Posts Tagged ‘Reggae’


By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Music is meant to bring us together. It is the bridge on which any colliding personalities can meet, and meet in peace.

Ras Xix knows the only way you can master music is by approaching it via different perspectives, and he’s been doing so, travelling to soak in new cultures and funnel them into his production.

Enter his eponymous album, the first accumulation of his efforts, and an overall lush experience. The lyrics are simply refined, with adept guitar and a chilled beat massaging the centre. The production’s neat, the effects sweet. Even when he ups the rock (as in Over), the takeoff is gentle, the landing sleek.

Most compelling for me was Las Arenas de Cartagena, written on the shores of Boca Grande in Colombia. While I can do without the cliche video (wherein a frustrated waitress finds freedom by stripping down to a bikini- blame LA?), the chorus is almost enough to sweep me off to the ocean.


By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

I just got back from the UK, and I’m already missing it. I was missing it soon as the plane landed. Okay, before that.

It’ll be a while before I can afford another plane ticket. So what better way to “get back” than through my speakers?

When someone resonates with a particular culture, nation or location, their music feeds off the spirit in their blood. Then you can listen, and tap in to where you wanna be.

But enough yammering! Let’s steer the spotlight where it belongs: on Mangoseed, a Brixton-based band thriving in reggae, ska, and funky rock n’ roll. (I hardly saw any of Brixton when I was in London, but the lil’ bit I saw was wonderful. Sad and rough, but gorgeous.)

On paper, Mangoseed are a traditional four-piece suite: vocals, guitar, bass, drums. But they take so much from so many influences, stirring that into their own magical brew. Their lyrics are saturated with all the pain and brilliance of history. An area like Brixton is rife with human struggle and human triumph, dangers, dreams, delicacies. The uniqueness of Southern London combines with their Jamaican, Australian, Irish and Trinidadian roots. The reggae melts the rock; together they fizz with electricity. It’s an intelligent, bracing, spiritual current, and it hits hard!

I can’t believe Basquiat is their debut. How long were they stacking this talent?! Lioness is a shocking opener, Careful smooths the curves but “keeps it movin”, and on. And on. And on.

I love music that teaches me something about my limbs. Mangoseed makes me move in ways I wouldn’t expect. I’ll catch a glance of myself in the mirror and think, “WHAT are my legs DOING?” This album makes me twitch and flail like a giddy freak.

What more could I ask for?


By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Reggae is mesmerizing. It emanates such druggy soul, such palpable wisdom. One has to dance or do nothing at all. One has to bob, weave, or sit cross-legged, overcome by the rolling, primal rhythms.

Meld that power with digestible pop rock and fist-pumping funk, and you’ve got Drunksouls (not to mention a wicked party playlist).

Drunksouls have been toiling in France’s music scene since 2002, and all their sowing has begun to seed. The music video for Human Race (below!) has hit over two million views. Turns out setting French accents to reggae is like sneaking spinach into your fruit smoothie: undeniably nutritious, unexpectedly delicious. And they do the same with socially-conscious lyrics and rockin’ hooks, not to mention revolutionary punk spirit. This music is a glimpse of enlightened summertime, a leisure that inspires, surges, and motivates. Whether you need to mellow out some harsher vibes or rev up for a workout (or rally), reach out to Drunksouls for your fix. The best place to start would be Just Before Chaos, a compilation cd of their most energetic, entrancing works.

Bolstered by burgeoning interest across the Atlantic, they’re looking to book an American tour.

Wanna come?


By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

[Photo by: Taylor Herron]

MARIA CIEZAK: First and foremost, I want to talk about the new music video for Free Tree. I love it! Where did the concept come from?

CISCO ADLER: I want to make videos that stand the test of time and that I will be proud of forever. This song is a protest song about Mother Earth and all she gives us, and how we always end up getting charged for things that should be free. Marijuana, a medical miracle, is one of them. I figured a classic propaganda vibe with tons of imagery that leaves the viewer asking questions would be awesome. My friend Matty Smooch, who shot the video, edited for two days to make sure all the visuals were thought-provoking and would make you want to watch again.

