BEFORE EDIT-MILESTONE 4.Still004Fresh Cut De Mayor’s Official Birthday Celebration along with a gang of Pisces and Aries hit The Vue in mid-March and it was truly a #Milestone celebration! A variety of champaign bottles, hard liquor and birthday cakes were brandished throughout the venue by Milestoners and their good friends as they moved their waist-lines to the sounds of Champion Squad, Fresh Cut De Mayor, Suppa Natty, DJ Jeff and others.  #DeMayorTv presents your official chance to enjoy and re-live this memorable Milestone event. And if you missed it, click ‘play’ to sail through one VIP booth after another and get crunked up.

TW: @freshcutdemayor
IG: @freshcutdemayor

Ja’s Wonder Boy

boi-1da-photoby Kevin Jackson (Jamaica Observer)

HE is not a big name in Jamaican music circles, but Canada’s Boi-1da (pronounced Boy Wonda) is one of contemporary pop’s most in-demand producers.

The Toronto-reared Boi-1da has worked with a string of A-list hip hop and Rhythm and Blues stars. His resume includes several chart-topping songs and awards.

Who exactly is he? For starters, he is Jamaican.

“I was born in Kingston and lived in Braeton, Portmore. I ended up moving to Canada at the age of three to an area in Toronto called North York, and I’ve been living in Toronto ever since,” said the 27-year-old, whose real name is Matthew Samuels.

Boi-1da’s production credits include rapper Drake’s Grammy-winning album Take Care and single Over; Eminem’s album Recovery and single Not Afraid (which both won Grammys); Busta Rhymes’ upcoming album, Extinction Level Event 2; High School by Nicki Minaj, as well as tracks by Jay Z, Kanye West, 50 Cent, Kendrick Lamar, Kardinal Offishall, Lil Wayne, Nicole Scherzinger, Canadian pop band Down With Webster and Keri Hilson.

His current projects include albums for Kendrick Lamar, Lil Wayne and Drake.

“I am focused on Kendrick Lamar’s album, I’ve been in the studio with him a lot and we’ve been creating some great stuff together, I am also working on Lil Wayne’s brand new album The Carter V and new music with Drake,” he told Splash.

Though Beenie Man, Bounty Killer and Spragga Benz are some of the dancehall acts who excite him, working with Jamaican artistes is not in Boi-1da’s immediate plans.

He was only 15 when he got involved in music.

“I was in high school, and always interested in music, sounds and especially beats,” he recalled. “During a discussion with my friend trying to figure out how music was constructed, he told me about a computer programme called FL Studio that allows you to put together beats. I got extremely curious and went home and downloaded it and the rest is history.”

His first project was a mix tape for a teenaged actor named Drake.

“It was called Room for Improvement. This took place in a time where Drake wasn’t as popular as he is now for his music but more for his role on (Canadian television show) Degrassi High. I produced two tracks, City is Mine and Do What You Do,” Boi-1da said.

Since then, his sound and recording techniques have changed, with the use of live instruments and fusing the drum and bass feel of dancehall/reggae in his songs.

“I always try to incorporate Jamaica elements into my productions. if you listen to the song Over by Drake and High School by Nicki Minaj, there are definitely elements of dancehall in there. I also used to put an air horn in a lot of my beats earlier in my career, which is very instrumental in dancehall,” he noted.

To date, Boi-1da’s creativity has helped him score seven number one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Success, he says, has not gone to his head.

“It’s a great feeling working with major acts. Just to know that the hard work that I’ve put in for many years has brought me to a level to work with people I’ve only dreamed of meeting and working with, it gives me a sense of confidence.”

Lorde says she hates Reggae, Jamaican artists react

Never shy to speak her mind, Grammy-winning singer, Lorde says she's not a fan of Reggae musicby Jodee Brown

Reggae music is, for the most part, loved universally as one of the best and most celebrated genres. Grammy-winning singer, Lorde is not one of those lovers apparently.

The 17-year-old, New Zealand-born singer, who rose to international prominence with her hit single, Royals, was highly critical of Reggae music during a recent edition of her VEVO vlog titled, The World According To Lorde.

“I hate Reggae, Reggae makes me feel like am late for something,” she said.

Though the comment was made months ago, a report in the Jamaica STAR Tuesday brought the comment to light, triggering mixed views among Jamaican music insiders. However, Dancehall artist, Spice, whoremixed Royals in January, lambasted her upon hearing of the comment..

“I’m really disappointed in her statement, because I was such a big fan of her music, and fell in love withRoyals the moment I heard it,” she told the Jamaica STAR Tuesday. “I’m not a fan anymore, and will just delete her album and move on. Reggae is the most soulful genre, so I can’t understand how someone could hate it. I really regret even doing a reggae cover to her single. Everyone knows the origin of reggae music is Jamaica, and by black people. So my question is: Is it the music that she really doesn’t like, or just the black race?”

However, ZIP 103FM regular and selector, DJ Chrome was of a contrasting opinion.

