House of Marley x AfroPunk Fest

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House of Marley x AfroPunkFest 

AFROPUNK FEST IS BACK FOR ITS 10TH YEAR!! August 23rd – 24th, Commodore Barry Park in Brooklyn, NY will be filled with art, culture and music. “The most multicultural festival in the US” as described by the New York Times. Big names such as Lianne La Havas, Body Count, Trash Talk, and Meshell Ndegeocello and more will be blessing this year’s stages. The festival will be filled with delicious food trucks and a market to satisfy your shopping needs, so come ready to have a good time.

House of Marley is thrilled to partner with AfroPunk 2014. We have a lot of exciting things planned for the festival itself and lots of content about the artists, history, and fashion of Afropunk via our social media over the next week, so STAY TUNED! Even if you can’t make it to Brooklyn, you’ll be able to participate with the festival in spirit with The House of Marley.

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History 

When Matthew Morgan and James Spooner joined forces in 2002, their focus was giving a voice to thousands of multi-cultural kids fiercely identifying with a lifestyle path-less-traveled. Morgan, a visionary with 15 years in the music industry, instinctively understood that the indie rock/punk/hardcore scene had powerful appeal beyond the predictable Caucasian audience; the passion evident in writer-director Spooners hours of riveting hand-shot footage was the indisputable proof. The result: 2003’s ‘Afro-punk’, the seminal cult classic film spotlighting Black Punks in America.

AFROPUNK became a touchstone of a cultural movement strongly reminiscent of the early days of Hip-Hop. Alternative urban kids across the nation (and across the globe) who felt like outsiders discovered they were actually the core of a boldly innovative, fast-growing community. The online members have been the driving force behind the exploding AFROPUNK (AP) culture, creating an authentic virtual home in www.afropunk.com, and nurturing the music’s best and brightest via expansion of the Liberation Sessions, a live performance series hosted by Spooner.

In 2005, the very first annual AFROPUNK Festival debuted to wildly enthusiastic crowds at the iconic Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). Co-curated by Morgan and Spooner, the festival celebrated and unified the cultural cornerstones of AFROPUNK: music, film, skate, and most importantly, the fiercely independent and influential individuals that are the lifeblood of the AP community. AfroPunk.com

Check out some videos of AfroPunk Fest in the past:

House of Marley Spotlight – FKA Twigs

 

REX_FKAFKA Twigs, formally known as Twigs released her debut album today titled “LP1″. Stemming from Gloucestershire, southwest England, this mysterious artist of Jamaican decent glides into the House of Marley spotlight. Mysterious, because if you do a google search, good luck finding a live, in person interview. FKA Twigs early years were surrounded by nothing but farmlands, but she managed to study ballet and record music at a studio for Jamaican youths. At 17 she moved to London to pursue a career in dance, even appearing in some Jessie J videos as a backup dancer, but she soon released that this wasn’t the path she wanted to go down. A professional musician was where her heart wanted to be. Like most artists, she spent most of her days in the studio recording as much music as she could. Bar tending was her side gig that help push these dreams. In 2012 she released a self titled EP via bandcamp, Next was EP2, and today we have LP1. Her soft, dreamy voice and poetic words take you to a place that can only discovered in a dream. FKA Twigs is one of the most creative artists in the business right now, and LP1 is one of the most acclaimed debut albums of the 21st century. FKA Twigs also directs her own music videos, and those alone will have your fascinated and hooked to see what she has going for her next. 

Check out her debut album “LP1″ on iTunes now!

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Here are a few tunes that brought our attention to FKA Twigs:

Music Monday: My Funkiest Morning Mix

Happy Monday everyone! Today’s Music Monday features a playlist created by VeroMag. This smooth mix includes your favorite old school reggae sounds with a hint of Ska Punk in the mix. Let us make your Monday a relaxing one. Click play and jam on!

 

 

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Happy Independence Day Jamaica!