MC: You’ve had quite a busy year with music, touring, and everything else in between. Any plans for a fall tour?

CA: I’ll be out this winter. Some great plans are in the works.

MC: Your very active on socials — what is your favorite platform to communicate with fans?

CA: Instagram is a pure pleasure platform, as it’s not too much advertising and spamming, and a picture is truly worth a thousand words. Snapchat is the next one, I think. They are entering the music space as we speak and will be making a splash.

MC: I’ve been a fan of yours for quite some time now, back to the Whitestarr days. You must’ve seen a lot change in the industry over the years. Would you say it’s gotten harder remaining a relevant artist?

CA: It’s always going to be yes and no. It’s never been harder and never been easier.

MC: I love your remix track with Sammy Adams. How did that collaboration come about?

CA: Sammy is a friend and a great artist on the rise. I always like to cross-pollinate and create bridges between audiences I think would get it. The song is amazing, and his verse brought a new energy and connected our communities.

MC: You must have a ton of songs in your “vault”. How many would you say don’t make your records?

CA: [Laughs] Thousands, literally.

MC: This may be random, but I’ve always wanted to know: Who designs your tour flyers? They’re always so rad!

CA: Thank you! I do. I am an artist at all costs. I love to be creative in any medium.

MC: Who are some artists that you’d like to collaborate with?

CA: Flea, Rick Rubin, Kanye, Keith Richards, and Damian Marley, to name a few.

MC: If you weren’t making music, I picture you running a tiki hut somewhere. What would you be doing?

CA: I’d be dead. Music is my lifeblood. It keeps me ticking. This is why I am here.

MC: For fans who may not be familiar with what you are about yet, how would you describe your music in five words?

CA: Perfect for a sunny day.


By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

This isn’t my usual jam. Still, my interest has been piqued like a mountaintop. (Forgive me for that one!) The Tomas Doncker Band is a fertile ground for funk, soul, jazz, and blues, fusing it all together with healthy spoonfuls of wicked guitar. Tomas got started playing with more groups than I could bother to mention. It wasn’t until 2008 that he got his own band together to release the Howlin Wolf EP.

Now they’re back and keen to collaborate! And collaborate they did: every song on Power of Trinity… A Slight Return features a new artist. Tomas describes the music he plays as global soul, which he considers “the sound of our collective conscience”.

Their 2013 EP is being released in support of a charity that supports young women in Ethiopia. Sound!

As for the sound itself, I’m not sure what to say. Do I like it? Definitely. Beyond that I find it difficult to describe. There’s a rhythm here I’m not accustomed to, one that breaks barriers rather than putting them up. It’s pure fluid, and it’s rushing fast.


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

In case you haven’t heard, the one and only Snoop Dogg has released a new single under the name Snoop Lion. No, I’m not kidding. This is actually quite cool, because A.) it’s unexpected and somewhat funny & B.) it’s for an amazing cause: ending gun violence.

On No Guns Allowed, Snoop teams up with Drake and daughter Cori B. in a plea for peace on the streets.

Produced by Major Lazer and Ariel Rechtshaid, Snoop rhymes about putting weapons down on the reggae-influenced track: “Cause, no guns are allowed, in here tonight/ We’re gonna have a free-for-all, no fights/ I wanna get lost in the crowd, in here tonight.”

Go Snoop Lion!

Snoop’s 11th studio album, Reincarnated, drops on April 23rd.

Listen to Snoop Lion’s No Guns Allowed (featuring Cori B. and Drake) below + interview w/ Snoop explaining the inspiration behind the song following.


By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

MARIA CIEZAK: First and foremost, thanks for taking the time to answer some questions. I’m a big fan; in fact, Lincoln Parish of Cage the Elephant actually turned me on to you guys. I had the chance to interview him back in June, and he is your biggest promoter!

I recently saw you play with The Expendables, and you are an amazing live band. How did this tour happen, and how is it going?

MICAH from IRATION: We have toured with The Expendables before, and we were both going out at the same time, so we figured instead of having competing tours we should just combine efforts. It’s been great; one of the smoothest tours we have ever been on, and the crowds have been great.

