Jamaican roots group Raging Fyah tours USA on Dub Rockers label

Roots group Raging Fyah is currently on tour in the USA.

Roots group Raging Fyah is currently on tour in the USA.

By Tiffany Mea

Raging Fyah, one of Jamaica’s emerging roots rock bands, is currently on tour in the USA after signing to Dub Rockers, the newest imprint from the world’s largest reggae distributor VP Records.

The five-member group, hailing from Kingston, Jamaica, will release multiple albums on Dub Rockers, which will include publishing and merchandise rights. Their first studio album with label is slated for 2016.  Throughout November, Raging Fyah will tour California – performing in Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Oakland and Los Angeles. Then, they head east for their New York City showcase on the 24th.  Billboard announced the full details on their signing, resulting in the band releasing an official statement about the news:.

Members of the roots group Raging Fyah.

Members of the roots group Raging Fyah.

“Many have compared our sound to the feel good reggae in the 1970s when it was all about the groove of the music, so signing with Dub Rockers/VP Records is like a match made in heaven being that they are known to be ‘miles ahead in reggae.’ With their experience in promoting reggae music from that time until now, we feel we are good hands.” the band’s statement read.

Chris Chin, president of VP Records added “Raging Fyah breeds a progressive sound while staying true to real roots reggae. You know it is made from the heart and can feel the positive energy they bring. It’s undeniable. This type of authenticity is rare and we are excited to help spread the word worldwide.”

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This summer, prior to Raging Fyah’s signing, VP Records’ distribution arm VPAL reissued their first two albums Judgement Day (2011) and Destiny (2014) to get music enthusiasts acquainted with their soul-filled sound that has been making waves in the latest reggae renaissance.  Raging Fyah consists of Kumar Bent (lead singer), Courtland White (guitarist) Anthony Watson (drummer), Demar Gayle (keyboardist) and Delroy Hamilton (bassist).

Some of the members met at Edna Manley College of Visual & Performing Arts in Kingston, but the band itself didn’t form until 2006. Inspired by the likes The Wailers, Third World, Steel Pulse and Aswad, Raging Fyah tackles similar topics of socio-economics and politics with an underlying message of hope and inspiration. Fueled by passion, purpose and life experiences, their lyrics touch and motivate people from all walks of life and their lush lively instrumentation soothes the soul. Their vintage sound coupled with a fresh contemporary flare gives them a particular edge over their predecessors.

Members of the roots group Raging Fyah.

Members of the roots group Raging Fyah.

Since their debut, their infectious vibes have been spreading like wildfire. The band has already made a name for themselves in their native country playing large stage shows such as Reggae Sumfest, Rebel Salute and Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival. They have also developed a devoted following internationally, after performing on South American stages as well as headlining major European reggae festivals (Summerjam, Rototom Sunsplash and Garance).

This spring and summer, Raging Fyah has been touring Europe non-stop – performing at both intimate venues and large-scale festivals throughout France, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Germany Poland, Austria, Belgium, New Caledonia and more. They are steadily capturing the hearts of North American listeners too, earning highly-coveted performances at annual concerts like Sierra Nevada Reggae Festival in 2014. More U.S. dates will be announced for the rest of the year and 2016.  Watch Raging Fyah’s “Irie Vibe” off their latest album, Destiny.

Raging Fyah will be on tour in the US on Nov. 19 in San Francisco, CA at San Francisco State University; Nov. 20 in Los Angeles, CA, at The Mint;  Nov. 22 in Oakland, CA at The New Parish and Nov. 24 in New York, NY @ Milk River–OnPointPress.net–

Entertainer Eddie Murphy releases reggae single “Oh Jah Jah” on VPAL

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By Tiffany Mea

VPAL Music, the subsidiary label and distribution arm of VP Records, Jamaica’s largest distributor of reggae music worldwide, teamed up with revered comedian/actor/singer Eddie Murphy to release a new single “Oh Jah Jah.” The single will be available January 27, 2015.

The song’s release is not the first time that Murphy has dabbled into the reggae genre.  “Oh Jah Jah” follows Murphy’s 2013 collaboration “Red Light” which featured the formerly named rap star Snoop Dogg who now goes by the name Snoop Lion after spending time recording reggae music in Jamaica.

Murphy penned and co-produced “Oh Jah Jah”  which was recorded and mixed at Soul Mountain Studios in Beverly Hills, California. Ralph Hawkins Jr. and Trenten Gumbs also had a hand in the production.

Murphy released his first single, “Party all the time” with the late Rick James in 1985. He has recorded more singles since then and seems determined to be taken seriously as a single as well as an actor and comedian.

For more information contact VP Records/VPAL at Tiffanym@vprecords.com or through Murphy’s contact Arnold Robinson at arobinson@rogersandcowan.com–OnPointPress.net

Third World’s lead singer “Bunny Rugs” has died

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William ‘Bunny Rugs’ Clarke

By Carmen Glover

For those who grew up on the island paradise of Jamaica listening to the sweet strains of exquisite reggae music, the soothing voices of Third World, Dennis Brown, Freddie McGregor and Black Uhuru provided the soundtrack of a remarkable childhood. For those, and a legion of fans worldwide, it is a very sad to accept that William ‘Bunny Rugs’ Clarke, the lead singer of the group Third World, whose poignant, searing voice gave the group its trademark sound, lost his battle to cancer and is with us no more.

William "Bunny Rugs" Clarke of reggae group Third World.

William “Bunny Rugs” Clarke of reggae group Third World.

Clarke, who was born on February 6, 1948, died hours ago, at the start of Reggae Month, in a Florida hospital, after being hospitalized in intensive care for a while. He would have celebrated his 66th birthday this coming Thursday.Clarke was also known as Bunny Scott and he began his musical career in the mid-1960s.  He was born in Mandeville, Jamaica. Clarke joined Third World in 1976, later enjoying the release of the hit album “96 Degrees in the Shade,” his first album with the group.

Third World Band with William "Bunny Rugs' Clarke in the middle.

Third World Band with William “Bunny Rugs’ Clarke in the middle.

Who can forget the beautiful notes to “Try Jah Love?” or the infectious melody of “Now That we’ve Found Love,” that late Heavy D took and blended with his own unique spin to create one of his most memorable hits? Who can forget Clarke’s clear vocal inflections on the anthem “Apartheid No” that railed against the injustices of the racist apartheid regime is South Africa?

According to reports by the Jamaica Obsever, Clarke was unable to participate in Third World’s 40th anniversary celebrations last year, due to illness. It was just four days ago that the paper reported that he was on the mend, after being hospitalized in Florida. Clarke also recorded music as a solo artist, releasing the album “Talking to You” in 1995. His 2012 single “Land We Love” from his album “Time” donating the profits to the Jamaican Children’s Heart Fund and the Chain of Hope charities. He received numerous awards for his music.

The passing of a legend is typically difficult to comprehend because it evokes an admixture of complex emotions. Clarke’s death is no different. Rest in Peace dear Bunny. Our hearts weep. Fans have flooded social media sites with tributes to the reggae icon, who, for many has gone too soon.—OnPointPress.net

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

ZIGGY

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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