Sizzla taken off Dutch festival days after STING ban

Sizzla Kalonji has been axed from a festival in Netherlands set for March due to anti-gay lyrics from his recent set at STING 2013

Sizzla Kalonji has been axed from a festival in Netherlands set for March due to anti-gay lyrics from his recent set at STING 2013

by Jodee Brown

Reggae/Dancehall star, Sizzla Kalonji is once again facing heat for his stances against homosexuality following his recent performance at STING 2013 as organizers for an upcoming festival in the Netherlands have removed him from their lineup, according to reports Tuesday.

The revered singer will not perform his scheduled gig at the Melkweg festival on March 16 in Amsterdam after organizers were made aware of Sizzla’s set at STING 2013, where he spoke out against gay relationships throughout.

Organizers said they did not want to offer a stage to any artist who sings ‘very hurtful and hateful lyrics.’

Patrons who had purchased tickets to see Sizzla will be refunded, according to organizers. Sizzla has yet to respond to the organizers’ stance.

This development comes days after STING organizers banned the entertainer for ‘promoting hate music,’ saying they warned him not to sing such lyrics during his performance, which was broadcast on pay-per-view to viewers worldwide.

Sizzla is among five artists nominated for the Best Reggae Album award at this year’s Grammy Awards, set to take place on Jan. 26 in Los Angeles.

Pink decides to ‘Try’ on ‘Justice System’ movie soundtrack

Andrew Lee Pryce (left), the CEO of Real Entertainment Productions says he is fully endorsing Spyglass Entertainment's choise of Pink's 'Try' for the 'Justice System' movie soundtrack.

Andrew Lee Pryce (left), the CEO of Real Entertainment Productions says he is fully endorsing Spyglass Entertainment’s choise of Pink’s ‘Try’ for the ‘Justice System’ movie soundtrack.

by Jodee Brown

Real Entertainment Productions and CEO, Andrew Lee Pryce are throwing their support behind the addition of P!nk’s Try to the official Justice System movie soundtrack, recently made possible by the film’s producers, Spyglass Entertainment.

Released in 2012, Try peaked at number nine on theBillboard Hot 100 chart and was further popularized in 2013 thanks to the efforts of The Voice winner, Tessanne Chin, who successfully sang the song during her blind audition on the NBC talent show.

In a press release, P!nk says she thoroughly enjoyed Tessanne’s pulsating rendition of her song and is glad that Try has been added to the Justice Systemsoundtrack.

“I fell in love with Jamaican music when Tessanne Chindid over my song, Try on The Voice and it was extraordinary,” she said. “I now fall in love with Andrew-Lee Pryce’s talent as a film producer. “When Spy Glass Entertainment contacted me to use my song ‘Try’ in Pryce’s upcoming film, Justice System, I could not say no.”

Pryce says Try is a perfect fit for the movie soundtrack given its strong, underlying message.

“I love this song from, the first time I heard it! Each time I hear this song, even if I’m down. It’s a big motivation to keep trying hard for success, nevertheless what haters have to say.”

Meanwhile, Pryce and the Real Entertainment Production congratulate Tessanne Chin for her outstanding performances that led her to the crown on The Voice, putting Jamaican music back, firmly, on the international map. He now hopes to emulate Chin’s success on the big screen.

“Tessanne Chin tried until the end, when she won The Voice. Now I’m trying to break big in film and win an Oscar.” he said.

Justice System, produced by independent American film company, Spyglass Entertainmentis a movie looking at the life of a young Jamaican footballer seeking a better, but finds gets himself in legal troubles in the United States. The movie will feature a slew of international stars, including Academy Awardwinning actor, Russell Crowe and rap star, Ja Rule to name a few.

Real Entertainment Production is still on the hunt for the cast to play the role as the young Jamaican footballer.

Pryce and his R.E.P continue to thank Spyglass Entertainment for allowing the opportunity to help bring this promising film to life. The film is expected to be released in 2016.

Auditions for Justice System will be held across North America and the Caribbean between March and June 2014. Locations for said auditions include, Jamaica, Trinidad, the United States and Canada.

