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RADIO RIDDLER Releases Debut Album ‘Purple Reggae’

2014 marks the 30-year anniversary of Prince’s Purple Rain, one of the most influential albums of all time. To celebrate this milestone, Radio Riddler has announced their debut album, Purple Reggae, out today, October 28, 2014 on MITA Records. The tribute album takes Radio Riddler’s unique style and pairs it with legendary vocalists including Sinead O’ Connor, UB40′s Ali Campbell, Citizen Cope,Beverly Knight, and more.

What started out as a labour of love experiment between Fun Lovin’ Criminals’ Frank Benbini andFast Leiser (known together as production outfit Radio Riddler) has turned into a fully conceived reggae tribute album. The pair has been working together for the past five years doing remixes for acts including Coldplay and Lily Allen, when they conceived the idea of a possible reggae tribute album to their musical hero Prince. Initially they thought it wouldn’t work, but as tracks progressed the project grew organically and took a life of its own. Word got out and notable musicians were eager to join the project and pay tribute to the Purple One. Frank Benbini of Radio Riddler/Fun Lovin’ Criminals enthusiastically states, “Prince is the reason I started playing music. I grew up on this album. It’s the soundtrack to my life and this is a tribute to him from me.”

The featured artists on this project include UB40′s Ali Campbell with his vocals on “Purple Rain,” that has caused a buzz during his live shows. Rock and blues singer Deborah Bonham, US artist Citizen Cope, and soul singers Beverly Knight round up the talent for the album. But the most surprising isSinead O’Connor’s take on “I Would Die 4 U.” Radio Riddler approached her personally, since she had international success with her take on Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U,” and she enthusiastically was on board. Their diverse vocal styles over an infectious reggae foundation have resulted in a fresh, perfectly crafted tribute that will inspire as much affection as Purple Rain did 30 years ago.

The Mandators moves to revive reggae in Africa

The Africa Meets Reggae and World Music Festival is to be held in Nigeria on Saturday, 29th of November 2014
The first international festival of the reggae music brand debuting this year in Nigeria. Reggae music is a powerful instrument of change and since Victor Essiet’s time in America over the last decade, the message and music has greatly faded.

Victor Essiet (The Mandators) has returned to Nigeria in recent years and one of his missions is to re-establish Reggae music and its message to prominence in Nigeria and the whole of Africa.
The festival will be held in three states; Cross River State (Calabar), River State (Port Harcourt), and Lagos State (Lagos) showcasing the top names in Reggae and World music over three days, coinciding with the 100th Centenary of Nigeria as a nation.Festival headliners are expected to be Majek Fashek, Damian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley and Stephen Marley, Victor Essiet and The Mandators, King Sunny Ade, and top international artists like Snoop Lion (Dogg), Shaggy, and many more.

Africa Meets Reggae has been an annual musical event hosted by Echodelic Music and Dub Club in Los Angeles the past four years and now it will be hosted in Nigeria for the first time by Mystic Records USA / Nigeria (Victor Essiet The Mandators “the Godfather of African Reggae”) and AWD / Brand Believers based in Nigeria in conjunction with Tom Chasteen (Echodelic Music / Dub Club) and Russell Gerlach (Foundation Artists) from the USA. All are bringing this concept to an international stage with production offices established in both Los Angeles, CA, USA and Lagos, Nigeria.

This festival will give Reggae and world music new exposure and awareness to music fans worldwide. Come celebrate Reggae and World Music with the Living Legends of today.

For more information, please contact:
Russell Gerlach: (562) 948-3008

Nelson NseAbasi

The playlist: reggae – Wayne Smith, Super Cat and Shabba Ranks

Last week the Jamaican novelist Marlon James unleashed his 600-page-plus blockbuster of a book A Brief History of Seven Killings. It’s a story that starts with the attempt on Bob Marley’s life in Kingston in 1976, and then reaches outwards to Miami and New York and forwards to the 1990s. Music looms large over Jamaican life, culture and history, so James has chosen five key tunes that take in the whole of the era covered by his novel.

However, there’s no Bob Marley. “I could have easily included on. Even though the story starts with the whole attempt on Marley, it goes on a good 15 years. It’s about people involved with him, but it’s not a Bob Marley novel. And at the same time, the people in the book, what they would have been listening too – it probably wouldn’t have been him. This is what the characters would be into – and not me. Not what I would like or what is cool, but what would have soundtracked the people in those places.”
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Warriors release reggae-inspired trials jersey

Have the Warriors taken things a little too far with the latest release in a long line of eye-catching jersey designs?

The Auckland-based NRL club has just released a picture of their training strip for the 2015 season and say the black, red, yellow and green jersey called zion is inspired by reggae.

So, now it seems the Warriors are linked to the old master Bob Marley himself?

This comes after the New Zealand team released their home and away playing strips for 2015, the club’s 20th anniversary year.

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New roots reggae EP for D-Medz (@Dmedzmusic)

Riding high from the success of his singles, Baby Mama Drama and Road Tonight, reggae singjay Dwayne ‘D-Medz’ Adams is putting in the hours to complete his second EP, a live-play roots reggae compilation.

“This album will be the follow-up to my debut EP, Road Tonight, and will boast an exclusive roots reggae vibe”, quips D-Medz. “I’m working with some of the most talented musicians and producers in the business, including Dean Fraser, Robbie Lyn, and Glenroy Browne. The sessions so far have been great and we’re doing the recordings as a live-play session at Tuff Gong Studios. The energy you get doing a live recording is amazing, and it’s definitely going to be something ‘different’ and impacting. I haven’t officially named the EP yet, but I’ve completed all the writing for the tracks and we’re gearing towards a release in late December or early January 2015.”

In addition to finalising his new EP, D-Medz is also stepping up promotion for his new single, Rebel Souljah. Produced by Zimbabwean label, Abra Tribe Music, on the Marange rhythm, the track has been buzzing on African airwaves as well as in the Caribbean. He said, “Rebel Souljah is an empowering song and was composed to appeal to Africans or ‘freedom fighters’ at home and abroad. It should inspire listeners to make positive contributions to society and to fight for equality.”

The song, he confirms, has been getting a lot of “good vibrations”, especially in Ghana, opening the doors for him to do a lot more work with other African producers.