BRITISH soul singer Sam Smith has given Jamaican reggae act Romain Virgo the thumbs up for his cover of Stay With Me. The single is from Smith’s debut album In the Lonely Hour released in May.
BBC1 Extra radio disc jock DJ Toddla T brought the song’s attention to Smith. After listening to Virgo’s cover, he turned to Twitter.
“Wow, I Just saw it! So sick!!!” he tweeted.
Virgo feels the acknowledgement will further generate interest to his version of the song which was recorded in May.
“Niko Browne from Lifeline Music introduced me to the song after watching Sam Smith perform it on NBC’s Saturday Night Live”. I thought it was a simple but beautiful song that we could introduce to the Jamaican and reggae fans across the world if we gave it a reggae sound. We honestly thought that the ladies especially would love it,” Virgo told the Jamaica Observer.
While Virgo’s cover of Stay With Me has been doing the local rounds, the single is number one on reggae charts in Trinidad, St Vincent, Grenada and St Lucia.
Virgo, a 2007 winner of the local talent competition Digicel Rising Stars, has also received fair airplay with Adele’s Do You Remember and Michael Bolton’s Soul Provider.
Asked whether he was surprised at the reception for the song, Virgo said: “Every time we do a cover of a song, fans — local and abroad — always love. I just see it as having fun with the music and also showing respect to other genres that would show the same respect to Jamaican music.”
Smith is currently the hottest male vocalist globally. In the Lonely Hour has sold gold in the US and platinum in the United Kingdom. It topped the UK album chart and peaked at number two on the US Billboard 200 album chart. In addition to Stay With Me, the album produced the hit singles Money on My Mind and I’m Not the Only One. He won the 2014 BRIT Critics Choice Award and the BBC’s Sound of 2014 poll.
Prior to his album, Smith was featured vocalist on Naughty Boy’s number one single La La La in 2013.
Reggae singer Anita Antoinette in performance on NBC talent competition The Voice on Monday.
ANOTHER Jamaican has made it through the blind auditions of the NBC reality TV talent show The Voice on Monday.
Reggae singer Anita Antoinette had all four celebrity judges — Adam Levine, Gwen Stefani, Pharrell Williams, and Blake Shelton — blown away with her powerful rendition of Bob Marley’s Turn Your Lights Down Low.
Antoinette — who was born in Kingston and migrated to Boston at eight — however, selected Gwen Stefani as coach. Stefani responded in true dancehall fashion. “Bow, bow, bow!”
This was Antoinette’s second attempt at the competition. Antoinette tweeted after her auditions: “Aaaw so cool! Waited so long to say this…I’m on iTunes! Levine said she did her homework and returned to make an impact.
“We told you to come back and you’re here. I do have a special place in my heart for the one and only Tessanne Chin,” he said, in reference to the season five winner.
Chin tweeted her support her fellow Jamaican: “@AnitAntoinette just got a chance to see your #BlindAudition !!! You represented beautifully !!! #OneLove#JamaicansOnTheVoice #Proud.”
In December, Jamaican singer Tessanne Chin walked away with the top spot on the NBC talent show The Voice, creating music history in the process as the first Jamaican to ace the popular contest. — Cecelia Campbell-Livingston
Dancehall artiste Stacious, has raised eyebrows on social media after she decided to go almost fully topless for the promotion of her latest mixtape called Bad 45.
But despite the negative comments of some fans, Stacious says that she is not bothered, because her cover photo reflects the concept of the project.
“A lot of people shocked, but persons who know me knows that a suh mi stay. Mi head come and guh, so anything is possible. To go topless goes with the Bad 45 concept, I have 45 bad songs on the mixtape and I am just being a bad girl musically,” she said.
The mixtape has both reggae and dancehall songs and features the work of producers like Marcus Myrie, Doc Mac, Payday Music and So Unique Records. The final product was mixed by Teacha and Mackerel and is available for free download online.
