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.
Buju Brings the ‘Summer Bubbler’. Entertains Fans Online. VIDEO INSIDE.
New music now making the rounds, reggae and dancehall heavyweight, Buju Banton stays focused and happy at home in Jamaica, delivering to fans worldwide, pieces of himself via online platforms like Instagram. On Wednesday, on the heels of news that he’d unleashed a brand new summer bubbler with the ladies in mind, Gargamel solidified the promotion of the track with a mini concert that engaged fans from as far as Ghana.
It’s been almost two years since Buju’s career, like that of many other Caribbean artistes, has been halted- with no major concert events being planned. He appeared alongside Beres Hammond on a virtual stage in February this year, but of course, that was nothing like a live show would be. Still, Buju’s creativity remains powerful and present.
The latest single, “Summer Body”, is aimed at offering fans a little fun and enjoyment, according to the artist. In a statement, the song is described as one that borrows signature sounds from the 90s reggae/dancehall era and features Buju’s quintessential deejay style over a hardcore Dancehall riddim. The song was produced by Buju himself, alongside dancehall staple Jon Jon. According to Buju’s team, the new release encourages fans to celebrate life, remove doubt and any sense of restriction from their minds.
On Wednesday, as he engaged fans on his Instagram live, Buju smiled happily, singing his new release and even belting out familiar tunes from the past. Take a look at how that went down…
Shenseea’s New Video “Run, Run” Bashed As “Demonic.” Rvssian Retorts.
In just five days, Shenseea’s latest music video, “Run Run” has been streamed over 2.4 million times on YouTube. Whether that’s fueled by criticism over the “demonic” imagery of the video, as some call it, or just plain curiosity and fan loyalty, we’re uncertain, but 2.4 million streams in a week, is big news.
Earlier this month, Shenseea announced her new management alignment with Canadian, music exec, Wassim ‘Sal’ Slaiby. In an Instagram post, the Jamaican artist who had previously been managed by Romeich Major, said she was happy to now have a manager with “such dynamic character on my team.” Shen alluded to big moves ahead, saying, “we’re about to unfold a new chapter.”
Just a few days later, a promotional video was posted to her IG, showing what was on the way. The video for “Run Run” portrayed visuals that leaned more toward the international trends seen in videos like Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B’s “WAP” and Lil Nas X’s “Montero” music videos. Some fans dug in after the video’s release on Friday. “Omg, I’m so sorry for Shenseea… she don’t know what she’s getting into,” one person wrote on YouTube. Another said, “We need more music videos with artists ascending into Heaven, normalize ascending instead of descending into hell.” Some even posted prayers for their Jamaican dancehall sweetheart.
The new single is the first track off of Shen’s debut album. On the weekend, Shenseea posted a scene that showed her being lowered into what one can only assume is “hell.” She wore bull horns in the excerpt. She told fans this was her favorite scene.
In response to comments against the visual creativity, producer Rvssian took to Twitter. “They say people sell them soul. But how much do these type of things go for? 😂 and is a store or what? Mi confuse😂😂” he retorted. He continued by saying that he praises God and has given all his success and credit to Him, lashing out at critics with biblical reference, saying, “The Bible say Matthew 7 – do not judge…do you know the rest? But you guys are more holy than we are- look into ya self.”
His response was quite similar to one given by incarcerated dancehall artist, Vybz Kartel who was asked about allegations that he had sold his soul for fame, by On Stage host, Winford Williams, prior to his incarceration.
HERE’S SHENSEEA’S “RUN RUN” VIDEO
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