Sizzla, D’Angel banned from STING, says Isaiah Laing

Reggae/Dancehall singers, Sizzla Kalonji and D'Angel have been banned from future editions of STING following alleged controversies during their performances at STING 2013

Reggae/Dancehall singers, Sizzla Kalonji and D’Angel have been banned from future editions of STING following alleged controversies during their performances at STING 2013

by Jodee Brown

Days after giving what some said was the best performance of STING 2013, Reggae singer, Sizzla Kalonji has been banned from future editions of the show by its lead promoter, Isaiah Laing, for alleged hate lyrics performed during his set, according to reports Tuesday evening.

The Grammy-nominated artist gave a rousing, hard-hitting set during the 30th anniversary show, in which he spoke out strongly against homosexuality, negative connotations attached to marijuana, among other societal issues. According to Laing, Sizzla’s ban comes as result of continuous rants against homosexuals throughout his performance, which went against a pre-show agreement with organizers not to sing anti-gay lyrics during his set.

“Sizzla was warned repeatedly before going onstage about not promoting hate music and he went up there and did it repeatedly,” the Supreme Promotions CEO told the Jamaica Gleaner. “We are going international and we warned every artiste before they went on to the stage.”

Meanwhile, D’Angel is also in hot water with Laing after giving a controversial set of her own at STING.The popular deejay was banned for at least five years as a patron following a clash with Ninja Man for what Laing called an ‘embarrassing’ stint. During the impromptu setD’Angel surprised the crowd when during her performance, she spread her legs multiple times while only wearing a short dress. She also made several references to needing to pay for her son’s school fee as she was not initially booked to do the show.

Both bans were reportedly confirmed on Saturday following a meeting.

“What kind of image is D’Angel portraying as a mother? he told The Gleaner“She’s saying she came to clash but that’s not how the clash went. It was not about Ninja Man, she embarrassed herself. At least a five-year ban for D’Angel.”

“We don’t need your money D’Angel. Stay home. Watch the event on pay-per-view next year,” Laing continued.

A press release, issued by STING 30 promoters on Tuesday illustrated the organizers’ frustration with some of the acts during their performances, saying they were, “inconsistent with their efforts to provide energetic and authentic Jamaican entertainment.”

“We believe that our artistes will take note of the observations which will assist us in effecting the kinds of control that we have been working assiduously to maintain and introduce,” the statement continued.“We wish to commend the majority of artistes who appeared on the show and performed in accordance with the standards which are reflective of our objectives.”

“Sharp lyrical exchanges and colorful performances are staples of our annual offering, however, in accordance with our efforts to internationalize the event, we strive to ensure that the performances conform to accepted standards of decency and decorum.”

STING 30 was broadcast to overseas viewers, via pay-per-view and a live stream worth just under $US40 each.

2013 Year in Review: The best songs, artists and stories in Jamaican music

by Jodee Brown

After a 2012 which saw Jamaica return to the roots of its music during its 50th anniversary year, the majority of 2013 proved to be a major letdown and appeared to be heading for irrelevancy within the pantheon on memorable Jamaican periods. That is, until a certain sparkly 28-year-old singer reminded everyone that our music still has a very long shelf-life, if attention is focused on the right channels.

Tessanne Chin added a much needed boost to what was a mostly ordinary year within Jamaican music and entertainment. From a downsizing of hit songs, to increasingly poor album sales in the United States, to undying scrutiny regarding lyrical content and party regulations, these were trying times for artists and music lovers alike in 2013.

Nevertheless, we try to look on the brighter side of things in our music. With that said, check out the slideshow in the middle of this article, showing slides looking at the songs, artists and news makers that made Jamaican music interesting in 2013.  Feel free to comment below if you agree or disagree with these picks.

Best New Artist – Jah Bouks

Best New Artist – Jah Bouks

Honorable Mentions – Keznamdi, Kelissa, Alkaline, Samantha J

This year was a strong year for debutantes on the local scene. Keznamdi has music lovers re-thinking how they would spend each Weekend, Alkaline inked his eye and his name on the Dancehall scene, Kelissa continued a recent run of impressive, upcoming female singers coming out, while teenage sensation, Samantha J bragged about being the girl in the Tight Up SkirtBut, in this writer’s opinion, there is only one winner.

