Music Monday: Noisey Jamaica II Artists

Happy Monday Everyone! It’s Music Monday, and today we are featuring some of the artists within our Noisey Jamaica II series. Chronixx, Jesse Royal, Protoje, Alkaline, and Keznandi are considered to be the leading pack of the reggae revival. Peep some of our favorite songs from these amazing artists below.














2002 BBC Documentary – Reggae: The Story of Jamaican Music

TGIF! Today is the perfect day to watch a BBC documentary on one of the most interesting subjects; Jamaican Music. If you haven’t already, you should check our Noisey Jamaica II documentary series, showcasing new and upcoming artists in the reggae and dancehall scene. Great way to compare and contrast the start of Jamaican music and its current  revival.



Part 1: 1950’s Ska period & history of Jamaican Independence
Part 2: Roots Reggae & Bob Marley
Part 3: Progression of Reggae in the 80’s and beyond

Wide Open Walls Transforms Gambian Villages into Living Street Art Projects

Wide Open Walls – A Fantastic project, working with communities and turning local villages into living art installations.

Wide Open Walls is a yearly project started in October 2010 by Lawrence Williams and local artist Njogu Toray. This project raises awareness for peace and brings aid to the West African country of Gambia. Some of the world’s most talented artists cover the small villages with murals and pieces, celebrating love and respect for the locals’ cultural values.







“The idea for Wide Open Walls was born from Lawrence Williams’s work with local artist Njogu Toray. Together they came to be known as ‘Bushdwellers’ and worked with stencils and eventually moved on to painting larger canvases. This morphed into an idea of decorating some of the local compounds in the wider Ballabu region. Lawrence’s vision was to expand the project into something more, something lasting that could both function as a valid art installation in itself and at the same time promote The Gambia as a tourist destination. The basic idea was to turn some the village of Kubuneh within the Ballabu area into a living art project.

So, back in 2009, Lawrence spoke with world-renowned street artist Eelus and suddenly he had himself a curator – the first curator of Wide Open Walls… So in October 2010, eight of the world’s leading street artists (Eelus himself, Logan HicksC215,Will BarrasBroken Crow [John Girder & Mike Fitzsimmons]Lucy McLauchlan and Ben Eine came to The Gambia and over the space of two weeks created art works using the village as their canvas. The results were subtle and remarkable – the paintings both blending into the environment with ease and somehow enhancing the surroundings with an understated grace. The cumulative effect is extraordinary.

The project was repeated in 2011 with Ricky Lee Gordon of South Africa-based Write On Africa as curator and the results were similarly spectacular, both in terms of the artwork created and the galvanising effect the presence of the artists had on the local community. There was an undeniable mutual affection among the artists and the people of the villages, and a sense of wanting this to stand for so much more than a mere vanity art project. Wide Open Walls has hopefully created something that will blossom into so much more: something sustainable and inspiring.” –





Check out some of this years work on their Instagram page @WideOpenWalls and for more information, here is their website



Heart of the Marleys: Miami’s Rohan Marley, son Nico carry on Bob’s legacy

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Sports Illustrated conducted an amazing interview with Rohan and his son Nico Marley. They discuss football between the family, and even take a trip to the Bob Marley Museum. This interview shows viewers a side of the family that isn’t musical, but the one common denominator that connects the family is passion in everything they do. “Passion makes us do what we do” – Nico Marley


New Music: Damian “Jr Gong” Marley – Hard Work



New music alert! “Hard Work” is Damian “Jr Gong” Marley’s newest single from his Ghetto Youth International Presents “Set Up Shop Vol. 2″ compilation dropping this Fall. Today is the first day of Fall so hopefully Damian will bless us with this compilation sometime soon.


Vice and The House of Marley are proud to present “Noisey Jamaica”, an immersive six episode journey into two Jamaican musical groundswells shaping the island of their birth and beyond. From the revolutionary young reggae movement led by charismatic artists such as Chronixx and Jesse Royal to controversial new dancehall artists like Alkaline. Noisey Jamaica reports on one of the most dynamic chapters in Jamaica’s rich musical legacy. Check out the first episode below.

