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13490637/246101_72550_repro_w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13490636/246100_72551_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Friday, December 09, 2016 3:00 AM Iya Chant keeps it positive http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Iya-Chant-keeps-it-positive_83033 By Kevin Jackson Observer writer Dub poet Iya Chant is banking on positive messages to develop his base. One of his new songs, the Roland McDermot-produced <br /> <br /> Africa, features singer Terry Linen.<br /> <br /> Iya Chant, whose real name is Michael Reid, is from the Whitehall Avenue area of St Andrew and splits his time between Jamaica and London. He started in music on sound systems such as Crystal Disco, Inna City and Silver Hawk.<br /> <br /> He has a musical background with his father being producer/show promoter Wilfred &ldquo;Witty&rdquo; Reid, best known for producing songs like Just Like The Sea by David Isaacs and Barrington Levy&rsquo;s<br /> <br /> Teach The Youth. <br /> <br /> &ldquo;Iya Chant is an artiste with a unique musical message. I am on a mission to re-educate and reform the minds of a people who have been deceived and misguided. My musical chants echo the words of our ancestors as a guiding light through the wilderness,&rdquo; said Iya Chant confided.<br /> <br /> In 2006, he recorded his first song, The Thoughtful Black, produced by McDermot.<br /> <br /> Iya Chant&rsquo;s follow-up song is Man A Cry, Man A Bawl. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13490384/246078_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Friday, December 09, 2016 3:00 AM Great sets at Jacob&rsquo;s Place http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Great-sets-at-Jacob-s-Place_83088 It could not get any better Tuesday at the RJR Kingston Music Week event at Jacob&rsquo;s Place, King&rsquo;s Plaza.<br /> <br /> One of the largest turnouts at the popular chill spot was fully entertained by talented artistes and musicians.<br /> <br /> The high point came when singer Boris Gardner made the first of two appearances, joining sports administrator Ian Andrews and journalist Kerlyn Brown of CVM Television. <br /> <br /> It was the climax of Andrews&rsquo; outstanding stint, and he requested Brown&rsquo;s support for his rendition of the classic soul number Please Stay. Gardner, who later closed the show, volunteered to provide bass harmony. Andrews held his own with a blistering set which included Strawberries, Unchained Melody, and Wonderful World.<br /> <br /> Canadian instrumentalist ISAX hit all the right notes on saxophone and flute with his original Tin FinneBlues, Rising Sun and Beach Front. <br /> <br /> Emanuel Chin was entertaining with his stroll down memory lane on Alton Ellis&rsquo;s B reaking Up Is Hard To Do, If I Follow My Heart and Should I by Dennis Brown, while Singing Bird was truly astonishing on renditions of A<br /> <br /> mazing Grace, She&rsquo;s A Lady and Missing You.<br /> <br /> Tanice Morrison captured the moment with an engaging performance of Whitney Houston&rsquo;s Didn&rsquo;t We Almost Have It All, followed by her original Let It Flow. Joele showed potential with a convincing presentation of<br /> <br /> Waiting in Vain and the Way We Love Tonight.<br /> <br /> Andrew Shephard was another bright spark. He gave a pleasing rendition of Grooving (Let The Music Take Your Mind), A Change Is Gonna Come and Women&rsquo;s Work. So too Renee who brought a disco flavour with Love Me and Simply The Best, and Odee Rose with Natural Woman and True Music.<br /> <br /> After a brief spell by comedian Boasy Boy Floyd, Gardiner returned and wowed the audience with standards such as Let&rsquo;s Keep It That Way, When A Girl Changes Her Bobby Socks and So Nice To Be With You.<br /> <br /> Keeping with the spirit of the season, he also did It&rsquo;s Christmas Time Again and Merry Christmas.<br /> <br /> &ndash; Basil Walters http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13312734/230820__w300.jpg http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13490629/246138_72578_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Friday, December 09, 2016 3:00 AM Ova Dose is a Hard Man Fi Dead http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Ova-Dose-is-a-Hard-Man-Fi-Dead_83079 UK-based dancehall deejay Ova Dose says he has high expectations for his latest single Hard Man Fi Dead.<br /> <br /> The track is produced on his Myself Production label and was released on Monday. It is available on all digital platforms.