MC: It almost seems as if you guys had success overnight, which I am sure is not the case. How was the music scene in Hawaii, and what made you all reunite in Cali?

MICAH: Well, we weren’t a band until we met up in California, so we were never really in the scene in Hawaii, although we love local music. We were all friends in school in Santa Barbara, so it made sense.

MC: Was it hard to break out? What would you say was your first big break as a band?

MICAH: Yes, it took a lot of hard work, and we don’t even feel like we have ‘broken out’ yet. We are still working hard. But our first breakthrough was probably the release of the Sample This EP. Falling is still one of our popular songs, and its success kind of jump-started our career.

MC: You guys combine such a cool blend of genres, including rock, reggae, and more. Your sound is very unique. What do you guys categorize yourself as, or do you not put yourself into one specific genre?

MICAH: I guess you could consider us reggae/rock, but yeah, we also kind of consider the songs ‘cheeky pop’ in that many of them have a tongue-in-cheek feel to the lyrical content.

MC: If you could tour with any band in the world, who would it be?

MICAH: That is tough, but probably a big rock band like the Foo’s or Chili Peppers. Muse, arena bands.

MC: How is the response to the new single Porcupine, and how did you hook up with Lincoln?

MICAH: The response has been great. We realize that it is a different sound for us, but we know our fans are music fans first and foremost, not genre fans.

We met Lincoln at a 92.9 KJEE radio show and Lollapalooza. Our manager made the connection, and the rest is coffee-fueled history.

MC: What do you guys prefer more: recording or touring?

MICAH: We love making records and the creativity of the studio, but we are a live band first and foremost, and playing in front of our fans is the most fun we can have.

MC: What’s next after the tour with The Expendables?

MICAH: Back to Hawaii for some vacay, then back on the road for our Winter tour in early 2013.

MC: For any BiggerThanBeyonce.Com readers who are not familiar with Iration yet, any parting words?

MICAH: Beyonce… Huge Iration fan.


By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Call me an undercover detective, but I get a feeling that this song’s about pot. And I don’t mean pan’s brother.

“Yeah there’s something ’bout Mary got me higher/ Oh yeah, there’s something ’bout the way she make me light up,” lead singer Marc Griffin sings.

Big Sean later throws in his support of the ganja: “See I be off of that tree/ People tell me I shouldn’t be/ But early on my mom taught me that everything green is good for me.”


Welcome back, boys.

Listen to the reggae-cracked, infectious track below.

And be sure to check out my EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with 2AM Club HERE.


By: Maria Ciezak
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Nothing like some good alternative reggae rock to get your hands in the air and your hips in sway. Allow me to bring a divine five piece to your attention. Going by the name of Tomorrows Bad Seeds, Moi, Sean, Mat, Pat, and Andre have been defined as the “leaders of the new school of rock”. Simply put, this isn’t just a nickname; it’s a replication of how these Hermosa boys carry themselves.

The Hermosa Beach, California natives have been together since the yester-years of 2004, with seeds including Moises Juarez (lead vocals), Sean Chapman (vocals/guitar), Matthew McEwan (vocals/guitar), Patrick Salmon (drums), and Andre Davis (bass). With albums Sacred For Sale and Early Prayers, all of their library contains that good, rootsy reggae tone. Not to mention, their live shows back up their recording abilities. They’ve opened for numerous genre traditionals like The Wailers, Steel Pulse, and companion hybridizers like Pepper and Slightly Stoopid. But this time around, being a bridesmaid is not acceptable for TBS; it is their big day.

Tomorrows Bad Seeds hold that deadly combination of rock and reggae, punk and blues, beats and riffs. I was introduced to them not to long ago, but feel as if we have met in another life, for their music is a distinct sidekick of mine, almost “besties” if you will.

These guys are currently planting their seeds around the country while on tour, increasing their reggae, metal, punk and hip hop roots to larger audiences at home and around the globe. Spread the love, and don’t wait ’til tomorrow to check out these bad seeds.