Wednesday, 26 November 2014

reasoning with Maxi Priest on 'Easy To Love', losing our culture, major vs indie, Shabba Ranks + more

"I'm on top of the world. I'm on fire right now," exclaims Maxi Priest when asked about his re-emergence. "I've been doing this thing for a while now and to have the opportunity to go around again... I am really appreciative, because at the end of the day we can't do this without the support of the people. Words fail me. I am on such a high with this album, the appreciation and support that we've been getting on this is just - thank God."

The famed reggae and lovers rock singer rose from the world famous London crew Saxon Sound International to transatlantic chart-topper - a rare feat for any reggae artist, let alone one from Lewisham, south-east London. Songs such as the aforementioned US #1 "Close To You" (produced by Soul II Soul),  (Cat Stevens cover) "Wild World".

2013 saw Maxi return on the scene in a big way via the Bulby-produced "Easy To Love". An album of the same name followed this year, and the domination of pirate radio stations has continued - you can expect to hear at least five cuts from the album blessing the airwaves at any given time. Maxi Priest is revered by the core reggae market for the first time in a very long time.

Marvin Sparks caught up with the Lewisham-born legend, Maxi Priest, about not getting his dues from black British music institutes, not liking the "lovers artist" label, major label albums feeling like foreign land and whether we'll get another Shabba Ranks collaboration.

You can catch where I spoke to him about Saxon Sound and their (under-stated) impact and importance here

Marvin Sparks: Easy To Love began hitting the airwaves last year. Beres Hammond "In My Arms" was first to hit off the riddim…

Maxi Priest: I wasn't really aware of the other track when I done "Easy To Love". The riddim was brought to me by Big Dread from out of Wolverhampton. He came to the studio for dub plates and stuff but when he played the riddim track, I was like "Yo, I love this riddim track!" I wanted to write a song for it. I wrote the song, he told me the riddim belonged to Bulby from Jamaica.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Dancehall > Jungle > Garage > Grime: The Rewind Is Everything [1Xtra sets]

Just gonna drop these videos here to show the line of UK mic chatting music.

Cos sets from these Jamaican's - Wayne Wonder, Frisco Kid and Lady Saw

And UK ragga deejay's: Tippa Irie (from Saxon Sound a.k.a. the first UK mic chatters to chart in UK top 40 a.k.a. the sound that popularised fast-chat/double-time "rapping"), Sweetie Irie and General Levy. Please note this is the foundation of UK mic chatting culture. Accept no rewording of our history. Thanks in advance.

UK garage MC's from So Solid, Pays As U Go and Heartless Crew

Grime MCs Lethal Bizzle, Dizzee Rascal, BBK, Tempa T, Footsie

Look pretty familiar, alie?

To quote this Skepta interview:
Hypetrak: Were people in Jamaica aware of grime? What’s their perception of the genre?Skepta: When we got to the airport, kids were outside welcoming us screaming "Boy Better Know." The internet has made everything so small. They understand of the grime beats because it’s similar to dancehall while other instrumentals are a bit too fast. Overall I think they like the lyrics more because we rap like dancehall artists in the way we formulate our lyrics to build the crowd. We work it to get that rewind, that encore. American rappers don’t really want that. They just want people to dance, they don’t want the interruption, the reload. In grime and dancehall, the rewind is everything!
 As we saw the difference between A$AP Flop and BBK at the Red Bull Culture Clash. Speaking of which, none of the above would be possible if not for Jamaican sound systems.