Jamaican dancehall star Konshens last week announced his upcoming album project, Red Reign, with the release of the revealing and introspective lead single, “Can’t Stay Sober.”
The track, which premiered via The FADER, marks Konshens’ first release through Ineffable Records, label arm of the multi-faceted Oakland-based music company Ineffable Music Group, which will release Red Reign later this year.
A moody and provocative meditation on the pros and cons of self-medication produced by Jamaica’s Good Good Productions, “Can’t Stay Sober” neither advocates for, or condemns, drinking and drug use.
The artist who is best known for bashment essentials like “Bruk Off Yuh Back,” “Gal a Bubble” and “Do Sumn,” this time uses the track to comment on the toll that the pandemic and recent societal upheaval have taken on the collective consciousness of people around the world, and the steps he and others are taking to cope.
“The current climate of the world is forcing you into a state where it’s almost like you can’t stay sober,” Konshens says. “I’m not encouraging it, I’m acknowledging the reality. This is a stressful time, and people are searching for an escape,” he said.
Konshens was driven to write “Can’t Stay Sober” after taking stock of his own drinking, and admitting to himself he might have a problem. “Right now, I drink way too much and this song helped me to realize that, and now I’m taking steps to kick it.” A video for “Can’t Stay Sober,” co-directed by Konshens and Kenny Gray, will follow on March 24th.
Ineffable Music Group, which owns and operates venues and festivals and manages and releases music from artists like Stick Figure and Collie Buddz, launched Ineffable Records in 2019. It has quickly ascended to the top of the Billboard reggae labels chart, placing second only to Universal Music Group in terms of total album sales in 2020.
Anticipated for release in Q3 2021, Red Reign will feature collaborations with reigning dancehall queen Spice, among other guests, and production from Rvssian, Track Starr, Silent Addy and Jonny Blaze.
US Based Soca Artist Comes Through for the Caribbean Community.
The dark clouds are slowly rolling away for creatives in the US, among them, Caribbean entertainers who’ve been held up for over a year. For many in the entertainment industry around the world, the pandemic has caused devastation. International reports suggest that other than the aviation industry, the entertainment industry has been hardest hit. There is a glimmer of light now however, and for one Caribbean creative residing in New York city, a year of introspection and silence, has stimulated creativity in the most incredible way.
Many would remember him as a child in the Caribbean, singing alongside Calypsonian David Michael Rudder- a song called, “The Future Belongs To Me.” Now, years later, Julius The Artist is offering his music to Soca lovers around the world at a time when he says he believes they need it most.
A thoughtful artist, Julius who originally hailed from Pioneer Drive, Sealots, Trinidad, has effectively delivered thought provoking songs over the years. In 2018, he released a song called, “Good Morning Trinidad,” invoking emotions for persons on the receiving end of domestic abuse and irrational violations. He followed that track up with “What’s Your Name,” paying homage to the land of his birth. Julius however explained that this time around, as the anxiety surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic eases in the United States, with many now receiving vaccines, he felt a strong desire to give his Caribbean people an anthem that could lift their spirits.
‘No Breather,’ was produced by famed New York based music producer, Brent Toussaint-the Trinidadian producer whose name stood out on Beyonce’s Lemonade album. He was also responsible for Machel Montano and Walker Hornung’s ‘With or Without You,’ and even Bunji Garlin’s ‘Gimme De Brass.’ “This song was held back for a year and a half because of what had been happening in the world,” admitted Julius. “Now, I’ve released the track because I think it’s the right time; people need something to take their mind off things,” he said. With US restrictions now easing, vaccination fetes are a thing. Added to that, bubble carnivals have emerged and Julius, like many artistes, is looking forward to taking the stage again.
As a dietary aid at a New York hospital by profession, Julius saw first-hand, and continues to witness the effects of the pandemic. He explained that his profession is possibly the ‘good news’ aspect of hospital-care these days, highlighting that he’s served patients who’ve gotten back on their feet after being diagnosed with Covid-19. “Over the past year, I’ve kept my focus on the brighter side of life, no matter how things were. I used the time to listen because sometimes you have to be still and go into a state of nothingness and meditate. I was always in my head,” he said.
Despite the daunting reality most felt, Julius got creative. Together with Ian ‘Fojo’ Cobin, he penned ‘No Breather’ and has even been working with Jason ‘Shaft’ Bishop on a major project he’s extremely excited about. Giving kudos to his manager, Tamara George, Julius says there’s a lot happening musically that he is grateful for. “I have a lot of really good conscious material but the people need something to excite them again- get them living again, after the past year so this is it; this is my gift to my Caribbean people and I think they’ll enjoy it,” he said.
Rih’s On It, Allegedly! Who’s Ready for It?
It’s been five years since Rihanna dropped her last body of music. Fans have been patiently waiting for the release of the R9 album, often taking to the Bajan entrepreneur’s social media pages with pleas and virtual prodding tones, much to her exhaustion. Rih has however been very focused on her fashion and beauty lines, delivering Fenty Beauty, Fenty Skin, Savage X Fenty over the time. Now there’s word that Rihanna’s ninth studio album has finally come together.
A source told The Sun that Rihanna’s been working on new music for quite some time. “Rihanna has been secretly working on new music for a long time and her ninth album has finally come together. She has kept fans waiting for a long time — and the pandemic slowed things up even more,” said the source.
According to reports, the ‘Love on the Brain’ singer has tapped director Raja Virdi for a music video set to film in California later this summer. “The project is still tightly under wraps but Rihanna will be filming a new music video in Los Angeles in July. Raja has been brought on board by Rihanna and her team, and he will be flying out to oversee everything,” said the source in The Sun interview.
While the singer has not made an official statement on the subject, fans are eager to learn more about what she has planned for her upcoming project.
Meanwhile, Rihanna has condemned the ongoing violence in the Gaza Strip. In a social media post on Thursday, the philanthropical influencer said her heart is breaking for the children caught in the centre of the ongoing war.
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