Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Adrian Dutchin's Soca Monarch 2008 Perfromance

Part One

Part Two

Charmaine Blackman - By the Will of Jah

Charmaine Blackman - By the Will of Jah

Charmaine Blackman - Earth Tremors

Charmaine Blackman - Earth Tremors

Spotlight: Adrian Dutchin

I had a dream about Adrian. I dreamt that he was performing at Madison Square Garden and I was there to see it all. So, I believe that this is a sign that he will make it BIG. I think so, he certainly have the talent for it.

This was most likely written in 2006, because in 2007 Malo was crowned Soca Monarch with "Gimme it." Adrian reclaimed the crown in 2008 with "No Place like home."

From his bio:
Dutchin is synonymous with soca in Guyana, there is no way you can talk about local soca and not include the 'king.' And he is the king, you know. In February, for the second consecutive year he was crowned Carib Soca Monarch and has been on a high since. He's already planning to continue his supremacy in the local soca world come next year. Adrian was also crowned the Mashramani 'Road March King' for his song "One", the same song that won him the crown in the soca competition. And just a week ago, Adrian released the music video for "One". But Adrian is more than just a soca king. He is a true entertainer and songwriter and at the young age of 24, has already made a name for himself not only in the local arena but overseas as well. This, coupled with his good looks - though he is a bit on the short side - has the ladies going wild especially since he has teamed up with 'Rubber Waist' Jumo under the moniker X2. Recently the 'king' took time out from his busy schedule to sit down and share with The Scene. And while we would like to say that his name is also synonymous with the words "Tick Tock", Adrian says it is more than that.

Several years ago, Adrian Dutchin entered the local music scene as part of 'Seven'. Remember them? A group of school-aged boys belting out a song called "Promises" with Adrian, maybe just around 15 years old, as the lead singer. They sang other songs but it was "Promises" that made them popular. Adrian recalled that the group was made up boys mostly from one street attending one school and it came into existence after he spoke to a friend about collaborating and singing a song with him. "That friend spoke to other friends and they all wanted to be a part, so I said 'you know what, why don't we start a group?'" But as they say all good things must come to an end and the group disintegrated after the members decided they wanted different things in life. He said that it was also because of the limited scope music has in Guyana that the parents of some of the group members were not in favour of them vigorously pursuing a music career. He recalled that they had a meeting where everyone spoke out and after some discussion it was decided that everyone would go their separate ways.

Check him out:

Spotlight: Charmaine Blackman

I found this short biography somewhere, please forgive me for not crediting the source, I just can't remember where.

CHARMAINE BLACKMAN has been singing for 17 years professionally. Her versatility, superb range and exceptional talent have helped to establish her as a leading voice in the field of music in Guyana.

She has sung with many of Guyana’s top bands and her voice and features have been associated on Radio and Television commercials for some of the major companies in Guyana.

Touted as Guyana's most recorded voice and the Artiste with the most Music Videos with over 100 Audio recordings featured on 15 CDs Ranging from Ballads to Hip-hop, Disco, Reggae and Soca, 5 of which are Solo Albums. She was crowned Road March Queen in 1997 in Guyana's Mashramani Celebrations, toured to over 15 countries and enjoys airplay in countries like France, Guam, England, Malta, USA, Canada, Brazil and the Caribbean. Charmaine has appeared on Stage with the cream of top Caribbean Artistes that include Eddie Grant, Shabba Ranks, Buju Banton, Alison Hinds and Square one, Krosfayah, Gregory Isaacs, Machael Montano and Xtatic, Shadow, Calypso Rose, Boris Gardiner, Super Blue, Lord Kitchener, Dobby Dobson, just to name a few.

Charmaine also has to her credit over 25 music videos, and moved to another level by being the Co-Executive Producer for the locally produced movie “THE WILL TO LIVE” in which she is also featured.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Natural Black - Far from Reality

New tune - Mama

Spotlight: Natural Black

There's just something about Natural Black, the vibes, the melodies, the words

From his myspace bio
Mortimer Softley born March 16, 1975 in Plaisance, East Coast Demerara, started singing on the streets of Guyana before he moved to singing in bands. It seems like destiny that he should later come to reside in Jamaica, which he has been doing for the past 11 years as he actually started singing mostly songs coming out of Jamaica. He got his practice by singing some of the veteran songs such as Burning Spears, Don Carlos and Lucky Dube. He then started listening to Buju Banton and Beres Hammond so it was no surprise when people described his sound and style of writing as a blend between the two artistes and by then it was easy to make the transition of coming to Jamaica in 1995. On arrival to Jamaica he first started linking with Red Rose, Freddie McGregor and producer Gordon Lee from Sonic Sounds then entered Beres Hammond’s camp where he remained for 2 years.

