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Romain Virgo

Romain Virgo facing heat over ‘Scary Movie’ video

Romain VirgoAcclaimed Reggae star, Romain Virgo is facing his share of scrutiny after recently releasing the official video for his effort, Scary Movie earlier this month.

The video, directed by Jamaican makeup artist, Krystle Karee Brown features many dark, somewhat monstrous imagery reminiscent of the late, great Michael Jackson’s classic, Thriller. Though it has received largely positive feedback, Virgo has taken heat for the Scary Movie visuals, with fans describing it as demonic and disturbing.

Virgo himself does not see what the fuss is all about.

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Lady Saw at Reggae Sumfest 2012

Lady Saw, Beenie Man and Romain Virgo set for Reggae Sumfest 2013

Lady Saw at Reggae Sumfest 2012Patrons at this year’s edition of Reggae Sumfest will be treated to musical royalty as the ‘King of the Dancehall’ and ‘Queen of Dancehall’ have been added to the show’s lineup.

On Wednesday, Reggae Sumfest organizers announced that veteran deejays, Beenie Man and Lady Saw will perform at the 21st edition of the popular stage show, set to take place from July 21-27 at the Catherine Hall Entertainment Complex in Montego Bay. Both entertainers performed at the show’s Dancehall Night last year, with Sumfest organizers serenading Lady Saw with honors for her two decades of contributions to the music industry while officially crowning the Heels On singer as the ‘Queen of Dancehall.’

Additionally, Reggae sensation, Romain Virgo will return to the Sumfest stage following a successful Dancehall Night in 2012. Virgo comes off a highly successful 2012, which saw him drop hits such as I Know Better and Don’t You Remember; following that up this year with Cry Tears for You and Scary Movie.

These latest additions join an already star-studded lineup, led by Grammy-winning R&B singer/songwriter, Miguel as well as highly-touted Reggae star, Chronixx and Grammy-winning Dancehall/Reggae star, Damian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley. All three will perform on International Night 2, the closing night of Reggae Sumfest (July 27).

Additionally, popular artists such as Tarrus Riley, Aidonia, Popcaan and Kiprich have been confirmed for the event.

Early bird tickets for Reggae Sumfest are now available online through Touchstone Ticketing, the official ticketing stub for the festival.

Reggae Sumfest is sponsored by Digicel Jamaica, Iberostar, Secrets Resorts, Red Stripe, Pepsi and the Jamaica Tourist Board.

 

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Romain Virgo Scary Movie

Romain Virgo ventures into Dancehall, to drop new mixtape

Romain Virgo Scary MovieLike many other supremely talented Reggae artists, Romain Virgo has decided to ply his traits within Dancehall as he is promoting a new single, Scary Movie showcasing his versatility as a deejay.

Though he is no stranger to the Dancehall genre, having performed at STING and other Dancehall-themed shows, Virgo has been hesitant to release such material in the past. However, the 23-year-old entertainer feels Scary Movie, which talks of people who dare to challenge God, was a good opportunity for him to prove his range and connect with young people.

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Shane Brown and Busy

Shane Brown says Busy Signal split caused weight loss, denies baby mama affair

Shane Brown and BusyNearly three weeks later, many in the Jamaican music industry are still trying to surmise the reasons why Dancehall/Reggae singer, Busy Signal ditched long-time manager and friend, Shane Brown following a six-year run together. A woman, namely Busy’s baby mother, is not one of them, according to Brown.

The Juke Boxx Productions founder and famed producer spoke candidly on his split during an interview on CVM’s OnStage, aired Saturday. Though Busy insisted the breakup was a move based solely on seeking more career control, speculation mounted that Brown has an affair with the Busy’s baby mother, Tunya Gordon while the singjay served a six-month prison term in the U.S.

However, Brown put those rumors to rest when ask about the alleged relationship.

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Shane Brown

Shane Brown starts anew, teams with Tarrus Riley after split with Busy Signal

Shane BrownIt did not take long for prominent producer, Shane Brown to find another managing gig as he has now joined the team of highly-acclaimed Reggae singer, Tarrus Riley.

Just two weeks after being dropped by long-time friend and prominent singjay, Busy Signal as his manager, Brown will now co-manage Riley alongside fellow manager and renowned saxophonist, Dean Fraser. The arrangement was announced on Wednesday.

