Category Archives: Reggae

New Releases – January 2018 (Part 2)

Two weeks into the new year and it’s good to see the ‘new thing’ announcements still coming.

In this update: there’s a new app for you to download, new music for you to check out, new initiatives to get involved in and mixes for you to stream or download right away.

New Music

Blessed Man

Hip-hop veteran Blessed Man announced the second single from his upcoming new album (his first album release in many years).

‘Worthy is the Lamb’ features another long serving artist Nathan Prime, and drops ‘soon’, according to a post on his Facebook page.

Precious Pearl Riddim

If you’re a Reggae music fan you’ll want to check out UK/Bahamas collaboration the ‘Precious Pearl Riddim’ EP.

Precious Pearl Riddim - click cover to stream on SpotifyIn typical genre format, the 5-track project offers variations on a fundamental rhythm track, and features Toyin Adekale, Keziah Job, Unlimited Angel, The Davis Family and Deacon Judah.

Click on the album cover to stream it on Spotify.

CalledOut Music

And if you need even more tropical heat in your life right now (and who doesn’t, in view of our current winter weather) you need to get acquainted with CalledOut Music‘s brand new one.

I Am Free‘ is out now, and given its catchy rhythm (and bilingual lyric video), chances are you’ll be singing along in next to no time.

Female Artists

I don’t know what triggered it but something really good (re)started in 2016: more female artists started releasing music more consistently.  Thankfully it’s a trend that continued in 2017.

If this month is anything to go by, it’s looking like the sisters are here to stay – and thank God for that, too.

Here are a few artists to check out:

Nikki Seriki

Nikki Seriki‘s new one is called I Found You, and it’s produced by Ibe Giantkiller.

Click the cover image to watch the lyric video.

Lurine Cato

I’m also looking forward to the rest of the world hearing ‘B Loved‘, the brand new single from Lurine Cato, fresh from her lead vocal appearance on the B Positive Choir’s debut single.

B Loved‘ is an atmospheric, Trap-infused song, liberally underpinned with great words of encouragement.

It should be widely available by the end of January – and you neeeeeeed to check it out.

More Great News

Philippa Hanna

And the great news doesn’t stop there. There’s a lot of brilliant activity on the boundaries of the music sphere: Philippa Hanna (photo at top of this entry) started an excellent ‘Inspiration 365’ vlog series at the beginning of the month.

You’re already 15 days behind so catch up here.

Sarah Teibo

Sarah Teibo has just launched a weekly Spotify playlist called ‘Songs of Hope’.

The selection will no doubt come from a very real place and be heavily influenced by her own recent loss: the death of her mum in late 2017.

Sandra Godley

And speaking of sisters doing big things: Sandra Godley’s ‘Sing For Sandra‘ initiative is awesome.

She’s putting together a very special, hugely inspiring ‘Gosp-Ability choir’, comprising people who have faced either mental or physical challenges in their lives and are overcoming them.

Once complete, the fully assembled choir is scheduled to perform in Windsor to mark Prince Harry’s wedding.

Full details at the Sing for Sandra website.

Nadine Lee

I was also really glad to find out that Nadine Lee‘s upcoming EP project is going to be one of those that doesn’t fall squarely into the ‘Gospel music’ genre.

We need more of our creatives to continue exploring themes that don’t necessarily fall into typical ‘Gospel’ category, and colour outside those perceived boundaries.

If her name (or face) rings a bell it’s probably because she’s one half of Ekklesia, or it might be because you saw her on BBC’s Gospel Choir of the Year in December 2017 teaching and directing the incredible youthful sound of London College of Creative Media.

New App for Kingdom Culture

One of my favourite sites to launch last year was Kingdom Culture, and exactly a year after their debut they’ve launched the KCMix Android app, bringing mixtapes, releases, reviews, music videos interviews and the latest on the scene as a whole.

New Mixtape from DJ Kelechi

DJ Kelechi‘s previous set, the Afrobeats Mixtape Volume 3 is actually a December 2017 release, but it actually got massive love (and serious traction) early in the new year.

If you liked it, then – good news – there’s now a new one out.

It’s also the first in a new series: ‘Move’ Volume 1 features transcontinental artists including J Vessel, Britt Nicole, Hollyn, Guvna B, Gawvi and more.

It’s full of Kelechi’s trademark mix and blends, cheeky edits and reworks (the clever Lurine Cato/Craig David mash-up right off the bat should give you an idea of what’s in store).

As usual, Kelechi focuses on mixing duties, turning hosting over Mr Beezy.

Explore More

New Ram 1 Video – ‘Mary’

Ram 1 - 'Mary' video still

Ram 1

I’ve been a huge fan of Ramone ‘Ram 1’ Williams ever since I came across him a few years ago.

In fact he (along with his Riddim Culture cohorts Edward Holland Junior and Gyamma) is of the reasons I wrote the Pull Up Special Feature for back in 2011 (link below)

Riddim Culture has quietly gone about maintaining a rather formidable UK Reggae revolution in recent years, between them creating impressive international ripples in places as far-flung as the USA, mainland Europe, South America and Africa.

Edward goes from strength to incredible strength as a producer, churning out songs across the entire Reggae spectrum, a significant conveyor belt of solid tunes covering Dub to Dancehall to Roots and more.

New Video

Anyway, Ram 1 is back with a new video for an allegorical song, ‘Mary’, taken from a very personal moment in his life (and going by the visuals it doesn’t take much to guess what it might have been about).

And – like much of what he has done so far – I like it!!

It’s his first international music video, shot in Costa Rica with the well-known Costa Rican DJP on directorial duties, with Ram co-directing (Ram said it was by far the most stress free video shoot he’d done to date).

As at the time of my writing this, I’m not clear if it’s an Ed Holland joint – I’ll update later when I find out.

Meantime: see why the fuss is about and why I like it below:

Explore more Special Feature

Find Ram 1

Riddim Culture

[Free Download] ‘Riddim Culture Presents Ram 1’

Riddim Culture Presents - Ram1

As a subgenre UK Gospel Reggae has never really got the props it truly deserves.

It has as many (arguably more) players active on the international scene as the more high-profile Hip-Hop and ‘traditional’ gospel artists.  But – like much of the wider contemporary Gospel music scene – it’s consistently under the shadow of its mainstream equivalent.

Still, the Reggae Gospel lot are a hardy breed, consistently putting out the music, regardless (perhaps that should be ‘in spite of’) the scant attention it gets in the UK gospel mainstream.

Ram 1‘s newest release, his first mixtape, put together by his label Riddim Culture (itself a creation of the unstoppable producer Edward Holland Junior) is a feast of the diverse subgenres Reggae offers: Roots, Dub, Dancehall and some of the more difficult-to-define styles.

Bob Marley fans will adore Ram 1‘s interpretation of the classic One Drop among the other delights on offer.

This 30-track free download set (17 music tracks, and 13 feature/shoutouts from personalities as diverse as genre-hopping acts like sammy.,  Jahaziel and Manchester’s Panache, as well as UK Gospel Reggae veterans like Birmingham’s Spanna, London’s Gyamma to Malta’s Living Waters) comes very highly recommended.

If you’re not a huge Reggae fan – or are in the market for a decent introduction to the genre – this a superb place to start!