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Tag: "Reggae"

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Independence Drive Vs. Red Hot Chili Peppers

Red Hot Chili Peppers know how to deal with adversity. The band has been around for twenty-eight years, and have dealt with everything from lineup changes to drug addictions and deaths. But despite all of this, they have still won seven GRAMMY Awards, sold over 70 million albums worldwide and have been nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Earlier this year they overcame the odds once again, releasing their tenth studio album I’m With You; their first without iconic guitar hero John Frusciante since 1995′s One Hot Minute. Despite their roller coaster ride of a career, the band’s sound has always been rooted in the same basic principles: Flea‘s funky slap bass lines, melodic guitar soloing and Anthony Kiedis‘ unique hybrid of singing and rapping.  Now we have found an up-and-coming, young band that embodies those same principles with their own unique spin: Independence Drive.

OurStage's Independence Drive

Red Hot Chili Peppers








Like Red Hot Chili Peppers, the members of Independence Drive are incredibly gifted musicians. Their song “I Don’t Wanna Stay” is a great demonstration of their abilities. In fact, the song bares some similarities to Red Hot Chili Peppers’ song “Emit Remmus.” Both songs begin with a funky and melodic bass line that provides the foundation for the rest of the song. Both tracks also feature long, held out electric guitar notes to contrast the rhythmic nature of the bass parts in each song. It’s an interesting technique that both bands use frequently: the bass as the main melodic instrument instead of the guitar. “Pipe Dreams” is another song that shares some stylistic similarities to the sound of Red Hot Chili Peppers. Beginning with a strong rhythmic opening, this song relies more on some great guitar riffs rather than the bass part. The band uses some interesting guitar effects to achieve a unique tone in this song, sounding a little bit similar to some of the effects used on Red Hot Chili Peppers’ hit song “Dani California.” The highlight of the song is the guitar solo though, where guitarist/singer Ian Althouse gets to show off his chops with some impressive playing.

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Odelia Vs. Beyoncé

Beyoncé is without a doubt a superstar. While news of her recent pregnancy (and controversy surrounding it) may have overshadowed her artistic achievements as of late, no one can deny that she has been one of the most talented and successful artists of the last decade, and she shows no signs of slowing down. Not only has she dominated the pop charts, but she has also been a great role model for young women. She has written songs about female empowerment and being independent, and she has also avoided run ins with the law and scandals that often plague other pop stars. So for this week’s edition of Vs. we’re putting the spotlight on another talented diva with a positive message, Odelia.


OurStage's Odelia








Growing up as the daughter of a Pentecostal minister, Odelia was exposed to music at a very early age. These childhood experiences in the church also influenced the positive message in her music; female empowerment and self improvement are recurring themes in her songs. Odelia and Beyoncé also share a similarity in their ability to meld elements of pop, R&B and soul seamlessly. They both can create up tempo songs and ballads with equal success. For example, take a listen to Odelia’s song “Hard To Say Sorry.” You might notice that the song shares some stylistic similarities to Beyoncé’s single “Best Thing I Never Had.” Both of these songs are ballads that are based around a piano melody. The piano parts in both songs are very catchy, but they sit far back enough to let the real focus of the song be the vocals. Odelia possesses a voice that is very similar to Beyoncé’s in its soulful quality impressive range.

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GuacaMusic: Caracas Sunset

How would you describe the sunset? Is it a mix of sun and clouds? Is it a blend of colors? What if we told you that the best sunset in the world is the one that combines jazz, blues, funk, ska, rock, bossa nova and even some reggae?

Don’t believe us? Well, we are talking about Caracas Sunset, a band from Venezuela that has been getting rave reviews from Latin lovers on OurStage.

To quickly brief you on the band’s history, we will tell you that Caracas Sunset was born in 2006, when a group of friends decided to pursue their musical career dreams. A few years later, they recorded their first single and began a promotional tour in Caracas, where they scored some awesome opportunities. They had the chance to perform at the Circuito Unión Rock Show in 2009, a well-known music festival in Venezuela, and also got to share the stage with famous local bands like Desorden Publico, Los Mentas, Subsonus, Entrenos, Sonica, Los Mesoneros, AK 47, Charlie Papa, Andreazulado, La Pipa Freak, Skin, La Vida Boheme, Dame Pa’ Matala, Baroni One Time, De Khalafary’s, Bituaya and Caramelos de Cianuro among others.

In 2011, Caracas Sunset released another promotional single called  “Oye Chico”, and is currently working on producing a video clip for this song.

Awesome, right?

