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Ziggy Marley Expands Definition of Reggae on New Album

For Ziggy Marley, it would seem like there would be a simple path to take in the genre pioneered by your legendary father.

Crank out a new album every other year, accumulate the riches, play gigs across the planet for your adoring fan base.

And yet, with each new studio release, the oldest son of the legendary Bob Marley has continued to raise the bar by expanding the bandwidth of reggae. His tireless approach has garnered him six Grammys for his pop-reggae music, and may garner him another soon.

With the April release of his fifth and latest full-length solo studio release, Fly Rasta, on Tuff Gong Worldwide, his own label, he has not only expanded his unique reggae sound, but made it versatile.

Fly Rasta follow his 2013 Grammy winner Ziggy Marley Live in Concert, and it is his love letter to planet earth and its inhabitants. It is an ambitious piece of work that Marley has sown together, combining his pop-reggae interpretation with funk, psychedelia, rock, and soul.

Besides enlisting the back-up singing talents of sisters Cedella and Sharon Marley, and former Melody Makers bandmates, Marley has gathered on Fly Rasta a virtual who’s who of side musicians that is nothing short of amazing:

Drummers Stephen Ferrone (Tom Petty), Brian MacLeod (Sheryl Crow), Rock Deadrick (Ben Harper) and Motown’s legendary James Gadson; guitarists Lyle Workman (Sara Bareilles), Takeshi Akimoto (Taj Mahal) and Ian “Beezy” Coleman (Burning Spear); bassists Dave Wilder (Norah Jones), Guy Erez (Karmina), Abraham Laboriel (Paul Simon) and Pablo Stennett (Willie Nelson); and keyboardists Zac Rae (Lana Del Ray), David Palmer (Goo Goo Dolls), George Hughes (Sarah Vaughan), Mike Hyde (Burning Spear) and Brian LeBarton (Beck).

It is the showcasing of this new release that Marley and his 10-piece touring band of 10-plus years will bring to Chandler at the Wild Horse Pass Ovations Showroom on Friday, October 31. The local tour stop is a part of a very extensive 78-gig tour that has taken him across the US from coast to coast, into Canada and even as far away as Singapore.

With Fly Rasta, Marley, who just turned 46, is not so much political as he is a promoter of the “one love” theme his father also espoused. But there is more.

“I seriously wanted to push the boundaries, and my own boundaries of music outside of expectations and outside of boxes, and that is my drive,” says Marley, who doesn’t like to be labeled just a reggae artist.

The opening song, “I Don’t Want to Live on Mars,” speaks to the need to protect the earth and has a serious message, but with a carefree and infectious pop beat. The title track “Fly Rasta” shows Marley coming back more to his true reggae roots than other recent studio efforts, and yet it is a song that Marley had written nearly 20 years before, and one in which he uses the backup vocals of legendary artist U-Roy, known to Melody Maker fans.

“‘Fly Rasta’ is about what started me being who I am, what started me being a musician — growing up Rasta. Rasta is my foundation,” he says.

Always a long-time fan of Beatle John Lennon, Marley pays homage to his wife Orly Agai in “You’re My Yoko Ono.”

“It goes back to the love you find in a partner,” Marley says. “My wife is from a different culture than I am. It can change the way you think about love. You know, preachers preach about love, but we are actually doing the loving and loving each other, while they are preaching about it.”

Interview: Reggae Sensation Collie Buddz on Maui Island Vibez Visit

Smooth, talented, and down-to-earth are just a few attributes you take away from meeting a larger than life artist like Collie Buddz.

The world renowned reggae singer from Bermuda has hits that include “Come Around,” “Gimmie Love,” and “Blind To you.”

Buddz, as his friends call him, was just on Maui for the Island Vibez Music Festival featuring Hawaiʻi’s own Kolohe Kai and California based reggae band Stickfigure held on Saturday at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center.

He was kind enough to sit down with me for Maui Now and fill us in on how his tour, career, and family life have been treating him.

Q: Let’s begin with how you’re doing. How is tour life treating you?

A: Good, couldn’t be better. Tour life is pretty cool; been a little crazy the last couple of years but… it’s a good thing. (I’ve been) travelling a lot; just came back from Europe where we did a couple of festivals during the summer, and now we are in Hawaiʻi. Loving it.

Q: You have a new single out called “Light It Up” and it screams something new and different. Are you excited for the new audience you will reach, or nervous, or both?

A: Yea, I mean you know when we first did the song I didn’t really expect first of all to shoot a video for it and second of all to actually put it out. It was just a fun thing… I was just having fun in the studio. So yea, I’m looking forward to see how well it does.