‘Spiritual Food’ was his first album done for Roger Grant of Pot Hot Records in France which was followed by ‘World War’ also produced by Roger Grant. Both Albums were released in 2004. The album that introduced him as an artiste on a mission with a message and one to be reckoned with was ‘Far From Reality’. This album, produced by PG’s Music, with the hit single of the same name and ‘It Nice’ had everyone wanting to know exactly who was this Rastafarian and propelled Natural Black into the spotlight after its release in September 2004. Both songs went number one all the local charts and did extremely well on the international markets. ‘Jah Guide’ was his fourth album done by stalwart producer King Jammy’s himself, ‘Cool Nuh Black’ was the next album produced by Walter Frazer, manager of Vision Sounds. Both albums were released within one month of each other and both albums did well. The album ‘Love Gonna Conquer Evil’ was his sixth album produced by Byron Murray for In Da Streets Records released on the Conan Label out of Guyana.

His current album ‘Wise Decision’ is produced by Swansea for Brutal Tracks Label. This album is currently in negotiation with a major recording company and features the hot single ‘We don’t Play’ which also has a sensational music video that is expected to do great. Natural Black has grown from strength to strength and has been a staple on all the major shows in Jamaica. He is just coming off a tour of Europe that saw him performing at the Sundance Festival in Holland and Upsalla Festival in Sweden. Natural is an icon in his hometown Guyana where his people recognizes that he has done extremely well for his country and has represented them well in the music industry. He visits there often as his band First Born is based there. When asked about the music he strongly believes that “the foundation has already been set and it cyan change suh artiste fi jus mek use of this as it means greater things in the future. Just be creative he advises and just think about everything that you do because man defile himself over and over”. Natural Black hails from a family of one brother and two sisters all of who still reside in Guyana. He however has taken Jamaica as his second home as he resides in Jamaica and has four children.

Buy his music here

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Spotlight: Eddy Grant

Check him out:
From Wikipedia:

Eddy Grant was born Edmond Montague Grant on 5 March 1948 hails from Plaisance, Guyana. He migrated with his parents emigrated to Liverpool, UK, where he settled. He had his first Number One hit in 1968, when he was the lead guitarist and main songwriter of the multiracial group The Equals, with his self-penned song "Baby Come Back". The tune also later topped the UK Singles Chart again when covered by Pato Banton. Notably, he openly used his songwriting for political purposes, especially against the then-current apartheid regime of South Africa. Grant set up his own recording company, Ice Records, but more recently has returned to the West Indies from London, choosing Barbados as a more realistic venue for a recording company, rather than his country of origin. He has also produced for the likes of Sting, Mick Jagger and Elvis Costello. Musical
In 1982, his solo recording of "I Don't Wanna Dance" spent three weeks at Number one in the UK Singles Chart. He scored a Top Ten album in the same year, with Killer On The Rampage.
"Electric Avenue" was both a UK and U.S. number 2 in 1983, selling over a million copies. Plus, a later remix of the song was a UK Top Ten hit again in 2001.
In 1984 Grant had a minor hit single in the U.S. with his original song written to accompany the Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner film, Romancing the Stone. Despite being commissioned by the film's producers, all but the guitar solo would be cut from the film during its final edit. The song did not appear on its soundtrack. Grant released the song as a single with the original video that featured scenes from the film until it was re-edited without the Romancing the Stone clips. His later single, "Gimme Hope Jo'anna", during the apartheid regime ("Joanna" stands for Johannesburg, South Africa) was a song about apartheid in that country, and was subsequently banned by it