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Chronixx at Jazz and Blues

Romain Virgo shines, international stars dazzle at Jazz and Blues

Chronixx at Jazz and BluesFor three nights in January, the 2013 edition of the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival offered performances and moments leaving little doubt as to why it is one of the island’s premiere events.

On Thursday, crowds lined up in anticipation of a jam-packed opening night lineup at the Trelawny Multi-Purpose Stadium as Jazz and Blues kicked off its 17th staging of the event. A decent turnout accompanied a bill headlined by legendary Reggae band, Third World, who were celebrating their 40th anniversary as a group.

Third World closed out an all-Jamaican opening night roster with a rousing set including hits such as Now That We Found Love, Forbidden Love, amongst a host of others. They were also honored for their vast contributions to the Jamaican music industry along with fellow Reggae legend, Ken Boothe, who celebrated his 50th year as a recording artiste. Boothe, along with Rootz Underground, Nadine Sutherland and Cocoa Tea all gave typically resounding efforts as they warmed up music fans for the heat that would be on display over the weekend.

Night two featured a buzzing crowd and with that, some stinging sets as some international flavour added taste to the Jazz and Blues show. The queen of R&B/Soul, Mary J. Blige made a sparkling debut on Jamaican soil as she interacted with her audience through classics like No More Drama, Be Without You and a host of others.

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Video: Romain Virgo - Rich in Love

Video: Romain Virgo – Rich in Love

Known for serving up Jamaica’s freshest beats and top-notch cuisine in downtown Manhattan, Miss Lily’s has become a social and cultural hub for all things Caribbean. The island aesthetic is reflected throughout the swanky decor of their restaurant, bakery, juice bar and variety shop – which serves as a record store, gallery space and home to Internet broadcast station, Radio Lily. Miss Lily’s Variety Shop, located directly next door to the restaurant, celebrates their first year in business and launches a brand new CD series Miss Lily’s Family Style (VP Records) on January 22.

The first installment is executive produced by Radio Lily resident DJ Max Glazer along with one of Miss Lily’s founding partners, Paul Salmon, who also owns Jamaica’s award-winning Rockhouse Hotel and co-founded Joe’s Pub in Manhattan. Enclosed in the CD’s vintage vinyl-inspired packaging are in-depth liner notes written by reggae journalist and Radio Lily DJ Rob Kenner along with a free download card of a 43-minute mix by DJ Max Glazer.

Miss Lily’s family of DJs and tastemakers have carefully selected fifteen of their must-have favorites – including certified classics like Sizzla’s “Just One of Those Days,” Tanya Stephens’ “It’s A Pity” and Buju Banton & Wayne Wonder’s “Bonafide Love” as well as modern day anthems like Busy Signal’s “One More Time,” Vybz Kartel’s “Whine,” Konshens’ “So Mi Tan” and Gappy Ranks’ “Pumpkin Belly.”

MISS LILY’S FAMILY STYLE TRACK LISTING:
1. Sizzla – Just One of Those Days
2. Mr. Vegas – Mus Come a Road
3. Gappy Ranks- Pumpkin Belly
4. Tarrus Riley – Original Dancehall
5. Buju Banton & Wayne Wonder – Bonafide Love
6. Gyptian – Hold You
7. Konshens- So Mi Tan
8. Busy Signal – Real Spenders
9.Vybz Kartel – Whine
10. Lil Rick- Guh Down
11. Kes The Band – Wotless
12. Romain Virgo – I Am Rich in Love
13. Tanya Stephens – It’s a Pity
14. Queen Ifrica – Below the Waist
15. Busy Signal- One More Night

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Konshens

Year in Review: The Best of Dancehall and Reggae in 2012

It seems like just yesterday the year started, but 2012 is already coming to a close; marking a year within Dancehall and Reggae music that showcased its share of pacesetters during Jamaica’s 50th year of Independence.

Fitting that in a year where Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Frazer-Pryce re-defined the realms of speed in London, there were a number of fast-rising stars who proved consistently that no finish line is in sight regarding their promising careers. This year proved that there may be a future for our core genres after despite two of their proverbial kings, Buju Banton and Vybz Kartel serving different forms of penance behind bars. With that said, here are my picks for the Best of 2012 in Dancehall & Reggae music.

Best Reggae Artiste – Romain Virgo: Firstly, let me say it’s quite pleasing to know the presence of Reggae, the musical art form that made Jamaica a household name, has finally re-stamped its authority on the local scene. A borage of all-Reggae projects like Busy Signal’s Reggae Music Again and Delly Ranx’s The Next Chapter help Jamaica to regain some of its true identity during our most crucial year as an independent island. However, one artiste and album conquered all.