Q: You’ve worked with Kid Cudi, StickFigure, Soja, Snoop Lion, Joey Badass, and the list goes on and on. Who’s next?

A: I’m not sure you know, I really don’t know. I love working with everyone really. But for me I need to work on my stuff first. Actually, I’m working on a song produced by Super Dubs with Notch and that is probably the new feature of the new project coming out.

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Tanya Stephens to perform at Dubai reggae beachfest

For the first time in the Middle East, dancehall diva Tanya Stephens will rock the Reggae Beachfest at XL Beach Club, Habtoor Grand Resort and Spa in Dubai.

Reggae artist Tanya Stephens is known for her hits such as Yuh Nuh Ready Fi Dis Yet, a single that later featured on the Reggae Gold 1997 compilation album. She received international recognition with the song It’s a Pity. She will be performing these hits, along with her repertoire of songs, on the Reggae Beachfest stage and the UAE for the first time.

Stephens will be joined by the UAE’s dancehall king, Don Corneille, along with DJ Jus, Raj and Jaysun who will be representing Jamaica, Teddy Jam from Sudan, and Jezz De Don Dada.

The event will kick off at 2pm. Jamaican food will be available to make sure party goers will have enough energy for the dance floor.

What: Reggae Beachfest

When: Saturday, November 1

Where: XL Beach Club, Habtoor Grand Resort and Spa

Contact: 055 2323956, reggaebeachfest@gmail.com

SoCal Reggae All Stars Talks Supergroup Status, New Album and Weekly Wayfarer Shows

Reggae lovers looking for a weekly fix can convene at The Wayfarer in Costa Mesa on Tuesday nights, where the stage bustles with a rotating lineup of musicians known as the SoCal Reggae All Stars. Comprised of members from Steel Pulse, Common Sense, and Big Mountain, the super group views the weekly gig as a way to keep Southern California’s reggae community engaged and growing.

Lead guitarist and producer David “Cirious” Elecciri Jr. anchors the group, and considering he’s also a member of reggae staple act Steel Pulse, he’s more than qualified. With an album featuring Baruch Hind and members of No Doubt pegged for release in early summer, the SoCal Reggae All Stars are poised to keep Orange County’s reggae reputation flourishing. We sat down with Elecciri who shared his thoughts on the band, the new album, and the state of Southern California’s reggae scene.

OC Weekly (Heidi Darby): How did you get the All Stars together?
David “Cirious” Elecciri Jr.: I felt like we needed to do something for ourselves, for this area. These guys are veterans in the game, so I was always the kid asking for new stuff. Over the years being here in Southern Orange County, you have a lot of world-class reggae musicians that people don’t realize reside here. I was fortunate enough to link up with these guys. This was my way of getting everybody in my life involved with each other and creating a project.

Was it tough to get everyone together on a weekly basis?
Tuesday nights are the nights when everybody’s home. When you’re touring you generally fly out on a Wednesday or Thursday and are home by Monday. Tuesday is the day that all of us can get together and do something positive for the reggae community here. For us as musicians, it’s about the brotherhood, and The Wayfarer has been amazing for that. There’s no other place in the United States like California when it comes to reggae right now.

Do you ever try out new jams onstage or do you mostly play songs from your other bands?
A lot of the songs that we play are songs that we’ve been playing for years. There are some new tracks that we have recorded, but for the most part we’re not playing those out yet. We’re just waiting for the right time, and honestly I think the new album is going to be something really special. We’ve got so many amazing people involved [including] some of the guys from No Doubt.

How did No Doubt come into the picture?
Adrian is a huge Steel Pulse fan and came and hung out at our show at the Observatory in May. He sat in on one of the songs of our set. Afterwards we chatted about the Steel Pulse album and he offered to help me with the drum production. We got in the studio and really hit it off. We built a couple amazing tracks together and he called in Stephen (Bradley, trumpet/keys/vocals) and Gabe (McNair, trombone/keys/vocals) to lay down some brass, which was another success. We all share the same goals and vision of music here in Southern California. So I asked them to be apart of the SoCal Reggae All Stars project and they thought it was a great idea and they were more than willing to participate. Those guys are so cool and humble, it’s about the music and the message and the positivity. Read more

Inner Circle featuring Nengo Flow – Fall In Love – (Video)

INNER CIRCLE, THE BAD BOYS REGGAE, in collaboration with Latin Star, NENGO FLOW, drop their latest single titled, “FALL IN LOVE.”

Be the first to check out the single on iTunes! THE BAD BOYS OF REGGAE will head out on tour throughout locations in Florida, debuting the forthcoming untitled INNER CIRCLE album.

Make sure to check out the world premiere of the “FALL IN LOVE” music video.