As an ardent listener of Portmore’s Sun City 104.9FM, there is a strong amount of good, featured music by artists with potential, but little to no mainstream assurance. One such artist was a St. Thomas native by the name of Jah Bouks whose vocals and concepts were unique and smooth.

After hearing songs like Angola and Don’t Cry play so many times on radio, there was no doubt in this writer’s mind 2013 would be Jah Bouks would be a breakout act, if he got the right push. Sai push came in the form of competing on season six of Magnum Kings and Queens of Dancehall, where his singing ability and stage presence instantly made him a hit with music lovers. He failed to emerge with the million-dollar grand prize, but his star had shone too brightly for him to fade in the limelight soon thereafter.

Angola has been a big hit in mainstream media and on Jamaican streets, landing him several shows locally and overseas in the last six months. Going Home, Vital and others proved that this was not just any ordinary, fly-by-night tinker in his music, but someone whose vision is more wide-ranging than some veteran acts in today’s business, if you listen to his content. 2014 will be a year in which music lovers will look on him Highly! As he would say.

Male Deejay of the Year – I-Octane

Male Deejay of the Year – I-Octane

Honorable Mentions – Aidonia, Vybz Kartel

There was a huge struggle with this pick, nearly a temptation to leave this award vacant in all honesty, as no Dancehall artist really made his mark on the scene all year-round, struggling for a string of hits.

Konshens, who asserted his authority in Dancehall throughout 2012 with a slew of number ones, was mostly an afterthought this year, with Pull Up To Mi Bumper (feat. J Capri) really being his only standout song, with well over six million YouTube views.

Vybz Kartel, still awaiting word on his freedom from a long-standing murder charge, produced his share of noteworthy songs such as School, Business and Georgina. But, as often the case with the ‘Worl’ Boss’ in recent years, he follows up one big song with five low quality ones.

Aidonia certainly looked like the frontrunner in the first half of the year, driving female audiences mad with songs like Fi Di Jockey, Bruki and Tip Pon Yuh Toe, but his work released since the summer drastically failed to replicate that early success.

So, in the end, this honour goes to I-Octane. His hit at the start of the year, Gyal A Gimme Bunwas a hit with music lovers, adding a mix of old-school vibes with new school humor, as evidenced by the accompanying video. Happy Time and Wine and Jiggle have also been strong on local charts and, despite some skepticism going in, Octane validated the faith shown in him by Reggae Sumfest organizers to close their Dancehall Night with one of his better performances.

Mind you, this was not as solid a year for him as 2010 was, but in a year where many Dancehall acts flattered to deceive, he managed to topple them all.

Female Deejay of the Year – Lady Saw

 Female Deejay of the Year – Lady Saw

Female Deejay of the Year – Lady Sawjamaica-gleaner.com

Honorable Mentions – Macka Diamond, Spice

Unlike the male version of this category, the female one took much less thought, because frankly, content from female deejays was very limited.

Macka Diamond certainly had the biggest song amongst her compatriots with the chart-topping single, Dye Dyebut could not duplicate that form with her follow-up efforts, no matter how raunchy or edgy her promotional or lyrical content gotSpice also had a pair of modest hits, Twerk and Dun Wife which were catchy and thought-provoking, but she was mostly anonymous otherwise, with her beefs with Macka Diamond and the winner of this category mainly keeping her talked about in the press.

For all intent and purposes, Lady Saw was supposed to be done with Dancehall – moving on to a calmer, more spiritual lifestyle after growing tired of the stress and obstacles within a genre she dominated for decades. But the inner ‘bad gyal’ in her just could not resist staying away for good. Her video for Heels On, and the remix (featuring Flo-Rida) put her back on the international map again.

Her solo set at STING 2013, and, moments later, lyrical decapitation of the aforementionedMacka Diamond during their heated clash at the show really summed up how much Dancehall still needs its queen. She still has the edge and lyrical quality left to be a force in the business, as Heels On proved. Time will tell if she follows up on her decision on walk away for good, but her fans will certainly try their best to keep her around.

