Jamaican singer Christopher Martin releases debut EP, ‘Steppin Razor’

Christopher Martin

Christopher Martin-Photo Credit Zev Schmitz.

By Tiffany Mea

Jamaican reggae crooner Christopher Martin released his much-anticipated debut EP ‘Steppin Razor,’ on April 21 on VP Records. The 5-song digital-only release balances sweetness, swagger and sex appeal and showcases his versatility and vocal excellence. Martin fires with formidable skill on each of Steppin Razor’s songs.

The upbeat “We Are The Vibes” (produced by TJ Records) and the braggadocios single “I’m A Big Deal” (produced by Troy “Troyton” Hinds) get the party started. On the sultry “Secret Love (Creep)” (produced by ZJ Dymond), Martin sings “nah tell you fi sneak, but if you a go sneak, girl, sneak, come love me…and if your man find out and waan walk out, girl be with me.” His passionate vocals bring a renewed urgency to this well worn and (he admits) somewhat self-centered plea.

“Hide Away,” written and produced by the legendary Clive Hunt (whose credits include Stevie Wonder, The Rolling Stones, Grace Jones, Peter Tosh, Jimmy Cliff and VP Records’ Etana), is the first song Martin has recorded that he didn’t write. However he makes it all his own, incomparably delivering a swell of tender emotions over an irresistible, shuffling reggae beat. “Hide Away” is also featured on the soundtrack to the romantic drama “Destiny” released in late 2013, starring Martin as an aspiring singer attempting to navigate the music industry. The title track, produced by Frankie Music, isn’t the 1977 Peter Tosh classic (written by the late Joe Higgs, a mentor to Tosh and the legendary reggae group The Wailers) although it champions a kindred spirit of invincibility, in this case Martin’s unrivaled appeal to the ladies.

Christopher Martin

Christopher Martin-Photo Credit Zev Schmitz.

“Tosh’s song had a militancy, cutting down inequality but I am saying a steppin razor is sharper than the rest, it is having so much confidence in yourself that whatever you are doing you are going to be sharp in it, whether it is with women, school work or how you dress,” Martin explains. “It has nothing to do with money, it all boils down to the belief in yourself, confidence and high self esteem.”

Martin has done just that with ‘Steppin Razor’ and as the late stepping razor Peter Tosh would say, he is consistently “well sharp.” Born on Valentine’s Day in 1987 in Jamaica’s rural community of St. Catherine, Martin made his mark in 2005 when he won his native country’s top televised talent show competition Digicel Rising Stars. With his tremendous vocal prowess, soaring melodies and proven lyrical ability, he has consistently churned out hit after hit – including “Cheaters Prayer,” Change Me Plans,” Take My Wings,” “Giving It,” “I’ll Be Your Driver,” “Paper Loving,” “Chill Spot” and “Look on My Face” – on local and international reggae charts.

Over the years, Martin has worked with reggae’s premier producers including Robert Livingston of Big Yard, ZJ Chrome of Chromes label, Shane Brown of Jukeboxx Recordings and Christopher Birch. He has a devoted fan base in Japan, where he released his self-titled debut album in 2011 on the Rockers Island imprint. He has also toured North America and Europe, including an eight-nation tour with platinum selling German Reggae superstar Gentleman.–OnPointPress.net.



Ziggy Marley, Daft Punk, Isley Brothers win in upside down Grammys


Prolific singer/song-writer Ziggy Marley won Best Reggae Album at the 56th Grammys.

By Carmen Glover

The 56th Grammy Awards show delivered on its plan to create buzz, spark conversation and stoke fires. The awards show was replete with results that elicited emotions running the gamut from elation, to shock, to downright anger and feelings of outrage.

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis created mixed reactions when they swept the top rap categories.

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis earned mixed reactions when they swept the top rap categories.

The Twittersphere exploded with curses and declarations that “rap is dead,” when it was announced prior to the actual Grammy telecast that Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, a white group, won the top trifecta in rap for Best Rap Performance “Thrift Shop,” Best Rap Album “The Heist’ and Best Rap Song “Thrift Shop.” The group, which also won Best New Artist in the televised show, beat out Drake, Jay Z, Kendrick Lamar and Kanye West to sweep the rap categories and to say many rap lovers were angry is putting it mildly. Swearing that they will now “give up on the Grammys” the vocal throng vented for what seemed like all night long. Undaunted, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis ignored all detractors and thanked their fans.