August 6th, 1962, INDEPENDENCE DAY! A day that will light up the island of Jamaica until the end of time. Free from three centuries of British rule, ecstatic Jamaicans launched fireworks into the sky as Jamaican flags were lowered all over the island. On this day, National Stadium was filled with over 20,000 emotional people celebrating one of the greatest days of Jamaica. Former Prime Minister Sir Alexander Bustamante gave a poignant analysis of what independence meant to the Jamaican people: “Independence means the opportunity for us to frame our own destiny and the need for us to rely on ourselves in so doing. It does not mean a license to do as we would like. It means work and law and order. Let us resolve to build a Jamaica which will last and of which we and generations to come will be proud, remembering that especially at this time the eyes of the world are upon us.” Today marks 52 years of Independence for the island that has one of the biggest cultural and religious impacts in the world. 
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(Children gather round Norman W Manley during Jamaica’s Independence Day celebrations {Getty}) 

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Princess Margaret arrives at Gordon House to open the first Parliament of Jamaica.

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“The Daily Gleaner” August 8th, 1962

If you’ve never heard the Jamaican National Anthem or the Jamaican Pledge, take a moment and listen to these beautiful words sung and recited.

Music Monday: Best of Popcaan

 

 

Popcaan, Jamaican Reggae artist, born Andre Jay Sutherland on July 15th, 1988 is our Music Monday choice for the week. Popcaan started his dancehall music career when he joined Vybz Kartel crew in 2007, and has been a household name ever since. His debut album “Where We Come From” released on June 10, 2014 has been a huge success. The album climbed to Billboards “Top Reggae Albums” and is sitting nicely at number two. So, if you are a fan of dancehall reggae check out this mix created by DJ Arems. DANCE ON!

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Twitter: @PopcaanMusic 

Facebook: Popcaan

 

Major Lazer’s Walshy Fire Presents: Jesse Royal “Royally Speaking”

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Since its release on July 14th, Jesse Royal’s “Royally Speaking” has been been receiving record-breaking streams on SoundCloud and beyond. Jesse’s smooth voice alongside whine worthy beats takes listeners back to the homeland. These riddims are perfect for your backyard boogie, day time beach party and, of course, your sweaty, underground club.

 

Tracklist:

1. Intro/Warning
2. Hotta the Battle
3. Greedy Babylon
4. Modern Day Judas
5. Preying on the Weak (Overstand Ent.)
6. Clear My Head (Gachapan Records)
7. Light Like A Feather
8. Silent River
9. Good Morning
10. D.O.A (Dreaming of Africa)
11. Baby Let Me Be
12. Butterflies
13. Little Did They Know (XTM Nation)
14. Talk To Me
15. World Cry (Jus Bus Remix)
16. Wadada (Burning Spear Remix)
17. Jam Rock (Gachapan/Palace Pikney Records)
18. Forever (Eccentrix)
19. Gimmie Likkle Herb
20. Muddy Road
21. Runnin
22. Get Away
23. If I Give You My Love (Maya Angelou Speaks)
24. Journey (Gachapan/Palace Pikney Records)
25. Rastafari Call You/Outro

 

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House of Marley’s The Get Together: Kingston Sound System

Growing up in England during the 1990s, filmmaker Wonford St. James spent many nights dancing in the field to the rhythms of a backyard-styled “free party.” A music lover, James studied these English parties back to its roots and instantly fell in love with the Jamaican sound system culture that eventually migrated to the UK in the ’60s. “Anyone who has ever danced in front of large banks of speakers to music being played by a DJ can thank Jamaican sound systems for that experience.” The impact this genre of music had on the world was felt far and wide, from having a hand in the birth of American hip-hop to inspiring audio purveyors to deliver louder, more portable speakers. So when the New York-based creative was asked to produce a video coinciding with the launch of House of Marley’s new Get Together Bluetooth speaker, James immediately decided to visit Kingston. In his short piece, Albert “iLawi” Johnson – regarded as the original selector – becomes our host through this sound system experience, which is a journey to a simpler, more peaceful time. Be sure to also scroll down to read our full interview with the talented Wonford St. James.

For more on House of Marley’s Get Together Bluetooth speaker as well as how you could win your very own, please visit here.

Can you introduce yourself?

My name is Wonford St. James and I am a filmmaker living in New York by way of London and Los Angeles.

How did you get into filmmaking?

Through a love of photography, music, cameras, art and life.

What was the goal behind your video?

