2015 sum up: the Reggae Dancehall Industry ups and downs, releases and more.
After the loss of visionary artist Peter Dean Rickards, best known as The Afflicted Yard on 2014’s New Year’s Eve, 2015 started calmly with some good Roots Reggae music. In January, Chronixx teamed up with the Reggae Band, Inner Circle. Together, they released a great rejuvenated cover of Jacob Miller‘s 1980 hit song “Tenement Yard (News Carrying Dread).”
Soul Jazz Records brought back some old memories with the release of “Studio One Showcase: The Sound Of Studio One In The 1970s”. And the Reggae festival Rebel Salute was held for the 21st time in Saint Ann, Jamaica and washed away the memory of a Sting 2014 that ended abruptly after the fire of a few gunshots.
In February, Jamaica celebrated Reggae music and more particularly in Kingston with the support of the Ministry of Tourism. It is also during the Reggae Month that the Jamaican Government passed the law concerning the decriminalization of marijuana. The festival starred Johnny Clarke, Third World, Tarrus Riley, Dean Fraser, Luciano, Sizzla and many more.
In March, Exco Levi released his debut album “Country Man”, under Penthouse record label. An authentic Roots Reggae album, in which the artist sung about the lifestyle of rastafarians and the rejection of this movement by the society (Since I Throw The Comb Away). Concurrently, Protoje released his third studio album “Ancient Future”.
In April, the italian duo of twin brothers Mellow Moods have released their 4th studio album “2 The World”. Addis Pablo, the son of Augustus Pablo, pursues his father’s legacy with he release of a new single titled “Pablo Inna De Yard”.
In May, Exile Di Brave dropped his first Reggae album “The Journey Begins”. Jesse Royal also released the heavyweight ganja anthem “Finally”. Alongside Mad Cobra and Bounty Killer, Stephen “Ragga” Marley delivered the tuff yet deeply emotional track “Ghetto Boy” in support of the ghetto youths. n a much sadder note, Dancehall Deejay Corey from the Marital Family was shot dead in Montego Bay. Another fallen soldier.
In June, as the temperating rising, we started warming up for the summer with the “Blahdaff Nation Riddim” and the Aji Bounce. Major Lazer dropped the album “Peace Is The Mission”, which features the international hit song “Lean On”.
In Jamaica, another edition of the mythical Reggae Sumfest was held in Montego Bay. In Europe, Reggae massives enjoyed the sound of Reggae music night and day during the festival season. The SummerJam in Germany welcomed top notch acts such as Tarrus Riley alongside Dean Fraser, Baby Cham, Beres Hammond and Wyclef Jean. Then, the Reggae Geel featured legendary Dancehall artist Supercat, Barrington Levy, Shaggy, Chuck Fenda, Agent Sasco, and many more. It is also in July that Reggae artist Jah Cure released his new album “The Cure”.
In August, Spain also welcomed the great Supercat at the Rototom Reggae Festival. Like every other year, the rest of the world also vibes to the the rhythm of Reggae music: in Canada, with the Montreal Reggae International Festival, in the US, with the Reggae on the River Festival… Dancehall producer Seanizzle released his debut album “Music My Way”. And by the end of the month, it was the turn of Aidonia to drop his highly anticipated debut album “Project Sweat” under 4th Genna Music record label.
In September, the trombonist of the UK Rocksteady band The Specials, Rico Rodriguez, dies at age 80. In October, Prince Malachi blessed up with the release of his studio album “Third Rock”. In November, Suns of Dub released their first album “Far East Dub” and Zion Productions, the various-artist compilation “Lion of Judah Riddim”.
2015 ended quite sadly. Fast rising artist J Capri passed away at the age of 23 after a terrible car accident. We expected to be cheered up with the highly awaited one-night fest Sting 2015. But the latter was ended prematurely by police while Elephant Man, Vershon and a couple more top acts haven’t performed yet. There was only the release of Dennis Brown‘s EP, “Rock On”, featuring his latest recordings that date from 16 years ago that brightened this 2015 Christmas Season.