Today marks the release of "Scorpio's Letter", the third single from reggae three-piece Taste Of Pluto. Hailing from the Caribbean, the trio consists of Dominca-born singer Navy, and Barbados-born Tyler and Marwin (who also have ties to North America and Sweden, respectively), with influences that span multiple genres including reggae, hip-hop, soul and beyond.
Despite having only kicked off in March with "Rebellion", the trio have already hit their stride, all of it leading up to the release of today's spiritually-minded single. A crisp hip-hop beat provides the backbone here while a subtle bassline and some twinkling keys shimmer around the mix behind Navy's rich, smoky vocals as she sings seductively about pledging her love and devotion to that special someone.
The new single also comes with visuals from director duo Trevor Pretty and Pierre Jermaine (who also handled the band's other two videos) and they've put together some relaxed scenes of the three musicians chilling at home as they kick back together and do what they can to cope with the scorching Caribbean sun.
"Scorpio's Letter" is out now via Pretty Boy Worldwide. Buy and stream it here.
Blackpink, the Korean band whose lavish videos regularly attract millions of viewers, have set a new record for the biggest music video premiere on YouTube. A total of 1.65 million fans tuned in for the unveiling of their new song How You Like That, breaking a record set by fellow K-pop stars BTS in February. The highly-anticipated track marked the band's return after a year-long hiatus.
Last year, the quartet became the first K-pop group to have a video reach a billion views on YouTube. How You Like That is billed as a "pre-single" that sets the scene for the band's first full-length studio album, due in September. The video sees Lisa, Jennie, Rosé and Jisoo in a variety of dramatically-lit settings, from a lush rainforest and an ice palace to a room filled with scorched umbrellas, and a grand domed hall, where the quartet are surrounded by dancers and statues of horses. The hip-hop-infused track also blends elements of Arabic music during Lisa's second verse rap, while the lyrics deliver a "positive and hopeful" message. "We sang to give the message of not being daunted by dark situations and to not lose the confidence and strength to stand up again," said Jisoo in a pre-release press conference
The band are set to perform the song for the first time on Jimmy Fallon's US chat show on Friday, 26 June. Blackpink were formed in 2016 in Seoul, and rapidly became one of Korea's most popular pop bands. They became the first K-pop girl band to perform a set at the Coachella music festival, and scored their first UK chart success with the single Kill This Love last year. The quartet are also the most-subscribed music group on YouTube, with 37.5 million followers who call themselves "Blinks". After taking time off to work on their debut album, the stage was set for their return when they featured on Lady Gaga's recent single Sour Candy. The track reached number 17 in the UK earlier this month, giving the band their biggest hit to date. How You Like That premiered on their VLive and YouTube channels at 10:00 BST on Friday. The audience narrowly eclipsed a record set by BTS earlier this year, when the premiere of their video On attracted 1.54 million concurrent viewers.
Buju Banton has released his thirteenth studio album, his first since his return to Jamaica.
You might have heard it by now, but Buju Banton is back, and I don’t mean back from a hiatus or prison. No, my friends, this time, Gargamel is officially back with a brand new album entitled “Upside Down 2020.” While he was incarcerated for close to a decade, Buju’s fans had to rock to jams of the past to fill the void left by the dancehall/reggae juggernaut, and now after a diligent wait, they have an entirely new catalog to look forward to. Tracks like “Steppa” and “Trust,” which we have heard before, were lead tracks from the album, and they have indeed set our expectations on high. When Buju announced the album, he explained the relevance to these trying times in a lengthy statement. “As we approach this shift in time, in ages, in the consciousness of man, many things can be said, but who is really listening?” Buju wrote. “So much trouble in our world, yet are we aware? The battle lines have been drawn and it’s simple. Good vs. evil. I am not here to tell you the side you should be on, rather my offering of music is meant to inspire, uplift, educate and eradicate negativity from the minds of the masses.”
Based on the above statement, Gargamel’s mission is clear to us listeners. If you want positive music to inspire you and keep you motivated to stand up for what is right Upside Down 2020 is for you. If you are seeking upliftment or a higher consciousness, this project is for you! Those who will join Buju in songs would make any ordinary music lover go bonkers. The album features the likes of John Legend, Pharrell Williams, Stephen Marley, and Stefflon Don, so expectations are rightfully through the roof.The year 2020, which was later added to the album title, is also symbolic of the 20 tracks on the album. This is Buju’s first album in 10 years since “Before the Dawn” in 2010 as well. It’s no secret that it has been a tumultuous year so far for the global community, which has been deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and other disasters. With the focus shifted to social justice and the growing attention around prevalent police brutality while protests continue, an ode of positivity from Buju Banton is just what we need. The good news is that all the nail-biting has come to an end as the album is now available on all platforms. Be sure to get your copy of Upside Down 2020 from the reggae connoisseur Buju Banton.
Legend Buju Banton joins Ebro in the Morning to discuss his thoughts about reggae music today, some artists he is supporting, looking back at his Welcome Home concert in Jamaica, the Black Lives Matter protests, his classic hits & more!
Two of dancehall’s heavy hitters may be getting together for another exciting collab. Both Bounty Killer and Agent Sasco posted pics of themselves standing outside the Tuff Gong Studio in Kingston.