Reggae Artist of the Year – Chronixx

Reggae Artist of the Year – Chronixx

Reggae Artist of the Year – Chronixx reggaesumfest.com

Honorable Mentions – Sizzla, Beres Hammond, Etana

After a year which saw him rise to instant super stardom with one international hit after the next, one could forgive Chronixx if he relented and moseyed along 2013 while trying to find firm footing within this new-found status. Nope, he is a Warrior, and he continues to fight his way to the top with alarming ease.

Conceptually, he is well beyond his years, showcased through his chart-topping hit,Smile Jamaica, a song reminiscent of Bob Marley’s classic, with a spin on it comparing Jamaica to a beautiful woman. After dropping one of the best songs of 2013, he could again be forgiven for taking his foot off the gas pedal. Of course, again, he refused.

Access Granted, Rain Music, Most I and Here Comes Trouble went over with Jamaicans far and wide, earning rotation in markets such as the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Billboard has already identified him as potentially Reggae music’s next big superstar, and who would blame them for jumping to that conclusion this early, given his catalogue.

In fairness, Sizzla, Beres Hammond and Etana put out solid hits which did not received nearly the same airplay or approval, but were solid throughout the year, both in studio and on stage. The former two received nods for the 2014 Best Reggae Album Grammy, whileEtana, in this writer’s opinion, should have earned a similar nod.

Given the trajectory Chronixx is on, such recognition will be coming his way much sooner than later, and deservedly so.

Song of the Year – Bumaye (Major Lazer feat. Busy Signal)

 Song of the Year – Bumaye (Major Lazer feat. Busy Signal)

Song of the Year – Bumaye (Major Lazer feat. Busy Signal)twelvefresh.com

Honorable Mentions – Smile Jamaica (Chronixx), Gyal a Gimme Bun (I-Octane), Nuh Compatible (Bugle)

There were a few gems that sparkled song-wise within the seemingly rusting jewel that was Jamaican music in 2013; all of them dominating for a long stretch of time.

Gyal a Gimme Bun was Dancehall’s biggest, most noteworthy hit between January and March, racking up number ones and giving pop culture a new term to exhaust with ‘Mi chest plate a bun mi.’

Nuh Compatible was one of the spring’s most talked about songs, composed by journeyman artist, Bugle, who finally earned his first real mainstream hit since his debut single, What We Gonna Do five years earlier. The acclaim it received was deserved and gave those going through untenable relationships a song to hang their hat on.

As mentioned in the previous slide, Smile Jamaica was a stroke of genius by Chronixx, and was easily the best Reggae song for 2013. But, the winner of this category had his song play in the background of a Pepsi commercial featuring world footballing great, Lionel Messi.Enough said.

Busy Signal, seeking that next, big mainstream hit since being released from prison in November of last year, teamed with Major Lazer for the single, Bumaye, which in English, means kill them (a phrase shouted during Muhammad Ali’s legendary fight with George Foreman).

This top-of-the-line, collaboration was, to use another boxing reference, an instant knockout, earning over 40 million YouTube hits, platinum status in Denmark and that aforementioned commercial with Messi. It was a throwback-themed song – using old-time Dancehall sounds and terms – that morphed into a commercial success and made Busy a major international player once again.

Story of the Year – Tessanne is ‘The Voice’

Story of the Year – Tessanne is ‘The Voice’

Story of the Year – Tessanne is ‘The Voice’ File photo

There could only be one winner or nominee for this honor; a no-brainer really.

Some four or five months ago, Tessanne Chin was a relative afterthought struggling to find a major breakthrough that would launch a once promising career that mostly stalled since making her mainstream debut as a teenager in 2004. Thanks to smart advice from Shaggy and one-chair-turning audition in Los Angeles, she went from Hideaway to being one of the most sought after musicians in the world right now.

Chin long possessed the vocal range, clarity and stage presence necessary to become a superstar, and after successfully auditioning for season five of NBC’s The Voice, those qualities were finally there for a much bigger audience than ours to witness. Song by song, she hit every high note with ease, and round-by-round, more American viewers were warming up to a woman whose personality and talent were too irresistible a combination to overlook.