We think so too. If you love variety in music and a touch of Latin soul, then we are sure you will dig Caracas Sunset. Here on OurStage, you can play their song “Oye Chico” and familiarize yourself with their unique style. You’ll experience how a mixture of reggae and bossa nova can put anyone in the mood to party from dawn to dusk. Now there is a sunset we know and love. ¡Provecho!


Press Shuffle: Streggae Tunes

Today, friends, we’re going to a place where pristine white sands meet deep sapphire waters. Palms fringe the beach, and a lazy breeze rolls in from the sea. Longtime playground of the rich and famous, the Caribbean holds many hidden treasures. What we have come for, though, isn’t hidden; it’s everywhere.

We’ve all heard of the greats, the artists who transcended the borders of their countries. As the the most internationally famous and influential Jamaican musician, Bob Marley (whose son dropped by and answered a few questions a couple days ago) popularized reggae in the United Kingdom and then the world. The riddim has been adapted all over the globe, and here at OurStage we have gathered a premier sampling of the fruits of this dissemination.

Souljah Fyah

Peace of Mind” — Zebulun: Orange, NJ, USA. If peace of mind is hard for you to find, then music is what you’re missing.

No Monkey” — Wally Warning: München, Germany. This extremely danceable song will turn any frown upside down. If upbeat music is your thing, then you’ll appreciate the joy this will bring.

Tears Of A Fool” — Souljah Fyah: Edmonton, Canada. Not often do you hear a reggae song of heartbreak, much less one that is this strikingly mood-appropriate. An excellent vocal performance makes this song stand out from the crowd.

Ragga” — Mamma Reggae: General San Martín, Argentina. Reggae is the music of the people. These Argentine reggae-rockers bring the vibe from a selfless heart, conveying a message of peer appreciation and positive social revolution.

Jah Justo” — Levitas Reggae: Brasília, Brazil. Roots reggae at its purest: blessings to hard-working men, simple and effective instrumentation and a catchy rocker beat. What else could you ask for?

I’m Coming Up” — Sheldon Senior: Manchester, Jamaica. Representing the motherland, Sheldon Senior comes at us with a great song. With great production quality and lush sound, we’re taken to the feel-good place we want to be in a heartbeat.

Take Three” — Uzo Nzeka: Noisy-le-Sec, France. This seasoned musician closes our playlist with a spacey, laid back tune. Your mood should be a reflection of this vibe.

Have any tunes in particular that you care to share? Disagree with any of the picks? Want a particular theme to be Shuffled? Let us know by dropping a comment!

Q&A With Ziggy Marley

Transcending the legacy of a famous parent isn’t easy, especially when that parent is the most celebrated reggae musician of all time.  Yet, with all the pressure that such a family history brings, Ziggy Marley consistently lives up to his father’s musical legacy while proving his own songwriting abilities on every new record.  After more than fifteen years of recording with his siblings in The Melody Makers, he went solo in 2003. This June he released his fourth solo album Wild and Free.  We sat down with Ziggy to talk about his new album, his collaboration with Woody Harrelson and how marijuana can (really) save the world.

OS: Tell us about the upcoming album Wild and Free. What was it like to return to your usual material after releasing an album specifically for children?

ZM: It wasn’t as much fun, not like doing the kids’ stuff. The kids’ stuff was easy, light and loose. But this one’s much more serious, much more thoughtful songwriting process. Just more intense. More intense.

OS: Do you think you might do more albums for kids in the future?

ZM: I don’t know, I mean, it depends. I don’t keep planning stuff. We’ll see.

OS: You collaborated with Woody Harrelson on the title track from the new album—what was it like to record with an actor rather than a musician?

ZM: It wasn’t really collaborating with an actor. I don’t look at him as an actor. Woody’s a friend, and we share some ideas on things. So it was very spontaneous actually, and not something we had planned to do. We shared some ideas when we were doing the song, and I started inviting him, “Hey, come sing.” I didn’t think it would be on the album, but then it sounded good to me and I said, “All right, let’s put it on the album.”

OS: The pro-marijuana theme from that song is also included in the Marijuanaman comic you released on 4/20, which features a superhero who saves the world using hemp. In what ways do you think that plant has the power to save the world?