Bounty Killer and Agent Sasco posted pics of themselves standing outside the Tuff Gong Studio in Kingston. Bounty Killer captioned his photo “@agentsasco x @1unogeneral #tuffgongstudio,” while Sasco called it a ‘deadly’ collab with reference to his previous stage name, Assassin.
The last time the pair came together, they delivered Ghetto State Of Mind, which also featured veteran singer Half Pint.
Fans immediately reacted to the posts which were posted yesterday, commenting on the fact that they couldn’t wait for it to happen. Under Bounty Killer’s post, one fan said: “Bounty may God keep you for another hundred years we are proud to see the great work you do over the years for Jamaica and its culture without you Jamaica would not be as big as it is today cross the world from the baby sham the alliance scared them so many careers so many great music hits after hits you deserve a statue in your honor real one they don’t make them like you no more much respect from a fellow citizen and a fan of your music”
Another excitedly added: “Maaaadddd another big collab chune just like Dem Ting Deh pon Tunda Clap Riddim back in the days.” The post has already been liked over 10, 000 times.
Under Agent Sasco’s post, fans were just as worked up about the possible collab. This fan believed that the song would be a pretty powerful one: “When this drop all corona disappear #Legends,” and this fan who also seemed hyped about the release said: “Me too artist dem was so waiting for this moment.” No more details have been released from either camp as to what the project might be or when it would be released, but fans have already shown that they are here for the combination.
United States President, Donald Trump, has issued an executive order that extends his visa ban to December 31, 2020. The ban restricts the issuing of temporary work visas to foreign nationals who usually travel to the USA to fill low income as well as specialized vacancies. The types of visas that are currently banned include H1-B, H2-B, J-1, J-2, and L-2.
The President’s stated reason is the high unemployment rate facing US citizens due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. He wants the available jobs to be given to US citizens, but critics have said the Visa bans will have devastating consequences for the US economy.
Other visa categories such as E-1, E-2, O-1 and the P-1, which is commonly used by entertainers, are unaffected by the proclamation. Even though the P-1 visa has not been listed among the banned visa types, members of the dancehall industry are wary.
In an interview with The Star, Tara Playfair-Scott expressed that she was not surprised by the President’s move.
The powerhouse artiste manager, public relations, and marketing guru said that “This has been coming and I assume he has been working his way towards this since there was an extreme slowdown in the processing of work permits for artistes and for persons who fall into the skilled categories.”
“If you speak to entertainers who have applied for work permits in the last year to two, they can tell you outright that there has been a marked difference. Even in paying expedited fees, your process is not expedited. It takes months to get a response for approval or even to say that they need more information,” Playfair-Scott said.
Manager of Grammy-nominated dancehall artiste Devin Di Dakta, and booking agent for I Waata and Intence, Shelly-Ann Curran also had her piece to say. She told The Star “I’m not really seeing our artistes visas on the list but that doesn’t mean they haven’t been shutting us out, and will continue trying to do so.” She stated that “Some people wait a year or two years only to be granted three months so just like the rest of the entertainment industry.”
Both Playfair- Scott, and Curran both agreed that now is the time for members of the local entertainment industry to reach out to other markets as there are many untapped territories that have a love for dancehall and reggae music.
According to Playfair-Scott, “I think the virus has shown a lot of people in a lot of areas not just entertainment that ‘Hey you, it’s tough to put all your eggs in one basket’ because at any given moment that basket can be snatched and your eggs fall to the ground. You have to try and diversify as much as possible.”
Curran also encouraged, “Reggae and dancehall music stretches past every border and this is the perfect time for our artistes to begin to look and tap into other markets like Latin America, the wider Caribbean, and Africa. The world is a big place.”
With the unpredictability of the US President’s next move, the entire music industry definitely needs to start putting contingency plans in place.
Forty years after reggae icon Bob Marley released his classic hit Redemption Song, his daughter is to release a book with a similar title.
Cedella Marley made the announcement on her Instagram page on Sunday (June 21) noting that Redemption: Reflections on Creating a Better World would be available come September 2020.
According to the Marley, the message of her father’s song still holds true today and she is hoping to share some of that wisdom in the new book.
“One of the biggest lessons Daddy taught me is that even in the most difficult circumstances, change is possible,” said Marley.
“These last few months, I have found myself turning to his wisdom more than ever,” added Marley.
Redemption: Reflections on Creating a Better World is currently available for pre-order via the publisher Quirk Books.
Redemption Song was the final track on Bob Marley and the Wailers’ twelfth album, Uprising.
Key lyrics in the song mirror a speech given by National Hero Marcus Garvey entitled The Work That Has Been Done.
The song is considered to be one of Marley’s greatest works.
Will Smith has been sued for his role in an upcoming film about Venus and Serena Williams’ father, Richard.
Smith, along with Warner Brothers, Richard Williams and his son Chavoita Lesane, are being sued for an undisclosed amount.
The lawsuit by TW3 Entertainment and Power Move Multi Media, claim they bought the rights to Williams’ book from Lesane for US$10,000 three years ago. Further, they say all profits from any project using the rights should be put into a trust for their benefit.
The movie, King Richard, was delayed due to the coronavirus and is scheduled to be released next year.