Mega-producer Pharrell Williams was a big winner on Grammy night.

Mega-producer Pharrell Williams was a big winner on Grammy night for his collaboration with multiple winning group Daft Punk, whose catchy song “Get Lucky” was a Grammy favorite.

“Before there was any media or buzz there was our fans,” they said. “We made this album without a record label. We made it independently.”

Daft Punk, featuring mega-producers Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers, won for  Album of the Year  with “Random Access Memories.” They also won for Best Pop/ Duo Group Performance and Record of the Year for the smash hit “Get Lucky.” Both Williams and Rodgers took the stage with the group to express thanks. While the group members stood quietly by, their faces hidden by face masks, Williams thanked the fans. “I’m sure they would like to thank their fans and family,” Williams said, to laughter and applause. Williams also won for Producer of the Year: Non-Classical.

The Isley Brothers were Lifetime Award Recipients.

The Isley Brothers were Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients, along with the Beatles.

The lifetime achievement awards ceremony was held the night before the Grammys and the Isley Brothers, the Beatles and Kris Krisstofferson received the special honor. Ziggy Marley, the oldest son of late reggae superstar Bob Marley, won Best Reggae Album for “Ziggy Marley in Concert” in a category that also had albums by Beres Hammond, Sizzla and Snoop Dogg, who has renamed himself Snoop Lion and produced a reggae album after spending time in Jamaica testing the waters in that musical genre.

Darius Rucker, former lead singer for Hootie & the Blowfish, won in the Country music category.

Darius Rucker, former lead singer for Hootie & the Blowfish, won in the Country music category.

In more evidence of an upside down Grammy show, Darius Rucker, who has transitioned to county music after enjoying extensive success as the lead singer of Hootie & the Blowfish, won for Best Country Solo Performance for “Wagon Wheel,” beating out longtime country singers such as Blake Shelton.


Rihanna's Album "Unapologetic" which clearly defines, her, won at the Grammys.

Rihanna’s Album “Unapologetic” which clearly defines her, won at the Grammys in the Urban Contemporary category.

Predictably, Rhianna won for Best Urban Contemporary Album with “Unapologetic,” and Alicia Keys won for Best R& B Album with “Girl on Fire.” Justine Timberlake won for Best R & B Song for “Pusher Love Girl,” instead of his popular hit “Mirrors” and his collaboration with Jay Z, “Suit and Tie,” won for Best Music Video, while Gary Clark Jr. won for Best Traditional R& B Performance with “Please Come Home,” and Best R& B Performance went to Snarky Puppy with Lalah Hathaway.

Bill Withers was a winner at the Grammys.

Bill Withers was a winner at the Grammys for Best Historical Album, tying with The Rolling Stones.

Bill Withers “The Complete Sussex and Columbia Albums” tied with the Rolling Stones “Charlie Is My Darling Ireland 1965” for the Best Historical Album while Ben Harper’s collaboration with Charlie Musselwhite, “Get Up!” won Best Blues Album.

Bruno Mars drew enthusiastic applause when he was named a winner.

Bruno Mars drew enthusiastic applause when he was named a winner.

When Bruno Mars was announced as the winner for Best Pop Vocal Album for “Unorthodox Lunchbox” the audience erupted in cheers. Mars thanked his family and dedicated the award to his mother who died recently, saying she was “looking down” on him.

Ben Harper won for Best Blues Album.

Ben Harper won for Best Blues Album for “Get Up!.”

LL Cool J did well in his third stint hosting the Grammys.

LL Cool J did well in his third stint hosting the Grammys, making sure to give special love to his label, Def Jam.

LL Cool J was superb as usual as the host, but Beyoncé’s and Jay Z’s opening performance was risqué and seemed more suited to a strip club with Beyoncé’s derriere fully exposed while she spouted lyrics so raunchy that no stanza was allowed to be sung without being bleeped out by the censors. If the Grammy producers hoped to create controversy with the broadcast and the selection of the winners, then they hit a home run

See the list of all the winners at Grammy.com.–OnPointPress.net.

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