We went to Jamaica to promote a dance and film it. I wanted to celebrate original Jamaican soundsystem culture and share a glimpse into the source of DJ culture. Jamaican music has had a massive, disproportionate, and well documented impact on global popular culture but the role of the soundsystem in the rise of reggae is not as well told. Anyone who has ever danced in front of large banks of speakers to music being played by a DJ can thank Jamaican soundystems for that experience. I want to shine a little light on the original dancehall scene and the energy, style and attitude that goes along with it.

What was your inspiration?

Growing up in England in the ’90s I spent a lot of time dancing all night in fields at “free parties,” so I’ve had traces of sound systems in my blood from an early age. As British house music evolved through that decade, I got heavily into the Jungle scene that blew up coming out of the early rave days. Jungle added the core ingredients of Jamaican dancehall into rave culture to create a uniquely British sound and subculture. You had rolling basslines and chopped out breaks bouncing along with MCs toasting over the music. Incredible and inspiring times. Going to Jamaica to make this little film was like a trip to Mecca.

How does House of Marley differ from other brands?

House of Marley has the opportunity to authentically celebrate a man and an island place with one of the world’s greatest musical heritage. Reggae imagery and attitudes have been brandalized far too often through diluted and distorted expressions of the culture. I hope that House of Marley are able to shine a new light on the subject that is creative and constructive.

What are you most excited about with your relationship with House of Marley?

It’s an exciting young brand with a great team behind it. I would love to take this project to the next level and work with the House of Marley team on a longer format film that explores the evolution and journey of sound system culture, from its roots in Jamaica across the world by way of hip-hop, house and heavy bass.

When you were approached about the project, what was the direction given and then how did you approach your execution/interpretation?

We were asked to create a film that spoke to the idea of an idea being shared; how ‘one’ becomes ‘many.’ This brief alongside a portable speaker made of wood with the Marley name on it immediately pointed me in the direction of Jamaica.

How influential has music been in your creative evolution?

Music has been the central part of my life and creative journey. The reason I live in New York is hip-hop.

What was it like traveling abroad? What were some of your favorite moments and what was some adversity you faced?

We were blessed to work with original selector and music man Albert ‘iLawi’ Johnson on this project who graciously welcomed us into his home to keep the dance at his yard. With iLawi as our guide we cut a blessed path through Kingston, uptown and down. My favorite moment was when the needle hit the first record at the dance. The soundsystem crackled and boomed into life and the place started bouncing. Alongside iLawi, we were blessed with a local producer Michelle Serieux who ensured that the only adversity we faced was whether we were going to run out of Red Stripe before the Guinness arrived.

What type of camera did you use for the film?

We shot the film on an old Canon camera using 8mm color film. These cameras are small, compact, and create a texture and warmth that fits perfectly with the story we were there to capture. The records crackle as the film rolls.

How receptive were the locals to being captured on film?

Jamaicans are lively, proud and beautiful people who are happy to get up in your face, so we had no shortage of potential superstars to liven up the dance.

Author: Robert Marshall

*Originally posted on HYPEBEAST

A Look into The Football Concierge

With the end of the World Cup, soccer jerseys are hot on the market. So why not customize your own? By appointment only at the Football Concierge, Nowhere FC can create the kit of your dreams. Located at 100 Forsyth Street, you can play a game of pick up across the street, while your jersey is hot on the press. The House of Marley had the opportunity to go behind the scenes and document the process of customizing a jersey. It was a sight to see, check the photos below. We even got in touch with founder Diego Moscoso (designer for Marc Jacobs and Supreme) and picked his brain about his company.

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1. When did you guys first link up with House of Marley?

We met them through TheGoodlife! who have a creative agency and team in our league; we’ve known them for years through their parties and recently got introduced to House of Marley and some of the sound systems they make we use for our space. Love it so far.

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2. When did Nowhere FC form?

We’ve had a team called Nowhere FC for years in the Bowery leagues and Adidas Fanatic league. We make our own kits and work with a large label company called Avery Dennison who makes a lot of the actual badges for Nike and Adidas, used on the top pro and national team kits. They test and make samples of most of their new sports labels and branding with Nowhere FC and use this to create new ideas for the big brands and clubs for future use. We’ve been doing this for a while and so for World Cup we wanted to put all the things we’ve been making into one space for our fans and friends to touch and get to sample on their own jerseys. So we thought to make a “travel agency” that brings Brasil to NY for the month. it’s called the Football Concierge, taking private appointments at 100 Forsyth next to the Chinatown field that is home to our league and team.