ZM: The fiber of the hemp plant can be used for many different purposes. The whole plant, actually, can impact the environment in a very positive way if we use it instead of certain things we use more widely now, like cotton or trees. Cutting down trees… it can actually help the planet and help the people of the planet, because trees are very important. The seeds are the most complete protein in the vegetable kingdom on this planet. So the nutritional value is really exceptional. And it’s a weed, so it can grow very easily. In a lot of countries where there’s malnourished children or poor children, you could easily find nutrition in the seed. It also can be used to make biofuel. Thousands and thousands of uses this plant has, which can have a positive impact. Everybody’s talking about a “green revolution” and “eco-friendly” and everything—becoming eco-friendly. I just think, it seems to me, that if you really believe that idea, then you have to use this plant. It’s the most eco-friendly plant on the planet. There’s nothing more “eco” than this plant; nothing more good for the soil, nothing more good for the people, nothing more good for the environment than this plant. If you’re not using this plant, then it’s BS, really. All this eco-talk is BS. Without this plant there’s no eco, there’s no green revolution without this plant. If we don’t use it, we’re going to be stuck.

OS: How was the process of making the comic book? It seems like a lot of fun.

ZM: Yeah, I was really excited about it, because I’m into comic books and cartoons and crime-fighting superheroes and things like that. I really couldn’t wait to see it come out of the imagination, on paper. I went through with the artist and writer, scripting what the idea was and the story and the characters and how it works, all these types of things. I was really excited.

OS: Between the comic book and the recent documentary Marley African Road Trip, you’re delving into a lot of different mediums. What inspires you to branch out into other areas?

ZM: I kind of have that creativity inside of me, you know? It’s just a part of me. So it’s like, I have to find another outlet for the other ideas that I have, outside of music, and these are the outlets. The creativity doesn’t stop with music, it kind of goes on into other avenues.

OS: One of those other outlets is your reggae/dancehall label, Tuff Gong. What exciting things do you have going on with the label right now?

ZM: Um, let’s see. Just my album right now. Some stuff in the future, but nothing I can speak about right now.

OS: Keeping it under wraps?

ZM: Yeah, for now, for now.

OS: You split your time between Florida, Jamaica and California—three very different places in terms of their musical culture. How does the music scene you grew up with in Jamaica compare to the scene in the US?

ZM: Well, the music scene in general has changed. Growing up in Jamaica I started seeing it really young, and music was recorded by musicians in the studio, kind of organic. Things kind of changed, now it’s more machine music. A lot of the music now is like, the same. The same beats, the same tempos. Back in Jamaica, in the old days, music was much more free. It wasn’t about everybody trying to jump on the same bandwagon. Nowadays, that’s what it’s like, that’s what music is like. Every song has the same kind of thing… and then the industry itself changed into more of a corporate thing instead of a music thing. So a lot of artistic feeling is lost, and a lot of artistic feeling is stifled because of the corporate ideologies. It’s not about art, more the commercialization of the music instead of the art in the music.

OS: What did you learn from watching your father in the studio as a kid?

ZM: I just remember him working really hard and being into the music, being on top of the music. Working hard through nights, late nights and a lot of rehearsals. And discipline, and what it takes, and what the music means. I learned a lot of that by seeing it and watching it.

Check out Ziggy’s Web site for upcoming tour dates!

GuacaMusic: Domino Saints

What could be better than one Puerto Rican artist who mixes Latin sounds with urban music?

The answer is simple: TWO Puerto Rican artists.

We are talking about Domino Saints, a pop duo from San Juan, Puerto Rico who happen to rock OurStage’s Latin Channel, and whose style is a fusion of dancehall, bomba, reggae and other Latin grooves. Just ask OurStage Latin fans and you’ll understand why the pair’s rock star vibe is hard to resist.

It’s no surprise that Domino Saints has been in the top ten charts several times—they’ve been collecting successes since the release of their self-titled debut album in late 2009. That year, they were featured as the Latin iTunes Single of the Week and were chosen as winners in the 16th Billboard World Song Contest with their smash hit “Buenos Dias San Juan.” A year later, they worked on a second album that turned out to be more even more popular. Their smash hit “Ahora es Ahora” won them an Independent Music Award for “Best Latin Song.”

Can’t wait to listen? Visit the duo’s profile on OurStage and play “Ahora es Ahora” so you can hear for yourself why fans love Domino Saints’s music. Another fan favorite is the aforementioned “Buenos Dias San Juan,” a mix of urban sounds from the Caribbean that makes you wish you were dancing the night away in Puerto Rico.

If you liked “Ahora es Ahora” and “Buenos Dias San Juan”, then you’ll be happy to hear that Domino Saints is working on a new album to be released this year. Meanwhile, you can listen to them on our Latin Channel and enjoy this hot, danceable playlist. ¡Provecho!

