Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Malika Boyd: Can she make it?

I haven't heard her in her fullness in a complete song, so I really cannot judge her talent right now.
From Kaieteur News

Cellink Malika Boyd music video for January 2010 launch

Malika Boyd on set

Malika Boyd on set

Cellink Jingle and song competition 2009 winner, Malika Boyd, has just completed her first music video for the winning song “dance love, live give and if all goes well her fans will get the first taste in early January when it is released.
The music video comprises of actors from the Mic James drama group and one also from Georgetown and the video was produced through the Deshaka Productions group that produces the GT&T We linking programme.
Michael James who wrote the song directed the music video while it was funded by GT&T Cellink.
James, Boyd’s manager said the music video will be launched in January 2010 and also informed that Malika is also working on her first album. This James guarantees “will be a hit for all Guyanese to be proud of and she is putting all her effort into making same a reality”.
Malika, speaking of the video said “I had so much fun doing my first music video and I can’t wait for Guyana to see it. I want to say special tanks to GT & T and all my family and friends for their continual support.” She also let up that she has just learnt a new song written by Michael James titled ‘Rain Drops’ and I am in love with this song and am hoping that you will too Guyana”.

Guyanese on the rise

This is Nhojj, who kinda looks like Eddie Grant, could be his long lost son :)

This is from Kaieteur News

Wins US 2009 Outstanding R&B/Soul Song Award

Singer Nhojj

Singer Nhojj

Singer Nhojj, a US-based Guyanese who performed at Guyana Fashion Weekend 2008 had much to celebrate this past Christmas.
His song ‘Love’ has won the 2009 OutMusic Award for Outstanding R&B/Soul Song of the year. Those in the music business have opined that Guyanese should be proud of this recognition as “This marks the first time that a Black male has won any OutMusic Award”.
According to a Billboard Publicity Wire/PRWEB dated December 23, 2009 – “Indie recording artist, Nhojj, made OutMusic Awards history when his ballad “Love” was voted 2009 Outstanding R&B/Soul Song of the Year by The Alliance of LGBT Recording Artists & Performers.
“This marks the first time an African American male has won an OMA. The Logo sponsored event was held December 8, 2009, at the legendary Webster Hall in New York City. It is the only gala ceremony of its kind in the world.
“Nhojj is also the first artist to win the OUTStanding R&B/Soul song of the year.”
The category along with others was added to the ceremony this year to fully reflect the music of the minority (LGBT) community. After his win, the singer/songwriter took the stage performing “Love” before an audience including OMA Lifetime Achievement recipient Kevin Aviance, Village Voice columnist Michael Musto, LOGO personalities DeMarco Majors and Julie Goldman among many other notables in the LGBT community.
The ceremony was hosted by Noah’s Arc star Rodney Chester and GLAAD Media Award winner Kate Clinton.
“Love” features keyboardist Carl Evans (Stevie Wonder, Barry White); David Stark on Guitar (Rick James & Teena Marie); Tommy Aros on percussion (Luis Miguel); and is mastered by Robert Honablue, whose Gold and Platinum credits include Santana, Roberta Flack, Aretha Franklin, Bob Marley, and Miles Davis.
Director Kirk Shannon-Butts featured “Love” in his highly acclaimed Indie film “Blueprint,” which screened at 2008 Cannes International Film Festival, and also directed the music video “Love.”
Unlike many current R&B music videos, it is the sensitive reflection of two male college students who feel a mutual attraction toward each other.
In 2004, Nhojj’s sophomore CD “Someday Peace, Love & Freedom” was nominated for OUTStanding New Male Recording. Songs on that album covered issues ranging from homelessness to homophobia.
Nhojj chose “Fighting for Love,” an original composition about a warrior fighting against ignorance and hatred, to perform at a special OMA Nominee showcase held at Fez in NYC that year.
Nhojj grew up in Guyana and Trinidad, where he performed for the Presidents of both countries. He began singing in church at the age of five, but didn’t embark on a career in music until after graduating from NYU with a BA in Economics.
Earlier this year he returned to his Caribbean roots and performed “Love” at the 2009 Barbados Music Awards.
To date Nhojj has released six CDs and an unplugged live DVD by Emmy nominated director Bill Cote. He has performed at Lincoln Center, and toured the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, and the United Kingdom.
In addition to his recording and performance schedule, Nhojj regularly donates his gift of music to people living with HIV/AIDS. He performs in hospitals, hospices, residential facilities and treatment centres throughout New York City, as part of the Lifebeat “Hearts and Voices” programme.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas - Happy New Year

Wishing you and yours a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Nothing beats a GT Christmas: Black cake, sorrel, pepperpot, the very best lunch. Picked baby onions, garlic pork (for those who indulge) and just good will and peace. Besides after opening your presents you can walk down the street and go play with your friends, pop off some squibs and have a real good time. Boxing Day you might visit some relatives or they may come by you and the fun goes on til New Years. I love Christmas, but I can't enjoy it in this cold cold place.

A Christmas song for you:
Adrian Dutchin

Friday, December 11, 2009

New Music: Gialiani - Out of Love

I like it, I think it's his best song yet!

Wine til you Drop 5 for release

From Stabroek News

Kross Kolor Records (KKR) will shortly pre-release four tracks off its just completed ‘Wine Till Yuh Drop 5’ album on the ‘Devil Doer Rhythm’.


According to a press release from (KKR) producer Burchmore Simon the album features Vanilla, Adrian Dutchin, Jumo, Compton Hodge, Big Red, B 52, G Money and Passion.

The release said that Peter Ram of Barbados is working on his track and “Qupid of St Lucia” is completing hers, while “Guyana Baboo Terry Gajraj is also excited about the Devil Doer.”