Bad 45 features Mavado, Ishawna, K Queens, Joey Brooks, Gramps Morgan and Versatile.
“I wanted to show my versatility so I decided to give them material from both dancehall and reggae, besides people like variety. Some persons prefer a certain type of music so I am pleasing both my reggae and my hard-core fans,” Stacious said.
The artiste has already released one music video from the mixtape called Groovin. “Before the end of the year I have two more major projects to announce, but I love to work in silence so stay tuned,” she told THE STAR.
Diamond Sox reggae crooner, Iba Mahr was swindled out of thousands of dollars by a man who promised he could secure a motor vehicle on his behalf.
Charged for fraudulent conversion is 41-year-old Craig Wilson of a Kingston 6 address, who appeared in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate’s Court, last week.
The Crown alleges that Wilson was given $500,000 to import a 2010 Honda Civic motor vehicle valued at $1,000,000 for the complainant, whose given name is Mario Greaves.
The deposit of $500,000 was required and a further payment of the same amount to be made upon the arrival of the vehicle.
To date, Greaves, who was promised that the vehicle would have been delivered in early 2014 has not yet been reimbursed or been given the vehicle.
In court, the prosecution told Resident Magistrate Lorna Shelly-Williams that Wilson had promised to pay back the money and had subsequently asked for more time but did not return. He was eventually picked up on a warrant.
The matter has been set for mention this week.
AFTER a decade-long relationship that produced a string of hit singles and two platinum albums, Atlantic Records has parted ways with deejay Sean Paul.
Rumours that the label had dropped the Grammy-winning artiste have made the rounds in recent weeks. Craig Kallman, chairman and CEO of Atlantic Records, confirmed the split via email on the weekend.
Asked by the Jamaica Observer if Sean Paul was still with the label, Kallman responded: “No longer.” He did not elaborate about what caused the split.
Sean Paul signed with Atlantic Records in a joint deal with the independent VP Records in late 2002 following the success of his song Gimme the Light.
Atlantic released the deejay’s major label debut album, Dutty Rock, in November that year. It scored five Top 10 United Kingdom singles and five Top 15 Billboard Hot 100 hits, including Gimme the Light, Baby Boy (with Beyonce), Like Glue, Get Busy, and I’m Still in Love With You (featuring Sasha).
Dutty Rock opened with first-week sales of 65,000 copies and peaked at number nine on the Billboard 200. In the UK, it debuted at number two and has sold over six million copies worldwide.
The follow-up album, The Trinity, was released in September, 2005 and set a record for first-week sales by a Jamaican reggae act in the US with 107,000 copies. It debuted at number six on the UK Album chart and number six on the Billboard 200 Album chart.
The Trinity has US sales of 1.3 million copies and worldwide sales of over 4.3 million.
Imperial Blaze, Sean Paul’s third album did not do as well in the US although it was certified gold in France. In the US, it hit number one on Billboard’s Rap Album and Reggae Album charts and peaked at number 12 on the Billboard 200 and number three on the R&B/Hip Hop album chart.
His next album, Tomahawk Technique, was released in January 2012, reaching number two on the Billboard Reggae Album chart and number 30 on the UK Album chart. It went gold in Switzerland where it sold over 20,000 copies.
Full Frequency, Sean Paul’s latest album, was released in February.
THE outbreak of chikungunya virus (chik-V) has certainly been Jamaica’s hot-button topic in recent weeks. And, 11-year-old deejay Wayne J has added his voice to the discourse.
His single, Chikungunya, has been doing the rounds. Produced by Ikation Records, the track was officially released on Sunday.
“I thank the disc jocks for playing it. It really makes me feel good,” Wayne J told the Jamaica Observer.
A student of Pembroke High School in St Andrew, Wayne J (given name Wayne Smith Jr) said he hasn’t heard the single yet.
“I’ve never heard it. People tell me about it,” he said.
According to Wayne J, the song was written by his father and “with some input from me”.
