Forecasting a Hot Summer

It’s shaping up to be a summer of Caribbean hot hits from VP Records with releases from top reggae, dance hall and soca artists from the region.

Queen Ifrica and Sean Paul lead the list of artists with new releases while Tanto Metro and Devonte, Vybz Kartel and Bushman feature on compilations of evergreen hits.

From the southern Caribbean, Edwin Yearwood, Destra Garcia, Roy Cape and Red Plastic Bag are just a few of the names the new Soca Gold compilation.

VP/Atlantic Paul has already unveiled his first new music in over three years, a new track titled “So Fine,” that premiered on April 25th, on the Grammy-winning superstar’s web site.

So Fine, produced by Stephen “Di Genius” McGregor, heralds the upcoming release of Paul’s long anticipated fourth album Imperial Blaze – which follows 2005’s RIAA platinum-certified The Trinity – will arrive in stores and at all online retailers on August 18.

Sean Paul is rated by some as the most successful Jamaican artist of all time on the U.S. charts, with three number one singles (Temperature, Get Busy, and Baby Boy), five Top Ten hits (including We Be Burnin and Gimme The Light), and eight chart entries over two worldwide multi-platinum albums.

The Trinity confirmed Sean’s stature as truly an international superstar, with total global sales in excess of 4 million. The album followed Paul’s 2002 RIAA 2x platinum certified VP/Atlantic debut, Dutty Rock which sold more than 6 million copies worldwide.

Queen Ifrica – Montego Bay

The audacious singer/songwriter Queen Ifrica unveils her highly anticipated LP Montego Bay on June 16, 2009. Her strikingly complex voice achieves a rarefied balance on this 12 song selection with a stirring mix of spiritually empowering anthems, lover’s rock tunes and searing social commentaries featured on this dynamic debut for VP Records.

The dancehall styled title track addresses her hometown of Montego Bay’s glaring discrepancy between its pristine five star resorts versus the grim realities of a city wracked by poverty, violence and unemployment.

Her uplifting first single “Lioness on The Rise” (produced by Donovan Germaine) exudes her courageous and fierce nature at heart, then she displays her romantic side over a one-drop beat on the Far Away (produced by Rickman Warren) and on In My Dreams (produced by C. Hurst), where her quixotic husky tone is reminiscent of the iconic song stylist Nina Simone.

She also tells a poignant tale of child molestation on Daddy (produced by Kemar McGregor) which has already received worldwide recognition and reached the top of reggae charts, even though it has been reported that some within Jamaican society attempted to get the song banned because of Daddy’s subject matter.
[audio:http://www.abengnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/daddy.mp3 ]

“I wanted corporate Jamaica to realize that if a society is engulfed by violence we have to look at the homes where these violent tendencies are coming from,” remarks Ifrica.

Montego Bay exposes the many sides on Queen Ifrica. She is traditionally a deejay, so we will highlight her raw fyah burn style on songs Coconut Shell and Yad the East, her heartrending sensational side on tunes like Daddy and her strong independence on tracks like Lioness On Rise,” states VP Records A&R Neil Diamond.

Queen Ifrica born Ventrice Morgan, began her career in 1995 after shining at a local talent contest in her hometown of Montego Bay, Jamaica. This eventually led to major stage performances in her country including the esteemed Reggae Sumfest as well as a union with Tony Rebel’s Flames Crew in 1998. With roots firmly secured in the Rastafarian faith, she blossomed as one of the top cultural artists in reggae. Despite her hectic schedule, Ifrica is involved in several youth outreach programs in Jamaica’s inner-city counseling abuse victims and other disadvantaged individuals. She also performs at various charity events shows where proceeds are donated to the cause.

Soca Gold

Soca Gold 2009 CD/DVD available June 9, is VP’s latest installment of Caribbean Carnival hits series.

It features massive hits from Trinidad’s Carnival like Bacchanal from Destra and Tusty by Roy Cape featuring Blaxx as well as new summer scorchers from Edwin Yearwood (the ‘People’s Monarch’ & Road March King of Barbados), Zoelah (Soca Monarch Queen of St. Vincent), Skinny Fabulous (Road March King of St. Vincent), Kenneth Salick, (this year’s Chutney Soca Monarch of Trinidad) and Bunji Garlin (the all time Raga Soca King of Trinidad) with Beenie Man (King of the Dancehall). The bonus DVD comes full force this year with live performances, seven music videos, J’Ouvert Morning footage and more.

The Soca Gold series serves as the essential soundtrack to Carnival throughout the world. Carnival Competition determines big hits in Soca and establishes young acts in the genre. Soca Gold boasts the genre’s top selection of tunes and packaging since the series’ inception in 1997.

Most Wanted

On May 26 VP and Greensleevs releases four albums of the Most Wanted Series of essential hits from reggae legends Tanto Metro and Devonte, Vybz Kartel and Bushman. Most Wanted is series of compilations originally started by Greensleeves, spotlighting a collection of essential tracks from artists like Wailing Souls, Yellowman, Ranking Dread, Eek-a Mouse and Johnny Osbourne.

“Today, VP Records and Greensleeves combine their vast vault of reggae to comprise a new crucial set of tunes highlighting the venerable careers of Tanto Metro and Devonte, Vybz Kartel and Bushman,” said a VP release.

The award-winning dynamic dancehall duo, Tanto Metro and Devonte, who have been creating radio friendly hits for over a decade now, give the listener a jam packed selection of nostalgic tunes including their U.S. Top 40 Billboard hits Everyone Falls In Love (1998) which broke into the mainstream during a time when it was uncommon for a Jamaican artist to reach the charts internationally and Give It To Her (2001) that subsequently led them to perform alongside Mariah Carey at the NY Giants stadium for Pop/Top 40 Station Z100’s 20th Anniversary. This VP album follows them throughout their career beginning with earlier smash singles like Say Woyee and Teaser then leading into more current tunes like Good or Bad Times and I’ve Got News for You, produced by the latest R&B pop sensation Ryan Leslie.

Vybz Kartel is regarded as one of best lyricists in dancehall today. His flow, controversial lyrics and complex rhyme style have caught the ears of struggling youths across the globe.

“This essential Vybz soundtrack from Greensleeves Records celebrates the artist with an ‘up to the time’ compilation of his hottest and most desired singles like New Millennium featuring Wayne Marshall, the club banger Tek and Sunrise featuring Mavado, who is now considered his musical arch nemesis.

Bushman’s music follows in the footsteps of great reggae artist like Luciano. The conscious singer, real name Dwight Duncan has contributed to the Rastafarian Renaissance with tracks like Grow Your Natty, Fire Bun A Weak Heart and the Jamaica and England number one smash Call The Hearse, all featured on this upcoming Greensleeves release.

     

Mark Lee

About Mark Lee

Editor, author and writer with career spanning print, radio, television and new media.

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