“If that’s how she feels, then that’s OK. It’s her opinion. I personally wouldn’t say that I hate any genre of music,” he told the newspaper. “They might not be my favourite, but I wouldn’t go as far to say that I hate them. If she thinks Reggae is that bad, then it’s no big deal.”

This is not the first time Lorde has courted controversy with her comments on other genres. In an interview given to Complex Magazine last fall, saying she did not relate well to music from Nicki Minajand Drake because they ‘all sing about such opulence,’ while also saying, ‘How are we listening to this? It’s completely irrelevant.’

She later clarified her comments on Twitter, saying that loves and admires both rappers, saying, “Just because their songs aren’t my reality (being 17 and from Auckland) doesn’t mean I don’t admire their musicianship and careers!”

Snoop Lion, Sizzla amongst finalists for Reggae Grammy

Snoop Lion (left) and Sizzla (right) are both first time nominees for a Best Reggae Album Grammy award.

Snoop Lion (left) and Sizzla (right) are both first time nominees for a Best Reggae Album Grammy award.

by Jodee Brown

After temporarily ditching hardcore lyrics for songs about unity and anti-violence, Snoop Dogg has seen his Reggae efforts rewarded by The Recording Academy as he was named one of five finalists on Friday for the Best Reggae Album award at next year’sGrammy Awards.

The artist, whose real name is Calvin Broadus, is being nominated for his album, Reincarnated, released in April while using the Snoop Lion moniker. The album, which features collaborations with Mavado, Popcaan, Mr. Vegas, Drake and Miley Cyrus amongst others, was the best-selling Reggae album in the United States this year, with over 21,000 copies sold in its debut week and, to date, has sold well over 50,000 copies there.

Despite criticism from legendary Jamaican artists such as Bunny Wailer and Lady Saw, the album received a number of positive reviews. However, the Snoop Lionact appears to have been cut, at least for the time being, as he recently changed his name again, to Snoopzilla.

Another artist receiving his first Reggae Grammy nod is Sizzla Kalonji for his album, The Messiah. Having recorded over 70 albums in his career, it is the first chance he will have a music’s most prestigious award. The Messiah features 15 tracks, including Chant Dem Down and Psalm 121.

Beres Hammond is also amongst the finalists, securing his first nomination since 2002 with his One Love, One Life double album, featuring the hit single, In My Arms.

The other two contenders for the Best Reggae Album award are four-time winner, Ziggy Marley for Ziggy Marley in Concert and Sly and Robbie and the Jam Masters with Reggae Connection.

The 56th Grammy Awards will take place on January 26 at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles.

Five pure Jamaican singers who deserve more recognition

Tessanne Chin5by Jodee Brown

Tessanne Chin’s landmark appearance on NBC’s The Voice has not only allowed her to take her career to its highest level yet, but has given her a chance to represent Jamaica musically in ways that have not been seen in quite a while, as most recently evidenced Monday night.

After years of being producing modest hits on the Jamaican music scene, Tessanne decided she was not going to settle for being an afterthought on the local music scene, showed and showed great humility in deciding to enter the American talent show despite being a known, regarded musician in her homeland for nearly 10 years. The Hideaway singer was able to push herself to new heights being on this show and, regardless of how her journey on The Voice ends, will have set a high bar for her fellow Jamaicans to aspire to and allow for many local singers to try that much harder to unlock their potentials to the world.

With that in mind, I’ve compiled a list of five accomplished, pure Jamaican singers who, with varying levels of success to date, could more promotional muscle, hits and deserved recognition for their various talents internationally. Check them out:

#1  Ikaya


Why Ikaya hasn’t gotten a bigger boost than she has since bursting onto the scene in 2009, is a mystery, but she’s still relatively young to garner the press and success her talents deserve.

Divulging from a more raw, Dancehall sound at the turn of this decade paid dividends as she belted out hits like Fly Away, High and Hard Way. Yet, her progress to mainstream stardom has seemingly stagnated since, aside from the odd, awe-inspiring performances on TVJ’s Layers of Soul.

She’s a spirited, underrated performer with solid vocals, sex appeal and diversity in her music, like her song with Busy Signal showed in June. With more songs, shows and press, Ikaya can fulfill her undoubted potential.


#2 D Major and Shuga

d major and shuga

Two Penthouse Records acts with strong amounts of talent, D Major (left)and Shuga (right) both have strong, powerful voices that have largely (and sadly) gone mostly unnoticed. That can change with major pushes for both acts.

D Major is a soft-singing, strong and soulful singer with some modest hits to his name, including his recent hit, Real Know RealHe’s an act ideally suited for the ladies with a look and voice that will melt them with ease. If he can find a transcendent hit, continue improving his vocal quality and gain more traction for his songs overseasD Major could become a major player down the line.