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3. What is the design process before you start to make a jersey?

We appreciate the history of jerseys, and in soccer, there is a long history. For over 150 years clubs from all over the world, beginning in England, have been making variations of their home, away, and alternative kits to wear as a flag for their identity abroad. We follow in this tradition and design our own stuff that tells our story in NY, but also how we see global soccer, a reflection. Our color is Maroon, to symbolize being from Nowhere and the “Maroons” of Latin American colonialism, escaped slaves and runaway indigenous people who made their new nomad colonies for survival, often in the mountain tops. The Spanish word cimarrón was used, meaning like “in the mountaintops”, in reference to the people, ultimately translating and becoming the root word Maroon in english: to be isolated in a remote area, etc. Our process is about telling stories, and for this world cup event we allowed friends and guests to use our menu of graphics to make their own jersey that tells their custom story.

 

 

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4. What is your favorite jersey you have customized?

Each is fun, one on one with people you never know what you will get. I like to be surprised by people and letting them design or customize is where that happens. Better than being in an office any day.

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5. What is the most complicated jersey you have customized?

There have been many over-the-top ideas. the more complicated the better, especially if it’s really ugly. It still looks better than NASCAR.

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6. What makes The Football Concierge unique and stand out against its competitors?

We don’t have competitors. We are just making stuff, don’t know anyone else who makes things in this way. I’d say we are competing with Nike, Adidas, Puma, and Major League Soccer, etc. Competing for the minds of future football fans to follow authenticity and inspire them to create their own identity and not let FIFA or the brands dictate to them what football or style looks like.

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7. Do you plan on expanding the business in the near future?

It’s inevitable I guess. Football is a religion, it’s not my hand that makes these jerseys, it’s the hand of God.

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8. Any dope collaborations from the past?

We made some great kits with Richardson magazine, I think they sell them on their site and store in NY, maybe in Japan. They have a great independent brand model and have been around for awhile in our neighborhood, so it only seemed natural. The visionary behind it, Andrew is a Liverpool man and knows what proper shirts should look like, so I’m happy with the black and white strong look he choose. It compliments our usual fruity-pebbles too much color vibe.

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We’re also making some customizations to some of the Bob Marley track suits re-released by Wear Marley. They basically brought back the iconic styles that Bob wore while playing, so it was fun to see those live again, and then to be able to add our international badges and theme as we think Bob was all about ‘one world,’ and giving these to our friends in NY to wear and personalize was the icing on the cake.

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9. Which staff member is the best soccer player?

Our team is all pretty decent ! Ex-college D-1, or semi-pro, mixed styles. The league we play in is real hard-body-karate these days, getting better all the time and not far from pro, with the influx of people coming to NY from everywhere. So our guys play soccer first and everything else like work and food and silliness comes second. Many of them play in other pro systems or are involved with the pro game on some level. But the Coach is the best overall international playboy, Simonez Wolf, and he’s also a chef so go figure. That’s another story in and of itself.

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Alexander Richter – The Man Behind the Lens

NYC based photographer Alexander Richter has one of the best eyes for capturing your favorite artists in their most natural setting. Photography is one of the most intriguing and populated art forms, but Alexander manages to stay on top. No glitz, glamour or over-photoshopped photos. Alexander uses the right adjustments to make you feel like you were there when the photo was captured. House of Marley was blessed with the chance to pick up some knowledge and gain a better understanding of Alexander’s work. Check out AlexanderRichterphoto.com for an inside scoop.

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How did you link with the House of Marley, and what attracted you to the brand?

I grew up as a fan of reggae and was heavily influenced by Bob’s music. Fast forward to 2012 when I traveled to Kingston for 7 days with a friend of mine to create the photo-based documentary project called SEVENS CLASH. Upon my return I re-connected with Tracy from The House Of Marley and we mutually took an interest in what the other was doing. We had meetings which led to me learning about their amazing audio products, and now here we are.

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How do you deal with an artist or a person that is super camera shy or has the “I don’t want to be here” attitude during a shoot?