Simon has previously produced albums on the Sasparilla, Koction, Capadulla and Teasam rhythms. He said in the release that these were all names of herbs as is the current rhythm Devil Doer.

And like the previous rhythms, a video medley will compliment the release of the album, the release said.

Meanwhile, another press release from KKR said that Vanilla released a single entitled “Pressure”, which is played regularly on local radio and is receiving steady rotation in the Caribbean.

The two times Road March Queen and second place winner in this year’s Soca Monarch competition is to release three more songs as well as supporting videos for Mashramani 2010, just two months away and is reported to be eagerly looking forward to entering the Soca Monarch and Road March competitions.

Vanilla also has five songs on an album titled ‘Tropical Caribbean Party’ featuring 15 tracks by various Kross Kolor artistes and released in Amsterdam, Holland in September 2009.

Black Watah

I've heard one song by Benji about a yr ago, I wasn't too impressed, I hope to hear bettwe from this union.

From Stabroek News

Benji Diamond and Gadkin, two talented Guyanese musicians, aim to live their dreams and use their music to rebuild the “moral breakdown” while providing listeners with a blast of culture.

Gadkin and Diamond

Gadkin and Diamond

In a recent interview with The Scene, Marlon ‘Benji Diamond’ Sansculotte said that he and his partner have sung over twenty songs over the last seven years. Benji Diamond of Bagotsville, Canal Number One, West Bank Demerara, like most artistes serious about their trade, fell in love with singing as a youth in church.

He has moved through various groups ranging from the Marcus Family to Ghetto Vibes. Benji Diamond and Gadkin, though being acquainted for years, got serious about “linking up” during the time they spent in the group, Marcus Family. The duo has been performing together for about seven years.

“Good music is available out there,” Benji Diamond told The Scene, “but the lyrics are all negative and send out negative messages to our youths. Through our music we aim to rebuild this moral breakdown caused in society, especially among our youths, by this negative music.”

Black Watah’s music is deep culture first written in the form of lyrics and then weaved into works of art using two powerful voices and lively reggae beats and it does not confine itself only to Guyanese or Caribbean people. Benji Diamond says Black Watah’s music will be marketed internationally and is for everyone.

“We are not targeting just Guyanese, the Caribbean and the Diaspora,” Benji Diamond stressed, “but we are targeting everyone who has an ear for reggae because we want our messages to reach as many people as possible.”

Benji Diamond is passionate about his music; he loves it and he’s bold about his feelings. He is an independent Agriculture Officer who graduated from the Guyana School of Agriculture with a Diploma. However, Benji Diamond says music is what he loves and he will always pursue it above other professional endeavours.

Travis Carter also known as Gadkin, the other half of Black Watah hopes that the group’s music will inspire listeners to have “strength, faith and patience and not rush things in life” and remember that “the Most High lives.”

Gadkin who grew up in Good Intent Village on the West Bank Demerara recalls singing since he was seven. He fell in love with the vibes when he witnessed his uncle and his “tinning-cup band” (or tin-cup band) perform at a neighbour’s residence when he was about seven and, “Well I just love the vibes ya know, just love it.” (For the uninitiated, a tin-cup band uses tin cans – the ones that come with milk, beans, sardines etc to make music. The musicians beat out tunes on the empty tins using short sticks, sometimes knitting needles depending on the sound they want. Sometimes they place small stones in the tins for a different sound. The Scene has been informed that the result is usually quite melodious.)

Eventually Gadkin and his young “brethren” in the area created their own tin-cup band. He nurtured his love for music never missing a chance at any school function. He attended the Wales Community High.

Today the 28-year-old’s love has turned into a full-time occupation, “Music is really, really important to me. I don’t do anything else except music.” The music he says is “consciousness” and they do not promote violence rather, he explains, the music encourages people to seek out their “roots, culture, everything except violence”. He tells of his journey to Black Watah.

After his tin-cup band days, through a mutual acquaintance Gadkin says he was introduced to Benji, his Black Watah partner, and along with two others they formed a group called Marcus Family. They caught their first break on the Mark Benschop show and after several songs and a few years the group split and as Gadkin puts it, “Everyone hold on a level”.

Then came Ian Johnson’s Talent Exclusive show where Gadkin was a one time winner. The show searched out new talent live on television. Later, he said, he reconnected with Benji and again they formed a group performing on Talent Exclusive.

The duo then decided to form a group again and with the name Truly Blessed, created a 15-song untitled album and Gadkin explained that the music was released overseas.

It was the feedback from the release that led to them changing their name from Truly Blessed to the now Black Watah and now the twosome is hoping to conquer the world and showcase Guyanese talent.

Gadkin says he draws his inspiration for the music from “the things we go through and the Most High”.

Having finished their personal accounts Benji Diamond and Gadkin kicked back and sang a verse from their song “Beautiful” for The Scene.

Their voices were really something to listen to; soothing almost and are sure to remind many of “back home” as well as intrigue others about the Guyanese culture.

“These women are beautiful”, the Black Watah song repeats and encourages women to be independent, focused, trust themselves and be the best.

Finally, Benji Diamond, expanding on why they changed from Truly Blessed to Black Watah, said the initial title portrayed them as Gospel singers. They opted for Black Watah, a more cultural title, which also reflects one of the things which makes Guyana beautiful and the group’s reggae essence.

“We believe in the Most High,” Benji said, “and some of our songs will show you that belief, but we’re reggae; culture music.”

Let down

I have really not had enough time anymore to dedicate to this blog. I still love my Guyanese artists and support you still 100%. I feel like I'm letting you down.

I have some new music out of Brutal Tracks, they are yummy!