Directed by Andy Capper, this six episode documentary series travels from all over Jamaica to report on one of the most dynamic chapters in Jamaica’s rich musical legacy since the advent of Reggae. A new video will be posted each week.

In addition to showing the parallels and exchanges between Reggae and Dancehall, “Noisey Jamaica” will trace the history of Rastafarian culture that eventually led to the evolution of Reggae. A sound and style that conquers the world several times over, produced global super-legend Bob Marley and became a turnkey for Jamaican culture.

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Marlon James’ New Book Explores the Attempted Assassination of Bob Marley




From the Fader Magazine: ISSUE 93, on stands now:

Ever since his 2005 debut, John Crow’s Devil, Minneapolis-based author and Macalester College professor Marlon James has used his novels to delve into the history of his native Jamaica. His past books focused on slavery and religion, but his new novel, A Brief History of Seven Killings, tackles a moment that’s usually only discussed in whispers: the 1976 attempt on Bob Marley’s life. That foiled plot—carried out by several poor, young Jamaicans about whom little is known—remains shrouded in mystery and conspiracy theories. James’ book shifts the focus away from Marley himself and, as such, does little to offer a definitive account of the affair. Instead, it uses the story’s question marks and convolutions as a means of exploring an equally complex time in the history of Jamaica, marked by Cold War politics abroad and growing tension between the conservative Jamaican Labour and the socialist People’s National Party. The author utilizes dozens of narrators, including a Rolling Stone writer, a CIA agent and a host of Jamaicans who speak in varying strains of dialect. Over the phone, James discussed the roots of the novel, his fascination with this vibrant and turbulent era and the world-wide success of the country’s most famous cultural export.


Where did you get the idea to tell the story of the Bob Marley attempted assassination?

I’ve been interested in this story since around 1991, when I read an issue of SPIN magazine with Jane’s Addiction on the cover. There was this article by Timothy White, who wrote the Bob Marley biography Catch a Fire. He wrote an update where he went further into the one incident in Marley’s life that no one wants to talk about, which is when these men tried to kill him. One of them went on to be a major player in the ’80s crack trade, and another was assassinated with a bullet to the head in East Germany. Those two were really striking to me. I’ve always been interested in who these men were and what happened to them.

Why did you use so many different perspectives to tell the story?

I couldn’t figure out whose story it was. It couldn’t be just these killers, because some of these guys were barely 15. There was brutal poverty and boredom, then they tried to kill somebody and they disappeared. I soon began to realize it was everybody’s story. The more I looked into it, the less interesting Marley himself became to me. He’s just called “The Singer.” That’s why the novel became so long, because I started to think about the whole world around the incident. You should write until you fall for your characters, even the villains, and I eventually fell for all of them. The risk was that it could end up being scattered, but I think it’s just highly populated.

What was the state of Jamaica at that time?

You grew up in a political culture—in the ’70s, in particular, because there was so much propaganda and the Cold War. My grandmother’s wall had a picture of [former Jamaican Prime Minister] Michael Manley, but no pictures of us! At the same time, the ’70s were so culturally vibrant. Education was free, so there was suddenly a middle class. It says something that it was such a violent and crazy time and that everyone was recording here. The Rolling Stones did Goats Head Soup, and pretty much every version of “Start Me Up” was recorded in Kingston. The cultural exchange that was going on was just incredible.

Where did Marley fit in the cultural landscape?

My grandfather’s generation was the first to really be inspired by the Black Power and Black Arts movement. People forget that these movements really disliked Marley. He was half-white and he came across as this unintellectual, unwashed ragamuffin who suddenly became the voice of black struggle. Everybody has a revisionist history of this now, but Marley’s death was the first time many people in Jamaica heard him on the radio. Still, reggae used the voice of the people to talk about serious issues. The idea of me writing a novel in dialect would have never happened in 1962. It barely happened in 2005. The idea that this voice could be used to speak about injustice, trauma and freedom is a concept that the ’70s gave us.