Her last two solo performances – of Simon and Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Waterand Whitney Houston’s I Have Nothing – were two of the most memorable performances ever displayed by a Jamaican artist, or on any talent show worldwide for that matter. With every well-sung word, she had her own coach, Adam Levine, and really everyone else speechless, leaving one to wonder how high her ceiling really is.

Winning The Voice and an American recording contract were mere formalities really. It was the way the she galvanized her entire country to the point bars and Half-Way-Tree square were filled to Bolt-like proportions that was the real story. Jamaican music, and Jamaica in general, now had something to smile broadly about in a year filled with economic and social mishaps and drug controversy surrounding the island’s main source of unbridled joy in recent years, its track and field team.

Chin brought a badly-needed light on the island in dark times and has given every local musician to believe that a break is coming, with just a little persistence and attention to detail required. She now has the opportunity to become the island’s next musical icon and open doors for Jamaican in an American market which has not been kind to them since the days ofDamian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley, Shaggy and Sean Paul.

Here is to hoping in 2014, she lays the foundation for Jamaica building a much stronger home musically.

Lion’s Den Reggae Music Mondays Roars to new Location Downtown Toronto

Re-introducing The Lions Den at a whole new location. Re-igniting the flame at a whole new level.

Re-introducing The Lions Den at a whole new location. Re-igniting the flame at a whole new level.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Toronto’s Favorite Monday Night Reggae Music hang-out, Lions Den, hits Bunda Lounge with a long list of upcoming performers and some of the city’s finest Selectas spinning the latest and greatest tunes.

Toronto, ON – August , 2013 — Reggae Music advocate JuLion King of Reggae Xclusive Magazine and popular blog site CanadianReggaeWorld.com has re-introduced “The Lions Den”. The weekly night of music commonly known as “Denday” continues to build on its rich history of providing pure reggae vibes that all can enjoy.  The hot new location is Bunda Lounge at 1108 Dundas Street West. Main event selectas (DJs) include The Juiceman – Jonathan Shaw, Suppa Natty, Fyah Rootz of Atmosphere Sound alongside Amazona Sound. On the scene photos, video and promotion will be provided by TorontoDeejays.com and Time2Rize Media, Inc.  Click here to see promo video.

The Den is now welcoming all artists and entertainers to showcase their talents. In the few short weeks at their new location, numerous upcoming and well known Reggae/Dancehall artists have shown up to enjoy the vibes and have graced the microphone with their abundance of talent.  Names include: Progress, Michie Mee, Lindo P, Popa Levy, Melodic Yoza, Tonya P, Nkrumah and you never know who will show up on the very next Denday.

This event features all the flavours of Reggae music sprinkled with sounds from around the Caribbean and the world. The bar also serves up a wide selection of drinks ranging from cocktails, liquers, domestic/imported beers and refreshing non-alcoholic beverages.  “It’s typically a jam to chill to the sounds of Roots, Rastafarian Reggae with a mix of Soul, Funk, R & B, House music, Soca, and a touch of Dancehall. A vibe to chill and relax, or simply just to dance! No pretenses, just positive energy!” says JuLion King who also told the story of a friend asking him, “What are you selling at the Lion’s Den?” His answer was simply, “We sell smiles.”

Event Details:

The Lions Den Reggae Music Party

Venue: Bunda Lounge 1108 Dundas St. W. @ Ossington, Toronto, ON

Date: Every Monday (Doors Open at 10pm)

A canned food donation or $5 cover at the door

For Additional Info Contact:

JuLion King at canadianreggaeworld@gmail.com
Tygon Cowan at info@torontodeejays.com

Visit www.bundalounge.ca for directions

LIONS DEN "IGNITION" PROMOTIONAL VIDEO

LIONS DEN “IGNITION” PROMOTIONAL VIDEO

Re-introducing The Lions Den at a whole new location. Re-igniting the flame at a whole new level. Just warming up. All artists and entertainers welcome to showcase their talents. All reggae fans are welcome to join the party. Each and every Monday (Denday). Doors open @ 10pm. A canned good or $5 at the door. Party all night. Pre-party with delicious food and unforgettable moments starting very soon! Brought to you by: Canadian Reggae World with a little help from Toronto Deejays TV and Time2Rize Media, Inc.