Mavado (Jamaica)

This week featuring Jamaica


Mavado is the stage name for David Constantine Brooks, a musician from Kingston.  His debut single “Real McKoy” in 2004 provided him with instant success.  He had a follow-up album Weh Dem a Do and a string of hits.  In 2007 Mavado released the album Gangsta for Life: The Symphony of David Brooks, two singles off this album gained heavy airplay in the US.  In 2008 Mavado was given the prestigious UK MOBO Award for Best Reggae Act and in 2010 won the EME award for male singjay of the year.  Mavado released two new singles in 2011 through his own label.


Iba MaHr (Jamaica)

This week featuring Jamaica


This young reggae artist has the #1 single, “Will I Wait” on the Jamaican charts this week.   He was given the name Mario Greaves at birth but has emerged with strong African culture, thus granted the name by friends, Iba MaHr, ‘Iba’ African name, meaning Humble and Calm while ‘MaHr’ is really an acronym, meaning Mario of Harar, Harar which is a small province in Ethiopia.  Iba MaHr’s music ranges from reggae, lovers rock and soulful roots genre.

Bob Marley (Jamaica)

This week featuring Jamaica


No Jamaican music list would be complete without the mention of the great Bob Marley (1945 – 1981).  Most people know of Bob Marley and his music so I thought I would share some little known facts about this musician.

  • Bob’s father was a 50-year-old white British naval captain, and his mother a 19- year-old black country girl.
  • His father instructed his mother to name the child Nesta Robert Marley, so she did.  A Jamaican immigration official suggested to Bob’s mom that “Nesta” sounded too much like a girl’s name. So they switched his name to Robert Nesta Marley.
  • He left school at 15 to become an apprentice to a welder.
  • Until Jamaica gained independence from Britain in 1962, the radio stations played music for the white, upper class. Marley and other natives set up mobile sound systems to play the Reggae beats they were making.
  • Marley was a Rastafarian. As such, he was a vegetarian and believed that marijuana (ganga), is a sacred herb. Rastafarians do not cut their hair.
  • When Bob was twenty-one, he lived in Delaware for seven months. During that time he worked the night shift at a Chrysler plant (about which he wrote in his song, “Night Shift”).
  • Bob, who at twenty-one married a beautiful Trenchtown Sunday school teacher named Rita.  He also fathered an untold number of kids by an untold number of women.
  • Peter Tosh was a guitarist in The Wailers, and a very important reggae singer/songwriter in his own right, he was murdered in his home in 1987.
  • When Bob discovered that the reason he was still poor after being so famous for so long was that his long-time manager and friend Don Taylor had been robbing him blind, Bob beat Don to within an inch of his life.
  • Two days before a free concert scheduled to be given in Jamaica, Marley, his wife Rita, and his manager, Don Taylor were victims of a shooting by unknown gunmen. It is believed that the shooting was politically motivated, luckily Bob had only minor injuries to his chest and arm.
  • For a long time Bob drove a BMW—which, as far as he was concerned, stood for Bob Marley and the Wailers.
  • Bob died of cancer (brain, liver, stomach, lungs) on May 11, 1981. He was thirty-six years old. In one day, 40,000 people filed past his coffin as his body lay in state in Jamaica’s National Arena.
  • Even though he died in 1981, Marley still sells more albums each year than any other Reggae artist.

Music from Jamaica

This week I will be featuring music from Jamaica.  Seeing as the most popular genre in Jamaica is reggae/ska, I will be featuring artists of this genre to share with you the music of Jamaica.   Jamaican music has had great influence on music styles in other countries includes the practice of toasting, which was brought to New York City and evolved into rapping.  British genres as lovers rock and jungle music are also influenced by Jamaican music.


Weeping Willows (Sweden)

This week featuring Sweden


Weeping Willows are an alternative/indie band formed in 1995, from Stockholm.  The bands debut album Broken Promise Land and their second album Endless Night were influenced by music of the 50’s and 60’s.  Their third album Into the Light, released in 2002, saw a stylistic turn toward a more modern alternative sound.  This album received a #1 spot on the Swedish charts.  The band released three more albums and all had major chart success in Sweden.  Lead singer Magnus Carlson teamed up with “The Moon Ray Quintet” and released their second album together Echoes in 2010.


The Hives (Sweden)

This week featuring Sweden


The Hives are known as a “garage rock band”, they formed in 1993 and are from Fagersta.  They released their first album in 1997.  The bands second album Veni Vidi  Vicious was released in 2000, the album yielded five singles and had some chart success.  Tyrannosaurus Hives was released in 2004, containing three hit singles.  The Hives released their fourth album The Black and White Album in 2007 and have announced they are busy with their fifth album to be released in 2012.  The Hives are also known for their great live performances with their everchanging black and white suits.




The Tallest Man on Earth (Sweden)

This week featuring Sweden


The Tallest Man on Earth is the moniker for singer-songwriter Kristian Matsson from Dalarna, Sweden.  Matsson has been compared to Bob Dylan in both song writing ability and vocal style.  He is married to Swedish singer-songwriter Amanda Bergman, who performs under the moniker Idiot Wind.  The couple have toured extensively together.  The tallest Man on Earth released a debut album in 2008, Shallow Grave.  In 2010 he released his second album, The Wild Hunt.   This album was also voted the top album of 2010 by the staff of Sputnikmusic and was in the top 200 of the UK charts.


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