Virgo became an instant sensation when he conquered Digicel Rising Stars in 2007. Five years later, his star has shone amongst the brightest in the industry, primarily through his latest compilation, The System. Giving us hits like I Know Better, Rich in Love and The System, the album embodied the true essence of Reggae. His performance savvy and range have vastly improved year by year, proving why he is Reggae music’s next international superstar.

Comeback Artiste(s) of the Year – Cham/Da’Ville: After scoring a major hit with Stronger (feat. Bounty Killer and Mykal Rose), Cham seemingly disappeared into the abyss for a little while. However, 2012 proved that Cham has not only refused to desert from the scene, he has an oasis of hits left in the tank.

Wine, Back Way and Tun Up were just three of the hits Cham scored in a remarkable year for the highly acclaimed superstar. His lyrical ingenuity reached new levels and while ascending up the musical stratosphere, he brought his wife and upcoming singer, Ophelia ‘O’ Beckett along for the ride.

Da’Ville endured a rollercoaster ride off-stage as he attempted to re-charge his batteries musically. Those batteries were fully charged as the Reggae fusion singer returned with a bang this year through his critically-endorsed album, Krazy Love. Hits like Woman, This Love and You Got Di Ting once again made Da’Ville a force to be reckoned within the industry and offered a more savvy side to this wise veteran of the industry.

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Lady Saw crowned at Sumfest

Lady Saw, Konshens highlight successful Dancehall night at Sumfest

Featuring one of the most star-studded lineup’s in its 20 year history, Dancehall Night at Reggae Sumfest lived up to expectation on Thursday night as several of the genre’s shining stars shone brightly during the highly acclaimed stage show.

The Catherine Hall Entertainment Complex in Montego Bay witnessed a great turnout as patrons were treated to several energetic performances and a few surprises along the way. Some of those surprises weren’t just musical but also in terms of fashion as artistes such as Tifa, Spice and Elephant Man brought unique senses of style to the Sumfest stage.

All three aforementioned artistes brought their A games to Reggae Sumfest’s 20th showing with reputable sets while Stacious showed her on-stage maturity accompanied by a sexy flare and style to her performance and Potential Kidd also hanging tough on his biggest stage show yet.

Rising Reggae sensation, Romain Virgo validated his growing status as one of the genre’s most promising superstars as he performed some of his smash hits that have resonated well with fans including I Know Better and System. Additionally, Kiprich received mass approval from the music lovers on hand, even holding his own again when a fluffy girl tested his strength and dancing skills on stage while Magnum Kings and Queens alumni, Baby Tash and Specialist looked and sang the part, showing no nerves on Jamaican music’s grandest stage.

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New Romain Virgo album nabs spot on Billboard Chart

Prominent Reggae superstar, Romain Virgo has scored another achievement on the international stage as his sophomore album has copped a spot on the United States Billboard chart.

The System earned the sixth slot on the Reggae Billboard chart this week; just over a week after its international debut. The 15 track album features smash hits such as Rich in Love, Mama Say and its title track, System. Additionally, The System debuted eight slots higher than Romain Virgo’s self-titled debut album in its first week after it was unveiled in 2010

For the former Digicel Rising Stars winner, this marks a crowning achievement in his career and feels elated with the results that The System has produced.

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Digicel Rising Stars to return in June, introduce changes

A day following the conclusion of Magnum Kings and Queens of Dancehall, it’s been announced that another of Jamaica’s prominent talent shows will begin airing this summer.

Digicel Rising Stars, the show which put internationally acclaimed acts such as Christopher Martin and Romain Virgo, will be returning to the Jamaican airwaves this June for its ninth season. According to the show’s executive producer, Mike Hogan, the launch will take place on June 8th via Television Jamaica (TVJ) on their popular morning program, Smile Jamaica.

Hogan also revealed that Digicel Rising Stars will be announcing changes to their show during the launch as they aim to build expectations and anticipation for the season ahead.

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Romain Virgo to drop sophomore album in May

Prominent Reggae singer, Romain Virgo looks to capitalize on his growing international exposure as he plans to unveil his second album later this year.

Virgo’s upcoming sophomore effort, The System will be released on May 8, featuring 15 tracks including Rich in Love, Mama Say and its title track, System. This is the first compilation from the former Digicel Rising Stars since his self-titled album, Romain Virgo in 2010, via VP Records.