Ironically, he and his mother are recovering from the illness, while his father has fully recovered.
“I never knew I could have gotten it,” said Wayne J, who lives in the Waterhouse community of St Andrew.
He also knows that he can only get it once.
The Ministry of Health put the number of confirmed cases at 35. However, some estimate it in the thousands.
Chik-V is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito and causes fever, joint paint and rashes.
On Sunday, Dr Fenton Ferguson, minister of health, in an address to the nation, appealed for Jamaicans to help the health authorities combat the rapid spread of the virus.
“Check your flower pot saucers, your dish drain boards, your refrigerator troughs, plants, pet feeding bowls. Scrub them clean to get rid of the mosquito eggs and punch holes in tin cans,” Dr Ferguson urged.
For Wayne J, he said he will be balancing his books and his music career.
“I want to do good in school,” he said.
In addition to Chikungunya, Wayne J’s other releases include 18 and Older, Stay In School, and Hard Work.
Following Foota Hype’s recent rant on a UK radio station, during which he alleged that his ex-girlfriend and babymother, Ishawna, had sexual relations with his former co-worker, Downsound Records producer Skatta Burrell, and his boss Josef Bagdonovich, Ishawna has finally responded.
Ishwana aimed to save face during an interview with Ragashanti, yesterday, during his popular ‘Ragashanti Live’ show on www.tambourineradio.com. However, faced with some tough questions from the self-proclaimed mix-up King and former university lecturer, Ishawna was forced to admit having sexual intercourse with Skatta Burrell.
The singer, who taunted Foota Hype with songs such as Restraining Order in recent weeks, tried to dodge Ragashanti’s questions about her sexual affair with Skatta Burrell during the lengthy interview, however, after being trapped in a corner several times, she was forced to admit.
“Nothing weh Ishawna do supposed to be a concern to Foota … leave me alone …,” she said to Raga’s first attempt. However, Raga asked the question a second time. “So you and Skatta sleep together?” After a long pause, the singer said, “We yu say Raga?” as if she did not hear. A determined Ragashanti pressed the issue for a third time, only then, a defeated Ishawna confirmed.
“Yes we have; you know what, I am keeping it real. Mi a big woman but me and Skatta are friends and Foota and Skatta are not friends. Everybody worked together but him and Foota were not close … Sometime we cannot control what happens in life,” she said.
As for the owner of Downsound Records, Josef Bagdonovich, Ishawna claims that he did not get a piece of the action, as alleged by Foota Hype.
The singer also claims that she was threatened by Foota Hype during their nine-year relationship.
“Mi nuh know which woman would be in a good relationship and leave because of oral sex. I have never put a threesome argument to Foota Hype before,” Ishawna said.
Efforts to get a comment from Skatta Burrell were unsuccessful, however, a visit to his Facebook page revealed that the producer was contemplating an escape from the current controversy.
“Jah know mi a go run weh,” he posted, along with a picture of his passport.
He also posted a lengthy tribute to his boss. “For anyone who have ever lent a helping hand or receive any form of gratitude in life I hope you understand when I say to you that Jesus came and did nothing but good on this Earth yet he was chastised and nailed to a cross. I take the good with the bad especially in this entertainment industry. So when folks say stuff about my character it took me a while but I’ve learnt to ignore and remain focused. Working with DSR for the past three years has been a real pleasure for me and I have witnessed the only man I’ve ever called a boss Mr Bogdanovich go above and beyond for so many you won’t be able to imagine. I pray that if by any means our biz partnership goes sour and I’m left to move on, I ask that Jah allow my heart to remain pure, so I won’t turn into a vindictive stab in the back b, and try to tear down anyone with lies to protect my selfish ego. Biggup Joe always.”
Ragashanti Interview: Ishawna Response To Foota Hype. Admits She Slept With Skatta Burrell.
Mavado – High Life – High Life Riddim
Produced by JA Productions
Vybz Kartel – Love So (Raw) – Short Boss Muzik (September 2014)