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The song has been well received. The name of the song, Hard Man Fi Dead, was given to me by my dad, after I went back to Jamaica in February of this year. People have been anticipating the song and since it was released I have been getting a lot of good reviews. I am happy people accept my hard work,&rdquo; said Ova Dose. <br /> <br /> The artiste, whose real name is Attacha Young, is a native of Clarendon. He is currently busy in the studio working on his mixtape and EP. The mixtape is expected to be a blend of hardcore dancehall, reggae, pop and dub poet, and is set to be released early next year.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;My kind of music is feel-good music with a conscious vibes, metaphors that play with your mind, and lyrics that make you want to hear more,&rdquo; he said. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13490551/246123_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Friday, December 09, 2016 3:00 AM Jemere Morgan marks Transition http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Jemere-Morgan-marks-Transition_83008 On January 6, Jemere Morgan will highlight his &lsquo;transition&rsquo; to manhood with the release of his 17-track debut album called Transition.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This album will highlight the changes I have made from being a kid to a man. It is about travelling the world and experiencing different cultures and appreciating different types of music. It represents the current phase of my life and my experiences with relationships and so on,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Besides the title track, the songs are Shine With Me, Take Me Go Home, and Anything You Want. Scheduled to be released by Dada Son Entertainment, Transition also features several collaborations including Try Jah Love and Celebrate Life with Gramps Morgan, Shouldn&rsquo;t Have with Joe Mersa, and Neighbourhood Girl remix featuring Agent Sasco.<br /> <br /> Transition features production works from Morgan, along with his father Gramps, and contributions from the likes of Chimney Records, Markus Records, Rellee Hayden, Nebilus Records, Notis Records and DJ Frass.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I am really just proud to put out my first album and I will want it to reach a global audience. It has a mixture of reggae and urban feel and is for the new generation of those genres,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Morgan &mdash; who is the son of reggae artiste Morgan Heritage&rsquo;s Gramps Morgan and grandson of singer Denroy Morgan &mdash; admits that as the eyes and ears of the world await the album, he feels quite at ease.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t really feel pressure, but there&rsquo;s a standard that I have to live by. I&rsquo;ve been blessed to have family and a team around me to help live up and above those standards. I have been touring with my family since I was four and I have learnt a lot from them musically,&rdquo; he said.<br /> <br /> Morgan, 22, was born in Brooklyn, New York. He currently lives between Tennessee and Jamaica.<br /> <br /> Last year, Morgan entered the Billboard Charts when Right Time, a collaboration with Jamaican-born recording artiste Vision, which debuted at number five on the website&rsquo;s Hot Singles Sales Chart. He also performed with Morgan Heritage on the Catch a Fire A Tour &mdash; alongside Damian and Stephen Marley and Tarrus Riley &mdash; of the United States in August, and their Strictly Roots European tour in October of last year. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13490550/246017_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Friday, December 09, 2016 3:00 AM Range sticks to her roots http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Range-sticks-to-her-roots_83037 Since she was 15 years old, Shana Blair McCormack has been involved in the fashion industry as a model. That makes her an unlikely candidate for Rasta advocacy.<br /> <br /> But on her first song, Inwad Rasta, McCormack (known as singer Range) salutes people who celebrate the faith, despite going without locks or smoking ganja.<br /> <br /> Produced by Diamond Links Productions, Inwad Rasta is scheduled for release on December 15.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I have family members who are Rasta and I know them as very caring, loving people. What I&rsquo;m saying is: Rasta is not about your hair or how you dress, it&rsquo;s about your being,&rdquo; said Range.<br /> <br /> While the St Ann-born Range did some singing in church and at talent contests while attending Guy&rsquo;s Hill High School, she never took being an artiste seriously until five years ago when she hung out with veteran acts such as Nachilous Demus, Papa Biggie, Michael Palmer, and Majestic Son.