Around The World In 80 Songs: “Mystery” By Uzo Nzeka

Animals, safaris, amazing sunsets…

Dying to go to Africa? Let’s visit Nigeria through the music of Uzo Nzeka, a Franco-Nigerian singer-songwriter who was formerly known as Brother Ephrain.

Although Uzo Nzeka’s music has been around for decades (his debut album came out in 1966 selling a million copies) he never ceases to renovate himself. Back in the 80s, he released a number of successful albums; in 2001 he performed with The Wailers during their tour of France in tribute to Bob Marley. Today he is working on a new production, inspired in Bob Marley and Jamaica.

So what is it about Uzo that allows him to transcend decades and geographical borders and still keep his music fresh?

For starters, Uzo is always writing new music and aiming to captivate audiences wherever he goes. He continues to reinvent himself and is constantly looking for ways to inspire fans in Africa and around the world.

Here on OurStage, Uzo Nzeka has been engaging fans with his creativity. His pieces have been regulars in the Top 10 charts, and he has gotten very positive feedback from users. His song “Mystery” is a true gem in OurStage’s World Channel. Play it and you’ll realize why he never ceases to impress his fans. If you are into reggae, then you’ll understand why Uzo stands out from the rest.

Other great songs by Uzo include “Rastaman”, “Rain” and “Never Let You Go”. Take a trip to Africa through these timeless pieces through this timeless artist. Bon voyage!

Around The World In 80 Songs: “Akonserawa” By Femi Jubal

There is no better way to brighten up your day than by listening to an amazing song that mixes African beats with elements of soft rock, pop and even some reggae.

I am talking about the song “Akonserawa” by OurStage artist Femi Jubal, an exciting piece that, besides being rhythmically perfect, conveys an important message of peace and justice. According to the artist, this song “reflects the pain of my continent and it is dedicated to all the victims of hate, injustice, genocide in Africa and beyond.”

The thing is, Femi is not just a talented musician. He is also a human rights crusader who aims to use his music to transmit his passion for change, justice, freedom and equality.  As an artist, he understands that his words are powerful tools towards social change.

Originally from Lagos, Nigeria, Femi has been building a strong career as a musician in Africa and beyond. In 2007, he released the single “Cry of Africa” and received great compliments on his work. Jubal is currently working on a new album and is working with artists around the world.

If you liked “Akonserawa”, then we are guessing you’ll also dig “Enough is Enough Nigeria!!” a song that Femi describes as a call for change and transformation in his home country. Another great song by Femi that talks about Nigeria is “Eke o ni Baje”. Get to know more of Femi’s work by listening to this playlist and enjoy your time in Africa. Bon Voyage!

Metal Monday: Dub And Ragga Metal

For anyone who knows anything about metal, they’re probably aware there are a plethora of sub genres—  death, thrash, metalcore, stoner, sludge, doom, progressive, folk, pagan, etc. Perhaps two sub genres you’ve not heard of are dub metal and ragga metal. What are they, you ask? Read more to find out!

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Backtracking Forward: Reggae In Your Jeggae

“Musical discs from the flick of my wrist to make you dance and twist as I would say!” exclaimed music legend Dirty Harry in the seminal 1978 Jamaican film Rockers as he overtook a disco DJ in a club and replaced the music with sweet reggae melodies. Each month, “Backtracking Forward” will undergo its own musical takeover with Reggae in Your Jeggaea new post that spotlights the crème de la crème of roots, reggae, rockers, dub and ska music found on This month’s pick of the litter is a sticky mess of all these genres wrapped together with a distinct west coast persuasion. They call themselves Summit Dub Squad and whether they are eliciting sweat-soaked punky/ska grooves or spaced out ethereal dub rhythms, the music is guaranteed to strike a chord in any listener who can let their hair down and feel the love of Jah almighty in the music.

Reggae? Ska? Punk? Hip-Hop? Dub? Summit Dub Squad covers it all with an irie twist

The genres that influence Summit Dub Squad’s music can be heard plastered all over their tracks, taking the listener on a ride where skanky dance floor rhythms are followed by shoe-gazing dubby expeditions. “Rude Boy Riot” is tickled with that 2-Tone, US-influenced zest of ska while “Bredren” is layered with some tasty scratches and beats from the likes of DJ SOE that help ease the vocals into a smooth hip-hop flow from vocalist B Dub. Throughout their tracks, and especially on the buoyant number “Sovereign Land”, a melodic and catchy horn section is frequently paired with quick and choppy reggae guitar licks that generate a consistent rhythm to satisfy the mind and soul.

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