Copyright protection

Dear Editor,
Since I have been living in Guyana, going back and forth from England and Barbados for the last 20 years, I was asked by many singers and musicians especially the Mighty Intruder of "Lilawattie" fame and Mr Richard Noble, a producer and songwriter of "If you tell me" which was sung by our own Billy Wade, to speak on their behalf about the copyright laws not being enforced in Guyana which gives songwriters, musicians, and other creative artistes no chance of earning a living by whatever they have created.
Successful musicians and songwriters in the outer world, to this day earn a fantastic living from works they had created from the sixties to date. Ask Sir Paul McCartney, he is a billionaire and it all came from songs he wrote in the early 60s by himself or with John Lennon, and other artistes like Buddy Holly whose song catalogue he had bought.
I am just trying to show the singers and musicians and other creative artistes in Guyana how important it is to be protected by the copyright laws when they are enforced. The laws can also guarantee your family earnings from your successful works when you have passed on.
I refer to my letter in Stabroek News printed on August 25, stating that musicians and singers should not play for politicians because when they are finished all they will get is a few thousand dollars and that's all. I also said that they should not sing or play for Mashramani or World Cup Cricket 2007 if they wanted the government to take them seriously about the enforcement of the copyright laws in Guyana, but they all turned a blind eye because they might not be able to stand the pressure that they will be put under by whomsoever.
To the singers, musicians and creative artistes in Guyana, your best opportunity has arrived and it will never come again for a very long time. So I will say this one more time, boycott Mashramani and Carifesta 2008 and you will see the enforcement of the copyright laws in Guyana put in place very quickly.
Make it clear to the Minister of Youth, Culture and Sports what the singers, musicians and creative artistes intend to do so that he would have the time to make the situation right. Tell him now, don't wait.
The government of Guyana cannot invite all of the countries in the Caribbean to a cultural festival when their cultural ambassadors, singers, musicians and creative people have been treated with disrespect over the last 20 years by their works not being protected by the laws of the copyright act after they have invested their hard earned money in something that they have created by their own sweat.
How can you invite other countries to your country when your house is not in order. I have always said that the musicians more than anyone else in this country, could make it better for everyone else in the arts if they were to face and accept the truth that the enforcement of the copyright and piracy laws lay directly in their hands even if they all have to band their bellies and eat salt and rice, just to make a difference and create history in Guyana.
The enforcement of the laws is worth fighting for, if you believe in creativity. Remember the government of Guyana passed the Sunset laws for World Cup cricket 2007 in the space of two sittings in parliament which was about two weeks so there should be no excuse why modern copyright laws cannot be passed in parliament urgently.
Why should our Guyanese singers, musicians, actors, actresses, playwrights and other creative artistes kill themselves in trying to show other countries around the Caribbean how artistic they are in Guyana when their own government don't even care about them, their talents and how they provide a living for their families. In this country, it is time that President Jagdeo act on this important issue because when the union calls out the sugar workers on strike, within days the strike is over and the workers get at least 90% of what they were asking for. I know the money is important to the nation's economy and we should not make comparison, but in this serious situation the sugar revenue is not more important than hosting such a colossal cultural event as Carifesta which carries 15 countries to one destination for all Caribbean nations to see what that host country has to offer and we must not forget that President Jagdeo and the Minister of Youth, Culture and Sport, Dr Frank Anthony have expressed how important this Carifesta 2008 is to Guyana and all Guyanese living abroad.
The president also said that Guyana can show the entire Caribbean nations our beauty, culture and fauna through a great event such as Carifesta 2008 which started here in Guyana in 1972.
But the one thing we all must never forget that without the musicians, singers, actors, actresses and other creative artistes in Guyana and abroad it would be impossible to host Carifesta 2008 along with Mashramani for the other Caribbean countries and the world to see.
Please! Protect your creative people with the enforcement of the copyright and piracy laws.
Yours faithfully,
Rudy Grant

Rudy is famous for the song "Mash in Guyana" which I am very fond of, it reminds me of my childhood.

Life is a journey

I get a tingling feeling all over when I listen to music coming out of Guyana and by other Guyanese artists all over the world.

We have not have the success as other Caribbean countries, namely Jamaica, Trinidad and now Barbados (really it’s a win for Guyana through her mother). It’s as if we were musically constipated and someone just slipped us some turbo lax while were where downing some milkshake.

So here they are, doing their thing and I hope a few of them makes it big as the likes of Eddy Grant and Natural Black.

Come join me on this magical carpet ride.