According to Virgo, fans can expect to see some of his maturity, both as a singer and as a person.

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Promoter seeks compensation from I-Octane following holiday show

The wallet of internationally-acclaimed Dancehall/Reggae singjay, I-Octane could soon be lighter after a promoter claims he wrecked an event he performed at during the holiday season.

I-Octane performed at the Western Kite Festival at the Mannings School in Westmoreland on New Year’s Day (Sunday). The event also featured Reggae singer, Romain Virgo and Dancehall star, Popcaan.

In a radio interview on Tuesday, the festival’s lead promoter, Tia Reinford intimated that patrons began littering the stage with bottles after I-Octane abruptly ended his set. Reportedly, I-Octane asked event organizers to dim the lights during his performance but couldn’t meet his demand. At that point, I-Octane walked off stage in disgust; prompting the bottle throwing incident.

According to an angry Reinford, “It is his fault because yuh cyaah come to an event and talk about ‘bottle a selector…you can’t do that.”

Additionally, Reinford explained that a camera man recorded footage of the incident. Reinford said that the organizer in charge of the light told I-Octane to keep performing while they fixed the lighting issue. Following that exchange, the Badmind Fi The Year singer threw his mic down on the stage and walked off, leading fans to throw bottles on the stage in anger. Law enforcement officials then escorted the singjay out of the venue.

As a result, Reinford seeks compensation from I-Octane and his manager, Ray Alexander for damages caused. The promoter revealed that she paid Octane JA$500,000 to book the artiste for the festival but deserves her money back given that he did not fulfill his performance requirements. Reinford also claims that she paid I-Octane US$900 for a hotel room which he never stayed at prior to performing at the show.

Responding to the promoter’s claims, I-Octane vehemently denied destroying the New Year’s Day event; insisting that Reinford apologized for issues that occurred during the show but criticized the promoter for a sub-standard organization of the event. Furthermore, he said that fans threw bottles once they realized that hewould not return to the stage; blaming the organizers for not allowing the set to conclude properly while questioning their professionalism.

The artiste, whose real name is Byiome Muir, stated that fans were waiting for him to perform since 5 p.m.; slated to hit the stage after Popcaan’s set. However, I-Octane ended up working with Romain Virgo for a short while until technical issues were resolved.

As for compensation, I-Octane relented that he and his management team could work out a settlement. However, she called out the promoter for blaming organizers for the mishaps during his set, yet changing her tone following the show’s ending.

“She was blaming the people dem at the stage show, she a blame dem mek everybody hear. Dats why di people dem are so upset,” he said.

This wasn’t the first grouse I-Octane had regarding a performance or potential appearance at an event during the holidays. Billed as one of the main acts for STING 2011, the singjay was one of many notable absences from the major Dancehall stage show on December 26, 2011.

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Busy Signal to drop Reggae album in February

Internationally acclaimed Dancehall/Reggae superstar, Busy Signal plans to start off the New Year with a bang as he aims to revitalize a perceivably dying genre.

The artiste, whose real name is Reanno Gordon will unveil his all-Reggae album in February 2012, according to his manager, Shane Brown. Busy Signal’s been somewhat absent from the Dancehall scene in recent months a result of work done on the new album as well as a rigorous overseas touring schedule. One of his more recent singles was a remix of Kenny Roger’s classic song, The Gambler, which appeared on the VP Records produced, Reggae Gone Country compilation.

Brown, also a producer for Penthouse Records, revealed that Busy Signal’s album will be unveiled in three months, despite local radio stations choosing to ignore Reggae in recent times.

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Video : Romain Virgo - System

Video : Romain Virgo – System

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Ity and Fancy Cat show to carry on despite initial plans to cancel series

Prominent Jamaican comedic duo, Ity and Fancy Cat will bring back their skit-laden show for a fifth season, despite revealing on RETV 5 to 7 Live that they considered cancelling it altogether.

Appearing on the popular RETV program, Alton “Fancy Cat” Hardware confirmed that the Ity and Fancy Cat show will return for a fifth season in 2012. However, Hardware revealed during an interview with Ramona Samuels that the duo considered shelving the comedy series that’s been in existence since April 2008.

“We neva really plan fi come wid a season five, but cause di people dem a pressure wi..jus mek wi (feel) sorry fi dem,” Hardware intimated.

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