I think being personable is one of the best attributes to have as a photographer. In order to make good photos you have to be able to connect with your subject. I tend to work very close to the people I’m photographing, sometimes within inches of their face, so creating a good exchange of energy is critical. It seems obvious, but I’ve had plenty of shoots where the people I am photographing tell me horror stories about working with other photographers who just stay behind the camera and fail to communicate with their subject. Which to me is crazy because it’s that exchange of energy that creates the best photos. So I would have to say it’s critical that if you are having a shoot with someone who is not keen on taking pic
tures that you take some time and just talk with them. Don’t even break out the camera until the vibe is right.   

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What are the top things you consider when location scouting?

Locations are driven by the person that I’m photographing so when I get commissioned to do a shoot I begin to think about the person I am shooting and visualize environments that would complement whomever they are. I like to look for colors, different surfaces (glass, metal, wood), textures, light & shadow. Obviously there are jobs with creative directions which drive a shoot but it’s always good to have an eye out for something different so that you can place someone there and create a shot that wasn’t in the brief.

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With the infiltration of people with digital cameras and Photoshop, how does your photography set itself apart from the masses?

I try not to think about what other people are doing, but if I had to answer it I would say my eyes. No one else sees the world the same way I do and as a result I create photographs that reflect that. I also get my camera into places that other people might be interested in seeing, but aren’t willing to take the risk to make it happen. I have had the opportunity to have access to worlds that not everyone is welcomed to and with those moments I have worked hard to show that experience, whether it was in Jamaica, working with graffiti writers in NYC, or exploring new generations of hip hop artists in Chicago. In addition to that, I take great care in composition, in lighting, and execution of the image at that decisive moment.

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Why do you think companies choose you to do shoots for them over the next photographer?

I think people tend to be attracted to the raw feeling of my work. I don’t do loads of Photoshop to my images. I try to create my images in camera the way that I am seeing them on the print side. And whether you like them or not, they will make you feel some type of way. If they don’t, then I haven’t done my job. I think people also like the fact that I work with different mediums as well. I shoot with a digital 35mm, Polaroid land & passport cameras, 35mm film, and medium & large format film cameras as well. Each camera has its own voice so using a variety of tools helps me create unique images.

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What type of research do you do on an artist or person before you start a photo shoot?

I try to do as much research as possible. I like to know something about each subject I’m working with so that I can start on some sort of equal playing field if possible. I think having different points of communication is key to connecting with your subject so it’s always beneficial to know about who you are working with. I also look at photos that other photographers have made so that I can challenge myself to create work completely different than anyone else.

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When did your interest transition from film to photography?

Well, I went to school for film and at first that’s what I set out to do. Around 2004/2005, I discovered my father’s Hasselblad, began shooting more, and realized that photography was what I was meant to do.

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What is your favorite type of camera?

I don’t have a favorite camera. Whatever camera I have in my hands at the time is the camera that I need.

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Are you more into digital photography or film (analog) photography?

I love it all. They both have their place and I’m grateful to understand and use both.

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Photo Credit: Alexander Richter

Polaroids – Diahann Williams

House of Marley to Donate $100 for any donation made to the Reggae Girlz

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Yes! You read correctly — for ANY and EVERY donation, for ANY amount given, the House of Marley will match with $100. (Until we reach 25k)!

The House of Marley will be matching each donation that is given towards the Reggae Girlz World Cup 2015 Bid. For every NEW donation over the next few days, we will donate $100 for each $1 that is donated.

Referral Contest: In addition to the House of Marley matching your donation, you can also win a House of Marley Get Together Audio System. Using the Indiegogo share tools, send this campaign to as many friends & family as you can. The donor with the most referrals wins the Sound System!

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This campaign is not only for the Reggae Girlz, it is about empowering girls and women from all walks of life through athletics and beyond. Financial burdens should never be a road block in achieving one’s goals and dreams.

Canada June 6th – July 5th, will be the location of the 2015 Women’s World Cup and the next destination for our Reggae Girlz. The Jamaica’s Women’s National Team has partnered with Cedella Marley to raise money for the Women’s World Cup 2015 bid. Want to get in on the action? You can do so by donating through the Reggae Girlz’ Indiegogo page.

We encourage you to donate and spread the word!

For more information please check out the Reggae Girls Indiegogo Page