Shuga, formerly Brown Sugar gained nationwide attention after winning Digicel Rising Stars in 2009, but has found mainstream attention hard to come by since. Back-up singing duties to the likes of Da’Ville and Tanya Stephens followed, but after switching her image to a more edgy, risk-taking singer in 2012, she has enjoyed a bit of a renaissance. Hits like 9.58 and My Soul To Jah proved she can have a successful career post-Risng Stars and with more promotion as well as a deeper catalogue will be a force to reckon with down the line.

#3 Denyque


Randy Richards Photography/

She’s an exceptional vocalist, conceptually and intellectually gifted and is drop-dead gorgeous (as this photo obviously proves): The ideal package for a superstar singer in the making.

While she has a very decent catalogue of songs to boast, including Breathe, Supergirl and Make Me Believe You, she’s unfortunately known by most thanks to a nude photo scandal in 2012, triggered by a controversial Jamaican blog. Given her worldly potential and quality as an artist, this should not be the case.

She has the songs, but not the shows, the big ones at least. Aside from a performance atReggae Sumfest 2011, she has hardly featured on any major shows. With more hit songs, appearances on shows like Sumfest and Shaggy and Friends and maybe a couple of collabs with overseas acts, Denyque can be the superstar her talents and personality warrant. Additionally, with Jade Lee, Sean Paul’s former booking agent during his Grammy-winning days backing her, the promotional muscle should only get stronger from here.




#4 Christopher Martin


Make no mistake, Christopher Martinis one of Jamaica’s most established singers of the last decade, churning out a bevy of hits and earning his share of accolades. However, I’ve often been left with the feeling the former Digicel Rising Stars winner should be much more accomplished and rated than he is.

Since that triumph on the popular talent show in 2005, hits such as Take My Wings, Driver, Cheater’s Prayer, Paper Loving and Chill Spot have made him an international success, particularly in the Caribbean, Europe and Africa. Even with that, Martin still does not get enough recognition for his multiple talents, particularly in the American market, where fellow Rising Stars winner Romain Virgo has made some impact.

An LP, more promotion overseas and continued consistency from this extremely strong vocalist would make him more of a global threat. Could you imagine if he got a shot on ‘The Voice’ himself if he were eligible? He may be in line to win that talent show too given his prowess.


#5 Alaine


Since the start of Tessanne’s stellar run on The Voice, I’ve been thinking of which pure singer, more than anyone, deserves more international recognition for his or her talents despite their varying levels of success in Jamaica. To me, Alaine fits that bill best.

Like Tessanne, she has number one hits to boast and a high note that will make your eyes bulge. She’s always had the depth, vocal range and songs, likeSacrifice and Rise In Love to make her a major success internationally. But she hasn’t quite reached that plateau yet.

The most attention she has garnered internationally is a feature alongside Shaggy for his 2010 hit, For Your Eyes Only, which topped charts worldwide thanks in part for her sensual chorus. If she could gain such measure with one of her own efforts, with just a little more attention and promotion, she can undoubtedly take this star Jamaican singer’s career to its higher level yet.

RDX stole my ‘Island Girl,’ claims Alty B

altyb2by Jodee Brown

After staying silent during the first go-around, fast-rising Dancehall star and Real Entertainment Productionsrecording artist, Alty B is now crying foul after making strong claims that popular Dancehall group, RDX has pirated his breakthrough single, Island Girl.

The hit song, featuring fellow singjay Richie Loop was released earlier this year, to mass success, garnering Alty B unprecedented attention with hundreds of thousands of views across several music websites. The song also saw the emerging entertainer splashed across several Jamaican and Caribbean music stations as well as charts worldwide as the official video for Island Girl made him a must-watch star in the making.

However, the singjay now claims RDX stole his concept and flow for their own single dubbed Island Girl, which was recently released on the JA Productions produced Overdrive Riddim.

This isn’t the first time RDX has blatantly copied one of his songs, according to Alty B. The No More singer insists the veteran group pulled off a similar tactic two years ago following the release of his dance-themed hit, Splice.

“I saw it has an opportunity for my song [Splice] to get out there publicly but that was not the outcome,” he recalled. “Instead RDX gain fame while my song eventually died out.”

Andrew Lee Pryce, founder of Real Entertainment Productions and Alty B’s manager relayed his shock upon hearing of RDX’s single and believes it validates accusations by other acts that the group has stolen their ideas also.

“I often heard entertainers saying that RDX go around stealing people songs but I’ve finally heard it first hand and I’m not gonna take this lightly,” he explained.

The Pryce-led Real Entertainment Productions has signaled their intent to seek legal discourse should they fail to get a response from RDX’s management team to resolve this ongoing issue.

Meanwhile, Alty B is looking to build on the success of Island Girl as he is working on a soon-to-be released single, Nobody and will be touring parts of the Caribbean, including Trinidad and Tobago later this year.

Additionally, the Toronto-based singjay is working on a major collaboration with a Canadian-born international superstar in the coming weeks, which is sure to land the multi-talented entertainer his biggest break to date.




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