By: Colin Joyce

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Best of Sean Paul

Sean Paul, now how can you forget a name like that? When it came to dancehall reggae, Sean Paul owned the 2000s. Hit after hit after hit after hit, Sean Paul’s music was played at parties and in clubs around the world. A decade later in 2014 and you will STILL hear your favorite Paul song being blasted on the streets. Check out the videos to his top hits:

Get Busy

I’m Still in Love With You Ft. Sasha


Ever Blazin’

Like Glue

Gimmie the Light

Beyonce – Baby Boy

Sound System Culture: A New Book Reveals Huddersfield’s Hidden Reggae History

The good people at Fader Magazine wrote a great article about a new book on UK sound system culture. Sound System Culture, Celebrating Huddersfield’s Sound Systems focuses on the market town of Huddersfield. Check out Fader’s article below.

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  • Earth Rocker sound system inside Cleopatra’s (later named Silver Sands), Venn Street, Huddersfield, late 1970s. Clockwise from left: Papa Burky (Stephen Burke, operator/selector), Ducky Ranks (Donald Senior, MC), Yellowman (Robert Daley, crew member), Hunter (Brian Chester, crew member), Pumpkin (Errol Allison, crew member) and Greaves (Andy Greaves, MC). One of the biggest and most respected sound systems in the north of England, Earth Rocker was formed in 1975 by Stephen Burke, who was born in Huddersfield to Jamaican parents. The main selector and operator for the sound, Burke is a cabinet maker by trade, and continues to build boxes for sound systems across the UK and Europe to this day. According to writer Noel Hawks, who used to work at Dub Vendor record shop in South London: “One of our top mail-order customers ran a sound in Huddersfield. We used to send him up a box of pre-release singles COD nearly every week. He was so regular I can still recall his address, including the postcode, over thirty years later.” That customer was Stephen Burke. Photo courtesy Stephen Burke

Today the UK’s Notting Hill Carnival will be winding its way through the streets of west London for day two of the annual celebrations, five decades on from the very first event in 1964. A celebration of Afro-Caribbean culture in the UK capital, at its heart is music—steel pan bands, Carnival parties and dozens of sound systems set up in the cordoned-off streets. The UK’s love of sound systems has its roots in the late ’40s when hundreds of people from Jamaica and across the West Indies were invited to move to Britain and help reinvigorate the country following World War II. It was thanks to that first generation of Caribbean settlers that some truly unlikely places went on to become thriving centers of sound system culture—like Huddersfield, a small town in the north of England. In the slideshow above, Al Newman of One Love Books shares a series of fascinating photos from his new title Sound System Culture: Celebrating Huddersfield’s Sound Systems and explains below how the book came to be.

Al Newman: “The Sound System Culture book was conceived by Huddersfield-based historian Mandy Samra as part of a larger heritage project that also included a film and touring exhibition, documenting the rich history of reggae sound systems in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire.

I was first contacted by Mandy a little under a year ago, just before the exhibition began touring, when she approached me to design the book after seeing one of my previous books, Clarks in Jamaica. I loved the subject and the little-known history of the Huddersfield sounds and ended up getting much more involved in the research and editing, working with Yorkshire soundman Paul Axis’ text, and eventually publishing the book through my company, One Love Books.

In this excerpt from the book, Mandy explains how the project came about: “While never an insider of the sound system scene, I’ve always had an interest in sound systems and around five years ago I first had the idea for this project, but did not know where to begin. One day I was talking with my boiler man, Michael Royal, who revealed that he had been a sound operator for Duke Warrior, a Huddersfield-based sound system that had been active during the 1970s. Two people, who on the surface shared little in common, found a connecting thread in their interest in sound systems.”

We are now looking to expand the project into other UK cities, eventually building up a history of sound systems throughout the whole of the UK.”


Sound System Culture: Celebrating Huddersfield’s Sound Systems is available now from One Love Books.

Written by: Ruth Saxelby

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