<br /> <br /> Range began modelling 17 years ago, mainly for Zahni International Modelling Agency. She continued working in the fashion industry after migrating to the United States in 2005.<br /> <br /> She hopes to clear up misconceptions about Rastafari with her debut song.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;What I want to do is reach people with the same mindset,&rdquo; Range said.<br /> <br /> &ndash; Howard Campbell http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13490527/246086_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Friday, December 09, 2016 3:00 AM Khalilah Rose adds flavour to Silk&rsquo;s track http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Khalilah-Rose-adds-flavour-to-Silk-s-track_83043 &ldquo;Garnet Silk is one of my greatest musical inspirations; he&rsquo;s made a tremendous impact on me as an artiste. I love his music a lot and Place In Your Heart has always been one of my favourite songs,&rdquo; said Khalilah Rose.<br /> <br /> Interestingly, her version is produced by Calibud Music owned by Sheldon Stewart, whose stepfather Bobby &lsquo;Bobby Digital&rsquo; Dixon, produced the original.<br /> <br /> Khalilah Rose said the team at Calibud suggested she do the song after hearing her perform it at Rebel Salute this year.<br /> <br /> A video for Place In Your Heart, directed by Wayne South of Caution Films, will be released in early 2017.<br /> <br /> Garnet Silk, an influential member of the roots reggae movement of the early 1990s, died in December 1994 at age 28. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13490489/246094_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Friday, December 09, 2016 3:00 AM Chronixx calls on Santa... again http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Chronixx-calls-on-Santa----again_83038 Chronixx gets in the Christmas spirit by covering a Jamaican Yuletide favourite, Carlene Davis&rsquo;s Santa Claus Do You Ever Come to The Ghetto?<br /> <br /> Davis&rsquo;s husband Tommy Cowan, who produced and wrote the original, is elated the song has been covered by an artiste widely acclaimed as leader of the neo-roots movement.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Chronixx is the leading young, conscious artiste out of Jamaica right now, and to see that the song has so much relevance to him that he would choose not just to sing, but record it in his unique style to invoke peace in our nation during this season, means a whole lot,&rdquo; Cowan said.<br /> <br /> Cowan added that he and Davis have known Chronixx since he was a gospel artiste. They have maintained their ties with him after his conversion to Rastafari.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We have grown closer since. We were blessed when at the end of his rendition he said, &lsquo;This great gift called the birth of Christ is a great thing in the cosmos of life and we are confident in the victory of good over evil,&rsquo;&rdquo; said Cowan.<br /> <br /> The original &lsquo;Santa Claus&rsquo; was recorded in 1981 at producer Joe Gibbs&rsquo; studio in Kingston with keyboardist Franklyn &ldquo;Bubbler&rdquo; Waul, Devon Richardson on drums, guitarist Winston &ldquo;Bo Pee&rdquo; Bowen, bassist Lloyd Parks and Toby Waul (Bubbler&rsquo;s crying son) on &lsquo;backing vocals&rsquo;.<br /> <br /> &ndash; Howard Campbell http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13482730/245311_71819_repro_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Friday, December 09, 2016 3:00 AM Razor B winds down in Europe http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/Razor-B-winds-down-in-Europe_83034 Razor B is currently winding down his European tour. The trek began in early November.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The highlight of the tour was being able to connect with thousands of fans across Europe. It was a joy seeing people who don&rsquo;t speak English singing and dancing to your songs&rdquo;, Razor B explained.<br /> <br /> Austria, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Germany are just some of the countries Razor B performed.<br /> <br /> One of his recent hits, Bruk Fi Mi Back (produced by Cornelius Records) is featured on VP Records Strictly The Best Volume 55 compilation.<br /> <br /> Happy Moment and the Seanizzle-produced We Nah Leare other recent Razor B releases.<br /> <br /> He has a busy Jamaica schedule in December. Razor B is booked for GT Taylor Christmas Extravaganza, Road Block, Boston Beach Family Fun Day, and Sting. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/assets/13490385/246079_w300.jpg Local Entertainment Friday, December 09, 2016 3:00 AM